Let’s get ready for the day with our favorite guys who give good face. It’s our series called #GRWM (“Get Ready With Me”), where we wake up with our friends and uncover their hidden grooming secrets, documenting every step of the way. This week, we head to New York City where Courtland Thomas, the digital marketing and analytics guy at Soko Glam, shows us his entire routine for his mornings. Though his morning is hectic, he still has time for 6 effective steps to getting his perfect glow. Below, he tells us exactly how he gets his flawless complexion. 

This story was originally published on The Klog, an editorial site for all things K-beauty.

Courtland Thomas, digital marketing, @courtland.thomas

“Contrary to popular shows on The CW and HBO, living in New York City is more hectic than haute.

Most of my days are spent inside of an office space where temperatures can vary from Siberian tundra to a humid microwave. Immediately after work, I’ll rush to a tech event or to meet friends for drinks—and oftentimes, I’ll choose to walk through the crowded urban streets of Manhattan.

Without realizing it, I’ll expose my skin to so many environmental forces—harsh UV rays, dirty city pollution, cigarette smoke from the 6’1” French girl walking in front of me, the list goes on. And while I can’t turn New York into a environmentally-friendly city overnight, I can fight the effects of environmental stressors by taking the utmost care of my skin every morning and night.

After puberty hit me at 13, I started using drugstore blackhead and acne scrubs to to remove the occasional adolescent breakout. This continued into my twenties, when, after moving to New York City, I started to experience dry skin and an oily T-zone. The new city climate, combined with a busy schedule, made it difficult to manage my complexion.

But shortly after joining Soko Glam, I tried the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner on a whim, and realized I had been approaching skincare all wrong. Cue angelic choir.

After one week of using the Klairs toner, I saw my skin immediately banish its dry flakes and I no longer needed to smuggle a Burt’s Bees moisturizer in the pocket of my Zara bomber every time I went to the bathroom. I realized—instead of needing moisturizer—my skin was actually craving hydration. And toner was exactly what it needed.

Without knowing it,  my skin had been exposed to many environmental forces all along. That is,harsh UV rays, dirty city pollution, cigarette smoke from the 6’1” French girl walking in front of me, the list goes on. And while I can’t turn New York into a environmentally-friendly city overnight, I learned I can fight the effects of environmental stressors by taking the utmost care of my skin every morning and night. Here’s my morning regimen.”

You’ll be hardpressed to find me out of bed any earlier than absolutely necessary. But ever since I started using K-beauty (and frankly, giving a crap about my skin), I now have something more than just coffee to look forward to every morning. Warning: It may look overwhelming, but it’s not that many steps. I finally feel like I’m working with my skin rather than against it.

1 Cleanse. 

“First thing in the morning I’ll use a Neogen Green Tea Cleansing StickI liken this product to modern art—you look at its simplicity in awe and wonder why no one else had made something so original prior to its existence. With just a splash of water and three rubs, I already know the green tea is sloughing off post-sleep oil and those crusty bits of dried silvia (yes, I cringe slightly as I write this).”

2 Tone.

“Immediately after, I’ll follow up with my beloved toner, Klairs Supple Preparation Toner. I’ll always remain loyal to the Klairs toner for being my gateway into K-skinosophy. I used to use American cotton pads, but I realized so much of the product was soaking into the cotton, so in recent weeks, I’ve applied my toner by pouring it into the palm of my hands and softly patting it into my skin with my fingertips.”

3 Splash of essence.

“By now, I’ve probably spent 3.5 minutes in the bathroom and I realize the chances of a meteorite hitting Earth so I don’t have to go into work that day are getting slimmer. I apply my essence, one from Missha, using the same patting method.”

4 Moisturize

With just a few minutes to spare, I’ll eject three pumps of moisturizer, COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion or Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing LotionOn some days, I’ll use the COSRX Emulsion. This guy plumps moisture into my skin while also mattifying so I don’t shine like a disco ball by my 2pm marketing meeting. Other days, I’ll use the Cosrx Oil-Free Ultra Moisturizing Lotion. I watched Nathalie’s Transformation video and saw Diana explain how the 70% birch juice in this lotion is similar to coconut water for your skin. I would always rather be on a beach sipping juice from a coconut, so I was sold.”

5 Vitamin C serum. 

“Because I have sensitive skin, I’ll mix one drop of  with my moisturizer on the palm of my hand before applying Cosrx Triple C Lightning Serum. A co-worker of mine named Angela—who works in our office as one of our skin care experts—complimented on how bright my skin looked one day, and it was the day I started applying the Vitamin C serum. I couldn’t have been happier to see immediate results from this guy.”

6 SPF.

“Since my K-beauty baptism, I’ve mastered the application of sunscreen while making my breakfast. I use Neogen Day-Light Sun Protection Sun Screen. Three microscopic drops on the back of my hand, eat some of the fruit I cut the night prior, apply each drop to a corner of my face, eat a second piece, pat, and done. By 8:58 a.m., I stride out my building door in the direction of the subway, Wayfarers in hand.”