Though many of the secrets and products have been around for thousands of years, the traditional Korean skincare routine has been popularized recently by online beauty gurus and praised for its use of naturally-derived ingredients.
Korean skincare is far more extensive than what most western routines encompass, but can certainly be worth the effort for the success many people have seen in adopting these products and steps.
Washing your face twice? With two different products? It might sound crazy, but the first two steps in most Korean beauty routines are to cleanse first with an oil-based cleanser, which removes makeup, followed by a water-based cleanser. If you are prone to dry skin, an oil based cleanser can help to restore moisture, but consider following up with a warm water rinse instead of another cleanser to prevent over-drying.
Essences and Serums
After cleansing and applying toner, a key step in Korean skincare is to apply an essence and a serum. An essence is generally a similar consistency to a toner (very lightweight and thin), and serves as a way to help the skin absorb moisture more effectively. Serums can come in various forms, and are used to target specific concerns like dry patches, wrinkles, or dark spots.
Protection from the sun’s damaging rays is a critical part of most Asian beauty routines, and moisturizing sunscreens are a crucial last step in Korean skincare. Sunscreen should only be applied in the morning, and items like BB creams and concealer with SPF can also be beneficial.
If you’ve entered the beauty aisles of any drug store or retailer recently, you’ve probably seen a number of sheet masks across a variety of brands. It seems there is a new type of sheet mask coming out every day, but these hydrating (though slightly scary-looking) masks have been a staple in Korea for decades. When used 1–2 times a week, they can help restore your skins natural balance, remove puffiness, reduce fine lines, and a handful of other concerns.