Korean beauty crept into the global beauty market to catapult itself into one of the leading players and have never looked back since. Their demand has gained the country a whopping $1.52bn in just the first quarter of last year. With the help of the Korean wave, their cosmetic exports experienced a surge in various countries: 70.4% increase in the UK, 45.9% in France and 110.9% in Indonesia. With the continuous support for the Korean wave and the effectiveness born from successful research and development efforts, the craze for Korean beauty products doesn’t seem to be stopping anytime soon.
To discover the allure they seem to possess, let’s have a look at the fundamentals of the Korean beauty.
- Extra Protection From UV Rays
Unlike their Western counterparts, Asia’s beauty standards have always emphasised pale and flawless skin. This translates into two things: spending minimal time out in the sun and putting on protective layers.
In Korea, both men and women take extra caution to protect their skin from the sun. Most of them diligently practise the habit of putting on a good sunscreen every single day, especially if they have to head out. Not only will this guarantee younger looking skin, but it also protects them from harmful rays that may cause skin cancer. Apart from having relatively little melanin, many Koreans prefer natural skin brighteners that include liquorice, rice extracts and vitamin C.
Because of its skin brightening qualities, these ingredients also make the skin more sensitive to the sun rays, further emphasising the need for sun protection.
- Double Cleansing: The Secret to Soft Skin
Korean beauty raised many eyebrows when they first introduced the 10-step beauty routine, but it has garnered a huge following ever since. Apart from using 10 beauty products for your face, the concept of a double cleanse didn’t gain much attraction until Korean beauty came rolling around. Especially for ladies who wear make-up on the daily, their two-step cleaning process has saved their skin from regular breakouts.
The two-step cleaning process first starts with a one-minute gentle massage with an oil cleanser before it gets washed off. The oil will lift the make-up, dirt and impurities off the skin, successfully removing any unwanted substance that lies deep within the pores. Next, give the face another massage with a cleansing foam to get rid of the excess oil.
Not only does this step remove any impurities, but the gentle massage also promotes blood circulation and lymphatic drainage that ultimately reduces facial swelling. This step also encourages the skin’s turnover rate, allowing the skin to better repair itself and increase its absorption rate to absorb your other products better.
Start your routine with a double cleanse to prepare your skin for the next beauty products.
- Keeping the Skin Hydrated
An aspect that made Korean beauty distinct from Western beauty is their strong emphasis on hydration. Hydration is key to achieving their iconic soft and dewy skin. The numerous skincare products in the market may be a tad overwhelming to some, but here’s a general breakdown.
- Essence: Rightfully considered as the heart of Korean skincare, this product is concentrated with skin goodness that will effectively hydrate your skin.
- Serum: Despite its lightweight consistency, this product has a strong concentrated formula that will effectively repair your skin and target any of skin concerns.
- Emulsion: Not as concentrated as a serum, this product is perfect for those with oily or combination skin as it simultaneously moisturises and hydrates your skin. They tend to be lighter than a cream but thicker than a serum.
- Ampoules: Ampoules are similar to serums, except they have a higher concentration of one active ingredient. This product is great if you wish to tackle dark spots or signs of ageing.
When figuring out which of these to put on your skin first, the general rule of thumb is to apply the one with the lightest consistency first for better absorption. Usually, one will put essence after the toner and the serum next. Emulsions tend to be the last and if you wish to give your skin an extra pick me up, add a few drops of the ampoule.
This routine may seem overwhelming at first but your skin will thank you for it. Some may even take a step further by incorporating a few drops of facial oil and a sheet mask every once in a while. Note that this routine is flexible if you want it to be. To figure out what works best for your skin, you may omit or include certain products, or even split them up between your morning and night routines.
Since this competitive market will always introduce a new product every few months, you will want to keep yourself up to date with the trends. If you wish to be the first few to be in the know, you will need to consume Korean beauty content – in Korean. The reason being time. By the time Korean beauty knowledge has made it to the Western market, the trend may have already faded out.
Get rid of the middle persons and catch onto the trend while it’s still in Korea! Enrol yourself in Korean lessons for beginners with Sejong Korean Language School and you’d be able to jump on the bandwagon. Our native Korean teachers are dedicated and passionate about what they do, and they will guide you through your learning journey. You might even be able to strike a conversation with them about the latest beauty trend!