Korean beauty regimen has taken over the world! From skincare steps to beauty products, here’s everything you need to know about Korean morning skincare routine!
Korean Skin Care Routine is Taking Over the Beauty World
Korean beauty routine has like millions of searches on Google. And even the Korean skincare products have a separate section on Sephora under K-Beauty. Like seriously?! Now I’m more curious than ever! Even the celebs are counting on it! From Drew Barrymore to Emma Stone, they are obsessed with the face masks (which are an internet sensation right now!) Wanna know why? Let’s find out everything about Korean morning skincare routine.
Lee Sa-bi: The One Who Started It All
Korean women beauty is all natural and age-defying. But it was the Korean actress and model, Lee Sa-bi who brought the international spotlight on Korean face routine. From day and night skin care routine to top Korean skin care products, she has shared her best skin regimen in many interviews. So, all thanks to her for introducing us to the best skin care regimen.
What is Korean Skincare
Korean skincare routine is all about looking youthful, hydrated and ageless.
a. The skin of Korean women is so beautiful because they invest time in their daily beauty routine. They spend an hour or two every week on skin care.
b. They invest both time and money in the best skin care routine, which is to fight early aging. For them, skincare is about staying healthy inside and out.
c. The basic face care routine is the most important part, which includes the 10 steps: double cleansing – oil cleansers and foam cleansers, exfoliating, toning, essence, serums ampoules, face masks, eye cream, face cream and sunscreen. We’ll detail out each step below.
d. They believe that healthy skin care regimen doesn’t just include using products but also eating healthy, staying hydrated and maintaining a healthy lifestyle with proper sleep and mental wellness, all of which affect skin.
Also, they have a few beauty hacks that we would love to try!
a. Cleansing with rice water is common in Korea. It stimulates blood flow and one can have clearer skin.
b. Dipping your face in ice cold water for 15 seconds for 10 minutes by giving gaps as soon as you wake up helps to reduce puffiness. This is also a Japanese skincare routine. Also, it’s known as Jamsu, which almost translates to diving. In this method, you dip your face in ice cold water after applying foundation for 15 seconds. This helps the makeup to stay for a longer period without melting.
c. Barley tea is yet another famous drink in Korea that prevents wrinkles and keeps the skin healthy.
Do You Need a Skin Care Routine?
Yes, you certainly need a skin routine and here’s why-
a. Skincare is not a one-time or seasonal thing. It’s almost like brushing your teeth – an everyday habit, that becomes a part of our lifestyle and hygiene, right?! So make skincare a routine.
b. A skincare routine can delay aging. It’s never too early to start investing time in it. I would love to look like Lee Sa-bi when I turn 40!
c. It’s better to look beautiful naturally than painting with layers of makeup. No offense to makeup-lovers, I love doing my makeup but I would love to look as confident without makeup, too!
10 Steps to Korean Morning Skincare Routine
Korean skin care steps aren’t as simple as any other regular face care routine. But you don’t have to get intimidated by the Korean 10 step skin care. Already wondering how to get Korean skin? Well, we’ve decoded the 10 steps below!
1. Oil Cleansing
This is the first step to the good skin care routine. Cleansing oils are ideal to remove makeup and also dust particles from the face. Oil-based cleansers are more effective than regular makeup removers as they remove all the makeup when you massage your face.
Dab the product in a cotton ball and remove the makeup completly. Use multiple balls if necessary. Massage it over your dry face and then add a splash of lukewarm water and rinse everything off.
2. Water/ Foam Based Cleanser
Once you’re done with cleansing with a oil based cleanser, you need to cleanse your face with a foam based one to remove all the impurities and to remove the excess oil from your skin. This method is called double cleansing. Massage thoroughly just like a face wash for a minute or so and rinse it off.
To get rid of dead skin cells, it’s important to exfoliate your skin, and to allow the next set of products work by opening up the pores. Exfoliation should be done once a week. But according to steps in Korean basic face care routine, it’s important to exfoliate twice a week. So, choose what works best for you. Personally, I would recommend once a week if you have sensitive skin.
Gently massage a tap of exfoliant for a couple of minutes into your skin and then rinse off. Do not massage harshly. Use circular motions, going over the sides of nose, temples, cheeks and chin thoroughly.
After exfoliating your skin, it’s important to rehydrate it. This is the reason you need to damp it with a toner to maintain your skin pH levels and remove any impurities that the cleansers didn’t clear. You can sprinkle on your hand and dab directly or soak a cotton ball and then apply it to your face. Sprinkle on to your hands or on a cotton pad and gently swipe around your face outwards.
Take a button-sized amount of essence (combination of toner/ serum) and apply it to freshly toned skin.
6. Serum/ Ampoules
Face serum or boosters or the Korean ampoules are the concentrated version of essences. They are target specific and focus on major skin problems like dull skin, wrinkles, large pores, pigmentations and wrinkles. Gently tap on your skin after essence. Massage ampoules for a minute.
7. Sheet Masks
Korean face masks are what meditation is to mind and exercise is for body. These face masks are filled with concentrated vitamins that the skin absorbs, unlike the natural face masks that dry out.
Wear it for 15-20 minutes and chill. You can wear them while working, watching TV and in fact when you’re on your work desk, too, as you don’t need to wash your face afterwards. Sheet masks are literally the coolest steps in facial cleansing.
8. Eye Cream
The area around your eye is very sensitive and requires extra hydration. Gently dab around your eye area without touching the water line. Avoid rubbing the product. Using eye cream morning and night makes the area around your eyes younger and brighter.
9. Moisturizer/ Face Cream
To seal in all the moisture, a face cream is very important. The face creams can be in any form gel, emulsion or lotion. Choose that suits your skin. Pat the moisturizer on face and neck every morning. If your skin tends to be too dry at night, switch the Korean night cream with sleeping masks.
A sunscreen is necessary even if you’re stepping out of the house for a few minutes. This is the most effective way to prevent anti-aging. In fact, Korean girls start using a sunscreen when they are 11, and even wear it when they are indoors. So, it’s a crucial product in Korean morning skincare routine. It’s important to protect your skin from harsh UV rays even when it’s cloudy. Apply it every morning and reapply throughout the day.
Best Korean Skin Care Products
So, to achieve the Korean skin, we have listed a few of the best Korean skin care products. The highlights of these products are:
a. Koreans use natural active ingredients with less usage of harsh chemicals.
b. They use unique natural ingredients like snail mucin and bee venom.
c. They believe that beauty is skin deep and hence the K skin care is all about moisturizing.
d. Better value for money. Yes, the Korean skin products are reasonable and not too expensive.
e. Sheet masks made from paper or fiber are a very popular face care product originated in Korea.
We have selected the most popular products to be used for each of the skin care steps. Let’s check out!
1. Korean Oil Cleanser
Cremorlab Gentle Foaming Cleanser ($27)
This Korean face wash is a oil based cleanser and is filled with mineral water that’s gentle yet effective. This water-based cleanser removes oil, hydrates the skin and is packed with vitamins.
2. Korean Face Cleanser
ACWELL Bubble Free pH Balancing Cleanser ($27)
This Korean foam cleanser has the best reviews on Amazon.com. One of the reviews says that it works well for acne pro skin, too. It has a low pH of 5.5, and is lightweight gel cleanser that effectively balances the skin, helping it stay smooth and supple.
3. Korean Exfoliator
Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off Exfoliator ($15)
This mineral rich Brazilian black sugar granules is rich in vitamins and minerals. It restores nutrients and moisture to your skin. And I have heard many positive reviews of this brand and I’m gonna try it for sure!
4. Face Essence Skincare
Missha Near Skin Simple Therapy Mist Toner ($16)
This mild toner soothes and calms the skin.
Missha Time Revolution – The First Treatment Essence Mist ($20)
Face Essence is the soul of Korean morning skincare routine. It’s a toner cum serum that repairs the skin by hydrating it. Apply on the freshly toned skin. This hydrating essence is great for glowing and healthy skin.
5. Korean Face Serum
KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum ($23)
This daily serum powered by Vitamin C provides nutrition and moisturizes the skin. One of the review on Amazon read, “It absorbs into the skin quickly and doesn’t leave the face oily but it does leave it feeling hydrating. It sits very well under makeup. This stuff gets rid of acne marks on my face in a weeks time!”
6. Face Mask
There are a plenty of options to choose from. Personally, I loved the masks from Innisfree and The Face Shop as they are good enough and pocket-friendly. I have tried various ingredient masks – rice, hyaluronic, pomegranate, lime, charcoal, lavender and many more. There are eye and lip specific masks to try, too. How cool is that?!
MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Hydro-Gel Mask ($9)
It contains snail slime as an ingredient that moisturizes skin and prevents skin damage.
7. Eye Cream
Skin Food Royal Honey Essential Eye Cream ($19)
This rich, moisturizing eye cream firms fine lines around the eyes by hydrating the skin, which is essential in Korean morning skincare routine.
8. Korean Face Cream
MISSHA Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Cream ($20)
The super aqua rich moisturizing cream helps to maintain Korean dewy skin.
Neogen Dermalogy Day-Light Protection Sun Screen ($15)
This lightweight sunscreen has ingredients like rose, honey and raspberry that nourishes the skin.
10. Korean Skin Care Set
There are many skincare sets to choose from. Ideally, these sets contains cleansesr, ampoules, eye and face cream. The mix may vary, too. From different ingredients to natural ones, choose what suits you.
Whamisa Organic Flowers Skin Set ($41)
This cruelty free skincare set improves skin texture.
How Long to Spend On Skin Care Regimen
The Korean morning skincare routine should take 15 minutes for your beauty regimen.
Can This Be Used As Nighttime Skincare Routine?
The Korean morning skincare routine can be used during night time, too. The only difference is that you need to use a night face mask. For me, there’s no difference between day and night creams and when I applied the same analogy to face masks, I realized I was wrong.
So, when I was researching about how to use Korean face mask, I gathered that Korean night face mask sheets are to be kept entire night. Even Lee Sa-bi confessed to be using different night masks every day in one of her interviews.
How Long Does It Take Korean Beauty Routine to Show Results
Ideally, it should take a week or so to see changes in your skin. It may take a longer time, too, depending on your skin. So, be patient and choose the products that work well for you.
Note Before You Try Korean Morning Skincare Routine
Remember: always do a patch test before trying new products on the face. And if any product causes irritation, consult your dermatologist or physician ASAP!
The Korean morning skincare routine may not suit all skin types as it’s all about moisturizing. And that doesn’t work well for oily or acne-prone skin. It might not work well for people in tropical regions. But it also depends on each individual. However, this skincare regimen is good for normal, dry and combination skin types.
So, hope you found our guide to Korean morning skincare routine helpful. Have you tried it? If not, are you gonna try now? Let us know. Tweet us @shilpa1ahuja!
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Sahana is a Senior Staff Writer at ShilpaAhuja.com. With an experience in fashion and lifestyle writing, Sahana is responsible for Indian and international fashion week coverage every year, and is developing an expertise in apparel trend forecasting. She also writes about health and fitness, having pursued yoga for 6 years now. She’s not a gym person at all but is all for “running in the park” and is an amateur cyclist. Books and coffee are her other passions. She’s also an amateur photographer. She’s a hardcore Bollywood fan and she loves to cover the nostalgic topics on the same. From fashion trends to famous characters, she can make anyone love Bollywood! Her best article has been 90s Bollywood fashion, a readers’ favorite so far! Prior to her experience with ShilpaAhuja.com, Sahana has written as a freelance author for online magazine, Mashup Corner, and interned at EventsHigh as a content writer. Her blogs on basic fashion, makeup, fitness and city’s food joints that gave her a chance to experiment with her writing. She also has voiced her opinions about feminism and equal rights for men and women at PolkaCafe journals and after quitting her job, she decided to take up writing as her full time career.
Sahana is an engineering graduate and has worked in an MNC, Tesco, for more than a year as an Operations Support. It was her sheer love for fashion that made her quit the monotonous 9 to 5 job to pursue a career in the fashion industry. She’s originally from Bangalore and is currently settled in Chennai (she’s loving the city)! For any queries and discussions, contact her at [email protected] You can also tweet her at https://twitter.com/Sahana_17