The Korean culture is conservative, urban and sophisticated. It emphasizes on anyone being the best and doing what Koreans can do best at school, work and extracurricular activities. It also involves anyone’s appearance, so it is essential to care about our looks. Lots of people can be very fashion-forward that they always look for the next big thing. It is easy to go trendspotting because when it happens, everyone participates.
When it comes to skincare, a lot of kids are taught the proper techniques at a young age. It may involve the use of SPF, moisturization, and exfoliation so it may be second nature to them when they grow up.
It may not be just for the girls. Boys also invest in the skincare routine. There are a lot of men’s products in the market. There are even some that have a specific design for people in the military.
There is good skincare available to everyone in Korea.
You can find shops everywhere on most corners and also in subway stations. All of them have different approaches to skincare. Korean consumers focus on the prevention and want to get to the root of their skin problems. These people consistently use products more than once so they can have immediate results. It means the application of a moisturizer and SPF 30+ before the appearance of dark spots and fine lines. It is not just about hoping for the best by covering them with makeup.
We believe that with effort and time, anyone can be in control of their skin and you wouldn’t have to react to the way it acts. I wholeheartedly believe that everyone should approach skincare that way. One of the mottos that I regularly follow is that prevention is better than treatment. It can save money and time in maintaining the health and appearance of anyone’s skin. It is so much better than scrambling to fix the problems that arise.
The K-Spa or Korean Spa
K-Spas or jmjilbang are essential to K-Beauty that they are so different from the traditional American spas. The spa days here can become pricey, and they are mostly in reservation for special occasions. You may think that it involved cucumber on your eyes, quiet rooms, and fluffy robes but that is not the case with K-Spas. Initially, they are affordable and are open 24/7, so anyone would be able to use them. A lot of people go there with a group of friends or their families so they can hang out and become clean together. K-spas are an all-day affair, you don’t have to schedule an appointment, and it is okay for you to leave when it is complete. You may even read, watch television, nap or eat at the restaurants in any K-spa.
Always remember that K-Spas may involve nudity for various treatments and showering. If you want to go inside a spa, always make sure to keep this in mind. Don’t worry since there are separate rooms for men and women. There are also lounging clothes for co-ed places.
Here are a few of the highlights of a K-Spa experience:
Before you enter the pool, you will have to shower first. A lot of hot tubs and pools may have various temperatures that range from piping hot to icy cold. Each of them has a specific purpose like relaxing muscles or increasing circulation.
Any of these pools may be full with herbal or mineral treatments that can be great for anyone’s skin like lavender oil and Epsom salts.
They strategically placed the jets for the relief of joint pain and tension.
Body Scrubs and Treatments
You may request for a body scrub that involves serious exfoliation. If you have sensitive skin, make sure to tell them about it beforehand. An employee will scrub you from head to toe in your underwear, but it is usually with an Italy Towel.
You will eventually see your dead skin cells coming off in little gray balls that may be gross but satisfying. Most treatments finish with a shampoo and a quick massage of the head and neck. Your body will get an overall shine that you never thought was possible.
Rooms or Saunas
Every room or sauna may have different benefits like rejuvenation, healing, and resting. We recommend that you use it from ten to twenty minutes.
Here are the different types of rooms or saunas the K-Spas offer:
- Bulgama: They also call this room the “hot sweat room” that is similar to a pizza oven for your skin. It is more than 200 degrees and works to remove the toxins and loosen your muscles.
- Ice: This closes the pores as well as tightens and firms the skin.
- Himalayan salt: It includes the minerals calcium, magnesium, and iron to improve your circulation and respiratory system. It makes you relax and helps anyone with their skin problems.
- Jade: Jade is excellent for arthritis. It can improve overall health and provide stress relief.
- Clay: Clay can help with detoxification and relaxation.
In case you want to go to a K-Spa, check them out online and read their reviews.
How is K-Beauty Different?
These are some of the ways the K-Beauty can stand out from the crowd:
- Research may go into the offering of the best ingredients. Korean consumers usually have sensitive skin which is why companies work hard to provide gentle and effective ingredients. They do this by researching and listening to the people’s feedback and opinions.
- Affordable and effective formulas. Skincare is not a luxury in Korea. Since there is a widespread demand for it, people can be very picky about it. They are aware of what they want from their skincare, and these people will not pay a fortune to get what they want. There are companies here that sell the best products that have reasonable prices. There are sheet masks in Korea that you can buy for just $1!
- What is Brand Loyalty? There may be numerous options out there since European and American skincare brands are also available here. Consumers may rotate the brand and products that they use and utilize a lot of them. You may not be able to find products from only one skincare line inside their bathroom. They emphasize on the new and not on the classics. Companies need to immediately create new products so they can keep up with the consumers or else the people may just go to the competition. It results in innovative products that can make them one step ahead of what the consumers want.
- The packaging’s design matters. There is a lot of competition among K-Beauty products, so they need to be able to grab the attention of the customers. They can do this by having an aesthetically pleasing design that can be enjoyable for any user. They have flowers, anime, and pandas as well as a range of refined and sophisticated elegance. I was able to design a Quick Comeback Masque and 4-in-1 Cleansing Pod while thinking about the K-Beauty packaging.
Koreans may surely have some skin goals in mind, and they will look for products that can help them get the look that they want.
Here are their priorities:
- It is of utmost importance to get the desired look and feel of the skin. It is also a comprehensive approach!
- We favor dewiness. America is afraid of the oily skin, and a lot of their products are designed to get the matte look. That does not apply in Korea. Their most desired beauty trait is the firm and dewy skin. They even have a phrase for it: chok chok. Dewy and oily is different. You glow if you are dewy. Anyone can get this by hydrating with humidifiers, facial mists and moisturizers throughout the day.
- Go for Brightening and avoid Bleaching. Our goal is to be able to glow with a smooth, bright and even skin tone that has minimal imperfections. A lot of K-Beauty products have the label “whitening,” but they mean “brightening.” These may be safe for the skin tone, and they don’t contain the actual bleach.
- Makeup may take a back seat. It may be sad, but this is the reality. The powder is what people use as a band-aid for long-lasting conditions like acne. It may be just a temporary fix and not a treatment. In Korea, ladies desire to get a clean and smooth canvas that can become prepped for the application of makeup. They may still go for the minimal makeup look and appear flawless. The no-makeup look is trendy nowadays.
The Routine of All the Routines
Now, let’s check out the heart of K-Beauty which is the ten-step skincare routine.
When Americans hear about this, they get flabbergasted.
Their general reaction is, “What?? 10 steps?? That can’t all be necessary. How does anyone have time for that? ”
Here’s a secret: You will not use ten skincare products at once. And it will only take you 5-10 minutes.
Every product in the routine may have a specific purpose for the needs of your skin.
You may use some of them every day and others only during certain seasons, monthly or whenever you travel.
It is just about the right order of the use of the right products for your skin type. You should do it from lightest to heaviest.
You don’t need to use K-Beauty brands. Anyone may use what the know and love. What works for other people may not be able to work for you.
Everyone’s skin may be different, and there is no “one size fits all.”
Step 1: Use Oil Cleanser and Makeup Remover
Dermaquest Universal Cleansing Oil
You don’t have to be scared of oil. This one will not make you feel greasy or clog your pores. Whenever you use an oil cleanser or makeup remover, it breaks down the sunscreen and makeup so you can quickly take it off.
Step 2: Cleanser that is water-based
Alana Mitchell Daily OC Cream Cleanser
This double cleanser can get rid of anything that hangs around your skin. It is a water-based gel that may be foamy, creamy or like a gel.
Step 3: Exfoliate
Alana Mitchell 4-in-1 Cleansing Pod
Undergoing exfoliation 2-3 times a week can improve your skin texture, the slough of the dead skin cells and help you absorb the other products. You may use the physical exfoliator like a chemical or sugar scrub that has the glycolic or lactic acid.
Step 4: Toner
Glo Skin Beauty Calming Flower Mist
In Korea, people consider the toner as the activating serum, skin softener, refresher or just “skin.” It can prep anyone’s face for what will happen next and keep the skin protected and smooth. They are full of humectants like ceramides and glycerin that can provide the maximum hydration factor.
Step 5: Essence
Alex Cosmetics Absolute Hyaluron Essence
It is a step that Koreans created, and a lot of people considered it as the routine’s focal point. The essence is more watery than the serum, and it has the active ingredients that can even, brighten, firm and hydrate the skin tone and minimize the signs of aging.
Step 6: Serum (AKA Boosters or Ampoules)
Alana Mitchell Night R1 Facial Oil
These serums have a design with a lot of excellent ingredients that target specific skin concerns like the increase fo plumping ad the reduction of dark spots. Your skin can quickly absorb them, and these can provide a significant boost of lightweight moisture.
Step 7: Sheet Mask
Skincare Biomolecular Hydrating Recovery Mask
Sheet masks are all the rage in K-Beauty. Since everyone uses them, they’re the affordable alternative to the expensive and fancy facials. A lot of them have a composition of hydrogel and microfiber that can lock in nutrients and moisture like vitamin C. There are sheet masks and skincare products that have snail mucin that is trending nowadays.
Step 8: Eye Cream
Alana Mitchell Anti-Aging Peptide Eye Cream
These eye creams can deliver a lot of nourishing ingredients to the delicate area of the eye. Here, the signs of aging become noticeable. Formulas focus on the combat of damage, hydration, and anti-aging. Since the skin is fragile, you want to have something that is just gentle and not irritating greasy or heavy.
Step 9: Moisturizer
Alana Mitchell Daily Vitamin C Moisturizer
I believe that the most critical part of your routine is the moisturizer. It may be the thickest formula you have so it will last and soak up your skin with goodness the whole day.
Step 10: Sunscreen
G.M. Collin Sun Protection Cream Broad Spectrum SPF 60
The thickest formula is the sunscreen which is why it is the last step. Make sure to use it to get protection against the harmful rays of the sun.
It is safe to say that the Korean beauty and skincare was able to make its way all over the world officially. Search for K-Beauty in Google, and you will see thousands of various place and products to purchase. It is everywhere.
I’m sure you’ve heard about it before so get out and give K-Beauty a chance. Koreans surely know what they are talking about when it comes to skincare. Everyone will surely learn something if they incorporate it into their skincare routine. If you feel brave, try the 10-step method for a week so you can check if it will work great for you!