K-beauty routine is a multi-step process in which every step is assigned different jobs that are essential to maintain a healthy skin barrier(outer-covering) and keep your skin looking radiant and glowy. Apart from the basic daily routine you can choose to incorporate the 'add-ons' when you need them and also depending on your skin needs.
The Double Cleanse
Oil-based constituents like makeup, sunscreen, excess sebum, etc. all contain fatty acids. Since these fatty acids are not water-soluble an oil-based cleanser is used to first dissolve these impurities present in your face. This is what the first cleanse is about. Followed by a second cleanser which is a water-based formula, the remaining impurities are then washed off. The combination of the two is essential to truly cleanse skin.
If all impurities that our skin is exposed to in a day is not thoroughly cleaned on a daily basis, build-up occurs, pores get clogged and enlarged over time and skin is more prone to acne and breakouts. People who struggle with typical oily skin issues can also benefit greatly from the double cleanse.
Toners help balance the post-cleansed skin. Unlike western toners that tend to give a drying finish, Korean toners are intensely hydrating in nature and are usually loaded with skin benefiting ingredients. The idea of going in straight with a moisturizer after washing your face is contrasting from the Korean perspective because they believe that the thinner layers helps in better absorption of the following heavier products like moisturizers. Plus, lighter layers penetrate deeper into skin compared to the thicker products. That's why the belief that choosing the right toner depending on your skin type and requirements at the moment can help target the key areas and bring out the best in your entire regimen.
Often referred to as the treatment step, serums cater specifically to the skin concerns like dryness, aging, pigmentation, pores, etc. The active ingredients in a serum are more concentrated than a cream. Its viscosity enables the targeted ingredients to be absorbed deeper into your skin. Because of their light-weight texture often times, particularly in the summer months serums substitute the moisturizing step depending on if you feel the need to go over it with another cream.
The final step in any routine (except SPF for the mornings) a moisturizer essentially creates an outer barrier to prevent hydration from escaping the surface of the skin. It helps seal in all the moisture and ingredients that went in before it.
Typically unheard of in a western regimen, essences are a crucial part of Korean skincare. These are more watery serums that one can benefit from by layering after the toner step. It absorbs quickly into skin and helps skin accept products better. Light-weight nourishment from an essence can be used to boost the results of any skincare routine.
Exfoliator(1-2 times a week)
If radiant and smooth skin is what you're aiming for, skin has to be freed from the dead skin cells regularly. Our skin has a natural turnover cycle and sheds dead skin continuously as it tries to renew itself. Manual exfoliation helps clear the waste from the surface of the skin, prevents congestion and makes way for the products to be absorbed better.
On days you need a little something extra in addition to your daily routine, sheet masks come to the rescue. They supply large doses of hydration into skin - resulting in immediate glow but also healthier skin. Cosmetic chemists in Korea regard sheet masks as a prolonged essence step which you drench your skin in for 20 mins with the sheet aiding maximum absorption.
It's important to remember to not leave a mask on beyond the prescribed time as mentioned on the packaging as that could reverse its effect leading to paper dry skin.
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To starting to care more,
Team Care & Class