Skin in the Game

Korea is one of the world’s fastest-developing countries. And with everything from Korean music to Korean drama becoming famous worldwide, Korean beauty is quickly gaining popularity amongst millennials everywhere. From sheet masks to micromists, K-beauty trends are taking the world by a storm!

Undoubtedly, the hallmark of Korean beauty is their unique, 10-step skincare routine. Used by Korean women to look younger, this process might seem like an arduous task at first, but you’ll soon get into the rhythm as you embrace the routine. What might seem like a daunting task to you is as natural as washing your face to women in Korea. In the Korean culture, spending so much time on your skin is not considered vain; it’s seen as just another way to take care of yourself, along the lines of fitness or nutrition.

Here are the 10 steps that can transform your skin to look like that of a Korean beauty. That said, you don’t need to follow all the steps every single night. The number of products to be used is tailored to individual skin type and need, and hence the number of steps varies for each person.

Double Cleanse: In the morning, start off by washing your face with just water to help remove the impurities that have settled on your face during the night. As for the night part of the routine, a double cleanse is recommended. First, clean your face with an oil cleanser that will help remove all of your makeup or any oil-based product residue. To remove the sweat, dirt, and leftover oil from your face, follow with a foam cleanser.

Exfoliation: This is not an everyday step; it should be done only twice a week, or just once for those with sensitive skin. Exfoliating scrubs or a bead-based exfoliator will unclog pores and remove the dead skin cells from your face to reveal the brightness of your skin.

Toner: A toner will balance your skin’s pH levels, and help better absorb the rest of the products you’re going to put on your face.

Essence: A mix of toner and serum, essence will hydrate your skin, and give you a glowing look. Think of it as another layer of moisture, as Koreans don’t believe in applying just one thick layer of cream. Layering your products will let your skin breath, while keeping the pores from clogging.

Serums/Ampoules: Serums and ampoules are both highly concentrated products, and kind of the same thing. Unless you are extremely dedicated to your skin and have a lot of time, using just one is enough. A serum works on particular skin conditions like wrinkles and dark spots, while ampoules are used for a specific amount of time for a specific skin condition.

Sheet Mask: A K-beauty favourite, there are different masks for different skin types. Get the one that’s right for you, whether it’s for acne, hydration, or a fairness mask. To save 20 minutes (yes, this one is easy, but time-consuming) from your routine, you can insteadjust use a serum or essence that has the same ingredients. Do this step once or twice a week, preferably at night.

Eye Cream: An eye cream works on fine lines, crow’s feet, dark circles, and more. The skin under your eyes is extremely sensitive and needs a lot of attention. Using an eye cream regularly ensures the area does not dry out.

Moisturiser: Even though it sounds crazy to put on another layer of cream after putting your skin through so much, the importance of moisturising cannot be ignored. Think of it as a final top coating to your skin that helps all the other products under it blend well.

Sunscreen: It’s a myth that sunscreen should only be used if you’re going out in the sun. Koreans apply sunscreen every day, as it protects your skin from harmful UV rays, and wards off the development of beauty spots.

Sleeping Masks: After all these products, putting on another mask at night might seem redundant. But Korean beauties swear by it, as your skin goes into major repair mode at night. A sleeping mask works its magic while your body is resting, and speeds up the healing process.

Clear luminous skin, aka ‘glass skin’, is extremely coveted among Koreans, and now it’s being sought after by people across the world. So go ahead and start prepping for this amazing beauty process to get that skin glowing!

- Devanshi