When you think about Korean Beauty (K-Beauty), their porcelain-looking skin probably comes to mind. What are they doing to keep their skin looking so flawless? I had to know, did some digging, and found the answers. Now, I will be letting you in on the K-Beauty secrets so you can learn how to make your skin look more youthful and flawless.
Get ready to have all your questions about Korean skincare and their multi-step routine answered.
What is K-Beauty?
First of all, and the most obvious, K-Beauty is the products and methods used that originate from Korea. Korean skincare takes a more gentle but effective approach and focuses on long-term results. Believe it or not, it’s not just about instant gratification, that could be too harsh for the skin.
Great skincare is a high priority for Koreans as well as eating and living well and is passed down to their children at a young age. However, a common misconception is that it may work only on Asian skin, which simply isn’t true. Women and men of all skin types can use any of the K-Beauty products and techniques.
How do Koreans keep such flawless skin?
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They do have what’s commonly called the “10-step” routine, but as it turns out, it is not always 10 steps. Keep reading and I explain it fully.
Steam is a very important part when it comes to their skincare. Using steam will open up your pores and purge them of all the stuff that makes its way into them. You can do this in the shower, get a steam machine, or boil some water and hold your face over the water with a towel draped over your head. Just be sure to take the pot of water off of the stove and don’t hold your face too close!
Massage and facial exercises are also included as part of their skincare. In the same way, massage and exercise help your body by increasing circulation and firming and toning, and your face will have the same benefit.
When you apply your products, try tapping your face, this will help them to absorb deeper into the skin.
Teas of all kinds are both consumed and used as toners for hydration and to help rid the body of toxins. Barley Tea (Borai cha) is regularly consumed for its circulation-enhancing properties.
Overnight Masks are also used so they are waking up with flawless skin. Leaving the mask on all night ensures all the nutrients work their way deep into your skin. Charcoal masks, applied and left on for 15-20 minutes, will also help detoxify, exfoliate, and help your skin look poreless.
Product to try: Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask. This mask is going to hydrate, minimize pores, and tighten your skin.
Lip Tints/Oils are reapplied throughout the day to stay lush and hydrated with just a hint of color.
Mouth Stretching will help increase circulation and brighten skin tone. Practice saying A-E-I-O-U in an exaggerated way a few times a day.
Snail Mucin. This has been gaining more and more popularity and is even dermatologists recommended. Snail mucin promotes collagen production, moisturizes the skin, and helps heal and regenerate the skin.
The 10-Step Skincare Routine includes double cleansing, hydrating toner, exfoliating, essence, face oils, serums, or ampoules, masks, eye creams, moisturizers, and SPF. I will get more into these further down.
New in K-Beauty
While it may not actually be new to K-Beauty, it will probably be finding its way into more and more skincare products and cosmetics. What am talking about?
Salmon sperm, of course! Also referred to as salmon DNA or salmon PDRN.
Apparently, this stuff is a powerful anti-aging ingredient that stimulates collagen, improves skin elasticity, reduces fine lines and wrinkles, and regenerates the epidermis.
It’s something to keep an eye out for!
The 10-Step Routine (In-Depth)
Even though it’s called the 10-step routine, doesn’t mean you have to repeat all of the steps every morning and night of every day. Some of the steps will just depend on what your skin needs.
Double Cleanse AM/PM Every Day. The first cleanse will be with an oil-based cleanser. Since oil and water don’t mix, the oil-based cleanser will wash away any makeup, SPF, or sebum without stripping the natural oils from your skin. A water-based cleanser will then be used to wash away any dirt or other impurities left by the oil cleanser.
Exfoliate 1-2 Times/Week. Exfoliating gets rid of all the dead skin cells and prevents them from building up and blocking your pores or creating a dull complexion. Exfoliants can be physical, such as scrubs, or chemical, like glycolic acid.
Tip: As you get older, you don’t want to use harsh physical scrubs on your skin. Use chemical exfoliants instead.
Hydrating Toner AM/PM Every Day. Beware of toners that contain alcohol because these will dry out your skin. Use toners with ingredients that will hydrate your skin and close your pores. Toners will also prepare your skin to absorb products in the next steps.
Essence AM/PM Every Day. This step is unique to Korean/Asian skincare. An essence is thinner than a serum and is for hydrating and protecting your skin. The one I have been using and highly recommend is COSRX Snail Mucin 96% Power Repairing Essence. I have only been using it for a couple of weeks but I can already see and feel the difference in my skin.
I also paired it with COSRX Snail Mucin 92% Repair Cream and have been very pleased with the results. You can definitely tell both of these products contain snail mucin but they soak into your skin very well.
Treatments AM/Pm Every Day. This can be your favorite serum, face oil, boosters, ampoules, or all of these. This would be a great time to introduce snail mucin into your routine.
Sheet Masks Weekly. Out of all the research I have done on this subject, for some reason, this is where sheet masks have been listed even though this isn’t necessarily where this step will be performed. Nonetheless, these masks are a great way to infuse your skin with added moisture, vitamins, and/or treatment serums. You can choose your mask based on your skin’s specific needs.
Product to try: LA Pure Korean Sheet Masks. These sheet masks contain the skin regenerating and repairing snail mucin. For use by women and men.
Eye Cream AM/PM Every Day. Eye creams, serums, and oils are specifically formulated for the sensitivity around the eyes to target dark circles, puffiness, fine lines, and crow’s feet.
Product to try: COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream. Dark circles and puffiness will disappear as well as reducing fine lines, brightening, and tightening the skin around your eyes.
Moisturize AM/PM Every Day. Use a light moisturizer during the day and a heavier cream or overnight mask at night. Moisturizers also seal in all of the other products you have put on.
SPF Every AM. Koreans are firm believers in protecting their skin from the sun so the routine would not be complete without sunscreen. People are paying more attention to the damage the sun causes to skin and it’s being added to more and more products.
Other tips you may want to add.
First, for blemishes, use pimple patches. I wish these were an option when I was younger, they would have come in handy. These pimple patches work quickly to get rid of any blemishes.
If you wear makeup, give your face a deep cleanse first. For the first cleanse, use a makeup wipe or cleansing tissue. For the second, use your oil-based cleanser then for the third, use your water-based cleanser. Follow with the rest of your skincare steps.
If you have dry skin, mix face oil or serum with your foundation. This will give you a fresh dewy glow.
Use products that are infused with pearl extracts to give your skin a more luminous glow.
To Sum It All Up
If you are looking to have poreless, flawless, glass-like skin, then Korean Beauty or K-Beauty is the trend to follow. It doesn’t matter what your skin type is or whether you are a man or a woman, this kind of skin care is beneficial to all.
If you have already tried this trend or certain kinds of K-Beauty products, I would love to hear about your experience.
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please let me know. I would love to hear from you!
Also read: How Are Probiotics Important In Anti-Aging?