It’s review time!!  I learned from my Year in Review post that My 9 to 5 Shoes readers love reviews! Today’s Saranghae review is all about the Korean skin care routine that has helped me erase years of poor practice.  #DecadesReally  Let me start by reminding (or telling) those that have forgotten (didn’t know) that I’m 43.  Okay, now that we have that out of the way let me also give you a little background. #YouMightWantACupofCoffee #ThisIsALongOne

My Past

I’ve spent more than half of my life ignoring my skin.  #NoSeriously  Sunscreen? Nope.  I worked hard every summer to be golden and glowing (which is really hard for someone with Scandinavian genes).  Wash your face twice a day?  Also no.  Why would I do that?  How dirty can it get when I sleep? Moisture creams, anti-wrinkle serum?  Also a big NO.  My face broke out if I looked at something greasy and I didn’t have wrinkles (yet).  You see where this is going.  #NotGood My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

My Present

Well fast forward many (many) years and I’m paying the price for all this neglect.  My sensitive skin warns me when the seasons are changing long before a date on the calendar.  Dry in the winter, oily in the summer.  My crow’s feet have become a permanent facial “feature” (no longer something that only appears when I smile).  Over the years I did make improvements in my skin care routine, but only minimally. I’m now the sunscreen zealot (my kids can confirm no one leaves the house in the summer without being covered in the stuff)!  I cleanse my face nightly (yep, still only once a day).  And about five years ago I started using a moisturizer (sometimes).  #StillWorkToDo

Once I turned forty though, I knew I needed to up my game.  I began adding in anti-aging products.  Kiehl’s midnight recovery started a long overdue healing process but wasn’t giving me everything I was looking for.  My real goal was to remove the crows feet that had become a permanent fixture around my eyes and to have skin that glowed from within.  Over the past few years I’ve tried a few regimens but my sensitive skin typically rejected them.  Either I was allergic to the ingredients or the harsh chemicals left my face dry and red. My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

Enter Saranghae (which means I love you in Korean).  That’s what my weathered face needed.  Love.  Their 5 step routine (really four with a weekly bonus) is designed to heal and regenerate your skin.  (That got my attention!)  I decided to put this to the test.  I cleared out every other beauty product from my bathroom counter and for four weeks I gave Saranghae a go.  Success.  For the first time in decades I have a skin care routine that I love … and so does my skin!  Although the products were gifted to me, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are completely my own. 

The 5 Step Routine & Products

Saranghae uses a 5 step routine for their products and after reading the packaging materials and watching a few YouTube videos I felt informed enough to carry it out on my own. My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

Step 1 – Saranghae Nourishing & Moisturizing Oil + Foam Cleanser with Truffle Extract & Gold

This cleanser is amazing.  It smells fresh and feels luxurious (it has gold in it so I guess it should). The product goes on smoothly and then foams up nicely with water.  It removes every evidence of makeup without stripping my face dry.  After washing my face, I pat it dry and then brush my teeth before moving on to moisturizing. My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

Step 2 –  Saranghae Deep Radiance Essence + Serum

Once my face is completely dry I apply two pumps of the serum. I’ve tried many serums over the last few years and this one is neither gel like nor runny.  It’s perfectly in between.  I love the smell and the feel of this serum much more than many I’ve tried and it’s probably due to the addition of Essence.  (An Essence is a uniquely Korean experience and is the foundation of the Saranghae routine.) My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

Step 3 – Saranghae Firm and Lift Cellular Regeneration Cream

This silky lotion is meant to not only moisturize but also rejuvenate.  It’s thick without being oily and spreads easily.  It’s full of things your skin needs … antioxidants, amino acids and regenerative peptides.  Read:  things to help diminishing age spots, redness and visible signs of aging.   #HelloBabySoft My 9 to 5 Shoes Saranghae Review Korean Skin Care

Step 4 – Saranghae Focus Renewal Eye Cream

Okay, this one took me a bit longer to love.  The smell wasn’t my favorite of all the products (that would be the cleanser) but my desire to minimize my crow’s feet won out over an aroma that would dissipate in 20 seconds.   Since eyes are even more sensitive than other facial areas they need special care; enter the single most effective solution to diminish wrinkles and brighten the appearance of dark circles around the eyes.    #ByeByeCrowsFeet

Step 5 – Saranghae Elemental Essence Mask

There is that word again, Essence, and is probably the reason this mask is so unique compared to others I’ve tried.  It’s lightweight, not greasy or drying but somewhere perfectly in between.  It smells lovely.  But best of all?  Because it does not make you look like a tiger, panda or other creature my children actually leave me alone in the bath to soak up all the fabulousness.   It’s like a mini spa moment.  When I use the others, the little one especially, pops his head in every two minutes to confirm I’m still an animal.  This one was “boring” and he left me alone for twenty minutes!  #MomBliss

My Results

This is not my first foray into the Korean Skin Care world.  I traveled to South Korea for work years ago.  I spent almost a full month there and had lots of opportunity to explore.  While most of my exploration was touristy exploration, I also did my fair share of retail exploration!  #ShockerIKnow  The number of beauty products that one could encounter in a one block walk downtown is inconceivable.  Koreans take their skin VERY seriously (I could learn a thing or two).  And the products I encountered were fabulous.  I remember bringing home a little pot of heaven that I tried for months afterwords to find stateside with no luck.  It is no surprise to me that Saranghae lived up to any hype. 

I will let the results speak for themselves.  Below are two pictures of me before starting their 5 step routine (with NO makeup on – GASP) and a second photo about eight weeks later.  All told it was about four weeks of product use.  (They don’t have travel sizes and I had a few trips where I did not take them with me).  I will continue to use these products as my face hasn’t felt this soft since high school and things are starting to look like I think they should.  There is a new radiance, but more importantly, my crow’s feet have significantly diminished.  Next to tackle, get rid of my crow’s feet totally (or have them only appear when I smile as they should) and those wrinkles on my forehead that make it look like I am always contemplating something.  #IAmNot


As I already mentioned, my skin is sensitive.  I read labels and I’m very aware of the ingredients in the products I choose to put on my face (and my body).  Ever since pregnancy and bringing a little human into the world, I check products for their rating in the Environmental Working Group Skin Deep Cosmetics Database.  Saranghae was not in their database but I did check all their ingredients and everything scored a 1 or 2.  (Every ingredient in the Skin Deep database has a hazard score from 1-10 (with 10 being hazardous.)   The bottom line, their ingredients are recognized as VERY safe for your skin.  My sensitive skin would concur with the database assessment.  You can learn more about Saranghae ingredients here.

About Saranghae

Saranghae is an award winning Korean 5 Step Anti-Aging skin care routine that heals, regenerates and protects your skin. Saranghae’s focus on natural ingredients, highly effective products and excellence in customer service has helped them become the fastest growing Korean skin care brand in the United States.  For more information please visit: or find them on Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest or YouTube).