Published in Jun 2020 / Updated in Aug 2021
The skincare routines of Korean culture are held in the highest esteem all around the world. The source of the famous 'glass skin' complexion, Korean skincare regimes get results. Stories of snail slime and bee venom are well known, but what is it all about? Here are 10 things you need to know about the Korean skincare routine.
1. Prevention Is Better Than Cure
Korean skincare routines (also known as K beauty) promote prevention being better than cure where your skin is concerned. K Beauty skincare starts at an early age, with the technique passed down from generation to generation. By taking care of your skin from a young age, it's less likely you'll have problems later.
2. Korean Skin Care Is Complicated
Unlike skincare in the West, which relies on a simple routine, K Beauty relies on layering products increasing in effect or viscosity through the stages. With around ten steps, getting the hang of it without a reminder of the order and purpose of each product could be tricky but worth it in the end! You could label your bottles with a number on top of the lid or pack if it makes things easier.
3. Korean Double Cleansing
In Korea, the routine for skincare starts with a double cleanse. An oil-based cleanser comes first (don't be afraid of the oil!), then a foaming cleanser to help nourish and prepare the skin for exfoliation and toning. Western routines avoid oil as much as possible, but skincare Korean style proves it isn't as scary as we think.
4. It Can Be Expensive
Buying all the products for your new regime can be expensive. There are many companies out there, from Soko Glam to your local drugstore, and your collection should be purchased from a reputable outlet to start with a full Korean routine for skincare.
5. You Can Lessen Sun Damage Before It Happens
For a morning routine, the final stage of skincare from Korea is the application of an SPF30+ sunscreen every day (even when it's cloudy or winter). Wearing sunscreen helps protect your skin from the harmful rays of the sun, which are a contributory factor in the formation of wrinkles and fine lines forming as we age. If there's one thing you need to know about the sun, it's that in high amounts, it's not good for your skin.
6. Exfoliation Is Essential
Exfoliation is key to Korean skincare routines. Sloughing products onto old, dead skin cells still in place from the day or night before can clog pores, cause irritation, and even be uncomfortable. After all the effort with the cleanser, exfoliation is there to lift away the grime underneath. K Beauty is all about layering - but before you can layer, you have to have a clean, nourished base to get a good foundation.
7. Luminosity Is Beautiful
SoKo (meaning 'South Korea' in Korean) style the desire to achieve flawless, luminous skin. K beauty is not about matt effect finishes, where the slightest shine or glow sends you running for the makeup desk in a hurry. Korean skincare should produce almost a glass effect to the skin, radiating health and nourishment the whole day through.
8. Korean Skincare Routines Are Ritualistic And Soothing
Applying scented, fresh, luxurious ointments, oils, and cleaners to your skin do something special. Performing the ritual twice a day is a treat and is terrific for self-care and wellbeing. Korean beauty is soothing and helps you to feel calmer and more serene than most skincare regimes out there.
10. What About Bee Venom?
Korean skincare routines are about a lot more than just bee venom. It's about nurturing with nature: yes, that includes bee venom but also green tea, orchids, and soybean amongst a host of other natural ingredients depending on the product and range you select. Each with their unique qualities, these ingredients have been carefully chosen for the benefits they bring to skincare in Korea - a beautiful secret we are fortunate to share around the world.
A little investment in return for the luxury of a spa at home, natural essences, radiant, glowing skin, and a wellness boost. Who wouldn't want to try a new routine for skincare? Armed with these 10 things you need to know, give Korean skincare routines a try this summer!