Until recently, I had sort of given up on my skin. I felt, well, I’m 60-plus, I have wrinkles and sun damage and nothing can make those go away. I did my usual: cleanser, toner, moisturizer, and didn’t give it much thought.

My millennial daughter showed me otherwise. She turned me on to the seismic change in the skincare and beauty industries due to three major factors: the Internet, the emergence of the drugstore brands, and the introduction into the West of the Korean beauty philosophy, known as K Beauty.

Top level skincare is now more affordable and effective than ever before. And, definitely more fun.

 
 

Skincare Used to Be Expensive and Intimidating

Until recently, the department store brands were considered the best and the most technologically advanced due to the huge research laboratories backing them. We paid dearly for status and branding.

The products are preciously locked away behind the counter. You must interact with a Sales Assistant, who works on commission, who tells you how fabulous the product is and how wonderful it makes you look. A facial, until recently, was considered a luxury to be had at a pricey spa. For decades, a mani-pedi had to be booked at your hair salon or spa, both expensive.

The Rise of the “Drug Store Brands”

Before, you were made to feel “less than” if you bought a mass market brand. You felt you were getting inferior product and bad packaging. Not anymore!

Lancôme, YSL, Shu Uemura, and Maybelline are owned by L’Oréal, resulting in a sharing of technology and research across all price points. Today, if you buy drug store brands you’re smart – and you get enormous beauty benefits.

The Rise of the Internet and Beauty Bloggers

The internet is beauty friendly and has put all the skincare information we need at our fingertips. No longer do we depend on a department store Sales Assistant to give a sales pitch. We can research ingredients, formulations, product comparisons and pricing.

Ever make a mistake buying a product? Enter the world of Beauty Bloggers – they’ve changed the whole purchasing panorama. They buy, try and review products on their fascinating blogs and videos. From new lipstick colors to different product introductions, they compare and review products so that we get the information we need from a non-biased source.

The Skincare Dominance of Korean Beauty, Known as K Beauty

The Korean philosophy is that beauty is a necessity, not a luxury. This democratization of beauty makes research and price points accessible to everyone. Decades ago the influx of Korean nail salons sprouting up in major cities around the world offered friendly, drop-in service at an accessible price. The same goes for Korean skincare philosophy – good grooming for all.

The Difference Between Korean Beauty and American Beauty

The American beauty biz is focused on makeup. We used it as teenagers to look older, to be glamorous, to cover up our skincare problems. It’s all about concealers and foundations to create the illusion of flawless skin, over which we apply color and contouring; in effect, camouflage.

Korean beauty is based on beautiful skin and the insistence that every woman can realize luminous, radiant, fresh skin, no matter what her age. New research and products make this possible.

And that’s the reason I decided to get back into my skincare routine. True, I can’t change the hours I sat as a teenager baking in the sun, before sunscreen was invented, (grrr!) but I can focus on making my skin the most beautiful it can be and have a lovely time doing it.

Why Caring for My Skin Make Me Feel Like a Million

Quite simply, caring for my skin adds an element of affordable pampering to my life. And what is pampering if not an extravagant feeling? The textures of the new formulations, their fragrances, the patting and smoothing are loving and spirit lifting.

For Now, Your Two Most Important Products

I have so much more information I want to share with you! – but I must leave it for Part 2 of Millionaire Skincare. Until then, there are two things you can do to start yourself on your path to your most beautiful skin.

Cleansing your skin properly and using sunscreen are the two, nonnegotiable basics of your daily routine. Begin with the concept of double cleansing. Double cleansing means using a gentle makeup remover to remove makeup, followed by a gentle cleanser to clean your skin. A makeup remover alone is not enough; a cleanser alone is not enough. Why? You can’t clean your skin if your makeup is still on your face.

Your Face Begins at Your Neck

Every morning, apply sunscreen to your face and neck. But don’t use a beach type sunscreen that feels gunky and greasy on your face. There are new formulations that are matte and disappear on your skin for daily use, making it ever so much more pleasant to use.

I leave you with these thoughts for now. Be gentle to your beautiful face. Your skin will thank you. And you’ll feel like a million.

What’s your current skincare routine? Do you use sunscreen daily? Do you have any favorite cleansers or sunscreens? We’re all ears, below!

Liza DunkelElizabeth Dunkel is a writer and novelist who has lived in Merida, Yucatan, Mexico for 25 years. She is the Creative Director of Camp Liza www.campliza.com, a personal blog about stylish and creative living. “A thoughtful life is a luxe life.” Elizabeth is the proud founder of the Merida English Library. She discovered a second career as a CELTA certified teacher of ESL and is Merida’s first, only and best college coach www.superenglishmerida.com.

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