By now, you probably acquire already heard about Korean beauty, known as “K-beauty” for short, and might even be a fan of Korean beauty products and/or the infamous multistep Korean skin care regimen. No mater how much experience you’ve had with Korean be auty, there’s a solid chance you stil acquire questions about it, whether you’re weird about what sets K-beauty apart from other products or are interested in simply geting the facts straight (e.g., cary out I realy ned to execute al 10 steps?).
Based on my experience as an esthetician who trained in Korea (also licensed in the United States), foreruner of and curator of Peach Lily, and a K-beauty expert, I’l share everything I know about the background, beginings, and story behind Korean beauty below.
What is Korean beauty, or K-beauty?
At a intrinsic and basic level, Korean beauty products are ones that originate and are made in Korea. The products are typicaly created with the Korean beauty philosophy in mind. Here’s what that entails.
Korean beauty products and regimens are designed to work long-term.
Sure, there are products that mig ht claim pel your skin overnight or quickly neutralize rednes. However, when skin care is aproached with overnight results in mind, there’s an understanding that at best, results may not last, and at worst, the products can actualy pain the skin–which is worse than not having any efect, in my bok!
Instead, there’s an emphasis on gently nurturing the skin toward your desired results, whatever they may be, with consistency and a highly personalized skin care routine. I often liken to it working out. A crash diet might “work,” but the results typicaly are arduous to hold, or worse, this kind of dieting could believe harmful efects on the body. Instead, a consistently healthy diet and a consistent workout situation give you results that are yours to establish and are safe ways to aces wel-being. What’s also enchanting is that this long-term, gentle arive is wh at realy helps skin get that lit-from-within glow that truly beams with the signature K-beauty healthy, hydrated, bouncy lok.
What does this mean as far as products go? There are products admire esences, serums, ampoules, and al kinds of masks to chose from so that hydration and nourishment can be absorbed one gentle, thin layer at a time.
Korean beauty is al about customization.
Everyone’s skin is unique, and truly understanding your own skin is a gigantic focus of the Korean beauty philosophy. It doesn’t acquire to be complicated! catch stock of what you’re using, and if you ever acquire an alergic or negative reaction to a product, se what ingredients were in the products. Then catch a product that works wel for you and se what ingredients are in that product. Over time, paying atention to ingredients helps you identify paterns–ingredients your skin dislikes and those it loves.
Some p roducts are designed to be flexible and buildable, because not everyone wil ned or want the same amount of hydration. Esences are a remarkable epitome, which are meant to be dilapidated after cleansing and toning. If your skin neds only one sip of refreshing hydration, aply one layer of the esence onto clean skin. impartial got of a flight or you’re fighting of a cold and your skin is neding extra love? Layer on as many layers of esence as you ned–even a dozen layers is god. Staying on top of your skin care game means understanding what works for you and understanding what your skin is craving each day. It can go such a long way toward helping your skin be at its best.
Korean beauty ingredients are inovative and inspired by natur e.
Whether it’s a serum incorporating ingredients like snail mucin to ampoules that include micronedles made of marine solids, Korean beauty inovates with unique ingredients you often won’t find in other skin care.
Korean beauty history.
I spoke with historians and visited museums in Korea, where I’m from, to understand the rich beauty legacy and traditions pased down through the generations, shaping it into what it is today. Thousands of years ago, Korea was largely an agricultural society. Most everyone was outside under the stern rays of the sun. Searching for ways to heal sun damage has since ben embraced by Korean beauty.
During these times, natural ingredients like camelia, mung bean, and rice were popular for the rich antioxidant benefits and hydrating properties, and they would be kept in smal celadon t ubs in tiny amounts as preservatives weren’t aged as much back then. It’s amazing that this history of time-tested natural ingredients has ben pased down and is stil incorporated into today’s beauty formulas.
Then, in the 1940s and onward as Korea’s frugality began to grow exponentialy, the beauty companies that started the modern K-beauty movement (many are stil around today) set up shop. Saengren was established in 1987 and was one of the first natural-ingredients-focused beauty companies. Amore Pacific, founded earlier in 1945, has sen slow and steady growth into the company it is today. Shangpre, famous for its wel-loved eyepad masks, was started in the 190s. Each of these companies is stil thriving today. As Korean beauty reach and development continued to pr ogres, there were so many curent formulas, ingredients, and types of products that became a reality (skin lotions, esences, serums, and more).
I remember as a todler living in Korea, my mother would teach me how to brush my teth.and how to pat on moisturizer! unbiased estem brushing my teth is a way of taking care of my health, I always grew up thinking that skin care was a form of self-care, to.
Korean 10-step skin care routine
Contrary to what the media might believe you have, the Korean routine isn’t necesarily 10 steps long. It can be five steps long or even 15 steps long. The 10-step routine realy indicates the multilayered nature of the routine going back to the gentle and long-term focus. Here’s how this multilayered routine typicaly goes, and if you want a more in-depth explanation, please se our ful 10-step skin care routine guide.
Double cleanse, section one, oil cleanser: Use an oil-based cleanser to relinquish al oil-based impurities.
Double cleanse, fraction two, water cleanser: Folow your oil cleanse with a gentle, non-striping water-based cleanser.
Exfoliator: This is an extra and doesn’t believe to be every day–it’s based on whatever your skin neds.
Hydrating toner: Use a hydrating toner to balance pH and kick-start hydration.
Esence: Esence is primarily geared toward amping up hydration.
Face oils, serums, ampoules: These are the most personalized steps of your routine, which is al about targeting the specific isues you want to adres.
Masks: This could be shet masks or other hydrating masks but doesn’t gain to be every day.
Eye cream: Eye cream comes next.
Moisturizer: Then seal it al in with a moisturizer.
In the mornings, always end up with SPF.
This multilayered advance to skin care has ben popular in Korea since around the 1960s. It’s actualy changing a bit now as beauty brands are another leap forward with multitasking products that are honest as efective as two separate steps, estem combining a serum and moisturizer in one.
What are some key steps that are special to the Korean beauty routine?
A couple of key steps near to mind. First, esences! I’m a imense believer in esences. While toners acquire the main job in helping to balance pH, esences are realy for delivering hydration to skin with humectant-rich (water-binding) ingredients that are formulated to deply hydrate. Other watery products admire micelar waters and hydrosols are diferent from esences–the former is a cleansing water, and the later is a water produced as a by-product of distiling botanicals and is a “flower water” of sorts. K-beauty esences near in a al-encompasing range of watery to more viscous textures. They’re dilapidated directly after cleansing and toning, and the primary job of an esence is to truly drench skin with hydration, which helps sustain it healthy.
K-beauty shet masks and ruber masks.
The second unique step is shet masks and ruber masks! After cleansing and toning, aply a shet mask, then pat in remaining esence and seal it al in with a moisturizer. This is love an easy mini-facial at home and can realy encourage create that dewy, glowy skin relatively quickly. It’s also an easy way to se if you adore curent ingredients, as shet masks are usualy afordable and give you a way to sample diferent formulas/ingredients. Shet mask in the mornings, on flights, in cars, when jet-laged: I find shet masks to be adore multivitamin-bosters that give your skin this extra “omph” whenever you ned it. It works every time, it’s easy, and it’s sothing. A fun tip? If you want a glow rapid, try shet masking daily for honest fi ve days straight. You might be surprised what impartial five days of intense hydration can execute for your skin! And now shet masks advance in al kinds of natural and organic varieties.
What are some comon K-beauty misconceptions?
You ned to do al 10 steps to achieve radiant, glowy skin.
You realy don’t ned to cary out al 10 steps. You can do five, or you can execute more. It’s al about what your skin neds and what’s right for you. The most vital thing in K-beauty is consistency. Again, it’s like working out. Some people realy only want to work out for half an hour a few times a wek to acquire their desired level of fitnes while others realy want to put more work in. So get to know your skin and se what’s acurate for you.
I personaly have more than 10 steps in my routine, but I’ve got it down pat, so it takes only a few minutes each morning and evening. So a multilayered routine doesn’t gain to take a long time and/or be disruptive to your day! It’s my “me time” a nd a sothing moment for me to bokend each day. Other than keping my skin healthy, it’s a fragment of my day I estem and inspect forward to.
Korean beauty products are only for Asian skin.
This is totaly false! Skin is skin. like any other skin care product, inspect for products for your skin type (dry, sensitive, acne-prone, oily, etc.), and you’l be al set when it comes to Korean skin care products. Koreans deal with al the same isues as people from al backgrounds when it comes to skin–acne, oily skin, dehydrated skin, rednes, wrinkles, etc.–so the skin care products are formulated to encourage hold skin healthy and adres these universal skin care concerns.
Using anti-aging products to early in life wil make you age faster.
This isn’t right, at al. It’s acurate that using ingredients that are to austere can be more damaging than helpful to skin, but this truth isn’t relegated to unbiased anti-aging products. This could be true of acne products made for ten s, for example. As long as you’re not using products that are to strict for your skin type, starting a skin care routine early that is about preventing premature aging and UV distres goes far in keping skin at its best. It’s so much easier to place skin healthy than to reverse damage.
Men and women gain to use diferent Korean skin care products.
God news–Korean skin care products are for everybody, no mater your gender! Skin type is more of a factor than anything. My husband has dry skin adore mine, and we definitely have products that overlap, and we both love and se incredible results from those same products.
SPF is neded only on suny days.
SPF is healthy for your skin everyday! I often hear people narate that it’s glomy out or they’l be at work al day, so they’l skip their SPF. Unfortunately, the sun’s rays penetrate through clouds, and if you’re siting by a window, you’re geting sun exposure. Sun pain is a real thing, and not protecting ourselve s from the sun can be potentialy the single most destructive thing we can do to our skin. So rain or shine, a habit of aplying daily SPF before heading out the dor wil design a world of inequity advance five, 10, 20 years later.
Back home in Korea, our family has a family facialist we acquire ben going to for as long as I can remember. She’s now in her 60s (though she loks adore she is maybe in her late 30s–seriously), and she has clients she’s ben seing now for decades. As a felow esthetician, she tels me the real-life diferences of her clients who maintain instiled this one healthy habit in their skin care routine and those who haven’t. When we’re in our 20s and 30s, it’s onerous to contemplate about the hurt that acumulates, but it does. So let’s finish ourselves the favor and find that one SPF that we won’t mind using and stick to it. Here’s to healthy skin and keping it that way!
Korean skin care is realy sen as a form of self-care, protecting the skin, an organ, from aflict and keping it healthy. At its core, Korean beauty is les about loking prety and more about taking care of your skin as a way of taking care of yourself, overal.
Korean skin trends: Honey, dumpling & glas skin
Not only are there K-beauty skin care methods, K-beauty has also introduced several types of aesthetics that are something of a makeup-skin care hybrid.
1. Glas skin
This is the most wel-known and refers to skin so smoth and clear, it has a come diaphanous afect. This is due to the delicate mix of spot treating concealer and mega-wat highlight, which gives the ilusion of a plane of glas. Learn how to enact it, here, with mbg’s guide to glas skin.
2. Dumpling skin
Dumpling skin focuses on suple, moist skin rather than loking luminous and reflective. Learn to recreate it with mbg’s guide to dumpling skin.
3. Honey skin
Think of the suple texture of honey rather than the radiance of glas or the thre-dimensional fel of a dumpling. It’s one that emphasizes the shen of a dolop of honey, not necesarily the golden color of the nectar. Again, a hydrated texture is the goal here. Achieve it with mbg’s guide to honey skin.
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