Time needed: 25 minutes.
Get your best skin yet with three simple steps from Natural Korean beauty experts. I will Show you how to get beautiful glowing skin as well as teach you the tricks of the trade that Korean women have been using for decades.
Are you ready to read the most comprehensive Korean skincare guide on the internet? Because that is exactly what it is! I spent my time to write this article for a sole reason: to explain exactly how you should proceed with a Korean skincare routine in the most painless way possible.
Natural Korean skincare has been a very hot trend these days. The mere words ‘natural’ and ‘Korean’ are enough to make our skin light up with joy. What’s so special about Natural Korean skincare? Why does it work for us better than our American counterparts? I’ll take you through my routine and show you why I love Natural Korean skincare so much.
In today’s article, we’re going to discuss a step-by-step natural Korean skincare routine. The goal is to bring your skin back to its natural and healthy condition.
- OIL CLEANSER
In Korean skincare, the first element of their routine is an oil cleanser to remove sunblock, makeup, etc. Over time you will slowly start eliminating steps in your own routine and begin to focus on products that make a larger impact. By starting with an oil cleanser you guarantee that your product does its job which helps to save money in the long run.
When you start your skincare routine, the first step is to gently remove whatever makeup, pollutants, and impurities may have set into your skin during the day.
You may be familiar with the concept of double cleansing—first using an oil-based to dissolve your makeup and sunscreen, followed by a water-based cleanser to lift the oils.
Oil cleansing or first cleanser is often the first step used to cleanse our face and remove makeup residue. It is an important step that can be used in conjunction with your normal skincare routine for optimal results.
If you’ve read my previous post on the 10-step Korean skincare routine, you will have discovered that the first step of basic Korean skincare is oil cleansing. It might seem odd to wash your face with oil, but once you try it for yourself, you won’t go back!
First thing you want to do is take a small amount and rub it on dry skin. The oil will then dissolve your makeup, sunscreen, and moisturizer (the water-based stuff). This means you’re getting a double cleanse with just one product! An added bonus (for most of us) is there’s no need for water, which saves both time and tons of money.
- REGULAR FACE CLEANSER
No matter what your skin type is, you need to clean your face regularly to avoid breakouts and keep your skin healthy and glowing. That’s why today I’m going to introduce to you the second step we should take after cleansing our faces: regular face cleanser.
Regular face cleanser is the most important step in the Korean skincare routine. It helps remove impurities and keep your pores clear. It has to be natural ingredient and without paraben since your face will absorb it.
Alright, so you’ve just started your Korean skincare routine, and now it’s time to take your cleansing game to the next level. At this point in your skincare journey you’re likely wondering where to go from here. Your first step is figuring out what kind of cleanser you should be using in the morning.
Your skin is your largest organ. You should be washing it regularly to make sure its healthy and glowing. Regular face cleansers are the -first- step to caring for your skin. You should wash your face with regular face cleansers every morning and night.
One of the most important steps to any Korean skincare routine is cleaning your face. The base of your entire skin care routine lies in making sure your face is clean and free of dirt, oil, and makeup.
A face wash and toner are a good place to start on your way to consistently clean skin. If you tend to have oily skin, avoid products that have astringent in them. Instead, opt for a cleanser with salicylic acid. Salicyclic acid helps clear away dead skin cells and excess oils from your face, reducing the likelihood that pores get clogged.
A Toner (also known as a Skin Refresher or Skin Balancer) is the third step in your Korean skin care routine. It is applied directly after cleansing, and helps to further prepare your skin for absorption of the Actives that follow.
Toning is my favorite step of the routine. You see, Koreans believe that toner is the secret to clear and glowing skin. If you are using a Korean brand like me, your toner will probably have a higher percentage of alcohol compared to Western toners. Alcohol in toner does not dry out your skin like you might think (in fact, it actually helps to boost your absorption of the next product).
I always follow up my serum with an alcohol-based toner so that it gets absorbed faster into my skin than if I would have used water.
The goal of using toner is to provide moisture to your face while giving your skin the additional boost of cleansing. Thus, making it an important part of the Korean skincare routine.
Toners are quite important in the Korean skincare routine as they prepare the skin for the next step of absorption. Some toner leaves a sticky feel on the skin while others are more like water. The Korean toner I’m using at the moment is from Nature Republic and has been my ride or die product.
It helps your skin absorb the essence better and provides a lot of moisture. You’ll want to use clean cotton pads or your hands for this step, and make sure to pat it in gently instead of rubbing as it can be too harsh on the skin.
The fourth step is essence/serum. To apply essence, take two pumps and spread onto your face, starting from the middle of the face and move up the forehead. This process should be repeated 4-5 times until you can see that you have enough essence on your face.
This is an optional step, but recommended if your skin is in need of additional hydration. Essence is very similar to the serum, but there is a difference. Essence can be used during day and night time use depending on what you prefer.
At this point, your skin has gotten all the alkaline loving it can handle. Your delicate acid mantle has been nicely balanced and all its pores have been properly cleansed. Now we move on to step 4: the magic that is essences! Essences are perhaps the most important step in the routine if you have dehydrated or dehydratable skin. When these two descriptive words apply to me, I always ensure that I reach for my Asian beauty products.
In essence (pun intended), serums and essences are the same in their function. They are both clear liquids that are meant to replenish and revitalize skin, with the only notable difference being that serums are not preserved with alcohol. This step should bring your skin back to its youthful glory to prepare it for natural Korean makeup.
The serums are an important step in and of itself. It is one of the most important steps in k beauty and skincare routine.
Serums are used for various types of skincare concerns. In fact, you might already have a few and not even know how to integrate them into your skincare routine.
There are many kinds of serums, but what you want is one that contains hyaluronic acid (also known as sodium hyaluronate). Hyaluronic acid is recognized by the FDA as an effective ingredient in skincare products. It can help retain over 1,000 times its weight in water to keep your skin moisturized.
Serums are powerful products that are packed with active ingredients and just a tiny amount of serum goes a long way.
“Serum” is a mixture that contains more water and active ingredients than “essence”, which is more like a mask pack. Serum allows the skin to absorb, while essence makes the skin moist at the surface. Apply the serum by gently patting in upward strokes from the inside of the cheek to the under eye area.
This is an essential product to add for both anti-aging and acne prone skin. They are applied last to penetrate deep into your skin to provide potent anti-aging and skin repairing benefits. The reason this ingredient is placed last in the routine is because it is very potent and should only be used on a small portion of your face at a time.
Serum is one of the most exciting new discoveries for me. I’m someone who doesn’t like to layer products on my skin. I don’t want my skin to feel heavy or oily and prefer it to be light, bouncy and natural. After using serum, I now realise how much my skin needed repairing. And the best part is that everything feels natural, as if I have nothing on!
- EYE CREAM
Step 6 is all about hydration. I like having a thick eye cream, because it helps my eye area look smooth without looking shiny from a layer of oil. As your skin gets older, you want to focus on hydrating a delicate area around the eyes. The skin is thin and sensitive there, but still needs H2O!
It is important to use a separate eye cream instead of applying the same moisturizer you used on your face. Eye creams are effective in healing many eye problems such as dark circles around the eyes, puffiness and fine lines.
To prevent the skin under our eyes from drying out, you should always use a gel based or light liquid based eye cream that contains ingredients that will prevent our eyes from becoming dehydrated.
While you use your hand to apply the eye cream, be sure to place a very small amount to ensure that direct application is minimized. Also, if possible, perform this step in front of a mirror so that you can see exactly where you are placing the cream.
The skin around the eyes is very thin and delicate, so the formula used in your eye cream needs to be gentle. Using thick creams or ones that contain alcohol will only cause you to have more fine lines.
How important is eye cream, really? It’s one of those questions that comes up a lot and that everyone perceives differently. If you ask my mom, she’ll say not very important. She rarely wears anything on her face at all, let alone an eye cream. But if you ask me, I have a whole regime for my eyes just like the rest of my face.
After step 6, you have a perfectly cleansed face. Your skin is clean, soft and it feels like you’ve just had a relaxing spa treatment. But before you go out and conquer the world, there’s one last thing you need to do to your face.
The final step is adding moisturizer. After removing your makeup and washing your face, pat your face dry. Sometimes water will draw moisture out of the skin. If there is some water, it’s better to blot the skin instead of wiping it with a tissue or towel. Then put on moisturizer to seal in the water.
Although you can apply moisturizer as the final step, I recommend applying it BEFORE your essence. Applying it first gives your skin more time to absorb the product before it is sealed in with your sleeping pack or other primarily occlusive essences and creams. Applying it after those products (as I did in Step 6) might mean that you miss out on the full moisturizing effect.
Ah, moisturizer. The final step in your skincare routine. You might think this is a pretty optional step, but it’s quite important actually. Moisturizer helps seal the water in your skin, which can be lost due to contact with external factors such as the weather or pollution. It’s also a great way of protecting your skin from UV rays and any other harmful elements you may encounter throughout the day.
If you have oily skin, you might be tempted to skip this step. But that would be a mistake! There are several different moisturizers that can work for your skin type.
Because your skin’s moisture barrier and water supply have been strengthened, now you need to maintain the effectiveness of this process by using a moisturizer. Allowing your skin to have adequate hydration will make it soft and supple, along with keeping your skin healthier and younger looking for longer.