Korean skincare is often described as elaborate, extensive and complicated. The infamous “10 step routine” ideology is now known worldwide and has been presented in the media as the definition of Korean beauty. But thankfully, this isn’t entirely accurate. A Korean skincare routine absolutely does not need to include a bazillion steps. Korean skincare philosophy is more based around the idea of selecting products your skin needs. In today’s post, we’ve created a streamlined morning routine that anyone can follow, regardless of skin type or condition. This routine will ensure skin is clean, prepped, hydrated, moisturized, and protected in 4 simple steps.
Not everyone feels the need to cleanse in the morning and that’s totally fine. But personally, I move around a lot in my sleep and I often have residue from my previous night’s routine, so I always do a morning cleanse. A gentle, low pH cleanser is vital. You don’t want something drying to start the day, which makes the Innisfree Green Tea Morning Gel Cleanser a great option.
This mild gel cleanser is formulated with the powerful ingredient of Innisfree’s “Beauty Green Tea”, a type of green tea that is organically grown in their Jeju Green Tea Garden. The gel texture of the product means that while you will not experience a typical foaming cleanse, it still works well to clear the skin of excessive sebum and waste without stripping the skin of its natural moisture. This is ideal for starting your day with a fresh face!
Immediately after cleansing you should replenish the moisture in your skin. A hydrating toner or essence helps to hydrate the skin and it also prepares the skin to absorb your moisturizer more efficiently. There are many options for this step depending on your skin type, from extremely light, liquid options to more viscous gel type products.
A current go-to is the best-selling Primera Miracle Seed Essence. This essence is a firm favourite in Korea and has become famous for its hydrating, texture-refining, skin-smoothing results. The key ingredient in the watery liquid is the 93.1% Lotus Seed Extract, which contains high levels of amino acids and linoleic acid. Not only does the extract help moisturize the skin, but it also helps protect against daily environmental aggressors. Ideal for a daily essence.
A good day-time moisturizer is light enough so as not to leave the skin feeling weighed down nor oily yet sufficient in formula to retain the skin’s moisture throughout the day. Again, this will depend on your skin type and personal preference.
For oily, acne-prone skin, Dr. Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine 80 Cream can help reduce inflammation while soothing sensitivities. The lightweight cream is formulated with 80% tea tree extract, tea tree oil, and panthenol. These ingredients help heal and soothe acne but also moisturize the skin well.
The Laneige Water Bank Moisture Cream Ex is a fantastic choice. It deeply moisturizes the skin, leaving it supple and soft. Because it’s such an intense moisturizer, you’re able to use the smallest amount each morning and yet it doesn’t leave skin feeling heavy.
If you have particularly dry skin, the IOPE Derma Repair Cica Cream could be for you. The rich texture provides instant relief to dry, cracked skin and soothes those areas. It can work well for sensitive skin and helps your natural moisture barrier repair and restore itself. A strong moisture barrier helps keep skin in the healthiest, glowing condition.
This is a non-negotiable step and a product that everyone should be using, regardless of the season or time spent outside. Not only is SPF the greatest anti-aging tool to prevent wrinkles, fine lines, and dark spots, but it also protects us against the very real possibility of skin cancer. Wearing it is a very easy step to incorporate for both appearance and health of your skin.
Innisfree’s Aqua Water Drop Suncream is a broad-spectrum protector because it has SPF 50+, to protect against UVB rays, as well as PA++++, which is the highest protection on the market against UVA rays. Protecting against both is important because they both damage us. UVB rays penetrate and damage the outermost layers of the skin whereas UVA rays penetrate the skin more deeply and over time can lead to premature aging and skin cancer. The Innisfree sun cream is lightweight enough for daily wear and absorbs easily with no white, ashy cast left on the skin. It’s completely wearable under makeup and it’s a favorite with Kosame customers!
And that’s your 4-step morning routine! I like to maintain this routine but switch in and out products as my skin condition changes according to my environment, seasons or hormones. For example, I’ll use heavier products in winter, more soothing products when my skin has sensitivity, and lighter products during the hot months. These four steps are simple, enjoyable, and cover everything skin needs on a day to day basis!
Let us know your morning routine, we’d love to hear.
Photo from Toa Heftiba
Katherine Spowart from www.skinfullofseoul.com