It hasn’t been long the skincare world got seized by the storm that is Korean skincare. From all indications, it doesn’t seem to be letting up. “How to get glass skin” remains one of the top searched topics in the beauty industry. Famed for their elaborate 10 steps, it can take hours from start to finish. But one thing for sure is that it works. This 10 step routine promises to leave you with flawless glass-like skin.
While you have to follow a 10 step routine consistently, the major key to getting glass skin remains HYDRATION. Layering hydration is the key to clear skin. Hydrated skin have stromger barrier and helps to fight off hyperpigmentation and fine lines. These futuristic Koreans left behind all the harsh products and ingredients for hydrating ingredients and products as evidenced in the steps below
- Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover: The first step in the Korean skincare routine is oil-cleansing. Oil-cleansing is used to remove makeup and draw out oil-based impurities in the skin. Even the toughest of makeup bow to the oil cleanser. Everything from your three coats of mascara to the three layers of foundation can be easily removed using oil cleanser. So ditch the makeup wipes today. Even if you don’t use makeup, oil cleansers are still needed to remove sunscreen. Grape Seed and jojoba oil are usually used.
- Water Based Cleanser: This second step of the double cleanse involves the use of a water-based cleanser. Water-based cleansers remove water-based impurities such as dirt and sweat that the oil cleanser didn’t pick up.
- Exfoliator: Physical or chemical exfoliation can be used to clean out pores and dissolve dead skin cells on the skin for easy removal. When you exfoliate better, your skin becomes softer and your products absorb better. Alpha Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids are usually used.
- Toner: Toners are used to prep the skin after cleansing. They reinforce skin barrier and help the following products to absorb better. Toners can be used to balance moisture and pH levels. Layers of hydrating toners are usually used in Korean skincare to achieve the glass skin effect. Licorice, niacinamide, and centella asiatica toners are hydrating ingredients used.
- Essence: Essence is the heart of Korean skincare.An essence is packed with concentrated blend of hydrating and moisturizing ingredients that are used to deliver special benefits to the skin. They are usually watery like a cross between toners and serums. Hyaluronic acid and snail mucin are common ingredients found in essences.
- Treatments: Treatments in the form of serums, boosters and ampoules are used to target specific skin concerns like dryness, acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines etc. Hydrating serums, serums containing vitamin C or niacinamide are mostly used. Niacinamide and vitamin C are ingredients to look out for.
- Sheet Masks: To be honest, I think sheet masks are redundant especially if you are doing the other steps. But 10 steps mean 10 steps, right? Sheet masks are fun. They are perfect for fun nights with the girls. Sheet masks are infused with concentrated essences and are placed on the face for a prolonged time to enable the skin absorb all of its goodness. They also promote relaxation. Cucumber and green tea are hydrating ingredients in sheet masks.
- Eye Cream: Because the skin around the eyes are thin and sensitive, they need special TLC to keep puffiness, wrinkles and dark circles away. Eye creams are formulated with special gentle ingredients that are hydrating and non irritating. The major key to eye creams application is to tap in instead of rub. Honey and ceramides are found in the best eye creams.
- Moisturizer: The perfect moisturizer can be used to replace steps 4-8 of the Korean skincare. Moisturizers should be tailored to skin type and skin concerns. Hydrating moisturizers for dry and dehydrated skin. Lightweight oil free moisturizers for oily skin. Moisturizers are used to seal in moisture and plump skin. Centella asiatica, snail mucin and hyaluronic acid are used in hydrating moisturizers.
- Sunscreen: The most important part of any routine. Sunscreens are to be used even if you’re not going outdoors. Sunscreens prevent premature skin aging and skin cancer. Korean sunscreens are renowned for being more hydrating than their western counterparts.
A quick look at all the steps involved in the Korean skincare routine shows that more than anything, Korean women have mastered the art of hydration. There is no such thing as too much hydration. Layer your hydrating toner, serum, essence and moisturizer till your skin resembles that of a glazed doughnut.