It’s gonna get real, well, REAL today. I have never been one for pampering my skin. I’ve never had a facial, and although I’ve tried the odd cleansers, serums, eye creams, and moisturizers here and there over the years (usually after a friend starts selling stuff if you know what I mean), I’ve never stuck with anything. Okay, here’s the really real part: I don’t even wash my face unless I’m taking a shower, and I don’t take showers every day (’cause who wants to waste a good blowout?). So there are quite a few days when my face goes totally unwashed. Since I pretty much just wear mascara and lip gloss (and maybe some eyeliner for special occasions), and since my skin tends to be pretty normal — not too dry and not too oily, it’s not that big of a deal. And as you know from my previous post, I’m also not the most diligent about wearing sunscreen. I guess you could say I’ve never really been one to consistently do much (anything, really) for my skin.
But I have noticed over the past year or two that even though I’m in really good shape from working out and eating healthfully, I’m starting to feel my age in other ways: achy joints,disappearing near vision, and more brittle hair — yippee…. Not gonna lie, I’m 45, and I definitely feel every day of it, but that doesn’t mean I want to look every day of it. I’ve heard of the laborious 10-step Korean skin care rituals and mostly just thought to myself, “Why would anyone spend that much time on their skin?” But then I’ve also heard about how Korean women are legendary for their flawless skin. So when Saranghae contacted me to ask if I’d like to give their 5-Step Korean Anti-Aging Skin Care Routine a try, I was a little hesitant (5 steps? me? what? do I have the self-discipline to actually do that?), but my curiosity about what it could do for my skin overrode those hesitations. And after all, it’s only 5 steps, not 10, right?
Did you know that the word “saranghae” means “I love you” in Korean? I didn’t before my box came. When the package arrived in the mail, I couldn’t wait to check it out. The packaging was really pretty (you also know if you read my previous post how I looooove me some navy!). There they were: all five steps laid out in this pretty little package:
And lucky you….today I’m posting my first-ever video review-slash-tutorial! I’ve never in my life made a video of myself. For anything. And I did it all for YOU! I wanted to show you how easy it was to do the Saranghae routine, so I bought a suction cup cell phone holder from Amazon (this one, for $7.99, in case you’re in the market — it worked perfectly to stick my cell phone to the bathroom mirror so I could make this video hands-free), stuck it to the mirror, and let ‘er rip!
So…..(<< << drumroll >> >>)……here is my video showing you the Saranghae 5-step routine and also talking about what I thought of it. Hope your expectations aren’t too high for my videography: remember, I’m a YouTube noob and this is my first-ever video. 🙂
p.s., I wasn’t thinking and had my cell phone stuck to the mirror vertically….oops. Still using the video, though, because other than that everything worked out pretty well. And hey, I can always fall back on the excuse that this was my very first video ever, right?
VIDEO REVIEW/TUTORIAL OF SARANGHAE KOREAN 5-STEP ANTI AGING SKIN CARE ROUTINE
So there it was, my first video! And you were here to witness it. Not sure how I feel about that, but I am glad that Saranghae has their own YouTube Channel with lots more tips, tutorials, and product information (whew!) so you can get it from the pros. I actually watched their tutorials before trying the 5-step routine and it helped me feel more confident that I wouldn’t totally screw up the whole process.
THE 5 STEPS (& INGREDIENTS!)
I reviewed Saranghae’s 5-Step Membership Bundle, which includes all 5 steps of the process. I am estimating that this bundle will last me at least several months. I’ll have to update you on that. Each of these five botanical products are based on award-winning technologies and ingredients (like the rare and valuable Sang Hwang mushroom, which has been used for over 1500 years in Asian medicine) that combine to produce awesomeness. All of these products are paraben and phthalate free, and they are not tested on animals. The cool thing about these products is that they are suitable for almost all ages and skin types! While they are formulated to help with anti-aging, their products also improve overall skin health for both women and men, and their customers range from 19-65+.
- Step 1 — Saranghae Norishing + Moisturizing Cleanser
- Step 2 — Saranghae Deep Radiance Essence + Serum
- Step 3 — Saranghae Firm and Lift Cellular Regeneration Cream
- Step 4 — Saranghae Focus Renewal Eye Cream
- Step 5 — Saranghae Elemental Essence Mask
***QUESTION FOR ANYONE WHO KNOWS: What is that little glass paddle-slash-spoon type utensil sitting on the bottle in the above photo? It came with the moisturizer so I assume it is to be used with that, but I don’t know what to do with it. Is it just for scooping out the moisturizer? Why can’t you use your fingers? Contamination? Help a sister out if you know what that is and what it’s for — thanks!
WHAT I WORRIED ABOUT (AND WHY I DIDN’T NEED TO)
1. Time — I already don’t have time in the morning and I’m soooo tired at night. Will I even do this?
The answer to this one is YES! As I said above, I wasn’t really one for taking care of my skin. It wasn’t that bad, so I kind of just ignored it. I was nervous when I accepted this product for review because, well, what if I just don’t feel like using it? Ain’t nobody got time for 5 steps, let alone 10, right? At least that’s what I was thinking. Although that video was a little over 8 minutes long, I’ve been able to get the entire first 4 steps (which I have been doing both at night and in the morning) down to about 4 minutes flat and I’ve only been doing the 5-step routine for 4 days as of today. I think with a bit more practice I’ll be able to shave another minute (or two!) off of that time. I will admit that I didn’t even wash my face the other night when we got home at 1am from a football game several hours away, but that’s the only time I’ve missed so far. One thing I didn’t expect is how relaxing and nice it is to do through the routine at night before bed! All of you who already washed and moisturized your faces at night probably already knew how relaxing a quick little facial can be before you conk out for the night. Oh, and one other way it has saved me some time is that I don’t have to separately remove my seemingly indelible mascara beforehand — the oil-based cleanser takes it right off in a snap. More on that cleanser next.
2. Oil-based cleanser? Won’t that make me break out?
I would consider my skin normal in the winter, and combination in the summer. I get a little oily in the t-zone area and I wondered if using an oil-based cleanser, not to mention the serum or the creamy moisturizer — or, gasp — a moisturizing mask?, would make that worse. I was actually really surprised to discover that this routine did the opposite. My skin forehead and chin aren’t oiling up halfway through the day like they normally do in August when my classroom gets stuffy. Even more astonishing to me was that I had a couple of deep, painful pimples when I started using Saranghae (you know, the kind you can’t see very well but you sure can feel them). I get these every so often and they usually take weeks to go away, and no amount of acne spot treatment can even touch them. Within these 4 days that I’ve been using Saranghae, the deep pimples I had completely disappeared, and they had only just cropped up within the past week. Is it because I’m washing my face twice a day rather than several times a week? Maybe. Or maybe it’s whatever glorious stuff is in that cleanser. I don’t really care either way, just as long as I now have a weapon against those horrible deep and painful pimples. I can’t wait to see if the Saranghae 5-step routine will prevent them altogether! I’ll let you know.
3. Do I even need this? My skin’s not too bad anyway.
This is the question I would have probably answered “no” before trying the Saranghae 5-step routine. I’ve been using the products for 4 days, and I already notice several drastic changes: (1) no more pimples (see #2 above); (2) no more super-dry cheeks — I’m writing this at 6pm and my cheeks still feel soft and almost dewy, NOT oily; (3) tighter skin — but not so tight it’s weird — more like it’s just more firm; (4) reduced lines around my eyes and mouth — after just a few days! — probably due to the increased hydration; (5) no afternoon shine on my t-zone; (6) I keep touching my face because my skin feels so good! I know that last one’s kind of weird, and I try not to do it all the time, but my skin is just SO soft and firm!
4. I’ve never done a face mask of any type before — won’t it be weird?
Okay, yeah, this was kind of weird. As you saw if you watched the video, I thought you had to leave the sheet mask on for 1-2 hours. It was actually only supposed to be 20-30 minutes. So when I tried the mask for the first time last night (I made the video the night before last, before I tried the mask), I still didn’t read the directions carefully and I left it on for a little over an hour when it started to dry up. I wondered how I’d leave it on for 2 hours, so I re-read the directions and discovered that I’d messed that one up. Turns out it was no big deal because you don’t rinse off the mask anyway: you rub the excess awesomeness into your skin and leave it. I really do like the fact that the mask will only stay on for 20 minutes next time, though: it was kind of hard talking with it on because I tend to smile a lot (as I discovered when wearing the mask) and smiling makes the mask pull and feel funny. It’s probably best to mask up after the kids are in bed and you don’t have to do a lot of talking or laughing. Plus, my 8-year-old was a little freaked out by my appearance. Maybe this will be my Halloween costume this year? Scary! But y’all, this mask is worth it. My skin felt absolutely radiant when I took it off, and today, nearly 24 hours later, it still feels better than I could have believed possible. And luckily, you only do this sheet mask once per week. 🙂
5. What about sunscreen? Exfoliation?
Sunscreen is actually something you should still worry about. I did have a moisturizing lotion that had sunscreen in it and I’d put it on for days when I knew I’d be outside more. The Saranghae products do not include SPF, so you’ll want to also screen up if you’re headed out in the sun. And as for exfoliation, I just wondered about this because none of the products have those little scratchy bead-like particles. Is my skin being exfoliated by the botanicals? Is exfoliation even necessary? Sheesh, I really need to do some research on basic skincare. In a Saranghae blog post from March 2017, they do bring up the importance of sunscreen and of exfoliating no more than once per week. I’d like to learn more about how those two components fit in with the Saranghae 5-step system: at what point in the 5 steps should I insert those two (e.g., should they go before Step 3? Or after Step 5?)?
My Thoughts on Saranghae
I honestly didn’t expect to think much about these products one way or the other. I have tried a few other skin care systems, found them to be just okay, and never stuck with anything. I thought all skin care programs were going to be like this, just average. I was really, truly surprised at how much I love the Saranghae 5-step routine! I think what is most surprising at all is that my skin just feels YOUNGER. I hadn’t noticed that it was feeling older, but it just looks and feels so much better than it did only a week ago. I will definitely be reporting back in another 3-4 weeks to let you know if anything is different, better, or worse after following the 5-step routine for a month. So far, I’d have to give it two thumbs (and maybe even those 8 other digits) up!
The only thing I would maybe have liked is an option to add some suncreen for daytime protection (and maybe exfoliation….if necessary?). I love these products and I’ve never found something with face sunscreen that I have liked. Plus, I don’t want to mess up my soft-feeling face with some sticky, smelly sunscreen. Please, Saranghae, think about making something with SPF?
Sunscreen aside, I’ve totally fallen for this stuff. I guess that means “saranghae, Saranghae” (see what I did there? remember how “saranghae” means I Love You? pretty clever, huh!). That’s my skin talking — it really is responding positively to this 5-step process. My one worry now is that I’ll need to start thinking about buying refills in the next few months, and skin care was not something that used to be in my budget. I like this Korean 5-step routine so much that I may have to trim a little out of my clothes budget to make room. I think it’s worth it.
Where to Buy Saranghae
I do not make any sort of commissions or kickbacks if you buy from Saranghae, and there are no referral fees. So I have nothing at all to gain by telling you how much I love it. I do want you to know where to buy Saranghae products, because I think you will like them as much as I do. I have been recommending Saranghae to friends and family left and right. Visit LoveSaranghae.com for more information or to buy products individually or in a bundle. I received and reviewed their 5-Step Membership Bundle.
So that’s it! Let me know if you have any questions. I am still fairly new to the 5-step routine, but I feel like I’m getting it down now that I’ve tried all 5 steps.
UPDATE: 12/2017 — Saranghae has a brand new cleanser! It’s called Nourishing and Moisturizing Oil + Foam Cleanser. Check out this post what I thought when I tried it. Spoiler alert: It’s awesome!