With shelfie-worthy packaging and ingredients like snail mucin and fermented rice water, Korean Skincare has captured the imagination of the Western world. While some might think that stocking your bathroom with dozens of products is superficial, Koreans take a gentle approach to skin care that prioritizes minimizing inflammation rather than stripping the skin barrier (which is why the 10-step K-beauty routine is so popular).
The first step in any K-beauty routine is cleansing. Oil-based cleansers are a must for removing makeup, dirt, and impurities. A double-cleansing routine (using an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser) helps to ensure your skin is thoroughly cleansed without disrupting your natural skin barrier.
Glowing from Within: The Art and Science of Korean Skincare
After cleansing, toner is applied to balance the skin’s pH level and prep it for subsequent steps in your routine. While popular toners in the West tend to leave a slightly burning sensation, a Korean toner is typically hydrating and low in acidity. A good toner is a must for any skincare routine, but especially important for people with sensitive skin.
Next, essence and serum are applied to the face. Essences are lightweight and hydrating and help to deliver essential nutrients to the skin. They are the foundation of achieving that coveted “Korean glass skin” look and can be found in a variety of formulas to suit every skin type and concern.
Serums are more concentrated treatments that target specific concerns and can be found in a variety of formulations to fit everyone’s needs. They are typically used in a weekly ampoule pack in your 10-step skincare routine to provide a high-concentration treatment to target specific concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles or dryness.