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Skin is the largest organ of the human body – and perhaps the most versatile. The skin of your palms, feet, stomach, and face is different… and so is the kind of attention and care it needs.
You can’t do the same things for your face, as you do for your feet!
Korean Skin Care Routine For Flawless Complexion
Keeping your skin clean is at the base of any kind of skin care – be it for your hands, or your legs, or any other part of the body.
But there is more to your skin than just cleanliness, especially if it is your face you are thinking of. And if there is one population that has managed to ace facial skin care, it is Korean women!
Here is the Korean skin care routine that every woman who wants young, flawless, healthy skin must adopt.
Step 1: Oil cleanser for removing make-up
While not all Indian women wear heavy make-up every day, most of us at least love our kajal-pencils, lipsticks, and eye-liners. Right there, in that list,
you have some of the most pigmented beauty products women use. If not removed properly, they keep accumulating deeper in your skin.
Most of us are aware that we must use a make-up remover to clean make-up. However, adding an oil-cleanser to the procedure will make it super easy.
Rinse your face well. Here are some good oil-cleansers worth checking out.
Step 2: Water cleanser for removing make-up residue, sweat and dirt
Heavy make-up may not come off entirely even after using a make-up remover and oil-cleanser. Hence we need a second ‘cleansing step’ – but this time with a water-based cleanser.
It will remove any residual make-up and will also prevent the oil (from the oil-cleanser) from collecting on your skin. It is also a great way of getting rid of sweat and dirt. You can find some good options here.
Step 3: Exfoliator to remove dust particles and dead skin
Sometimes dust particles can get lodged into the skin pores. The best way to really deep-clean your face is by using an exfoliator.
It will also help get rid of the dead skin layer on your face. But make sure you don’t do this everyday, as over-exfoliation can damage your skin.
Once or twice a week is okay. Check out these exfoliators to buy yours.
Step 4: Toner for rehydration
While necessary, the above steps also make your skin fragile. To restore its plumpness, it is necessary to rehydrate it. that’s exactly what a toner does.
Skipping this step will leave your face looking dull and lifeless rather than clean and fresh.
Along with restoring the water content, a toner also restores the skin pH, and enables easy absorption of the products you’ll use next. You can find some buying suggestions here.
Step 5: Essence for extra hydration and cellular turnover
This is the most distinguishing step of the Korean skin care routine. An essence is similar to a toner or serum, but is different from it in terms of its water content, thickness, and concentration.
The main purpose of an essence is to provide an extra hydration step for the skin, and to improve the cellular turnover of your facial skin.
Improved cellular turnover leads to plumper, healthier, softer and younger looking skin. Take a look at some options here.
Key Takeaway: Being the most important step in the process, it is important to nail this one! Make sure you do not rub or massage the essence onto your face.
Use gentle dabbing or tapping action, as shown by Vicky in the video.
Step 6: Treatments for specific skin concerns
Every woman may have specific skin concerns when it comes to her face – some may have pimples, others dark spots, and with age, everybody complains of wrinkles.
According to your specific skin condition, you can use a treatment product that addresses your concern. Boosters, serums and ampoules are some of the products that fall in this category.
They can help you specifically target such problems as pigmentation, dullness, large pores, acne, etc. You can select from these serums and ampoules.
Step 7: Sheet masks for skin nourishment
A sheet mask too helps you address specific skin concerns. However, most women pick a mask that in some way or the other nourishes their skin.
You can pick from vitamin C, hyaluronidase, CoQ10 and several other sheet masks, which bring about antioxidant, soothing, brightening and other effects.
Applying a sheet mask is one of the most effective and effortless step in the Korean skin care routine. All you have to do is place the mask on your face, and chill for 20 minutes!
A lot of women love how this step allows them to just get some quiet time while the mask does its job on its own. It’s almost meditative. Sheet masks are available here.
Step 8: Eye cream for dark circles and puffy eyes
Did you know – the skin around your eyes has no oil-glands? It is also the thinnest of anywhere on your body. This is why it is more delicate and prone to wrinkles and dehydration.
An eye-cream, thus, is a must for every woman, irrespective of whether you have puffy eyes, dark circles or not.
Remember to always dab an eye-cream, never rub it in. Move in a circular motion around the eyes, and keep away from the water-line. Here are some eye cream options.
Step 9: Moisturiser for, well, moisturisation!
After all the different steps you have performed in order to hydrate your skin, you may be tired of even reading any more about it.
But honestly, hydration is the base of Korean skin care. Believe it or not, almost all skin problems arise due to a loss of moisture and water.
So, after you are done deep-cleaning and treating your face, use a light moisturiser to lock in all the moisture that you just provided to your skin.
A moisturiser will also help in sustained, round-the-clock moisturisation, which will have long-lasting effects on your skin. Moisturisers can be found here.
Step 10: Sun-screen for protection against harsh sunlight
One of the biggest enemies of facial skin is the sun. Did you know even half an hour in the sunlight can do noticeable damage to your skin?
No matter what weather or time of the year it is, make sure to wear a sunscreen every day before stepping out in the sun. Pick from these sun-screen options.
The Short Korean Skin Care Routine for the Busy Mom
As a mom, we have all had those days when even a quiet and long shower feels like a luxury! However, that should never be a reason to ignore your face and let it suffer.
Vicky Lee, Korean lifestyle blogger, has hence come up with a 5-step skin care routine for the busy woman!
- Wash your face with water.
- Follow this up with a toner.
- Use a good quality serum/ampoule.
- Eye cream is essential and should not be missed.
- Combine last two steps and use a moisturiser with SPF.
In spite of this, we suggest you make time for at least one full-blown regime once a week. You can check out Vicky Lee’s blog for more tips on Korean beauty and skin care.
Ampoules, Serums, Toners, Essence – What Exactly Do You Need?
Since it has become popular, the Korean skin care routine has drawn a lot of speculation, especially about the Essence step, which is the essence of Korean skin care (pun intended!).
Here we break down for you the difference between these closely related but different products.
You Need This If: Your skin is heavily damaged.
An ampoule is the most concentrated of the four products, which is why tey are not used on a daily basis.
Using an ampoule is advised for heavily damaged skin as it packs a lot of ingredients in high concentrations.
A short one-week course of the right ampoule can help quickly restore skin, after which you can take regular care of it using other products.
You Need This If: To target specific skin concerns like dark spots, dullness, large pores, etc.
Serums are less concentrated than ampoules, and help target specific skin issues. It is advised to use serums regularly,
so as to prevent skin problems from reappearing, and to prevent facial skin from developing any new issues.
However, if your skin has no evident problem, you can consider not using them everyday.
You Need This If: You are following a two-step cleansing procedure (as is suggested in the Korean regime)
Toners are meant for daily use. The main job of a toner is to restore the pH of the skin after it goes through the first two or threee steps of the Korean skin care regime (viz oil-cleansing, water-cleansing, and exfoliation).
Toners were originally invented for this purpose, because soaps used to be a lot more harsh earlier than they are these days. A toner also hydrates the skin, but not as well as an essence does.
You Need This If: You want flawless skin like the Koreans!
Finally, we come to the heart of Korean skin care – essence! An essence is a hybrid of a toner and a serum.
However, the most important purpose an essence serves is hydration. While a serum also hydrates the skin, it is heavier and more concentrated than an essence,
which allows an essence to pack more hydration than a serum. Also as mentioned earlier, dehydration is the biggest enemy of facial skin,
so the more products there are that can hydrate your skin, the better it is!
So that’s all you need to know about the Korean skin care regime! You may have noticed that the central focus of the entire regime is on packing as much hydration as you can into the routine, and doing it on a daily basis.
However, remember to also eat well and drink enough fluids in the day – because nutrition and proper nourishment can truly uproot any health problem, including skin issues. Stay beautiful!