Guide to a Natural Korean Skincare Routine
Over the last few years, we've tested many of the wonderful skincare products that Korea has created. We wanted to share with you the best of the best that we found along the way.
The greatness of Korean skincare is no new story. They pride themselves as leaders in the beauty world.
Here is the famous daily Korean skincare routine, including the natural and/or organic products we like to use at each step:
Step 1 and 2: Cleanse & Wash
In the morning, wash your face with water alone. In the evening, to remove makeup, sunscreen and other impurities first use an oil-based cleanser. Our favorite oil wash is from The Face Shop: Therapy Serum Infused. Following this, use a water-based cleanser. This removes any remaining residue and leaves skin supple. The key is to find a gentle formula that won’t strip or dry out your skin. We love Herb Day Cleansing Foam, with Aloe.
Step 3: Exfoliation
A good exfoliator is gentle but still gets rid of the extra dead skin cells. We love Black Sugar by Skinfood. It's full of vitamins, uses natural sugar grains for exfoliation and smells good enough to eat!
Step 4: Tone
Toners are meant to hydrate, moisturize, and balance your skin’s pH level after cleansing. Our absolute favorite toner is Organic Flowers Toner, Deep Rich by WHAMISA which uses natural fermentation (just like healthy Kimchi for your gut)! This reflects Korean beauty heritage, which is steeped in natural ingredients passed down from generation to generation. This tradition continues today with formulations that tend to shun harsh chemicals and draw from the Earth instead.
Step 5: Essence
The main purpose of an essence is to moisturize the skin and pack it with extra vitamins and minerals. Rich with honey goodness, we've picked Secret Of Sahara Oil Essence by Huxley. This lovely essence is good for hydration, using prickly pear seed oil, which is full of skin-benefiting antioxidants, vitamin E and linoleic acid. Yerba mate leaf, acai berry and camu camu further boost antioxidants and help strengthen skin’s moisture barrier.
Step 6 and 7: Serum & Ampoule
These products are formulated with specific active ingredients for different skin needs, e.g hyper-pigmentation or dehydration. Our favorite is Ginseng Serum by I'm From. This natural serum is infused with 7.98% essence from six-year old Red Ginseng to improve complexion and give elasticity.
To follow, Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule works a dream. One weird and wonderful item in Korean skincare is the use of snail filtrate. This wonderful ampoule contains 80% snail filtrate and works hard to reduce the appearance of blemishes and scarring to help even out your skin tone. The addition of hyaluronic acid and cocoa (which is full of anti-oxidants) leaves your skin feeling revived, healthy and protected.
Step 8: Moisturizer
An absolute necessity in any skincare routine. Our favorite Korean moisturizer is another product by Whamsia, the Organic Flowers Lotion. This lightweight lotion is enriched with organic shea butter, hazel seed and olive fruit oils. Botanical extracts from aloe replace water for lasting hydration. Ingredients are supercharged with our signature fermentation process for maximum efficacy.
Step 9: Sheet Mask
An extra for every day use or even once a week, a sheet mask gives an extra bit of goodness to your skin, depending on what you feel your skin is needing that day. The sheet masks from The Face Shop include real goodness from different plants, vegetables and fruits including: aloe, tea tree, shea butter, bamboo, lotus flower, calendula, cucumber, blueberries, lemon, pomegranate, lingzhi and many more.
Step 10: Sunscreen
Sun does the most damages to our skin, causing aging and wrinkles. Sunscreen is the last and most important step (for during the day only!) We love COSRX - Aloe Soothing Sun Cream.
Step 11: Sleeping with silk pillowcases and sleep-masks:
All of these skincare products are wasted if you don't sleep on silk! Other material literally absorbs a lot of the moisture and products from your skin, while silk helps with ant-aging and also stops sleep lines forming over time.