If you haven’t heard of K-Beauty then you’ve clearly been living under a rock. K Beauty (Korean Beauty) was introduced to the American market in 2016. This skincare focuses on health and hydration. Sephora has a section dedicated to K-Beauty, the Bloomingdales SoHo has a Soko Glam pop-up, Saks’s Wellery floor has Glow Recipe (known for their watermelon sleeping mask. Check out my review here), and Nordstrom now carries Saturday Skin (check out my Saturday Skin review here). I’ve heard tons of girls say they’ve had bad skin and they tried kbeauty products and their skin and lives have changed. I remember checking out Soko Glam and a girl with perfect skin was like “Yeah I use everything here and it got rid of all my pimples”. I’m like okay girl you def didn’t have problematic skin and to my surprise she had before and after pictures on her phone. So I decided to learn more about Korean Beauty and test out products.
First of all, K Beauty is so much more affordable! I used to splurge on CHANEL and Dior skincare products. Because you know luxury skincare must work right? Umm not really, I was clogging my pores hardcore and spending tons of money. What I like about K-Beauty is they create skincare regimen sets based on concern. But if it works so well, why is it affordable? Because in Korea, the market is saturated with tons of beauty products. They know they can’t make products too expensive because someone will sell their for cheaper and you’ll lose out on a customer. Luxury skincare is expensive because you’re paying for the packaging and the marketing. But in reality, Korean skincare is lightening years ahead of the L’oreal & Estee Lauder. It takes years because of the production process, for these huge companies. So by the time they can create something similar to a k-beauty product, Korean brands have already come up with the next new thing.
The first concept I had to accept was double cleansing. We’ve all seen the crazy videos of the 10 step Korean skincare regimen. Like who has time for all of that? But in reality, you can do it in 5 minutes or less! And look closely to the girl double cleansing, you see her skin? Yeah she has no fucking pores.
So first you need an oil cleanser. Yes, I have oily acne prone skin, and yes you can use an oil cleanser! The oil cleanser actually breaks down the makeup and grime on your face and oil attracts oil so you’re taking out the oil that clogs your pores. So how do you use an oil cleanser? Use gentle, circular motions with your fingers to massage. Koreans believe that massaging the face increases circulation = brighter skin. After the oil cleanser (I wash it off with warm water), you then use a foam cleanser AKA a water cleanser. The foam cleanser gets rid of the oil cleanser and deep cleanses your skin.
Post double cleanse, next step is exfoliating! This is important for acne prone skin, as getting rid of dead skin, allows product to absorb better. I use a gentle scrub. (Note: no need to exfoliate every single day, you are removing the top layer of skin). And no, don’t use St. Ives scrub, it actually creates small cuts in the skin.
Post exfoliation, comes toning! I used to assume that toners were alcohol based products that get rid of oil, and dries up your skin. It’s actually the opposite. Think of your skin like a sponge—it’s more difficult to rehydrate it when it’s dried up and hardened than when it’s already a bit damp. Toners are the product that dampens your skin and balances its pH levels.
Next is the heart of the Korean skin care routine! An essence is a kind of toner/serum hybrid made for hydrating and aiding skin repair and cell turnover. Apply it to freshly toned skin and pat it in. Make sure to pat it in!! Also, do you know the difference between a serum and an essence? Check out my blog post here.
If essences are the heart of the Korean skin care routine, sheet masks are the soul. All you have to do is put one on and chill for 15-20 minutes (and obvs snap a selfie). I go for sheet masks that are for acne prone skin, or a good green tea hydrating mask.
Next up is eye cream! The skin around your eyes is thin and delicate. An eye cream provides the area with hydration and protection. Use your ring finger to very gently tap (never rub!) eye cream around the entire orbital bone, avoiding the water line. Say bye to wrinkles before they even form!
Don’t forget to moisturize!! Make sure you find a moisturizer that works for your skin type. They come in many forms—from an emulsion, lotion, gel, or cream—all of which work to seal in moisture to plump up skin and smooth away any fine lines. Pat a moisturizer into your face and neck morning and night every single day.
Last and final step is sunscreen! Make sure you protect your skin from harmful UV rays. Sun damage creates old wrinkly skin. Voila! I swear once you get used to using all these products it won’t take too long to do! Plus, using all these products won’t freak out your skin. They’re designed to be used all together. By 2 weeks of religiously sticking to this regimen I can honestly say my skin has never looked this good! My pores are smaller, and breakouts are much less! What are your go to K-Beauty products? Leave a comment below!