The 8-Step Skincare Routine

Leaf1 has had acne/rosacea since she was a teenager. She has seen multiple dermatologists and has used numerous products and creams (both over the counter products (can be purchased at department stores, beauty stores, or CVS/Walgreens) and prescription products (such as doxycycline, Retin-A creams, etc..)). Therefore, she’s always on the quest to improve her skin!

Everyone is talking about the 10-step skincare routine right now! Naturally, Leaf1 decided to give it a shot and has been doing this since December, 2016. And guess what, she’s sticking to this skincare routine..forever! Here are some tips!

First, lets get rid of some misconceptions:

  1. You don’t have to complete all 10 steps every single day! Leaf1 completes 7-8 steps on most days, and 9-10 steps once or twice weekly.
  2. The commitment is not bad (and that’s coming from a very busy girl). Incorporate these steps into your morning and night routines. For example: Wake up, complete step 1 and step 2; make your morning coffee; complete step 3; pick-out your work wardrobe; complete step 4; etc…
  3. These products are not expensive!

Now, lets get down to the Nitty-Gritty!

Night (8 steps on most days, 9-10 steps twice weekly):

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Water Cleanser
  3. Exfoliant (once or twice weekly)
  4. Skin Softener/Refresher/Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serums, Boosters, Ampules
  7. Sheet Masks (once weekly)
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Retin-A (Rx only)
  10. Moisturizer


  1. Water Cleanser
  2. Skin Softener/Refresher/Toner
  3. Essence
  4. Serums/Boosters/Ampules
  5. Eye Cream
  6. Moisturizer
  7. Sun Protection

Oil Cleanser: Most girls and women like to wear make-up. The oil cleanser removes makeup and any other oil-based product like sunscreen. It will also remove dirt and pollution particles. Leaf1 has been using Banila Clean it Zero ($25)- this is the perfect first-step in the double-cleanse regimen (step 1 + step 2).  It’s a hypoallergenic oil cleanser that appears as a solid balm and transforms into a silky oil on the skin. Perfection!


Water or Foam Cleanser: Believe or not, your face still has nasty stuff left over even after one cleanser. Water/foam cleanser will help remove more pollutants like sweat and dirt. Admittedly, Leaf1 just recently combined step 2 to step 1 (double cleansing) and have really enjoyed it so far. Leaf1 uses Cerave Facial Cleanser ($8). This removes surface impurities, excess oil, and dead skin cells. It’s non-irritating and non-comedogenic. Another product that Leaf1 loves is the Aveeno Ultra-Calming Foaming Cleanser ($6). This cleanser gently cleanses and softens even dry, sensitive skin. It can reduce redness and irritation. What more do we want?!


Exfoliation: If you have sensitive skin like Leaf1, only try this step once weekly or once every other week. Apparently, exfoliating is a crucial step to get rid of dead skin cells and debris. Leaf1 recently purchased the Naked Earth Exfoliants: Dead Sea Salt + Lavendar by True Formulation ($12.50). This product is made for the body to remove dead skin and impurities with natural granules. Leaf1 uses the product once weekly on her face (warning: it feels like you’re dipping your face in the ocean due to the sea salt – so use sparingly!).Product_-_square_-_exfoliants_2_grande.jpg

Toner/Skin Softener/Refresher: Skin softener and toner can prep the skin to absorb the following treatments better. Pick a non-alcohol based skin softener and toner to avoid irritation. Leaf1’s all time favorite is the 3 seconds starter hyaluronic acid ($19.50). This is a light weight serum that’s recommended to be used right before the toner. After using the skin softener, Leaf1 uses the Rose Elixir Toner by True Formulation ($19.50). This does not contain any alcohol (Yay!) or artificial fragrance (double Yay!). This toner is soothing and will leave the skin clean, soft, and supple.IMG_5086.JPG


Essence:  This step is a MUST! Essence can hydrate and help repair the skin. Leaf1 uses MISSHA Time Revolution the first treatment essence ($49, can’t believe that it is now available at Target!). This product is worth every penny!! It is highly concentrated and can improve fine lines and skin tone while hydrating. 49167517.jpg

Serums/Boosters/Ampules: Buy the serum that’s best suited for your age and what you want to achieve (fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, etc..). If you’re not (almost) in your 30s, you can probably skip this step. Leaf1 is currently using the Lancome Advanced Genifique Youth Activating Serum ($105). NOT WORTH THE PENNY!! But she will continue to use it until it’s done and over! Leaf1 is looking for a different serum if you have any recommendation!

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Sheet masks: Who doesn’t love sheet masks!? They are so fun, especially when you’re sitting around while watching Scandal on Hulu (once weekly on Hulu – so rule #23546, give yourself a treat with a sheet mask once weekly)! These masks are extra soothing to give skin that boosted-nourishment! You can purchase these masks anywhere for cheap! Don’t spend more than $10.00 per sheet. Currently, Leaf1 buys random sheet masks at Korean grocery stores ($2/sheet), but you can get yours here.



Eye Cream: Yes, we are not  in our 60s, but the best treatment is PREVENTION! Use any eye-cream you can afford. Don’t spend too much. Get something that doesn’t irritate the delicate skin around your eyes and use your finger to gently tap the cream/gel around your eyes. Leaf1 uses Olay Eyes Pro Retinol Eye Treatment for Wrinkles ($26.99) and it’s OK. Currently looking for a different eye cream if you have any recommendation!



Retin-A (prescription): If you can’t get the prescription version, Differin gel ($11.99) is a similar product (just less potent). Differin is available anywhere (Target, CVS, Walgreens, Walmart). Leaf1 strongly believes that all women approaching 30s or in their 30s should use Retin-A routinely. It clears and prevents acne (and they have clinical trials to support the claim!). The only bad thing is that it can be extremely irritating, initially. So make sure to only use this product at night. Leaf1 uses Retin-A 0.025% every other night to avoid the irritation.

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Moisturizer: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate! Buy a moisturizer that works best for you and your skin (dry skin? oily skin? combination skin?). They do come in many different forms such as emulsion, lotion, gel, or cream. Personally, Leaf1 likes to use cream at night and gel in the daytime (easier to apply make-up). Right now, Leaf1 uses Cerave moisturizer ($10) at night, and Clinique moisturizing gel ($27) in the day to moisturize her skin. The Cerave moisturizer can be generously applied to the body as well. It’s non-comedogenic and has ceramides to moisturize and soften the skin! The Clinique gel is lightweight and fast-absorbing: great for when you need to apply make-up in the morning! These moisturizers are AMAZING and so affordable!

Sun Protection:  Do this everyday (Winter, Summer, Spring, Fall). Applying sunscreen is the best thing anyone can do to PREVENT aging. Leaf1’s all time favorite is La Roche-Posay Ultra Light Suncreen Fluid ($29.99). This product is fast-absorbing, lightweight, and water resistant! It creates a matte-finish and it is absolutely perfect for sensitive skin.


That’s it! We would love to hear your recommendations!! 


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