Koreans are world renowned for their well-maintained skin, and are generally thought to be much more conscious of taking care of their skin than western countries. There are many different ways in which Koreans practice good skincare, such as special diets, teas, massages, sun-smart clothing, skincare products and more. In Korea, skincare generally starts during infancy with most parents rubbing their children down with lotion every day after bathing. And of all the numerous Korean skincare methods that exist, the most utilized is the “10 Step K-Beauty Routine.” There’s no skirting around the fact that ten steps is a lot, it takes time and dedication to achieve that healthy-looking skin foe which Korea is known for. In this article series, we explain each step two by two and give you some of our favourite product recommendations too. In this article, we are going to be tackling the final two steps, steps 9 & 10, namely, moisturiser & sunscreen.
Before we get started, let’s recap the ten individual steps.
- Oil Cleanse
- Foam Cleanse
- Serum or Ampoule
- Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
If you have missed the previous article, and want to go back and check it out before getting any further into this one, you can check it out here.
Step 9 – Moisturise
Naturally, our skin produces oil that hydrates and protects our skin. This is very important for the health of our skin. When we wash or rinse our faces with warm/hot water, it strips our skin of the natural oils that our bodies produce to help keep our skin clean.
Health tip: Never use cold water to wash a product off your face. Cold water can often cause the product to leave a level of residue on your face which can lead to later issues.
You must help replenish your skin and keep it hydrated, and that is what moisturising is all about. If you have dry or oily skin, moisturise. There are no exemptions to this – skin of all kinds needs moisture. Moisturising allows your skin cells to perform at their best, meaning it has huge anti-ageing effects and helps your skin’s natural turnover rate, or to paraphrase, it enables your skin to get rid of dead cells and replenish them with new ones.
Here are a few moisturisers that are currently in demand right now, and after trying them, we can see why.
SOME BY MI’s ‘AHA, BHA, PHA 30 Day Miracle Cream’ – Strengthens the skin barrier, moisturises, soothes skin, and repairs skin cells. This cream is perfect for those who struggle with irritated skin, frequent breakouts, and acne. SOME BY MI formulated this cream without the use of harmful ingredients; it’s free from 20 different harmful ingredients commonly found in skincare products. We appreciate their honesty as a company and love the confidence they have in their products.
Innisfree’s ‘Olive Real Power Cream Ex’ – A cream that melts into your skin creating a moisture barrier using organic olive oil, olive fruit extract, carnauba wax, and shea butter. Containing vitamin E, this cream is perfect for those with very dry skin, or for those who live in cold, wintry countries. From our experience, we found that it left our skin feeling soft, supple, and well hydrated.
Belif’s ‘True Cream Aqua Bomb’ – Formulated without parabens, mineral oils, petrolatum, synthetic preservatives, dyes, fragrances, animal origin ingredients, sulphates, and phthalates – this product is very popular amongst Koreans and foreigners alike. A super lightweight gel-cream that is oil-free; we’d recommend this product to anyone regardless of your skin type. If you have dull skin or an uneven complexion then this is also for you. Containing an array of healing apothecary herbs, it will help heal and nourish your skin while providing a cool and refreshing sensation.
Step 10 – Sunscreen
The sun and our skin have a complex relationship. Vitamin D is vital for healthy skin, our skin absorbs it when we are basking in the sunshine, however, if out for long periods of time without proper protection, UVA & UVB rays have been known to cause skin cancer and can cause significant damage in many other ways including skin discolouration, dark spots, saggy skin, wrinkles, and can even add a leathery quality to our skin, among other things. If we use sunscreen then we are protected from those rays; on the other hand, we are also blocking our bodies from absorbing vitamin D from the sun. A lot of Koreans will cover themselves right up and apply a generous layer of sunscreen, however, this is not recommended. Vitamin D deficiency is growing in South Korea despite warnings, and the first place to begin in tackling this is finding balance in your method, and using a pragmatic approach. We would definitely recommend using sunscreen most times you go out, but we would also like to suggest that if you apply sunscreen a lot, try taking a vitamin D supplement. According to multiple studies, this is the best way to keep your body healthy. It’s important to remember that UV rays are present throughout the day regardless of the weather, and it warrants our attention. UV damage can happen at any time, not just in Summer.
Here are some of our favourite sunscreens:
COSRX’s ‘Aloe Soothing Sun Cream’ – With SPF50 PA+++ and aloe leaf extract, this cream blocks UVA & UVB rays using organic ingredients and advanced skincare technology that leaves no gaps for sun damage and dry skin. Cooling and refreshing – this product is a favourite among many and we can understand why. It’s full of rich moisture and contains many benefits for all skin types. Plus, this is a perfect base for your make-up.
MISSHA’s ‘All-Around Safe Block Essence Sun Milk’ – Formulated with 4 flower extracts (1 from each season) this is an SPF50+ PA+++ sunscreen that blocks both UVA and UVB rays while being gentle on skin. Use it to moisturise, soothe, protect, and nourish the skin. It’s also hypoallergenic (unlikely to cause an allergic reaction) and there are 4 different types (waterproof, velvety finish etc.) to choose from.
Etude House’s ‘Sunprise Airy Finish’ – Dries matte and leaves no white cast, this sunscreen is SPF50 PA+++ and protects the skin from UVA & UVB rays. It’s safe to use on sensitive skin and is non-sticky, non-greasy & non-drying. Created with 20 natural ingredients to nourish and protect, it packs a lot of good. It’s also perfectly fine to use under make-up.
And with that, we have broken down the final steps of the “10 Step K-Beauty Routine”. Now it’s over to you to decide whether or not you want to put it to the test and see what incredible results it can deliver. Ten individual steps in a skincare routine may seem like a lot of work, and it’s true that it’s very time-consuming, but once you work it into your daily schedule, and it becomes habitual, it really isn’t that hard at all.
Finally, when it comes to beauty products of any kind, for the best results, please remember to make sure you follow the directions. Following them will help you to get the best out of whatever products you choose to use.
We sincerely hope you enjoyed reading this article and that it may have provided you with useful knowledge. If you have any questions regarding the “10 Step Korean Beauty Routine” or any of the products we have mentioned, feel free to ask us. We would love to chat with you. You can find us on all our social media:
Want to experience more of Korean culture? Why not subscribe now to the Inspire Me Korea CULTURE box to receive a box of goodies sent to your door every month? We ship internationally! Find out more here
Featured Image Source: © 2052753, kystsd, FreeQration, 06.03.2019, http://www.freeqration.com