The top standard for Korean beauty is flawless skin. But as with anything, achieving perfection can take a lot of time, effort, and money. After all, a typical Korean skincare regimen takes at least 10 steps and 10 products. There’s probably nowhere else in the world where you can find a such diverse range of products, from serums to facial masks. For example, you can find designers’ skincare lines like Sulwhasoo, which offers creams that cost more than $600. However, you can also find ubiquitous affordable stuff like COSRX’s spa mask for less than $20.
If you are a beginner in Korean skincare and don’t have a lot of money, don’t worry. You don’t even have to do all 10 basic steps to Korean skincare. If you know your skin issues and choose your products accordingly, you won’t need to take out a loan to get that flawless Korean-ish skin you want.
In a typical Korean beauty regimen, double cleansing is popular. This is where you wash your face with one oil-based cleanser and another water-based cleanser to fully remove makeup, dirty, and excess oil.
But it’s not just in Korea where emphasis is placed on cleansing the face. It’s a universal rule that you don’t sleep with your makeup on. So if there’s one thing to take away from Korean skincare, this is it. Do the two-step cleansing process but choose your cleansers wisely. Look out for low pH cleansers.
Some people skip toning, but it’s an essential step to great skincare. Toning helps get rid of leftover makeup and dirt from cleansing. Also, this step helps prep the skin for the skin products you’ll put on after. This helps the skin absorb the formula properly.
Serum or Essences
This is a vital part of Korean skincare that’s usually not included in the typical Western skin care routine. Since every skin has its own set of issues, here is where you can customize your regimen. Choose the serum or essence that would best suit your skin—may it be dry, oily, sensitive, or acne prone.
Sign of aging often begins with lines in the thinnest part of your face, which is the eye area. Special formulas keep the skin around the eyes hydrated, preventing wrinkles and fine lines. Never rub products on this area though. Just pat a thin layer with your ring finger to prevent any pulling.
Just like in any skincare routine, one can’t emphasize enough the importance of moisturizing. Even oily skin needs some type of moisturizing product. Leaving skin dehydrated just results in skin overproducing oils when you sleep, resulting in breakouts and acne.
Also remember that there are two kinds of moisturizers—one you use before you sleep and the other for daytime. The biggest difference is that you would opt for high sunscreen protection for the daytime. Sun protection, after all, is the most important tenet of any skin care regimen.
You don’t need to be Korean or have lots of time and money to have great skin. You just need to do your homework. Find out what your skin needs and the right products to address those. Knowing the ingredients and how it affects your skin can prevent skin issues in the future.