8 Skin-Saving Tips You Can Learn from a Korean Skincare Routine
Updated on July 3, 2021 by Amber & The Team.
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Korean skincare products can be found in beauty routines across the globe and most of us eagerly await the next K-Beauty discovery. Why? Because there’s no one more knowledgeable about skincare than Korean beauty brands who invest time and research into the latest innovations, technology, and ingredients. But it takes more than just products to get that glass-smooth, radiant skin Korean stars are famous for! Here are eight skin-saving tips everyone can learn from a Korean skincare routine.
Cleansing once isn’t enough.
Thorough cleansing is something Korean men and women are very serious about. Their skincare routines always start with the Double Cleanse. The process starts with an oil-based cleanser that dissolves makeup, sunscreen, and other oil-based impurities on the skin without scrubbing or tugging.
Then, a water-based foaming cleanser is used to cleanse away remaining residue for skin that’s clean, but not stripped of essential moisture. If you’re pressed for time, consider a hybrid oil to foam cleanser that does it all in just one step.
Waters, emulsions, and refiners each have their own purpose.
If you’ve spent any time looking at Korean skincare, you’ve seen waters, emulsions, and refiners on the shelf. You might even have one or two. But, did you know that they each have a specific purpose? A water is super-lightweight, and it’s used to add hydration and nutrients back into the skin after cleansing.
An emulsion is a little bit thicker. Its purpose is also to hydrate, but it also balances oil and moisture in the skin so that it absorbs the rest of your skincare products more readily.
And finally, refiners. Refiners are your secret weapon against texture issues. They help to smooth the skin, improve clarity, and refine pores. You can use one, or all three, depending on your needs.
The order of application matters.
Korean skincare is all about layering to achieve maximum results. Prepping your skin properly allows it to absorb the treatments more readily, and it really makes a huge difference. One of the easiest ways to figure out which order to go in is to start with the thinnest product and work your way up to the thickest.
So, after cleansing, you would typically use a water followed by an emulsion, which would leave your skin balanced and ready to absorb moisture and nutrients from the more concentrated essences, serums, and ampoules. Follow those up with your moisturizer and facial oil (if you’re using one) to seal everything in and protect your skin from environmental pollutants and drying out.
Exfoliate with care.
There’s no question that exfoliating is essential for promoting cell turnover, but you’ve got to approach it with care. Rather than exfoliating on set days every week whether your skin needs it or not, be aware of how your skin looks and feels each day and treat it accordingly.
According to Peach & Lily’s skin care routine, you should adjust your exfoliators according to your skincare concerns. Choose an exfoliating mask, toner, or retinol-based on your skin’s needs that day. And, always avoid physical scrubs in favor of enzymes and botanical extracts that remove dead skin cells gently without damaging or irritating the skin.
Facial massage isn’t just a luxury, it’s a necessity.
Facial massage isn’t just about relaxing, it’s considered an essential part of a Korean skincare routine. It improves circulation to the face and brings oxygen and other nutrients to the surface. It also stimulates facial muscles to help tighten sagging skin. It’s also a fantastic anti-aging technique that improves elasticity in the connective tissues of the skin to help prevent fine lines and wrinkles.
Best of all, you can do it at home! Put a few drops of facial oil onto your fingertips and tap it onto the skin to stimulate blood flow. Then massage in upward, outward motions working from the chin toward the temples and forehead using gentle pressure.
Skin health and overall health go hand in hand.
Korean men and women know that skin health and overall health are symbiotic. In other words, you need to approach your skincare from a holistic health perspective, not just about which products you’re applying to the skin and how you’re using them
Your skin is the largest organ of the body, and Korean philosophy teaches that internal health concerns are reflected on the skin. Living a healthy lifestyle and eating a healthy diet are part of taking care of your skin. Slowing down and taking the time to rest and recharge is equally important.
Be proactive about anti-aging.
Korean men and women take a proactive approach to anti-aging when they are very young, rather than waiting until they start to see fine lines and wrinkles. SPF is a daily necessity and it’s not uncommon for Korean women to wear long white gloves when they’re driving or carry parasols when walking all year round. Keep in mind that ultraviolet rays may be damaging even when you’re inside, and they also pass through clouds and reflect off snow in the winter.
Keep a variety of sheet masks on hand.
Korean skincare is all about hydration and nourishment. Hydrated skin is plumper, which means fewer lines and wrinkles. And when your skin is nourished with vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients, it will be softer and brighter. There’s nothing like a sheet mask for giving the skin extra hydration and nutrition. Since it’s in direct contact with your skin for at least 10 minutes, the moisture and nutrients have more time to soak in.
Korean women are known to keep a variety of sheet masks on hand for different needs, such as brightening, tightening, reducing hyperpigmentation, or preventing blemishes. They use them to customize their skincare routine based on what it needs on a given day.
Beauty and skincare have been a pillar of Korean culture for centuries, and there’s no one better to learn from than those who are obsessed with achieving perfect skin. While the products you use are important, these centuries-old skin-saving techniques from Korean skincare are every bit as crucial.
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