We have a few go-to’s when it comes to beauty advice. Our stylists, obviously, that friend who’s always trying the newest miracle ingredients - and now, Reddit (yep, that’s the social media platform with forums on literally everything under the sun) and TikTok. They both have thriving communities of hair, beauty and skincare obsessives. In this series, we'll be sharing the need-to-know tips and tricks we found from hours (and hours) of scrolling. Consider this your hair and beauty school cop-out (see what we did there?). WRITTEN BY Beth LudolfRead more
We have a few go-to’s when it comes to beauty advice. Our stylists, obviously, that friend who’s always trying the newest miracle ingredients – and now, Reddit (yep, that’s the social media platform with forums on literally everything under the sun) and TikTok. They both have thriving communities of hair, beauty and skincare obsessives.
In this series, we’ll be sharing the need-to-know tips and tricks we found from hours (and hours) of scrolling. Consider this your hair and beauty school cop-out (see what we did there?).
WRITTEN BY Beth Ludolf
What is a Korean skincare routine?
Western countries usually promote the 3-step skincare routine (cleanse, tone, moisturise) – but now, thanks to Reddit and TikTok, are beginning to adopt the multi-step K-beauty routines. Korean skincare routines involve a lot more products, triple the steps and plenty of layering. Oh, and they tend to focus much more on hydration than exfoliation.
Step 1 & 2: Double-cleanse
The first step is a double-cleanse. Use an oil-based cleanser first, to remove oil-based impurities like makeup and sebum and then follow with a foaming or water-based cleanser. This will rid the skin of any buildups of dirt and sweat. Avoid using hot water when cleansing, it dries out the skin.
Step 3: Exfoliator
This one’s not an everyday step – about 3 times a week is enough for most people. It’s also up to you on the kind of exfoliator you use. Physical exfoliators work by using texture to scrub away dead skin cells and debris while chemical exfoliators (like AHAs) use acids and enzymes to dissolve the cells. Remember, SPF is a must if you’re using chemical exfoliators.
Step 4: Toner
In Western beauty, toners are usually astringent which means they’re used to remove any excess oil. K-beauty toners tend to be hydrating – they still remove any final traces of dirt on the skin but they also add extra hydration and rebalance the pH level, too. Look for products containing hyaluronic acid if that’s what you’re after.
Step 5: Essence
A staple in Korean beauty that’s less frequent in Western routines, essences are essentially a watery moisturiser-cum-toner. They’re great if you’ve got dry or dull skin (they add an extra layer of hydration) but you may find it to be too much if your skin is oily. Use in the morning and at night if you need to or just add it in when your skin is feeling a little parched.
Step 6: Serum
This is where you really get to personalise your routine and target specific skin concerns, like pigmentation or fine lines. You can use more than one, you can have a different one for day and night – serums are all about the benefits your skin needs. Not sure where to start? Look for an antioxidant serum, this will help protect your skin from free radicals from things like pollution.
Step 7: Sheet mask
If you’re anything like us, sheet masks are the first thing that comes to mind when you hear “Korean beauty”. Honestly, there’s a sheet mask for everything – hydrating, soothing, firming – and you can do them as little or as often as you like. Most take about 10-15 minutes.
Step 8: Eye cream
The skin around your eyes is not only much thinner than the rest of your skin (which means it loses moisture a lot quicker) but it’s also more delicate and more prone to ageing. Eye cream helps your skin retain moisture, targets dark circles and fine lines. Take a small amount on your ring finger and dab it gently around the eye.
Step 9 & 10: Moisturiser and SPF
This one needs no explanation – just look for a formula that works for your skin type. Ceramides and hyaluronic acids are key ingredients for dry skin, while lightweight, water-based formulas work best for oily skin types. Finish off with an SPF (the higher the factor the better). Yes, even it’s winter. Yes, even if you’re indoors.