Do people really have time for a 10-step skincare routine? Some know this beauty trend as “layering” or “stacking,” but I might start calling it “time suck” or “money gobbler.” Is this all the rage because it actually works, or is this just something the beauty industry cooked up to make us spend more money?
These are the questions I asked myself as I got up an extra hour early to get myself ready for work this morning. I’m NOT a morning person -- I’ve tried, and I just don’t have it in me. I usually stop hitting snooze around 8:00 a.m. and manage to get myself to work by 9:00 most mornings. But this morning, I actually got up at 7:00 just to experiment with this Korean-inspired skincare trend that seems to be the craze right now.
Korean women are known to have great skin, and it’s said to be because they take extra care when it comes to their skincare rituals in the morning. They treat it more like a relaxing, pampering experience rather than the rush job that I do in the mornings. I gotta tell you, folks, I respect the people that do this, but I don’t think I have the time or the money for it.
I think I already take pretty good care of my skin and was blessed with one of those black-don’t-crack mothers who's in her 50s but looks like she’s in her 40s -- and she doesn’t even wear makeup. (Love you mom.) But my dad is super-white, and I came out somewhere in the middle, so I realize I’m not going to have it as easy as my mom does in the looks department. I think I have more wrinkles than her already. But I digress.
Knowing that women across the globe are putting on six, seven, or even up to ten skincare products on their face daily makes me wonder if I’m doing enough.
This morning, I started by cleansing my skin with the new Clarisonic Sonic Radiance system. I used the Clarisonic Aria device and the Skin Illuminating Cleanser that comes with the kit, though my normal routine usually entails just my hands and my favorite Alba Botanica cleanser.
I used Arcona’s Cranberry Toner because I’m not down with toners that sting; I’m into a more gentle approach. This one has natural ingredients like rice milk, white tea and grapeseed extract, so it’s vitamin-rich. Cranberry is also naturally antimicrobial, so my skin feels squeaky-clean after I use it. It’s the perfect prep for the next step of this skincare routine.
I used the Clarisonic Brightening Activator Serum that comes with the aforementioned kit. In this whole multi-step skincare ritual, they say you’re supposed to put the lightweight serums on first after cleansing or toning, because they’re usually really concentrated with ingredients that you want to soak into your skin.
I let that hang out on my skin for a few minutes while I had some food before moving on to...
Vitamin C is amazing for the skin tone and helping with any hyperpigmentation you have. Even though I’m generally pretty lazy in the morning, I try to use a Vitamin C serum. I’m currently into the Dr. Dennis Gross Hydra-Pure Vitamin C Brightening Serum because it’s got a really cool texture and makes my pores look instantly smaller.
I took another break to do my hair before...
I applied Alba Botanica Good & Healthy Anti-Oil Weightless Moisture Lotion as my moisturizer. This little project would start to cost a small fortune if I didn’t throw in some more affordable products. This lotion contains tons of good-for-you ingredients, like spinach, is 100% vegetarian and cruelty-free, and is under $10.
Now, at this point, I’ve started to lose count of what I’ve actually put on my skin and I've started to get worried about how long it’s all taking. I’ve also started to wonder if, at a certain point, all these products are even worth it. Are they sinking into my skin through all the layers of other product I slathered on?
I get dressed for work while my lotion settles into my skin before moving on to...
Eye cream is one of my favorite products ever, so it takes me a few minutes to decide which of my many, many products I will use today, but I settled on Dolce & Gabbana Aurealux Eye Gel because I’d like something refreshing since I lost an hour of sleep to try out this routine. It does the trick and provides immediate cooling relief to the saggy bags under my eyes.
At this point, I’m fresh out of ideas of what to use as a seventh step. I throw on some Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta Daily Glow Moisture that I’ve been using to extend the life of my summer tan, but quite frankly, I am a little convinced that this whole experiment is going to make me late for work and then I’ll probably break out from stress.
In a hail-Mary attempt to get another product in there, I dab some Body Shop Tea Tree Gel on my blemishes and run out the door for work. I got to eight steps!
I honestly have no clue how I’d get to 10 steps. What else could I have used on my face? The people that are doing this routine can’t possibly have time to do this in the morning AND the evening. And I do NOT have the cash for this; I own all the products that I used, sure, but I don’t use them all at once. These products would normally last me months and months, but if I were to do this routine every day, morning and night, I would surely go through the products like they’re water, and I would certainly be broke.
I’ll admit that my skin feels great as I type this, but it’s an hour of my life that I’ll never get back. I know I don’t have it in me to do this daily. Maybe weekly. Maybe -- if I thought it would really make a difference in my skin in the long run, but I don’t know that I really believe that this is an effective skincare routine.
What do you think about this 7-10 step skincare craze? Do you think it’s effective skincare or just effective marketing?