Our skin deserves just as much love in summer as it does in winter. If not taken care of, the scorching heat and humidity can damage it in irreparable ways. However, if the thought of applying multiple products in this weather scares you, it’s time to switch to Korean beauty products.
Originating in South Korea, K-beauty has become a global phenomenon over the last few years. Prioritising long-term skin health, these products are designed with a holistic approach towards nourishment and rejuvenation. Ensuring hydration, suppleness and a youthful glow while targeting underlying skin concerns, Korean skincare has become a way of life for its followers.
What also makes Korean beauty products stand out is the lightweight formulation that makes them easy to apply even in the summer heat. With rising temperatures triggering sebum production, pore-clogging and skin damage, these gentle products can come to your rescue.
What makes Korean beauty products unique?
From their purpose to ingredients, K-beauty products are unique in the way they approach skin issues. While Western cosmetics provide short-term fixes by covering up flaws, these focus on nourishing the skin from the inside and maintaining a healthy skin barrier.
Moreover, a Korean skincare routine is more extensive with multiple steps as compared to other routines. To accommodate all the different layers, Korean products have a lightweight consistency that gets quickly absorbed.
Additionally, the formulation of these products is a combination of mild yet effective actives or natural ingredients that are skin-friendly and ideal for sensitive and acne-prone skin. Components such as snail mucin, rice, liquorice root, ginseng, Centella Asiatica, green tea, birch juice, propolis and bamboo are some of the most common ones.
Step-by-step Korean summer skincare regimen
Even if the thought of slathering products might seem like a daunting task in warmer temperatures, following a thorough skincare routine is essential in summer. But fret not, the famous 10-step Korean regimen can be your saviour.
- Start by wiping the day off your face with an oil-based cleanser. This helps in removing oil, makeup and all the impurities.
- Follow it up with a gentle water-based or foaming cleanser to wash off the sweat and grime from your face.
- Then, use a gentle exfoliator (physical scrub or chemical peels) to slough off the dead skin cells, unclog the pores and achieve an even-toned texture. However, do not repeat this step more than two to three times a week.
- Apply a hydrating toner to remove residual dirt and balance the skin’s pH levels. Avoid alcohol-based toners, especially if you have sensitive skin.
- Follow up with an essence enriched with hydrating and anti-ageing ingredients. It is one of the most essential products of the routine as it has a soothing and healing effect on the skin.
- Now that your skin is prepped up, it’s time to infuse it with some actives in the form of a serum, an ampoule or a booster. A serum is a slightly heavier and more concentrated version of an essence targeting concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles, pigmentation and discolouration.
- Next, apply a sheet mask that’s formulated with beneficial ingredients, vitamins and minerals for additional hydration.
- Use an eye cream to treat your dark circles and crow’s feet.
- Massage your face with a lightweight or gel-based moisturiser to seal in all the hydration and nourishment from the previous steps.
- Always use broad-spectrum sunscreen (with a minimum SPF of 30) to protect your skin against sun damage. You can avoid this step during your nighttime routine.
Check out the best Korean beauty products for your summer skincare routine
Double cleansing is the most important step in the Korean skincare regimen. Getting rid of the day’s impurities and makeup with an oil-based cleanser followed by a mild water-based cleanser is how you should go about it. Double-cleansing with gentle formulas is also highly beneficial for acne-prone skin as it cleans the skin thoroughly of breakout-causing bacteria.
A clean and clear skin makes for the perfect canvas for the next steps which include applying multiple hydrating products.
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Apart from their cleansing properties, K-beauty toners are also known for purifying the skin with hydrating ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, mineral water, grapeseed oil and chamomile extracts.
Additionally, a toner helps balance your skin’s pH levels and prepare it to absorb all the goodness of the serums, sheet masks and moisturisers followed in the next steps.
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Mists and essence
A lighter version of a serum or an ampoule, mists and essences are suitable in summer even for oily skin. This is because they are usually water-based and feel weightless on the skin.
What sets Korean essences and mists apart from their Western counterparts is their formulation, which may have acne-controlling and skin-plumping benefits.
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Sheet masks and eye patches
Korean sheet masks are formulated with different ingredients to target different skin concerns. They aim to provide an extra layer of moisturisation to your skin for a soothing effect. They often combine natural components such as cucumber, ginseng, berries, bamboo, charcoal, and rice to achieve this.
Besides being a part of your daily routine, these masks and patches also help you achieve instantly glowing and refreshed skin when you’re on the go.
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Face creams and moisturisers
Face cream or a moisturiser forms the final step of hydration that locks in all the nourishment from the previous steps. A tricky pick for your summer skincare routine due to its texture, moisturising products by K-beauty can be your best friend because of their lightweight gel-based nature.
These are highly effective and work their magic without weighing down the skin.
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Much like your moisturisers and eye creams, lip balms are also a necessity. They maintain the health of your lip skin, which is relatively more delicate and requires dedicated products. Targeting concerns like dryness and pigmentation, K-beauty lip balms are highly effective and also formulated with SPF.
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Using sunscreen every day, irrespective of the weather and season, is simply unavoidable. You must apply sunscreen before heading out and keep reapplying it every two to three hours. In fact, you should also wear it when indoors as it safeguards your skin against the harmful blue light from your devices.
Just like other K-beauty products, Korean sunscreens too are lightweight, hydrating and easy to absorb. They are formulated with advanced ingredients and antioxidants to contribute to the skin’s overall health and also target specific skin concerns including acne, hyperpigmentation and skin brightening.
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Our skin recovers and repairs itself during a good night’s sleep. To fortify cell regeneration and pamper your skin with some extra TLC, sleeping with a mask on is a great way to assist the healing process.
Korean sleeping masks are usually formulated with rejuvenating and nourishing ingredients along with mild exfoliants to further refine your pores.
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Also read – Glass skin – How to acheive glass skin with best Korean beauty products?
(Hero Image Courtesy: Alexandra Tran/Unsplash ; Featured Image Courtesy: Polina Kovaleva/Pexels)
Prices of the products mentioned in the story are subject to change.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Answer: Glass skin is a term used to describe skin that is at its healthiest and enriched with intense hydration. It appears pore-less, translucent and flawless with a glowing complexion and dewy texture. You can achieve glass skin by following a step-by-step skincare regimen consistently.
Answer: To achieve a glowing skin, Koreans tend to indulge in thorough but gentle cleansing to keep their pores clean and skin looking fresh. They use hydrating products like face mists, essences, serums and face creams that nourish your skin. While SPF is simply unskippable, a healthy lifestyle that includes staying hydrated, eating balanced meals and following a proper sleep schedule is also a must.
Answer: Some of the most commonly used natural ingredients in Korean beauty products include ginseng, snail mucin, propolis, bamboo, liquorice root extract and rice.
Answer: Some of the best K-beauty products for a nighttime skincare routine include the LANEIGE Cica Sleeping Mask, Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream, Cosrx Low PH Cleanser and Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Rx.