Korean Skincare – The lastest craze for a reason! Have you noticed with Korean makeup it is simply just a nice dewy porcelain base, freshly bitten lips, a sweep of liner, a hint of blush and that’s it, you’re good to go? Their look maybe less is more, but their skincare regime is like no other. Koreans are serious about their skincare and it is done to an utmost ritual daily and nightly. They strive to get that flawless and effortless beauty where they celebrate the face.
Skincare is an investment and it has been instilled in them from a young age. Rather than something to deal with after you hit your late twenties or see any sign of crow’s feet, laugh lines and wrinkles. At a young age, Koreans are told to apply high quantity SPF – rain, hail or shine – and are taught the dangers and harm of UV rays. Therefore, they carry on this skin care tradition to their adult years and pass it onto their children.
For the lazy girls, removing makeup after a night out with just a makeup wipe is a job well done! However, with other girls, facial cleansing is a must and usually a three to four step process. If you think this is a big task in itself, then hold on to your seatbelts as the Korean skincare regime is a ten step or more process! Yup, you better believe; it’s a ten plus step skincare regime every day, in the morning and night. This is usually done on average in 10 steps, but depending on your skin type and how luxurious you want to be, it can go up to a 13-step skin ritual. Certain techniques must be done with certain products. I don’t even think day spas do an intense facial like this at all.
In-depth Korean skincare regime and how to (for night)
1. Oil cleanser – Removing the day’s makeup with an oil-based cleanser usually in the form of an oil or balm. The oil cleanser will remove the stubborn makeup grit and grime. Popular belief is that using an oil cleanser will make your face oily on the contrary, it will turn into a milky solution as it melts and breakdowns the makeup off your face, this is down in soft slow circular motions all over the face. Wash that away with warm water.
3. Double cleanse – Now comes the double cleanse, the most important part of the cleaning process in the skincare system. This is usually a water-based cleanser, this will clean your face with dirt and sweat. Most of the time this will be a foam type of cleanser. If it isn’t a foam cleanser there is a little tool called a NOONI Marshmallow Whip Maker where you can manually pump up your cleanser to make the foam, similar to a butter churner. Apply the foam in soft slow circular motions again and wash away with warm water.
4. Exfoliation – in the Western world, I can hear all the internal screams being appalled at the image of exfoliating your face every day. Think of it as gentle exfoliation as there are two varieties; a physical exfoliant where it is a fine scrub or a chemical exfoliant where it is more like an acid based peel. If everyday exfoliation may be overkill for you, do it where needed. For example, the enlarged pores section or the areas where your blackheads rear its ugly head every so often. This is my personal favourite part of cleansing.
5. Toner – like all toners, their purpose is to restore the pH balance of the skin. Toners in the western side of the world they are more of an astringent and make the skin feel taut, tight and dry after application, but the Korean toners they are hydrating and allow the skin to prepare for what is to go on top think of it as a “skin softener”. If the toner is watery, then a cotton pad is used to wipe all over the face like any regular toner. But if the toner is creamier and more gel-like then pushing the product in with your fingertips is a method of applying this all over the face. Pushing and pressing rather than rubbing.
6. Essence – essence what is essence? Essence is regarded as an essential step to the intensive Korean skincare regime aside from the Double cleanse step of course. This step is a nourishing liquid that hydrates, evens out skin tone, repairs in cell turnover, soothes and brightens your skin. This can be applied like a toner or can come in an aerosol or spray bottle and be misted over the face.
7. Ampoule- the next step is to add an ampoule or in other words a serum that is a highly enriched version of an essence packed with vitamins and higher concentrations of active ingredients to target anti-ageing, dull skin, elasticity and collagen loss. This is thicker and only a small amount is used as they come in cute smaller bottles with a dropper.
8. Sheet mask- A sheet mask will make the skin regime feel even more like a spa treatment. It may be quite pricey to do every morning and night, so do this about once or twice a week and in place of this use an under-eye gel patch or lip mask. Place the sheet mask onto your face, scoop out the excess liquid that is in the sachet that it comes in and apply that down your neck too and wait for the sheet mask to activate its amazing ingredients. Once the 15-20 minutes is up, throw away the mask and pitter patter your fingertips to press down the solution onto your skin. Do not wash this amazing solution away.
9. Eye cream– My second favourite thing of face cleansing is to add an eye cream with dotting and delicately pitter-pattering around the eye area with my ring fingers the eye cream. This allows extra hydration, protection and prevention of wrinkles.
10. Emulsion– An emulsion is your lighter version of a facial night cream. It is runnier in consistency, but not as highly concentrated in rich ingredients like in an ampoule or serum. Because of the watered down and lightweight lotion, it feels lighter on the skin and allows your skin to breathe at the same time. This is also pressed onto your face or misted.
11. Facial night cream mask-. Finally, we have come to the home stretch; the last step of this whole Korean skincare regime is moisturising. This moisturiser usually called a “Sleeping pack” mask or cream that Koreans use help to lock in all the layers of Korean skin care that you have applied to your face.
TIP: For the day, step 11 switch to a day cream and step 12 is to apply a sunscreen with SPF in it and then apply your makeup on top. Applying SPF is crucial to Korean skincare.
You could also check out these Korean skincare goodies for your hands and feet!
And there you have it, the in-depth Korean skincare regime for completion religiously during the day and night. This skincare procedure may seem extreme for some, but this is their beauty standards to get that flawless youthful looking skin and because of that, they are reaping the benefits. What is merely extreme and crazy for us is just pure simple for them. It may seem like such a laborious task but I can assure you, your skin will love you for it. I definitely will try this and get my skin to be the best shape it has ever been.