Before we explore the most famous 10 step Korean beauty routine, I believe it is worth mentioning the beauty rules Korean women live by.
Here is the list of most important beauty rules to think about, no matter if you want to fully explore K-beauty rituals or improve your existing skincare routine.
Rule #1: Individual approach to skincare
Skin is the largest organ in your body and makes up to 10% of your total body weight. It creates a natural barrier that protects you from bacteria and infections. Keeping it healthy and hydrated is crucial for it to successfully function and keep impurities out of your body.
Every Korean woman and man know that skin care is extremely personal and should be designed for the current needs of every individual. Products that work for your friend or family member may not be suitable for you. Everyone should, instead focus on their personal needs and seek a solution for their skin condition.
Rule #2: Beautiful skin requires commitment, not a miracle
Shu Uemura said: “Beautiful makeup starts with beautiful skin.”
Korean women believe skin always comes first and makeup second. This is why they examine their skin on a weekly basis and ensure its issues are being addressed immediately. Korean women reject the option of correcting the look of their skin by covering it with a thick layer of makeup.
‘No makeup’ is the only acceptable option as it highlights natural beauty.
Like every skincare regimen, K-beauty requires a commitment to be fully successful. However, it’s not actually as time-consuming as you may think and your morning routine should not take more than 10 minutes.
Rule #3: It’s all about skin condition and not age
Korean women do not differentiate products per age category. Instead, they focus on their skin needs. If it becomes dry and dull, their beauty regimen will be focused on hydration and bringing back radiance. If their skin experiences breakouts and pigmentation issues, Korean women will use products to rebuild the skin barrier to obtain an even and clean complexion. This means Korean women invest in beauty products that support maintaining elasticity, firmness and they use anti-ageing products much earlier than Western women. After all, our skin starts losing its elasticity in our early 20s.
Rule #4: Skin glow and hydration
The biggest difference between Western and Korean women is their attitude to achieving glowing skin. When Western women seek a matte finish, Korean women will do everything to obtain glow to their face. The goal of their entire K- beauty routine is to achieve luminous, fresh and glowing skin as it is a sign of youth. However, glowing skin doesn’t mean a greasy and oily complexion but fresh and hydrated skin.
Hydration to the skin is not only achieved through a moisturiser. Korean women also use essences, ampoules and a vast range of masks: sheet masks, wash off masks and sleeping packs.
Korean women will avoid the sun by wearing long sleeves and a broad spectrum sunscreen every day. A number of Korean products are labeled as ‘whitening’, however, these products provide a brightening effect and glow and use ingredients friendly to your skin. At the same time, Western women not only look for a matte finish but also try to achieve a glow through tanning, a number one enemy in Korean skincare routine.
As a person who loves summer, beach, summer sports and my own skin being kissed by the sun, I have to admit I was torn with Korean’s zero tolerance rule when it comes to sun exposure and because of my active life, I can’t and don’t want to avoid the sun.
However, when I started using sunscreens with high SPF on a daily basis, I noticed an incredible improvement in my skin tone and elasticity. My skin became more even, glowing and had no blemishes and pigmentation issues caused by the sun. You could say I was converted!
Rule #5: Texture of products
Korean women believe that products should be applied in an order. Cosmetics with the lightest consistency are used first and then they are followed by the heavier products. Skincare routine is split into steps and consistency of products: skin preparation (cleansing followed by toning), regeneration (essences followed by or replaced with serums and boosters), hydration (gels, lotions or moisturisers) and protection (sunscreens).
Rule #6: Products don’t last forever
Skincare products don’t last forever and Korean women ensure that they do not use cosmetics for any longer than is recommended by the manufacturer. They always look for the period after opening symbol. It is an image of a little open jar on the packaging with a number next to an“M” sign that indicates how many months a product can be used after it was opened.
Rule #7: There is no such thing as brand loyalty
This approach keeps Korean cosmetic companies on their toes. Korean women are the most demanding customers when it comes to beauty products. A number of companies launching their products assume that if it is accepted by the Korean women it means it will be successful around the globe.
The companies that sell an “empty hope in a jar” do not last long on the extremely competitive beauty market. As a result, both small and large beauty houses are constantly investing in research and innovation of their products. Science and technology are becoming more sophisticated and they are being combined with well-known natural ingredients to create functional and effective products that are affordable and accessible to everyone.
Rule #8: Mixing products from different brands
Mixing and matching brands are absolutely acceptable. The focus is on the skin condition and testing which products actually work. Korean women allow themselves to do the research, investigate the companies, products, and ingredients. They will select products and brands based on the most suitable solution for their personal needs.
Rule #9: Skin Diet
“You are what you eat.”
Diet has an incredible influence on the look of our skin. As a result, Korean women pay a lot of attention to their diet. Alcohol, chocolate, and rich unhealthy food are eliminated or reduced to a minimum (after all, we all have a cheat day.) Korean women are passionate supporters of fermented foods. Famous Kimchi that contains fermented cabbage, pepper and garlic and herbs and is a great source of healthy bacteria and probiotics which play an anti-inflammatory and anti-ageing role.
We invite you to start a playful journey with us into discovering Korean beauty rituals and products.