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All You Ever Wanted To Know About The Korean Skin Care Routine

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Thanks to the cultural philosophy that beauty begins with healthy skin, enlightened folks in Korea have always believed in getting to the root of the issue, making Korean beauty products the most sought after. Goes without saying, Korean skin care has taken on the world and how!

Well, before we delve deeper into the best kept Korean skin care tips, let’s talk about what’s so special about Korean beauty products and how is their routine different from ours.

Difference Between Korean Skin Care Routine & Indian Skin Care Routine

  1. One of the biggest secrets of Korean skin care is that they start preventive skincare when they’re young instead of waiting until issues pop us unlike us. We use an eye cream only when we spot the first wrinkle.
  2. Most Korean skin care products are milder and can be used by women with sensitive skin. In India, most cosmetic products contain artificial colors, fragrances, harsh chemicals or parabens.
  3. Compared to India, there is more awareness of the damage UV inflicts on the skin every day among Koreans, which is why sunscreen is so popular in Korea.
  4. Doesn’t matter how tired they are, Korean women never go to bed without removing every trace of dirt and makeup from their faces. We’re talking about an intensive two-step cleansing routine. However, on most nights, we are tempted to crash in no time.
  5. Korean skin care routine is more involved than our typical quick cleanse and smear of night cream. An average regime includes at least six Korean skin care steps at the minimum and ten at the maximum.
  6. One-of-a-kind ingredients are the USP of Korean beauty products. Ground-breaking ingredients such as snail mucin, snail mucus, donkey milk, and bee venom are the hero elements of Korean skin care products.

Here are the top skin concerns tackled by the Korean skin care routine so that your skin always looks its best.

  1. Fine Lines And Wrinkles
    As per Korean skincare, key to flawless skin in your 30s, is a good skincare routine in your 20s. Hence, an anti-aging skincare routine starts young. Secret tip: Load up on Collagen to keep your face looking young, bouncy, and plump. Collagen-boosting BB creams, nutrition-infused sleep masks, moisturizing face mask and superior face mists are a few Korean skincare products you need to stock up on to feel forever young. 

    Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask – Collagen, It's Skin Collagen Nutrition Cream, and Mond'Sub Bio- Gold Collagen Eye Mask

  2. Dull, Dry Skin
    Hydration is the building block of air-brushed like translucent, smooth skin. However, in Korean skin care the focus is on moisture from water, as opposed to oils.  It’s a well-known fact that well-moisturized skin functions better. In the long run, hydrated skin is more resistant to environmental factors, while in the short-term benefits include a dewy, luminous and firm texture.

    Nykaa recommends: LANEIGE Water Bank Double Gel Soothing Mask_EX, LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask, and The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydrating Facial Toner

  3. Clogged Pores
    Cleansing is the first step to the final goal. Korean skin care tips advocate the use of not just one but two products in their daily cleansing routine. A squeaky-clean face is the result of a double cleanse, which means a first round with an oil-based cleanser, then a second with a water-based, foaming cleanser. No wonder pollution, dust and grime don’t stand a chance against deep-cleansing exfoliation.

    Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Oil and The Face Shop Jeju Volcanic Lava Cleansing Foam

  4. Acne Treatment
    In addition to an oil-free beauty regime, Korean skincare is all about using peels. The most popular ones are a type of Glycolic Acid Peel, an Aqua Peel (using both AHA and BHA to clear away blackheads and residue), the FCR Peel (using a special coral extract formulation), and the Aladdin Peel (in which micro-needles are used to deposit seaweed extract and other natural ingredients deep inside the dermis) to banish bacteria and prevent new ones.

    Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling Mask, The Face Shop Dr.Belmeur Clarifying Spot Patch Kit, and It's Skin Clinical Solution AC Spot Control

  5. Whitening And Skin Brightening
    The best Korean skin care products boasts a host of cosmetically advanced products that are designed to even out skin tone and address hyperactive pigmentation due to the overproduction of melanin in damaged areas of the skin. Thus, they are safe for people of all skin tones as they don’t have actual bleach on them. They target discolored areas either by exfoliation or by inhibiting the enzyme tyrosine, which controls melanin production.

    Nykaa recommends: Mirabelle Korea Papaya Fairness Facial Mask, Innisfree Whitening Pore Sleeping Pack, and LANEIGE White Dew Tone-Up Cream

  6. Sun Protection
    Unlike most parts of the world, sun tans are viewed as skin damaging in Korea, upping the risk of premature aging. The best Korean skin care brands spend a great deal of time and effort producing highly effective, cosmetically elegant sunscreens in a broad selection of formulas including creams, mists, gels, and essences. Besides, sun protection is a sacrosanct step in the much-touted Korean skin care routine.

    Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Perfect UV Protection Essence Water Base SPF50+ PA+++, The Face Shop Natural Sun Eco Clear Sunscreen Stick, and It's Skin UV Away Perfect Sun Block

Korean Skin Care Routine Day And Night

  • Korean Skin Care Steps For The Day

    • Foaming cleanser: The first one of the daytime Korean skin care steps is using a gentle water-based foam cleanser. Start the day by removing any traces of sweat, dirt, or impurities.

      Nykaa recommends: Innisfree City Pollution Defender Cleansing Foam

    • Toner: Since Korean toners are not alcohol-based, they essentially hydrate and balance your skin’s pH levels to further prepare it for the next steps in the Korean skincare routine.

      Nykaa recommends: Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner

    • Essence: This ultra-concentrated nourishing liquid helps with cell turnover and hence, is known as the heart of Korean skincare regimens. With a high concentration of active ingredients, it revitalises skin cells, making it firmer and more elastic.

      Nykaa recommends: LANEIGE Water Bank Hydro Essence

    • Serum: Among all Korean skincare products, serums could be termed as most important because they target specific needs by skin type. You can customize your Korean skin care routine here by adding multiple serums based on your current skin concerns.

      Nykaa recommends: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

    • Eye cream: Korean skin care tips also tout eye care to be extremely important as the skin around your eyes is thinner and more easily dehydrated. Remember to dab the nourishment in instead of rubbing it.

      Nykaa recommends: It's Skin Caviar Double Effect Eye Essence

    • Emulsion: No wonder the emulsion, or the moisturizer as we call it, is one of the bestselling Korean skin care products. An emulsion designed for your skin type creates a barrier that will lock in all the beneficial ingredients you’ve just applied, instead of letting them evaporate out of your skin.

      Nykaa recommends: The Face Shop The Therapy Hydrating Formula Emulsion

    • Sunscreen: Trust the Koreans to not skip this step even when it’s not sunny outside. Easily one of the most important Korean skin care steps, all those tedious previous steps won’t be effective if your skin is exposed to harmful UV rays.

      Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Daily UV Protection Cream Mild SPF 35 PA+++

  • Korean Skin Care Steps For The Night

    • Oil cleanser: Start off your Korean night-time skincare routine with an oil-based cleanser that removes oil-based makeup, SPF and other impurities. This allows for effortless cleansing rather than tugging at your skin to remove that last bit of mascara.

      Nykaa recommends: Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

    • Exfoliator: This Korean skin care step involves sloughing away dead skin cells with the help of a gentle enzyme or bead-based exfoliator. However, don’t buff your entire face every night. Instead, just focus on the main areas like your cheeks and nose.

      Nykaa recommends: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Scrub Foam

    • Sheet mask: Here’s where Koreans are most dedicated. As per Korean skincare, a mask sheet a night keeps skin problems away for good. The best Korean skin care products include a huge range of masksheets, segregated by either ingredient or skin concerns.

      Nykaa recommends: DearPacker Lab Collection Mask - Anti-Pollution & Clearing

    • Sleeping mask: Did you know that as the last Korean skin care step, Korean women slather on a sleeping mask that acts as a second layer of moisture? Think of it as a cream mask that locks in the emulsion so you wake up to a rejuvenated complexion.

      Nykaa recommends: LANEIGE Water Sleeping Mask

  • Frequently Asked Questions About The Korean Skin Care Routine

    1. Do I always needs to follow all the steps of the Korean skincare routine?

      A. The legendary regularity is what makes Korean skin care steps so effective. However, on a rushed day, you can leave out either the essence or the serum. You can also skip the eye cream in the daytime routine. As for a night when you can’t keep your eyes open any longer, you can skip the exfoliator and the sheet mask, provided you’re still sticking to them for the rest of the week.
    2. I don’t use too much makeup. Do I still need to double-cleanse at night?

      A. Yes, because both the cleansing steps do two very different things. Oil cleansers can break down oil-based debris including the excess oil on your skin. Water cleansers can’t do this because water and oil don’t mix. What they can do is take care of water-based impurities like sweat and dirt, which is essential in keeping skin clear.
    3. How long do I have to wait in between the steps of my Korean skincare routine?

      A. You can apply most Korean skin care products back to back. It’s typically best to apply them on damp skin, which acts like a sponge and thus helps them absorb. However, sunscreen should be applied on dry skin and should be allowed to get absorbed before moving on to makeup.
    4. Will layering so many products on my skin clog my pores?

      A. Slathering up to ten products on your face may sound like a recipe for suffocated pores, but each step has a unique role in keeping your skin healthy and happy. In fact, a handful of them, including cleansing, toning, and exfoliating, directly target clogged pores and breakouts.
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