Koreans are known for their glowing skin, which many believe is down to genes. However, it involves a completely unique skincare process that involves up to 10 steps, which can seem a little scary! We'll help you unravel this and have broken it all down into steps to make it easy to understand.
The idea is that everyone can adapt the steps to their own skin and how it feels. In winter (when the skin is often very dry) you may need several steps and in summer less may be sufficient. Ultimately, it will help you to have glowing skin all year round. It's worth spending a little extra time and when you see the results, you'll understand why! A rule of thumb is to always start with the lightest/wateriest texture and move up to thicker and thicker textures to lock in moisture and nourishment in the skin.
STEP 1 - WASH WITH AN OIL BASED CLEANSER
To remove all oil-based makeup, sunscreen, and impurities, start with an oil wash. It's good to start with because water repels oil. Pump out some oil and massage the face in gentle, upward circular motions. Then add water to your face and massage again (if the oil looks milky now, you're doing it right). Rinse with lukewarm water.
STEP 2 - WASH WITH A WATER BASED CLEANSER
Use a foam or cream wash to remove any residual water-based dirt. After rinsing off any oil, lather or cleansing cream, apply to your face and massage in using gentle upward circular motions. Rinse with lukewarm water.
Repeat every morning and evening! A common skincare myth is that oil washes cause breakouts. They actually do the opposite, they are very gentle and help get rid of acne.
STEP 3 - PEELING
Use a gentle, non-irritating peel 2-3 times a week to promote cell turnover, unclog clogged pores and make the products you use more absorbent.
STEP 4 - TONER
The toner forms the basis for your other skin care products. You don't need cotton pads, just pour some toner into your hands and dab into the skin with your palms all over your face until everything is absorbed. Traditionally here in the western world, toner is for removing residual dirt. In Korea it is used both to restore pH balance, a little to cleanse, but mainly to provide nutrients (such as antioxidants) and soften the skin. It prepares the skin for the remaining steps and retains moisture so that the skin does not become dry after washing.
STEP 5 - ESSENCE
These tend to be a little more runny and less concentrated than serums. Their main purpose is to further hydrate the skin and prepare the skin for serums.
STEP 6 - SERUM & AMPOULES
These are formulated with active ingredients that target specific needs based on skin type, such as fine lines, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and dryness. So this step is important to adapt to your specific skin type.
STEP 7 - SHEET MASKS
Disposable sheet masks are infused with the same active ingredients found in serums and essences, but are more of an "à la carte" version that you can use as needed when you feel you need extra moisture, for example. It is therefore good to have a few masks with different orientations. After putting the sheet over your face and wearing it for 10-20 minutes, just take it off and let it all sink into the skin.
STEP 8 - EYE CREAM
The skin around the eyes is thinner and dries out more easily, so it should be treated with a cream specially formulated to protect and nourish.
STEP 9 - MOISTURIZER/NIGHT MASK
A moisturizer designed for your skin type creates a barrier that locks in any products you've already used instead of evaporating from the skin.
STEP 10 - SUNSCREEN
Remember to always apply sunscreen and BB cream in the morning before going out. The sun is the biggest culprit when it comes to wrinkles and age spots, so protect your skin!