The Lowdown on the Korean Beauty Craze

Korean beauty, or K-beauty as it’s commonly referred to, has been taking the beauty sphere by storm. I’ve slowly been integrating concepts from K-beauty into my routine, and the more I read about it the more obsessed I become. If you’re anything like me though, admiring beauty and skincare trends is one thing, but mastering them is another beast. It’s a little bit like walking into an art museum. You love admiring the masterpieces as end products, but you’d be a lost puppy if someone put a brush in your hand and told you to replicate The Mona Lisa. Well friends, we’re going to figure it out together. But first….

What exactly is K-beauty?

K-beauty is revolutionizing skincare partially because of cultural differences in beauty standards, and partially because of its thorough ten-step skincare process that requires your undivided attention. What makes the regimen so brilliant is the fact that it’s focused on health and hydration so that your skin looks flawless without all the makeup. Korean beauty emphasizes a lack of pigment instead of a Jersey Shore fake tan. It’s about taking care of your skin so that it looks natural and fresh. It makes sense, right? Why spend so much time searching for the perfect foundation when you could repurpose that time by making your skin the perfect foundation?

Sold? Same. So what are the steps?

1. Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser

Oil cleansers go the extra mile to remove your eye makeup so you can avoid raccoon-eye syndrome. First, you massage an oil cleansing pad over a dry face and neck to begin breaking down your makeup for the following steps. Rinse your face and neck with lukewarm water.

2. Water-Based Cleanser

Next, you cleanse your face again with a water-based cleanser. I told you this was a thorough process. But hey, if you cleanse your face twice, it will look twice as nice. This step removes any dirt or grime that snuck past your first cleanse attempt. Clean as a whistle!

3. Exfoliator

Time to get dead skin out of the picture. Gently massage an exfoliant into the skin in order to remove dead skin cells, leaving skin clear and polished. You’ll want to focus on the T zone for this step. If you have sensitive skin, you can perform this step twice a week or as needed to avoid over irritating your face.

4. Toner

Let the hydrating commence. Apply toner directly to your face or use a cotton pad to swipe onto your skin. Toner adds moisture to your face, helps balance your pH levels, and preps your skin so it can absorb product in the next step.

5. Essence

A-ha! This is the backbone of the K-beauty routine. An essence is a toner/serum hybrid that initiates cell turnover and skin repair. Pat an essence into your skin for a healing effect and as more prep work for subsequent steps.

6. Treatments

This is the troubleshooting step. Choose a booster, serum, or ampoule, to target the issues that are specific to your skin type. Whether it’s dull skin, breakouts, pigmentation, or pore size, this step helps you battle your facial foes. Gently tap product on your face and let it sink in.

7. Sheet Masks

Another key step in the Korean beauty process, sheet masks provide some revitalizing and relaxing, facial nourishment. Usually, masks include collagen or other curative ingredients. Put one on and leave for 15-20 minutes once or twice a week. While you’re chilling out, masking, relaxing all cool, pouring yourself a glass of wine might be a good idea. But you didn’t hear it from me.

8. Eye Cream

The area around your eyes is extremely thin, and extra prone to wear and wrinkles. Use your ring finger to gently tap eye cream on the area from your brows to the top of your cheekbones. A cream will help hydrate and protect this extra sensitive area.

9. Face Cream or Moisturizer

Dewy skin? Yes, please. This step will help lock in even more moisture to plump up your skin and leave it looking supple and youthful. Pat a moisturizer onto your face and neck in both the am and pm.

10. Sun Protection

It doesn’t always seem important to lather on SPF, especially on cloudy winter days. Truthfully, you can never be too careful. Spread some sun protecting product on your face and neck every morning, reapplying as needed. This is the cherry on top of your hydrating, protecting, and youthful-inducing skin routine. Plus, nobody wants skin cancer. SPF=smart.

Ten steps may seem like a lot, but when you see the effects of really devoting time to your skincare, it will be totally worth it. Plus, you’ll save on foundation. I hope my K-beauty breakdown was as helpful for you guys as it was for me! I’ll be integrating more Korean beauty specific products and tutorials to the blog so stay tuned!



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