Korean skin care routines have become a trending topic recently. We know there are loads of Korean skincare products out there - but how does Korean beauty work?
Also known as K-beauty, the answer to the question of ‘how does Korean beauty work?’ is simple. The essence of Korean skin care is layering, lots of layering! Many Korean skin care routines consist of many, many steps. Between 8 and 10, in fact! Whew, that’s a lot of work. And a lot of money!
Korean skin care is not as much work or money as it sounds, actually. The 8 or 10 steps are not expected to be completed every single day. In fact, some of the products involved are only to be used as little as once a week. On a daily basis, you might be using around 5 products. For some of us, we are using almost that many anyway!
Phew! This is sounding more manageable. But how do I do it?
Glass Skin - What is it
The glass skin routine went viral after aspiring makeup artist Ellie Choi tweeted about it. She had her own Korean skin care routine designed especially to achieve what she called ‘glass skin.’
So, what is this glass skin? The idea is that your skin is so clear and clean that it’s almost reflective. It’s like the utopian standard for the skin. It’s really just a fancy way of saying clear skin.
The Glass Skin Process
How does Korean beauty work exactly? What can you do to get glass skin? Getting the perfect skin has got to be a challenge, or everyone would have it. Unlike other Korean skin care recommendations, the Glass Skin routine does not use specific products. Instead, it is an 8-step process.
1. Cover with Cleanser - twice! Step one is really two steps as it instructs you to cleanse twice. First, with cleansing oil or micellar water. Then, with a foam or cream cleanser.
2. Exert with an Exfoliator. Exfoliation is essential for sultry smooth skin. This should be done a few times a week, not every day for the best results.
3. Target with a Toner. Toners are known for drying out your skin. This is not so with many Korean toning products. They contain naturally hydrating ingredients such as green tea or floral water.
4. Embellish with an Essence. It’s no joke. Essences are really a thing that exists, which people put on their skin. They are basically the less intense version of a serum. They target specific issues, so you’re supposed to choose one to suit your skin. For example, one that targets redness or pore size.
5. Smooth on a Serum or Ampoule. You think we’re kidding now, right? What is an ampoule?! It’s simply a more concentrated version of a serum. The intention of adding a serum or ampoule is to nourish your skin with multiple active ingredients.
6. Manage to Moisturize. Hopefully, most of us already know we should be doing this. Whether we actually moisturize or not is a different issue. But it’s essential for skin hydration and a clear and clean look.
7. Elicit an Eye Cream. Under-eye bags will certainly distract from your now-perfect skin. Get rid of these pesky problems with a great eye cream. The area under your eyes tends to be drier than the rest of your face, so go for something super hydrating.
8. Match a Mask. For great Korean skin care, finish it all off with a great facemask. There’s no better way to feel thoroughly refreshed and invigorated than with a great mask.
One trending product is snail essence, to be used in step 4. We’re not kidding. Named snail mucin, this is known to hydrate our skin and prevent aging. If you can stand putting snail products on your face, it’s fantastic for your skin!
Another interesting popular product is licorice toner. Licorice applied to your skin can prevent your skin from tanning in the sun. This is what makes it a popular part of a Korean skin care routine, as Koreans are known for wanting to maintain a pale complexion.
What even is an Ampoule, Anyway?
We mentioned ampoules a little bit earlier, on step 5 of the glass skin routine. If you’ve never heard of them before, you might still be asking, ‘what is an ampoule?’. It’s a supercharged serum, containing multiple active ingredients. It’s a critical answer to the question of how does Korean beauty work? It cannot be used too often, but instead for a short time. You use it if you’re having a certain skin problem you’d like to target. You can find them in tiny bottles. They often come with a little dropper for application on your skin. You may not have heard of them before, but hey, now if someone asks you ‘what is an ampoule?’ you’ll sound so knowledgeable!
It’s a lot of steps, but remember you don’t have to do all 8 every day to achieve ‘glass skin.’ Give it a go for a few weeks and see what difference it makes to your complexion.