9 Korean Skin-Care Tips That Are Easy to Follow

Korean skin-care is often viewed as the gold standard when it comes to getting flawless, radiant skin. But how do the Koreans do it? From double cleansing to application techniques, I’ll break down the nitty-gritty into simple steps that are easy to replicate in your own skin-care routine.

1. Never Skip Sunscreen

Wonder why the average Korean always seem to look decades younger than his/her actual age? The secret lies in wearing sunscreen every single day — a tip that not only applies to the female demographics, but also men, and even children!

Choose a sunscreen that’s labeled “broad-spectrum” with a minimum of SPF 30.

For those who are constantly out in the sun, opt for SPF 50 and higher to ensure adequate sun protection.

2. Always Double-Cleanse

A blank canvas is the foundation of a great artist, similar to how clean skin is the canvas for the rest of your skin-care products to go on seamlessly.

Sunscreens, waterproof mascara, and glittery eyeshadows can be tough to remove from your skin. Even some waterproof makeup removers may fail to wash away all makeup debris completely. This is where double-cleansing comes in to save the day.

Double-cleansing is the epitome of Korean skin-care culture, as essential as kimchi is to the Korean diet.

As its name suggests, double-cleansing is a two-part face-cleansing technique.

  • Step 1: Use an oil-based cleanser or cleansing balm to melt away stubborn, waterproof makeup effortlessly.
  • Step 2: Follow up with a low-pH cleanser to remove any leftover residue while rebalancing your skin’s pH level.

While it sounds like a hassle, double-cleansing your skin is actually quite therapeutic once you’ve done it a few times. After all, you only need to do double-cleanse if you’ve worn makeup or sunscreen that day.

Feel free to skip the double-cleanse when you wake up in the morning.

3. Go Cleanser-Free in the Morning

Yes, you’ve read that right — skip your facial cleanser for your morning wash. The rationale behind this is that face cleansers are in general, stripping on your skin if they’re used too often. It’s also why you shouldn’t wash your face with a cleanser more than twice a day.

Washing your face with only warm water helps your skin to retain its natural oils. This prevents it from becoming overly dry, a tip that’s suitable for all skin types but especially those with dry and/or sensitive skin.

If you have oily or acne-prone skin and don’t feel up to the #nocleanser challenge in the morning, don’t worry. Switch your regular facial cleanser for micellar water. Most micellar waters are designed to remove excess sebum and pore-clogging debris without disrupting your skin’s moisture levels.

4. Don’t Dry Your Face With a Towel After Cleansing

This tip seems counterintuitive but actually comes highly recommended by Korean dermatologists and celebrities.

The reasoning behind this step is that rubbing your face with a towel will likely irritate your skin and potentially introduce it to the bacteria living in the said towel.

Besides that, towel-drying leaves your skin completely moisture-free, which is a major no-no in the eyes of any self-respecting Korean.

It’s best to let your skin air-dry as this way, your skin will absorb and retain moisture leftover from cleansing. You can also gently pat your skin with your fingers to speed up the air-drying process.

For those who are still not completely used to this seemingly bizarre method, switch your towel for a clean and dry cotton pad instead. This will help to whisk away the extra moisture without leaving your skin completely dry and exposed to acne-triggering bacteria.

5. After Cleansing and Before Toning, Place a Hot Towel on Your Skin

Image by ErikaWittlieb from Pixabay

I promise that this extra step is going to level up the rest of your skin-care routine!

Putting a hot towel on your face opens up your pores so that they can better absorb all the goodness later on, i.e. your toner, essence, and serum. Also, this step will only take a few minutes, so lie back, relax, and listen to one of your favorite songs.

6. Apply Products on Damp Skin

‘Tis the reason for all the hype about not drying your skin completely earlier on.

If you’ve followed the previous step of using a hot towel, the heat will create the perfect dampness for applying your product right after cleansing. This boosts the absorption rate of the product so that your skin drinks up every drop.

7. Hydrate Your Skin Throughout the Day

Often, Korean skin-care products are centered around increasing your skin’s moisture levels — Korean-made toners are usually hydrating rather than astringent or drying; ultra-moisturizing sleeping masks are also invented by Koreans so that waking up to baby-soft skin is an everyday reality.

It’s easy to see why hydration is the ethos of Korean skin-care.

Hydrated skin is soft, supple, and mimics the coveted “smooth baby skin” status. Rarely is well-hydrated skin accompanied by fine lines, dullness, or dryness — skin concerns that are best banished and left invisible.

So how can you keep your skin hydrated throughout the day?

If you’re not wearing any makeup or sunscreen, keep a tub of your moisturizer close by, preferably on your desk or in your handbag. Dab on a moisturizing layer every few hours or when your skin feels dry. Increase the frequency if you’re in an air-conditioned room or if the weather is drier than usual.

Refresh Face Mist
Image of Refresh Face Mist by YORA

Of course, this tip won’t help much per se, if your skin already has BB cream or foundation on it. Instead, reach for a facial mist to keep your skin hydrated without interfering with your makeup. Choose one that’s also formulated with antioxidants like YORA’s Refresh Face Mist to give your skin extra glow and protect it against environmental pollutants.

Last but not least, remember to top up your water glass too! After all, true skin-care is not just what you apply on your skin, but also what you put into your body.

8. Keep Your Sheet Masks in the Fridge

The one-sheet-mask-a-day trend has already taken over the world. But if you’ve just joined the crowd, here’s an easy-to-follow tip for you: Refrigerate your sheet mask before putting it on your face.

The lovely coolness is not only a wonderful pick-me-up during summertime, but it also doubles up as an effective de-puffer and redness-reducer for sensitive skin types.

And this tip isn’t just for your sheet masks. Placing your other skin-care products in the fridge, such as serums or moisturizers, will benefit your skin too.

facetory fridge
Image by FaceTory from the brand’s website

In fact, skin-care brands like FaceTory have rolled out their own mini-fridges to help you house all of your skin-care essentials. You’ll never have to complain about your sheet masks not being cool enough anymore, pun intended.

9. Get Enough Sleep

Beauty sleep is non-negotiable when it comes to healthy, glowing, and blemish-free skin. Why is that?

When you sleep, your skin is given a chance to reset itself.

Free radicals that trigger premature skin aging and pigmentation are removed.

Collagen that’s essential for smooth and supple skin is regulated by the human growth hormone, which is produced during sleep.

Skin cells renew and regenerate at a faster rate, slowing down the signs of aging, and preserving your youthful image for as long as possible.

Given the numerous benefits that sleep has for your skin, it’s worthwhile to ensure you get enough sleep each night (as a rule of thumb, 8 hours is the ideal range).

LANEIGE - Water Sleeping Mask 2.3 oz/ 70 mL Allure Best of Beauty Seal allure 2017 Best of Beauty Award Winner
Image by Laneige from Sephora

To further aid your skin’s healing process during sleep, slather on an overnight sleep mask like the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. It’s so highly raved that it won Allure‘s Best of Beauty Award in 2017. That should tell you something about its effectiveness.

Skin-Care Tips so Easy You’ll Want to Try Them for Yourself Now

All these tips are easy to follow and even easier to replicate in the comfort of your bathroom. Of course, including all of them will undoubtedly add a good 15–30 minutes to your beauty routine. But hey all the extra time spent will just bring you several steps closer to the coveted “glass skin” status!

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