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Best starter routine for "mature" skin

Hi there experienced K-beauty product users!


I'm (way) over 50 and have been using basic Olay, Neutrogena and Aveeno products but need to up my skin care game. I know Korean beauty products are generally top of the line and am finally willing to devote some time and energy to improving my very average skin, which is quite fair and a little dry. I do have some broken capillaries on my cheeks, eye bags, and light "marionette" lines. I just don't know where to start! Would appreciate any tips on beauty routines, cleansers, day/night cremes, sun protection, etc.  Many thanks for any tips you can provide!

Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

Thanks for the tag, @itsfi!


@kerenami You've already gotten some great advice from the lovely ladies below, but welcome down the wonderful rabbit hole of Asian skincare! Looking at the skin issues you're looking to target, I'd consider building up to a routine that would include the following: (and looks very similar to what you've already been recommended haha!!)



-cleanse (either just rinse with water or use a gentle cream/gel cleanser)

-eye cream



-makeup (if desired- I noticed you posed a question about layering below. Sunscreen is always the last step of skincare, but makeup is a separate entity so you can either stop at sunscreen if you're don't want to wear makeup that day or proceed after sunscreen with primer, foundation, blush, powder, etc. As far as using both sunscreen and moisturizer in the morning, it really just depends on your skin. There are a ton of moisturizing sunscreens that are moisturizing enough so that people use it as a singular product in the morning. I personally prefer separate ones, partially to because I've found products that work best for me as separate products and partially because if I am outside and need to reapply sunscreen, I can do that without the heaviness of additional moisturizer, if that makes sense.)



-oil-based cleanser (to remove sunscreen and/or makeup, although this also just helps keep your pores really clean even if you aren't wearing those that day)

-water-based cleanser

-either an AHA serum or a retinol product (You'll find AHAs more readily available in Asian skincare. Both can be helpful with fine lines with AHA being more gentle for those with dry skin.), using maybe 3x per week

-hydrating toner, essence, or serum 

-eye cream


-if you're still experiencing some dryness, you may also want to include an oil or sleep pack as your last step at night


I think the product recommendations so far look great- AmorePacific has some great items- their treatment enzyme cleanser (for use a couple times a week), their moisturizers, and their eye creams are all very nice. The Sulwhasoo Ginseng line that @blackkitty2014 mentioned is also great for aging skin! I'd also consider adding the Etude House Moistfull Collagen line as something to look at. Their hydrating toner and cream are both amazing. There are a ton of great products out there though from a variety of brands at different price points (Benton, Isntree, CosRx, Missha, so many more). I will go ahead and mention two of my favorite products - Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and Maycoop Raw Sauce. Both are terrific hydrators and it's noticeable if I'm not using them in my routine. The Benton also helps with redness, calming irritation, healing breakouts (which yes I still occasionally get even though those pesky teens years are FAR behind lol)- it's such a great multitasker. The raw sauce is another one that just adds so much plumpness and glow to my skin. 



Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

Hi @kerenami, I'll try to help with some product recs where I can and will tag some other BIC members here who may be able to chime in with some good words of wisdom and product recs. 


First thing with starting a new routine is to start slow, introducing one product at a time and using that product for a couple of weeks to see how your skin responds, unless your skin has a bad reaction to it - this way, if your skin has a negative reaction immediately, you'll know it's likely that and not other products in your routine you've already been using. 


My skin currently is dehydrated, dry and extra sensitive, so I've been really keeping to a very, very minimal routine instead of my typical routines - cleanser(s) + moisturizer + oil + SPF (morning). My usual routines are generally as follows:



(1)  Cleanser, if I needed; otherwise, I might just take a washcloth that I've run under lukewarm water over my face to clean it.

(2)  Hydrating essence or hydrating serum 

(3)  Moisturizer

(4)  SPF



(1)  Micellar Water (if I wore makeup that day)

(2)  Oil based cleanser

(3)  Water based cleanser

(4)  AHA or BHA toner, but only 2-3 times per week

(5)  Essence or hydrating serum

(6)  Moisturizer

(7)  Eye Cream, if remember 

(8)  Oil


My skincare products is a mix of products from Korea, Japan, France and the US. If you looking specifically for Korean beauty products to try, I've found Suwhasoo, AmorePacific, Dr. Jart and belif to have some wonderful skincare for dry skin. There are some sets that are available that might be a good introduction to these brands. 


Sulwhasoo Bestseller Trial Kit - the cleansing foam, serum and cream are wonderful.

AMOREPACIFIC Green Tea Travel Set: Anti-Aging Icons - I've tried everything but the eye cream from this set and love them all.


The belif sets that Sephora currently stocks includes The Aqua Bomb which has more of a gel consistency. I find it better suited for normal or combination skin. belif has another moisturizer, The Moisturizing Bomb that is better suited for dry skin. The packaging is pretty much the same which means you need to be extra careful about reading the name on the jar - belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb 


Dr. Jart's Ceramidin line is great for dry skin, and in particular Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Cream. If your skin is very dry, layering Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin™ Liquid 5.07 oz/ 150 mL under the Ceramidin Cream is a great combo. 


For SPF, do you prefer a chemical or physical sunscreen? Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Finish Sun Milk SPF50+ / PA+++ has been my go to for years. I sometimes incorporate other sunscreens into my routine because I like to try out different ones, but I've come back to this Etude House one all the time. 


Tagging @blackkitty2014 @quspork who might be able to share more insight on these products or other Kbeauty skincare products.

Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

@kerenami you already get excellent recommendations from lovely @itsfi . For k beauty, I have only tried AmorePacific and Sulwhasoo. I only tried couple Sulwhasoo products but I have tried the majority of the AP lines. I like and recommend the following 

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Serum 1.69 oz/ 50 mL 

Sulwhasoo Bloomstay Vitalizing Eye Cream 20 mL 

Sulwhasoo Bloomstay Vitalizing Water 5.07 oz/ 150 mL 

AMOREPACIFIC MOISTURE BOUND Skin Energy Hydration Delivery System - Sleep Tight Bamboo 2.7 oz/ 80 mL 

AMOREPACIFIC Mini Treatment Enzyme Peel 0.7 oz/ 20 g 

AmorePacific Time Response Toner, Time Response Reserve Fluid, Time Response Cream and Eye Cream (Time Response line is currently not available at Sephora but you can find it at AP direct, Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus. Back in the day, it used to be the most expensive line of the brand but they introduced Prime Reserve around 2017). If you can afford it, I highly highly recommend Time Response line

Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

@blackkitty2014 Have you by any chance tried the AP Botanical toner and the discontinued AP Treatment toner? I loved the old Treatment toner but the ingredients are pretty different from the current Botanical toner so wasn't sure who they would compare in actual use. 

Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

Thank you so much for your responses, ladies!

Now for a dumb question. Since the pandemic, I have basically stopped wearing foundation (unless I'm on an important Zoom call). But I do use a sunscreen/moisturizer. So if I'm NOT wearing face makeup, my last step would be the sunscreen, right? But if I am wearing foundation makeup, how does that work? Can the sunscreen take the place of a moisturizer? Or do I have to apply a separate moisturizer, then sunscreen? And then I would apply foundation over the sunscreen, then face powder and blusher? I need help with the order of these steps, THANK YOU!

Re: Best starter routine for "mature" skin

That is a very good question @kerenami😀


I wear a separate moisturizer and sunscreen, so my morning routine on days I wear foundation is:


  • Cleanser, if my skin needs it
  • Hydrating serum - right now my skin has been liking innisfree Green Tea Seed Intensive Hydrating Serum 
  • Moisturizer - LANEIGE Radian-C Cream with Vitamin C 1.0 oz/ 30 mL 
  • Sunscreen - Etude House one I mentioned above - I use my SPF as a primer as well
  • Foundation
  • Other Makeup (for me that depends on the particular day)




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