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Home Facial Steps: Dermatologist 5-Step Korean Medifacial Secrets

March 7, 2023
Express Facials by Dr.TWL

Want to know what a dermatologist’s 5-Step DIY Home Facial Steps looks like? Here’s a hint, it’s also what I call my K-beauty medifacial hack — for all skin types!

The concept of a facial isn’t quite defined by science. From the layperson’s perspective, it can be a cleanse/extraction/mask treatment at an aesthetician’s. At a dermatologist’s office, this can include laser facials/chemical peels or a combination of procedures. Dermatologists generally don’t recommend extractions as this causes worse inflammation and scarring. K-beauty popularised medical facials are a form of microdermabrasion (hydrodermabrasion) that exfoliate and infuse nutrients into skin simultaneously. Home facial devices can mimic certain technologies well these days. For instance, we have microdermabrasion and radiofrequency technologies integrated in hand-held devices. Chemical peels with gentle fruit enzyme peels like papain and bromelain are safe even for sensitive skin to use at home when formulated correctly.

But are facials actually effective? What makes an express facial for that matter. Is it even a thing? Can we hack the process at home?

Skincare Hacks and Home Facial Steps 

5-Step Korean Medifacial Secrets is an educational  feature brought to you by Skin Master’s Academy (International) in partnership with Professional Skincare Tools Series by Dr.TWL Dermaceuticals. For details, you may check Dr. Teo Wan Lin’s book Asian Beauty Secrets available in hardcover, paperback and kindle format.

Dr.TWL coaches you in the art of advanced skincare routines. Specifically, what goes on behind the scenes in medifacials. Learn how you can hack the top quality facial expression in the convenience of your own home. Or if you are thinking of offering services in your beauty salon/spa, she teaches you what beauty tools you ought to have in your arsenal. Hint: they are few, and you can get these on a budget too. Let her coach you in the home facial steps you need to follow, plus equipment you need to replicate the ideal K-beauty worthy medifacial experience in the comfort of your own home. 

Learn Dr.TWL’s skincare secrets

  • Home Facial Steps to follow like a skincare pro
  • The secret of aesthetic clinics 
  • Few types of clinical grade facials you can “hack”
  • Replace Chemical Peels with Gentler Enzyme Peels 
  • Tips for  instantly radiant refreshed glowing skin 
  • Replicate your medifacial experience at an aesthetic clinic or spa
  • What happens during a medifacial? 
  • Step 1: Cleansing: brushless type of sonic cleanser reduces  frictional damage in sensitive skin; recommended for use with antioxidant lotions infused during facial (Blade Style Sonic Cleanser)
  • Step 2: Toning: facial cosmeceutical essence; preferably astringent-free for sensitive skin 
  • Step 3: Microdermabrasion-Diamond, Vacuum, Hydrodermabrasion
  • Abrasive vs non-abrasive, photoaging, acne scars (SilkPeel MediFacial Kit)
  • Countertop device a la Korean AquaPeel or HydraFacial experience (Universal Beauty Bar
  • Step 4: Microcurrent/Electroporation followed by serum application (PEARL EMS Microcurrent Device)
  • Step 5: Photofacial LED Therapy and Masking (AURORA Photon Light Therapy Device)

#1 Home Facial Steps to follow like a skincare pro

Gather your tools. You’ll be surprised how a few good quality beauty tools will deliver the entire evidence based home facial that will rival that of your beauty salon’s set up, and even an aesthetic spa!

Tools for Home Facial Steps

The secret of aesthetic clinics 

The rise of aesthetic practice in Asia was a phenomenon fuelled by K-beauty. Korean celebrities with impeccable glass skin and even every day men and women on the streets became the envy of all their Asian counterparts. What was their secret?

Well, there is indeed a science-backed reason for this phenomenon. Dermatology clinics were highly accessible in South Korea, and professional skincare was the norm for the everyday South Korean. As a dermatologist, I’m going to spill the beans on how the medifacial experience can be exactly replicated in the comfort of your own home, the complete home facial steps at less than a fraction of the cost, thanks to the advances in home beauty devices.

There are a few types of clinical grade facials you can “hack”.

#2 Home Facial Steps: Hack Chemical Peels with Gentler Enzyme Peels 

Chemical peel for instantly radiant refreshed glowing skin. Dermatology practices use a mixture of glycolic, salicylic or lactic acids in different concentrations for chemical peels performed in office. These require application for 3-5 minutes before the peel is neutralised or cleansed with water. These concentrations are not appropriate for home use and in the case of countries like Singapore, are not approved for use in a home setting.

Enzyme peels are the best “hack”. Fruit enzymes from papaya and pineapple have been proven in recent dermatology research to possess gentle yet effective exfoliant properties with additional anti-inflammatory benefits. Papain and bromelain are the active enzymes used in such formulations and are suitable even for those who have sensitive skin, because of its innate moisturising and anti-inflammatory properties.

#3 The Authentic Home Facial Steps to Follow

Replicate your medifacial experience at an aesthetic clinic or spa

What happens during a medifacial? Let me break it down for you in easy to follow home facial steps which can be replicated with choosing the right beauty devices*.

*This segment offers advice on the generic design and technology of beauty devices that can simulate the in clinic facial experience. Individual brand quality may vary for devices purchased from the marketplace.

Step 1: Cleansing 

Start your home facial steps with sonic cleansing. 

Sonic Cleanser

The brushless type of sonic cleanser, with a blade or scrubber design is what is used in dermatology practices and can be purchased over the counter from various marketplaces (although the quality may differ). The popular brush style or silicone sonic cleansers are not chosen because it can increase frictional damage in sensitive skin and is less compatible with antioxidant lotions that are infused during the facial. There are 2 modes for the sonic cleanser used in the clinic. Used in the first direction with a gentle cleanser for ultrasonic removal of dirt, airborne pollutants, excess oil and grime. 

Home Facial Sonic Cleanser Cleansing Steps

Step 2: Toning 

The opposite direction should allow for dispersal of a facial cosmeceutical essence mist which essentially functions as a toning step. Ensure your facial essence does not contain astringents like alcohol or alpha hydroxy acids, salicylic acids. Apply the essence on the skin after cleansing and follow with the toning step.

Home Facial Sonic Cleanser Treatment Steps

Step 3: Microdermabrasion

Microdermabrasion should be applied in the next home facial steps. There are 2 main types of microdermabrasion technology used in aesthetic clinics and spas. Vacuum microdermabrasion AKA Hydrafacial-like to reduce swelling, inflammation of acne prone oily skin as well as traditional diamond microdermabrasion which is more suitable for photoaged skin with wrinkles and irregular skin texture, rather than inflamed skin. Those with acne scars will benefit from microdermabrasion provided there is no active acne present. Those with active acne must avoid diamond or other types of abrasive dermabrasion technologies. 

Here is how to hack this experience:

1. Blackhead suction devices are not good for much other than its vacuum function- and dermatologists actually do not find that a meaningful intervention for blackheads. However, it is the vacuum pressure that is helpful for increasing absorption of your selected antioxidant solutions. My top tip on this is to select the best cosmeceutical essence you can find, with primarily botanical based actives like CICA, Portulaca Oleracea, vitamin C derivatives and moisturising humectants like hyaluronic acid, polyglutamic acid and glycerin.

2. The diamond dermabrasion hack is not as readily available. In fact, this is one of the areas of our materials research we focused on in 2019, where we created the ideal low irritation copper oxide based dermabrasion tool to mimic the diamond peel experience. The structure of the crystal ensures safety during home use in contrast with the diamond tip used in aesthetic clinics, while achieving effective dermabrasion at the skin surface. Apply your gel mask before using the dermabrasion tip.

SilkPeel MediFacial Kit with Microdermabrasion

The Universal Beauty Bar was created as a home use countertop device that replicates the entire Korean AquaPeel or HydraFacial experience. It comes supplied with the facial antioxidant solutions.

Universal Beauty Bar Home Facial

Step 4: Microcurrent/Electroporation followed by serum application

The next step of my recommended home facial steps revolve around microcurrent, which is one of the best inventions in home use beauty technology in my opinion. Unlike lasers, which need to be operated by trained staff and can cause skin sensitivity, microcurrent technology delivers instant radiance and tightening with low level electric currents. A suitable home microcurrent device can be used to replicate this part of the medifacial, which allows for electric muscle stimulation of facial muscles to increase collagen formation. This lifts and tightens skin instantly by working on the deeper facial tissues. 

After this is the right time to apply your favourite serum. My 3 must have ingredients are vitamin C (I use sodium ascorbyl phosphate over L-ascorbic acid for its lower irritation potential), hyaluronic acid and also a form of resveratrol (trans-resveratrol from the Japanese knotweed plant is incorporated in our in-house anti-ageing serum). 

Step 5: Photofacial LED Therapy and Masking 

The final of the home facial steps is the most important of all as it is what delivers the immediate impeccable skin glow – red light therapy is delivered via an office use machine (not hand held devices). Available models in the marketplace include the original k-beauty omega light which is rather bulky but performs well. Our in house home photofacial LED machine is a significant upgrade with better efficacy and functionality.

Red light therapy directly stimulates mitochondria and jumpstarts cell energy. This is what gives skin the glow. Red light also reduces any existing skin redness and inflammation. If you suffer from acne, blue light can be added at this stage as well. The important aspect is to apply a cosmeceutical gel mask during the procedure, as this will allow the antioxidants to penetrate the skin deeply. 

Aurora Home Facial Light Therapy
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