When we look at many of the individuals in the K-Pop industry, we often see flawless skin, and sometimes we end up wondering if flawless skin is even a possibility for us mere mortals. Well, the answer is yes, although the method is not quite as simple as the answer, and is very much a process. The “Ten Step Korean Beauty Routine” is something almost all K-idols follow, and yes, initially it does sound kind of daunting. To help alleviate this, we’re breaking it down to help simplify it for you and to help you understand why each step is so important for you and your skin.
In our previous articles, we have already covered steps 1-4 of the routine, and this article will be focusing on steps 5-6, before we begin, however, let’s take a look at all the ten steps listed out.
- Oil Cleanse
- Foam Cleanse
- Serum or Ampoule
- Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
If you missed the previous article in this series, covering steps 3 & 4 (Exfoliation and Toning) you can read it here.
Step 5 – Essence
If you’re quite sure what an ‘essence’ is, or whether it’s necessary to use one – then you’ve come to the right place. Essences are generally a concentrated formula, created to target fine lines, wrinkles, an uneven complexion, and regenerate your skin on a cellular level. All this means it penetrates deep into the layers of your skin and quickens your skin’s turnover rate. Topping it all off, essences provide an extra lightweight layer of moisture which, in turn, helps your skin absorb the next layer of your skincare products, or in our case, the serum or ampoule. Subsequently, essence is exceptionally useful and highly recommended.
Here are some great Essences that we recommend.
TOSOWOONG’s Green Tea Eco Brightening Essence – This essence is 75% green tea and also contains witch hazel, raspberry, strawberry, cranberry, blueberry, and many other kinds of berry, which means it is PACKED with antioxidants. We adore this essence for its amazing results, and it’s affordability.
MISSHA’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist – MISSHA is a brand used by many K-pop idols, Korean models, actresses, and actors. Containing over 90% of fermented yeast from Himalayan purple barley, this product was created to refine skin texture, brighten, reduce fine lines and wrinkles, reduce pigmentation, and lightly moisturize. Furthermore, this essence notably has a PH of 5.5 – the ideal PH level for your skin.
Hanskin’s Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence – A top product in Korea for a good reason. This essence is formulated with hyaluronic acid called sodium hyaluronate, this sodium hyaluronate is made up of smaller molecules, meaning it can hold up to 1,000 times more moisture than water; people with dry sensitive skin, this is ideal for you. Soak up that moisture all day long.
Primera’s Miracle Seed Essence – Formulated with 93.1% Lotus Seed Extract this essence is packed full of amino acid and linoleic acid. This essence targets 3 main things: texture, tone, and transparency. After 3 days you should notice an improved texture, after 6 days your skin’s tone should be noticeably better, and after 9 days you should notice that your skin looks much more transparent. The bottle that it comes in even shows you how much you should be using a day to get the most out of the product (about 2.5ml once or twice a day). This has been a bestseller in Korea for years. However, it is a bit pricey.
Step 6 – Serum or Ampoule
A serum generally works on a molecular level, by this we mean the molecules are small and go very deep into the skin to provide nutrition and deliver active ingredients that will help the skin to remain smooth, firm, and moisturized while increasing the overall quality of your skin. Now, an ampoule is generally a super concentrate of super powerful ingredients, mostly providing intense healing and rejuvenation. It can be used interchangeably with the serum, or some prefer to just use one or the other exclusively. Our recommendation, however, is that you use them both interchangeably for best results. Think of an ampoule as your skin’s first aid product; we recommend you use it 2-3 times a week (prior to special events, every day 4-7 days before the event).
A serum/ampoule goes hand-in-hand with an essence, the essence prepares your skin for the serum/ampoule and acts like a super booster, boosting the effects.
Innisfree’s Green Tea Seed Serum – Created with green tea water and green tea seed oil meaning it is rich in antioxidants, amino acid, and minerals that are crucial for your skin’s hydration and health. We would recommend this product to anyone who would like an effective but inexpensive product.
I’m From’s Ginseng Serum – This serum is perfect for those who are over 20 years of age. The main purpose of this product is to help with cell renewal and to help your skin become smoother, to diminish fine lines and wrinkles, to create supple skin, and to refine complexion.
Sulwhasoo’s Herblinic EX Restorative Ampoule – The all-natural main ingredients of this ampoule, are Korean Red Ginseng, Membranous Milkvetch, Angelica Acutiloba, and Marsh Parsley. All of these make up a very intensive product designed to create a moisture barrier while healing acne and softening skin. It restores, protects, and much much more, especially when used long-term. Representing the more expensive side of K-Beauty, this product may not be for everyone, but should you get a chance to try it, we highly recommend that you do.
MISSHA’s Time Revolution Night Repair Borabit Ampoule – A mixture of super fermented ingredients that create an intensive ‘band-aid’ for the skin – helping with wrinkles, brightening, moisture, elasticity, healing acne, healing in general, and much more. This product is gentle and suitable for all skin types, even acne-prone skin. Although this product says ‘night repair’ it can also be used during the day, however, the healing effects are much more notable when applied at night before you sleep.
Always remember when using beauty & skincare products that it often takes quite a bit of time before you see any major results. Rest assured, however, as the “Ten-Step Korean skincare routine” is an established and celebrated tool. Persevere, and you’ll see the same results.
Another important thing to remember is to follow the instructions for each individual product you use; they are often there for a reason. And of course, always be gentle with your face, keep the prodding, poking, pinching, and pulling to a minimum when possible. A light touch, or fairy fingers, is the best way to go.
That covers steps five to six; check in next month when we will cover the next two steps in the ten-step routine – The importance of masks and eye creams.
Thank you for reading. Have any questions related to this article? Used any of our suggested products before? Have any suggestions for us? Have any K-Beauty queries? Let us know, we would love to chat with you. You can find us on all of our social media
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Featured Image Source: © 2052929, kystsd, FreeQration, 05.01.2019, http://www.freeqration.com
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