Simplifying Korean Beauty One Step at a Time


By Kira Sparkles

I became obsessed with Korean Beauty - or K-Beauty - about three years ago when visiting my friend Tiffany. Looking at her bathroom counter, I couldn't help noticing her routine! K-Beauty's packaging comes in a variety of fun shapes and sizes to display their products. It's SO CUTE! Exfoliators in coffee cups! Lip balms in peaches! Cleansers with cute animals!

The first time I looked into what K-Beauty was, I was met with article upon article about a "10 step method" that felt overwhelming and bank-breaking. Since I've had three years worth of trial and error, I thought it would be worth sharing these experiences because I'm always asked: Is Korean Beauty really ten steps?!

Yes. And no.

Continue

Seriously, how cute!
The steps, according to Charlotte Cho of Sokoglam, are as follows:
1. Oil Cleanser
2. Foam Cleanser
3. Exfoliator
4. Toner
5. Essence
6. Treatments
7. Sheet Mask
8. Eye Cream
9. Face Cream
10. SPF

Yikes! Let's clean this up a little bit.

1.Double Cleanse
2. Exfoliator
3. Toner
4. Treatment
5. Sheet Mask
6. Creams

To simplify THIS list even further, keep in mind you won't be using all of these steps every single day, but let's break it down.

The most outstanding difference with Korean beauty is the 'double cleanse' method, meaning you use an oil cleanser followed by a foam cleanser. The oil gets rid of excess oil, your make-up and any pollutants. The foam washes away sweat and dirt. If you have oily skin, this seems counterintuitive, but think of adding water to oil. It just doesn't mix! However, when you use a cosmetic grade oil, it contains an emulsifying agent that traps all the excess oil and washes it away with water. So, unfortunately, coconut oil alone won't do that.

I love Banila Clean It Zero!

With the first two steps out of the way, we move on to exfoliating. Despite all the products on the market that include a daily exfoliator, you should really only exfoliate about once a week. Over-exfoliating can lead to oilier skin.

           With a quarter-sized amount each week, this tube will last me forever.

After that you have toning. Toner is made to prep your skin and helps absorb the next products you put on your face. Always use a gentle toner! Anything acidic can be too harsh. Your toner SHOULD NOT have alcohol. This dries out your skin!

It smells just like peaches!
The next two steps I'm also combining because this is your treatment step which includes, essences, serums, boosters, and ampoules. Some have a watery consistency, some are more viscous. Either way, you use these to treat problems specific to your skin. There are products made for oily skin, aging skin, and dry skin. You can find treatments for acne, blackheads, and dark spots. You can use these as much as you want.

This snail's happy to give you a boost!

After that comes the sheet mask. These can actually be used in place of your treatments if they include the benefits you want. Or they can be used in conjunction with your treatments for a powerful boost. You can use these as much as the lord or your bank move you. I'm a fan of these after a night of partying with friends because they hydrate the absolute hell out of your skin and will make you look refreshed NO MATTER WHAT. Seriously. Try it. You're welcome.

Pop, pop it's glow time!
Lastly, and depending on the time of day, apply your creams. Your eye cream, day cream and night cream. The difference between day and night cream is the thickness. Day creams should be light and night creams will be thicker and heavier to absorb all those delicious nutrients while you sleep. Your day routine should include your day cream and a sunscreen. Your night routine should include your eye cream and night cream.

This honey cream keeps your skin moist and even-toned.
The most important step in all of this is to use whatever products you love! If you love a cleanser from Skinfood but the toner from Clinique works better for you, do it! Mix and match, find your perfect formula! If you love what you're using now and just want to add a couple things, great! The goal at the end of the day is to look and feel your best. 

Do you have experience with Korean Beauty products? Will you give them a try?
Kira is a passionate, outspoken writer keeping it real for the people. She's a UF graduate with a soft spot for cats. Read more of her work at her blog KiraSparkles!

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