What Makes Korean Skincare Different?

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     Koreans are notorious for their god-tier skin that always looks flawless, with or without makeup. There’s a reason that good skincare is often equated to them, and that’s because their skincare routine is a little different from what we’re used to, and here’s how:

10-step skincare routine

     Some of us take the easy road and simply wash, cleanse, and maybe moisturize, but that simply won’t cut it. While some might argue that 10 steps are excessive, there’s a reason people end up doing it anyway, and the proof lies in how enviably flawless a Korean’s skin is. If you want to reap what you sow, you gotta put in the hard work!

Double cleanse

     We’ve been led to believe that cleansing once will suffice, and for some people, that’s the case, but in Korea’s skincare routine, there are two steps for cleansing-- one with an oil cleanser, and another with a foam or cream cleanser. Your skin will be squeaky clean after that.

Emulsion, Serum, Essence, Ampoule?

     These words may be familiar to some, completely foreign to others, or mean a different way that’s unrelated to skincare, but the question stands-- what are the differences between these four skincare items, all considered essential and part of 10-step skincare routine by Koreans?

     They’re all forms of liquids or gels that are charged with powerful ingredients that help target certain skin problems. As simply put as possible, emulsions are light, water-based and less concentrated than the rest. There’s a fine line between serums and essences because both are evolving and are being developed into either thicker or thinner substances, and ampoules are thicker and the most concentrated of the lot.

     Sokmin Yu, Head of Korean cosmetics lab Cosmax USA Sokmin Yu puts it best in saying, “There may be small differences in texture, but now the lines are increasingly blurry”.

Sheet masks

     This is something probably everyone knows by now, whether or not you’re into Korean or even just regular, old-fashioned skincare. Sheet masks provide relaxation and extra moisture for after all those excruciating steps, and became intensely popular after being featured in several recent Korean dramas, and used by Korean idols.

Sleeping masks

     Koreans like to keep it extra in everything they do, and with how important they deem skincare, it really should be no surprise that they’ve added one other extra step to their skincare routine while you’re asleep. Usually put in tubes or jars, sleeping masks are to be put on before you sleep, and to be left on until you wake up. This added even more moisture, for dewy, fresh skin.

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