How many beauty products do you need to achieve the best results?

The Koreans are notorious for their extensive and elaborate skincare routines.

They're also responsible for some of the beauty products I wonder how I lived without – most notably facial essence and the sheet mask, plus cutting edge makeup including BB cream and cushion foundation and then the downright weird ingredients they use in products like snail slime.

We can't deny Koreans have incredible skin but here’s the list of steps to make it happen – lucky 13 anyone?

  1. Remove makeup
  2. Cleanse
  3. Cleanse again
  4. Apply toner
  5. Exfoliate
  6. Face mask
  7. Serum
  8. Hyaluronic acid
  9. Face oil
  10. Essence
  11. Eye cream
  12. Moisturiser
  13. Sunscreen (morning only)

And this is just skincare - we haven't even applied a drop of makeup yet!

To be honest, I can't see myself following a routine this long regardless of the end result. I'll be running late one day and skip a step, then it'll happen again and again or I'll be tired one night and leave something out and then it'll all be downhill from there.

Let's not even talk about how much money all these products cost.

So, do you really need such a long skincare routine? I don't think so, if you pick the right products.

Removing makeup is non negotiable and the best products to use are a Micellar water or cleansing oil.

The double cleanse is also essential so after you remove your makeup, cleanse with a gentle cleanser. If you have a specific skin concern like acne or oily skin, choose a cleanser that’s tailored to your needs.

In the morning apply a sunscreen – something that’s at least an SPF 30. UVA and UVB rays get us anywhere and cause wrinkles and cancer so best be on your guard against both. You might want to check out this post on picking the right sunscreen for you.

Moisturising is another essential step to keep skin looking it’s hydrated best so it glows and makeup glides on. A lot of moisturisers contain sunscreen so this can combine two steps in one.

Speaking of multi-use products, some moisturisers and sunscreens can double or triple as a primer.

What I’m using and loving right now is Mecca to save face SPF30 facial sunscreen. It’s also hydrating and is great under makeup.

Once you’re done with these steps, it’s time for makeup.

At night, after you remove your makeup and cleanse, apply a night cream. Pick something thick and nourishing, that’s packed with hydrating and anti-ageing ingredients like retinol.

And there you have it. Your compacted skincare routine.

Of course, you can take your beauty routine a step further and target specific skin concerns like using an eye cream to combat puffiness (make sure it contains caffeine) or dark circles (it should contain Vitamin C which targets pigmentation).

A couple of times a week you should exfoliate to remove dead cells and help these products you’ve carefully selected, sink in and do their thing.

Don’t forget about the occasional face mask for some me time and extra loving for your skin. It’s the largest organ in the body so take care of it.