K-BEAUTY IS FOR EVERYONEGently Nurturing Skin With Consistency And Personalization
Are Key To The Lit-From-Within Glow
& Healthy Hydrated Dewy Look
As a wellness company, we are focused on bringing our customers products that are a safe way to access over all well- being. We decided to take a deep dive into Korean Beauty because the approach is aligned with our philosophy of gentle and consistent care of the skin to achieve long-term results. In order to build our selection we consulted Bobae Choi, Korean Beauty expert and esthetician. Below are her insights into the category.
What is your personal relationship with skincare? What was your journey – was it something passed down you from family members?
Some of my earliest memories are of me and my mom watching TV with cucumber slices on our faces. I loved watching her take off her makeup at night and put on all her creams and potions, do her facial massage and lightly slap her face. She said it helped with circulation. When I was about 10, she started me on my own skincare routine. When I got burnt out from working in fashion PR, I decided to go back to school to become an esthetician. I felt like it was a natural return to something I’ve always loved and have been interested in.
How does Korean women’s skincare differ from what we are taught in the United States?
Health is wealth in Korean culture. There is a great importance in eating healthily, taking care of your body and your skin is naturally an extension of that. Skincare is also not just a “woman” thing, it’s for everybody! My dad and brothers all religiously cleanse, use serums, moisturizer and sunscreen. I also feel like there is a long term approach to skincare in Korea. Taking care of your skin properly in your teens and 20s will give you better skin in your 30s and beyond. You wouldn’t work out for a couple of days and wonder why you don’t have a six pack. It’s the same for skincare as well. Korean skincare is also more focused on protecting and being gentle with your skin, especially if you have acne problems. I feel like western skincare is more about addressing problems as they arise and sort of beating your skin into submission with harsh products.
What are the top 10 steps to Korean beauty?
The ten steps include:
1) Oil Cleanser
2) Foam Cleanser
6) Serum / Ampoule
7) Sheet Mask
8) Eye Cream
Double cleansing is particularly important if you wear makeup and/or sunscreen. An oil or balm cleanser helps dissolve makeup and sunscreen and the second cleanser will help get rid of any remaining residue. Exfoliation will slough off dead skin cells so your skin is brighter and can better absorb the remaining products. A toner will balance your skin’s pH level, moisturize and prep your skin for the next products. An essence is more watery and more quickly absorbing than a serum, and this adds moisture to the skin. Follow with a serum or ampoule, which has more concentrated active ingredients to tackle different skin concerns. Then follow with eye cream and moisturizer. Always remember to wear sunblock during the day! You shouldn’t feel like you need to do all ten steps every day. K-beauty philosophy is about customization, not excess. Having a wardrobe of products can help you customize your own routine.
Let’s talk sunscreen. What makes Korean sunscreen superior to American sunscreen?
I think the main difference in using Korean sunscreen is the texture and the ingredients used for protection. The advantage in using Korean sunscreen is the use of new chemical filters such as Tinosorb and Uvinul A Plus in addition to mineral filters which protect against both UVA and UVB rays. The formulations tend to be much more cosmetically elegant, less greasy and heavy with skin beneficial ingredients. Some can double as a moisturizer and makeup primer even though they aren’t marketed as such.
What is the Korean beauty approach to lip care?
I use an oil cleanser to help get rid of stubborn lip tints at the end of the day and finish off with a lip sleeping mask, or a lip patch if I’m feeling fancy. And don’t forget the SPF lip balm!
What are some of the more innovative skincare ingredients used in Korean beauty?
Korean skin care uses a combination of naturally derived ingredients and target-oriented chemicals to benefit your skin. One of my favorites is Hanbang (한방), is traditional Korean herbal medicine. It’s mainly includes the use of herbal remedies to treat illnesses and maintain overall health, focused on native herbs and with a heavy emphasis on fermentation techniques. And it’s now being used in the beauty industry by many Korean brands. The beauty of Hanbang lies in the synergy and interaction between the different herbal ingredients. These combinations help maximize the effects of each ingredient and increase the overall benefit to the skin.
What are the current trends?
I think with maskne, irritation and general stressed out skin that comes from the generally terrible year we’ve had, we’re seeing a lot of centella included in a lot of new products. Centella Asiatica, or cica as it’s called in k-beauty, is an herb primarily used for its healing properties. It’s an anti-inflammatory ingredient that helps speed up the healing process for your skin. It also helps soothe redness and calm general irritation which makes it perfect for acne prone skin and skin that suffers from rosacea and eczema. We’re also seeing products that have better, more simpler formulations and moving away from including silicones, which just clog pores and irritating essential oils.
Top product recommendations?
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser
My favorite cleanser! It does such a good job of thoroughly cleansing your skin without making it feel tight or irritated.
Sulwhasoo Timetreasure Invigorating Eye Cream
I’m an eye cream junkie so I’ve tried them all. Such a comforting, rich formula without being too heavy or gives you milia.
Dr Ceuracle Royal Vita Propolis Ampoule
I’ve been obsessed with the healing and anti inflammatory properties of propolis for the past 4 years and this ampoule soothes redness and helps a lot when your skin is not happy, especially during that time of the month.
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask
A little miracle that helps calm and brighten my skin overnight, it really helps make me look human again after a late night!