Time to listen to another story about a journey into discovering k-beauty and how it changed another life. Today we continue our conversation with amazing Shereen, @thewayofthesnail, an influencer and like we a k-beauty addict. It is high time we talked about hot topics in k-beauty and latest trends and tips.

Hot topics

Karolina:  Let’s move now to hot topics. How do a Korean skincare regime and the products differ from a Western skincare regime?

Shereen: Western brands still seem to do better with the actives which have transformed my skin i.e. retinol, exfoliating acids, and so on – but it’s the Korean products that have helped my skin get to a healthier place so it can actually handle those treatments better. In general though, I think the lines are blurring, especially in the past year or so. Some western skincare brands have started to move away from traditional harsh methods of the past (such as treating acne with a ton of irritating/drying ingredients, avoiding moisture if you have oily skin, etc.) and are incorporating lessons taken from Korean brands, introducing hydrating toners, sheet masks et al. You’ll still find harsh scrubs and baking soda cleansers of course (but you’d probably find those in Korea too). And the natural/green skincare trend seems to be on the rise no matter where you look.

Oh, and of course I have to mention sunscreen – I haven’t found a single affordable western version that compares to the cosmetic elegance to be found in many Korean and Japanese sunscreens. I wish I could!

Korean skincare: journey into discovering k-beauty

Photo by: @thewayofthesnail

Karolina:  I could not agree more, the Korean sun creams are so different and actually I can not find any excuse not to wear them. What is/ are the biggest skin concern/ s nowadays? Do you experience them and how do you tackle them?

Shereen: Premature ageing and the textural issues that result from it (and acne!) isn’t new on the list of concerns, but the ubiquitous use of Instagram or Facetune filters really isn’t helping with anyone’s self-esteem these days. I definitely experience the same concerns – I’m in my 30s and didn’t look after my skin for a long time, and suffer from hormonal acne. On bad skin days, my confidence can plummet. My skin definitely isn’t poreless (neither is yours nor that person who filters their selfie to infinity and beyond. And that’s OK). But knowing that I’m doing what I can to repair the damage and protect my skin going forward by educating myself and using the right targeted ingredients and treatments help me feel more in control.

Ingredients

Karolina:  What are your favourite skincare ingredients for tackling your skin concerns? 

Shereen: Ooh where to start? I like to incorporate brightening ingredients to help even out my skin tone and attack pigmentation from acne or sun damage, some of which are common in Korean products – such as niacinamide and liquorice root extract. Exfoliating acids (like lactic acid) and vitamin C (l-ascorbic acid) products help with brightening too.

If I’m breaking out I love using botanical and antioxidant ingredients like Centella Asiatica, green tea, chamomile and mugwort extracts to calm things down.

And for me, being over 30, a retinoid is key – there’s so much scientific evidence to back up the anti-ageing effects. There are several gentle retinol products to be found out there now too at all price ranges. I personally use a low-strength adapalene gel which helps primarily with keeping acne in check, but there is some promising evidence about it’s anti-ageing benefits too.

Korean skincare: journey into discovering k-beauty

Photo by: @thewayofthesnail

Tips and tricks

Karolina: What are two skincare must-have products everyone should have in their everyday skincare? What impact did they have on your skin?

Shereen:

  1. A gentle, low pH cleanser – for anyone, but especially if you have any acne issues. If you damage your moisture barrier with a high pH cleanser you’re potentially inviting a whole host of issues while also creating a fantastic environment for acne bacteria. This made a huge difference to my skin health and also in its ability to retain moisture.
  2. Sunscreen. An excellent anti-ager with the benefit of protecting you from skin cancer. Woo! I’m half-Irish with pale skin (and freckle easily) so this is particularly important to me. My pigmentation issues have definitely improved since I started wearing sunscreen every day. I use a vitamin C serum in the same routine for an added boost of UV protection.
Korean skincare: journey into discovering k-beauty

Photo by: @thewayofthesnail

Karolina: If you were asked to give one advice on skincare, what would it be?

Shereen: I’m going to sound like a broken record here but…find a sunscreen you love and wear it every single day. You’re actually throwing your money away on anti-ageing products if you don’t. And stay hydrated! Oops, that’s two…

Karolina: Shereen, thanks for sharing with us your journey into the dewy skin!

Check also the first part of the interview with Shereen here!

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