We love that K-beauty is all about cleansing and refining for healthy skin by following a regular skincare routine. It uses some of our favourite traditional ingredients combined with exciting new scientific formulas to balance and nourish your face.
We select some of the best for you to choose from at Kosame - it really is the best job in the world! But creating a personalised routine from scratch with the huge variety of different skincare products out there? That’s not always an easy task, trust us.
Your Korean skincare routine needs to treat YOUR skin type and skin problems. Let us help! Start with the 8 basic steps to creating a Korean beauty routine.
Even if you wash your face at night, cleansing your face of impurities and toxins that have developed by the morning is essential. Cleanse your face before locking in revitalising nutrients with toner, essence and moisturising creams. You can select from water or oil-based cleansers depending on your skin type. Remember that we are cleansing our skin, not scrubbing it raw! The first cleansing step is about gently removing your dead skin cells with a soft, hydrating cleanser.
You can also try a Korean Double Cleanse, starting with oil cleansers to draw out sebum and other oil impurities, like Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing oil
. The second step is a water-based cleanser to remove dirt and toxins, and prevent acne breakouts.
The toner stage is all about refining your skin texture and balancing your skin pH. We believe this is one of the most important parts of your K-beauty routine!
Innisfree Green Barley Peeling Toner is our top pick because it’s so good to exfoliate dead skin cells. Want to know a secret? We use toner immediately after getting out of the shower to prevent our skin dehydrating. A good toner will not only balance your skin and create an even surface for applying makeup, but also help your skin better absorb the following essences, moisturizers and more.
Essence, besides sounding so elegant, is a concentrated serum that’s designed to refresh your complexion and help your skin grow super strong, hydrated and clear. We like to think of essence as the ultimate moisturiser. It’s packed with ingredients to target skin problems!
You’ll only need to apply a drop or two of your essence – massage or pat the essence into your skin, even if you’ve got oily skin and especially in the depths of winter. Our skin produces sebum to keep it hydrated when it’s frequently drying out. By using a deeply moisturising essence (like Innisfree’s sumptuously creamy Jeju Lava Seawater Deep Essence
) you’ll keep your skin moist and reduce future sebum production.
Ampoule and Serum
Korean ampoules and serums
are concentrated formulas with varying active ingredients. If you have a specific skincare problem, this is the K-skincare step to get excited about! Anti-aging, dry skin, breakouts, dark spots and more can all be treated with light ampoules or rich serums. Everyone at Kosame has their own serum – choosing the right one for your skin is very personal. A good place to start is with Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum EX
which is packed full of aromatic herbs to target the signs of aging. Did you know it’s better to start anti-aging treatments as early as possible to retain your youthful glow?! After the essence, apply a small amount of ampoule or serum to specific areas, or all over your face.
Eye creams, like primera organience cure eye cream
for sensitive skin, aren’t just for those with dry, tired eyes. Keeping the area around your eyes and your eyelids hydrated is a key step in everyone’s K-beauty routine. The skin here is super delicate and dries out easily, especially when you’re trying out new K-beauty makeup items every day. Moisturisers aren’t always enough. By using an eye cream, you not only moisturise and strengthen this delicate part of your face, but you can also brighten dark under-eye shadows and prep your skin for makeup.
Next you should apply a light moisturiser. Depending on the dryness of your skin and how moisturising your ampoule/serum was, you may only need to apply a very small amount of a rich cream like Hanyul’s Pure Artemisia Watery Calming Cream.
The main purpose of your moisturiser is to restore the natural moisture balance of your skin and keep it hydrated and dewy throughout the day – water based moisturisers (check out Primera Alpine Berry Watery Intensive Cream) are a good choice for deep hydration of oily or sensitive skin.
Your moisturiser is a protective layer – you’ve cared for your skin with cleansers, toners and essences, now you need to lock it in.
Protecting your skin from UV rays is an essential part of your Korean beauty regime to prevent the visual effects of aging. We’d recommend Dr. Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti-Dust Sun Gel - which will protect your skin against
UV rays and pollutants.
Exposure to the elements, including the sun, wind and city pollutants, damages your skin. Aftercare is important too. Soothe your skin with an extra dab of moisturiser after spending the day in the sun or try Dr. Jart + Soothing Hydra Solution Sheetmask
which is always so gentle on our skin.
This is my personal favourite step. Its your chance to add some extra beauty to your healthy, glowing skin! After your foundation, which can also cover the sun care step of the Korean beauty regime, enhance your look with bright colours and sensual shades. We’re crazy about Laneige’s 2-Tone Lip Bar at the moment, but you can choose any K-cosmetics you need to express your inner self. Make sure that your makeup won’t dry out your skin or deposit acne-causing molecules into your pores. Even at this step, caring for your skin is of the utmost importance.
At the End of The Day…
Before you go to bed, there are a few more K-beauty products you can use.
At this time of day, we just want to get into bed and enjoy some beauty sleep… but if you just stay awake 10 more minute to apply some K-beauty gems, you’ll be rewarded! During sleep, our bodies are repairing and restoring our skin, expelling dead skin cells and resting dry and tired eyes. We can help our skin restore better by using overnight masks and creams.
And don’t you dare go to sleep with makeup still on! Surely, we don’t have to tell you how bad that is for your skin? Unclog your pores for a refreshing night sleep with a soothing cleansing balm.
Primera Smooth Cleansing Cream
is our current favourite as we love the cooling effect of aloe vera on our skin.