There’s a belief in the West that Koreans are the ones to beat when it comes to skincare, but as someone who grew up in Asia, I can confidently say that meticulous derm routines are practiced religiously all over the continent. Having lived longer in the US, though, I adopted a more American approach to my skincare and beauty regimen. For longer than I care to admit, I embraced a lazy-girl-approved two-step process: makeup wipes and some kind of an exfoliating scrub. Eventually, as K-Beauty began to break through stateside, I started double-cleansing and using face masks. But this regimen never got rid of the teeny bumps under my skin or the visible pores on my T-zone (or my acne, either). Then, my friend in Taiwan introduced me to the Hitachi Hada Crie CM-N4800 ($192), and everything changed.
The Hada Crie CM-N4800 is a cleansing and moisturizing apparatus that looks kind of like a Clarisonic, minus the brush. The tool comes with four different modes and one heated titanium plate that uses positive and negative ions to cleanse and moisturize your face, and another cooling titanium surface on the back that helps shrink your pores. Sound confusing? Don’t worry; I’ll break it down for you.
Step 1: Cleansing
Before beginning, I usually remove my makeup and wash my face, so think of this as deep-cleaning your pores. I secure a cotton pad over the heated titanium plate side with a plastic ring and soak it with cleansing water. Personally, I like Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($15), but other strong alternatives include Blithe Anti-Polluaging Himalayan Pink Salt Cleansing Water ($36). Then I turn on the machine and run the pad all over my face and décolletage. Don’t be alarmed; the metal plate will warm up and vibrate, but honestly, it feels pretty nice as the positive ions draw dirt and sebum out of your pores. The whole process takes about three minutes. It’ll beep when it’s over.
Step 2: Moisturizing
I then hit the mode button to go to the second step, which is moisturizing. I attach a new cotton pad over the heated plate side, soak the pad through with a serum or treatment, and go over my face and neck. My go-to is the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence ($179), but I also love Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner ($18). Again, the metal plate will heat up and buzz, but this time, the machine is using negative ions to really drive hydration into the skin. It’s also a three-minute step.
Step 3: Face Masking
This step you only need to do two to three times a week (or whenever you have time). I apply a sheet mask and put the machine in this third mode. As expected, the machine will hum and warm up, and as I run it over the mask, it helps my skin absorb the serum. After the three minutes is up, I keep the mask on for the recommended time.
Step 4: Close Pores
And finally, after I’ve removed your sheet mask, it’s time to close up my pores. I go to the fourth mode on the Hada Crie and turn the machine over. After 10 seconds, the appliance will give a little beep signaling the plate on the back is fully cooled. Then, I press the cold surface all over my face, holding for about a second each time and focusing on my T-zone since that’s where most of my visible pores are. It gets pretty cold, but nothing unbearable. This step lasts for a minute and a half.
That’s it! I wipe down the two metal plates with a damp cloth and stow it away. I only use the device once a day, and it holds about six charges before you need to plug it back in. And yes, it’s definitely a time commitment to have to do it Every. Single. Day. But, for me, it’s almost meditative now, and I see it as time spent practicing self-care. While it hasn’t gotten rid of my acne scarring and discoloration (that’ll be another post!), it actually LOOKS like my pores are shrinking, and overall, my face appears so smooth, it’s like I’ve bathed in highlighter when I don’t have a drop of makeup on. So yeah, taking the extra 10 minutes in the evening is absolutely worth it.
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(Photo via Amazon)