Ready add a bit of heart and Seoul to your skincare routine?
Korean skincare routines and the K beauty trend have been gathering steam for several years now, bringing some of the trusted tenets of Asian skincare to the shores of the US, Australia and other parts of the globe. But just what is Korean makeup and how can you make it a part of your daily ritual? Read on to find out.
What is Korean skincare?
Korean skincare, K beauty – it's all the same glorious, glorious thing. When the trend blew up, Korean skincare involved commitment to a 10-step process (more on that later) built more on taking care of your outer layer as opposed to a reliance on any specific type of makeup you apply to it.
The guiding concepts of purity, minimalism, cleanliness and clarity are built off beliefs that stretch back centuries.
Why is Korean skincare popular?
There are plenty of reasons why Korean skincare has become a billion-dollar biz around the world. One is that Korean culture is having a moment right now (or, rather, still having a moment, one that's lasted upwards of a decade). Beautiful people doing beautiful things equals fans around the world wanting to replicate the amazing skin routines they see on TV and online.
Another is that Korean skincare products are generally considered quite healthy for your skin. Korean makeup is put to the test on its home turf by users who care about what they're putting on and into their bodies. That same audience loves a good trend and is willing to try out new products to avoid any danger of FOMO. This leads to brands pushing the envelope and developing awesome new options often later released worldwide.
The 10-step Korean skincare routine
The 10-step skincare routine isn't chiseled in stone. In fact, it was created after an offhand comment by Soko Glam founder Charlotte Cho during an interview about why Korean women have such fabulous skin. So the 10-step routine is really more of a guide, with slight variations depending on who you talk to. That being said, here are the principle parts of the 10-step K beauty routine that took the world by storm:
1) Eye makeup remover. The routine starts with making sure your skin is clean. By using a dedicated eye makeup remover, you treat the precious area around your peepers with more care, prolonging its health.
3) Exfoliator. Add a bit of the rough stuff with an exfoliator that can work hard but is still gentle on the skin.
5) Essence. This is one of the signature components of K beauty. It's a bit of an all-rounder that features yeast and targets a range of skin issues. If you're limiting yourself to just a few of these steps, essence is an essential.
6) Ampoule. Ample ampoule is another key. You can find these in sheets or liquid form, and they help with skin elasticity and brightening. They're a great complement to your essence products.
9) Moisturiser. There's a good chance this is already a staple, but just make sure you're following the principles of Korean skincare – keep the ingredients clean.
10) Night cream. Good skincare doesn't sleep. Let night cream do the job while you do.
The general idea is that you start with the lighter aspects of your routine, progressively moving toward the heavier steps.
Now, remember that part we said about the 10-step routine being more of a guide? That's become even truer in recent years. Just like pizza and heels, skincare isn't a one-size-fits-all type of deal. Don't feel like you have to do each of these 10 steps. But make sure you do put an emphasis on good, quality products.
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