Korean Skincare Routine 101: Master the Secrets of K-Beauty!

by Stephanie Yankova

Have you ever wondered how Korean men and women maintain such flawless, glowing skin at every age? The answer is simple – K-beauty! A revolutionary cosmetic philosophy from South Korea that has taken the world by storm! Learn how to achieve your skin’s full potential with our complete Korean skincare routine guide! 

korean beauty tips skin care

Raise your hand if you’ve ever manifested clear, glowing skin! No matter how many ‘glazed donut’ beauty and makeup tutorials I watch, no one does it better than the Koreans! With brands such as Laneige that specialize in moisturizing along with a plethora of innovative cell-regenerating products, K-beauty is so much more than just another hyped-up trend. It’s a way of life. In this article, we’re going to explore the why’s and the how’s of Korean beauty and learn a not-so-basic skincare routine that will completely transform the way you cater to your face forever!

The Philosophy Behind K-beauty

k beauty philosophy approach skin care

Before we dive into the fun part, it’s good to understand the philosophy behind the Korean approach to beauty. Unlike Western skincare which predominantly aims to treat skin problems and imperfections, K-beauty focuses on promoting healthy skin by prevention. It’s focused on nourishing and balancing the epidermis rather than overloading it with strong active ingredients.

A Holistic Approach

Korean skincare is deeply rooted in the traditional medicine of its country of origin and therefore takes a strong holistic approach. It takes into consideration not only the products you apply to your face, but also your diet, your lifestyle, and even your emotional state. Every single one of these factors plays a major role in your appearance and overall vitality.

Read also: Anti Aging Skincare Routine for Women Over 50 – Find Out the Experts’ Tips

The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

k beauty skin care routine step by step guide

The thing that put Korean beauty on the map is the revolutionary 10-step skincare routine. Before you get intimidated, you don’t need to follow all 10 steps every single day. Instead, look at this as a guide that you can adapt to your individual needs and regimen.

1. Oil-based cleanser

If you’ve been out and about all day, you’ve been wearing sunscreen, makeup, or anything else on your skin that can clog your pores, remove it with an oil-based cleanser.

2. Water-based cleanser

Follow with a water-based cleanser that will help remove any impurities and prep the skin for the next steps.

3. Peeling

It’s important to exfoliate your skin at least once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells. This will instantly make it look much smoother and more radiant.

4. Toner

Beauty gurus have polarizing opinions about using a toner as many of them consider this product useless. You may feel this way if you have normal skin that maintains healthy levels of moisture throughout the day. However, this isn’t exactly the case for people with really dry, oily, or combination skin. Essentially, the toner helps balance out the pH levels of the skin and prepares it to absorb the rest of the skin products better.

5. Essence

The essence is a highly concentrated formulation that penetrates deep into the skin and supplies it with nutrients.

6. Serum or Ampoule

Serums and ampoules are even more concentrated than essences and are packed with powerful active ingredients that help to treat skin problems such as hyperpigmentation, wrinkles, and acne.

7. Sheet mask 

Have you ever wondered why there are so many Korean sheet masks in cosmetic stores? They are one of the most essential steps in the K-beauty skincare routine! These masks are soaked in a variety of essences and serums that provide your skin with intense moisture. You’d want to leave the face mask on for at least 15–20 minutes in order for the active ingredients to absorb well into your skin. And in the meantime, you can have some downtime, relax and pamper yourself!

8. Eye cream

The skin around your eyes is incredibly thin and gentle, so it’s important to give it a little extra care. A special eye cream can help you maintain the elasticity in this area and minimize the appearance of dark circles and fine lines.

9. Moisturizer

Now it’s time to seal all these powerful ingredients that you just applied to your face with a nourishing moisturizer. Choose one that suits your skin type to lock in all that healthy moisture and keep your skin soft and dewy.

10. Sunscreen

Sun protection is an absolute MUST. Regardless of the season and the weather, whether you’re indoors or outdoors, wearing an SPF will protect your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays which we get exposed to even while staring at a TV, computer, or our phones.

More Tips and Tricks

woman applying lip gloss korean skincare routine guide

The “7 Skin Method”

A unique technique used in the Korean skincare routine is the so-called “7 Skin Method”. With this method, the toner is applied in 7 thin layers to maximize hydration. This is particularly useful during the colder months when our skin can get excessively dry.

Seasonal Adjustments

Our skin reacts differently to the weather conditions of each season, which means that we also need to adapt our skincare routine to them. During the winter you may need richer and more moisturizing products, while in the summer lighter formulas would suffice.

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