The 10-step Korean skincare routine no doubt offers promising results, but the reality is that it may not work for everyone. There could only be two possible turnouts: either your skin loves it and you become the glass-skinned queen you've always wanted to be, or you break out. Of course, we all wish for the former—so if you think it's the worth the risk, then go ahead and pile on those essences and ampoules! But just in case the 10-step routine doesn't work for you, it's best to have a recovery plan ready.
How to recover from a Korean skincare breakout
It's safe to say that not a lot of dermatologists are a fan of complicated skincare routines. Dr. Anna Palabyab-Rufino of Beautique MD is one of them, her reason being it makes pointing out the problem more difficult. "If you're just using one product at a time, at least you know maybe it's this that caused the breakout," she explains. "But if you have like a whole line of 10 or 11 steps, then you really won't know unless it's something that you just [recently] introduced into your regimen."
That said, if your skin gets irritated after trying the 10-step process, don't panic. Here's what you should do, according to the dermatologist:
1. Consult with your dermatologist right away.
When you can't figure out what's wrong, contact your trusted board-certified derm for a consultation. It's easier than googling all your symptoms and possibly misdiagnosing yourself!
2. Clear all the products in your current routine.
When asked what she'd tell a patient during consultation, Dr. Anna says, "I would tell them to stop everything." And by everything, she means all the products in that patient's skincare regimen. It's not the easiest thing to do, but this is the most convenient way to get rid of whatever has been irritating your skin to have it recover faster.
3. Allow your skin to heal.
You need to give your skin time to recuperate before you can safely begin reintroducing new products. While this is going on, consult with your dermatologist about ones that are gentle enough for you to use. Or, you can go back to using products you know your skin likes and tolerates, provided that you stick to a minimal routine. Consider it a skincare diet!
4. Reintroduce new products slowly.
You don't have to dispose all your old skincare products. You can definitely still use them if you want to, but proceed with caution. Dr. Anna suggests incorporating new products one at time, so you can immediately tell if they're working for you or causing irritation.
"When we start advising our patients to get into skincare or an anti-aging regimen, we start with the minimum first and then we slowly add things based on what they need," the derm shares. "We always have to make sure that these products are packed with the proper ingredients that actually work for our skin rather than just temporarily [making] it feel good."