A KOREAN AMERICAN GIRL’S K-BEAUTY ROUTINE

AFTER SUFFERING FROM A FAST FOOD AMERICAN BEAUTY ROUTINE AS A TEEN I’VE LEARNED TO TAKE BETTER CARE OF MY SKIN IN MY TWENTIES. MOST AMERICAN WOMEN THINK IT’S CRAZY TO HAVE A 10-12 STEP BEAUTY ROUTINE, THEY THINK IT’S WAY TOO TIME CONSUMING OR TOO MUCH WORK. BUT THEN AGAIN, AMERICAN WOMEN AREN’T KNOWN FOR GREAT SKIN. 

THERE ARE BIG DIFFERENCES BETWEEN AMERICAN AND KOREAN BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY AND PRODUCTS. AMERICAN BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY LIKES CONVENIENCE AND HAS HARSHER PRODUCTS. KOREAN BEAUTY PHILOSOPHY PREACHES A MORE COMPLEX AND RITUALISTIC APPROACH WITH GENTLER PRODUCTS.  I’VE USED SO MANY PRODUCTS FROM SEPHORA AND DEFINITELY HAVE MY FAVORITES BUT IT MAKES LITTLE SENSE FOR ME TO CONTINUE TO USE AMERICAN BEAUTY PRODUCTS WHEN MY COUNTRY MAKES SOME OF THE BEST SKINCARE IN THE WORLD AND IS KNOWN FOR OUR YOUTHFUL FLAWLESS SKIN. 

I SLOWLY TRANSITIONED MY AMERICAN SKINCARE PRODUCTS TO A KOREAN REGIMEN AND STARTED MIXING IN MORE AND MORE KOREAN PRODUCTS. MY CURRENT GOAL IS TO SWITCH TO A COMPLETELY KOREAN ROUTINE AND DUMP ALL MY OLD AMERICAN PRODUCTS ON MY HUSBAND. HERE IS A STEP BY STEP RUNDOWN OF THE ROUTINE I USE.


STEP 1  MAKEUP REMOVAL

I WIPE OFF ALL MY MAKEUP WITH WIPES. WIPES ON THE AMERICAN MARKET TEND TO HAVE DETERGENTS OR OILS IN THEM, I PREFER KOREAN MAKEUP WIPES THAT ARE WATER BASED. THEY ARE GENTLER AND PACKED WITH GOOD FOR YOUR SKIN INGREDIENTS.

STEP 2  OIL CLEANSE

THIS SOUNDS FOREIGN TO MOST AMERICANS, COUNTERINTUITIVE TO PEOPLE WITH OILY SKIN AND MIGHT EVEN HORRIFY PEOPLE WHO HAVE ACNE BUT THIS METHOD REALLY BALANCES OUT ALL SKIN TYPES. I MASSAGE AN OIL CLEANSER INTO MY SKIN AND RINSE IT OFF.


STEP 3  WATER CLEANSE

I WASH MY FACE WITH A FOAMING CLEANSER AND ELECTRONIC FACE BRUSH. I STAY REALLY FAR FROM AMERICAN DRUGSTORE FACE WASHES, THEY TEND TO BE SUPER HARSH AND MOST CONTAIN THE DETERGENT SODIUM LAURETH SULFATE. KOREAN FACE WASHES GENERALLY COME IN MOUSSE, MILKY, OR CREAMY FOAMS AND ARE NOT JUST FOCUSED ON STRIPPING YOUR SKIN BUT NOURISHING IT.

STEP 4  EXFOLIATE

THERE ARE A TON OF PRODUCTS TO EXFOLIATE WITH BUT ONE THING I DISLIKE IS HARSH SCRUBS WITH LARGE GRANULES IN THEM, I FIND THEM TO BE ABRASIVE AND INEFFECTIVE. AMERICANS LOVE SUGAR SCRUBS BUT I’M NOT AT ALL CRAZY ABOUT THEM, ESPECIALLY FOR THE FACE. I PREFER A CHEMICAL EXFOLIANT IN THE FORM OF FRUIT ACIDS, ALPHA HYDROXY ACIDS AND LACTIC ACIDS.

STEP 5  TONE

TONING IS IMPORTANT BECAUSE IT PICKS UP ANY RESIDUAL DIRT ON YOUR FACE THAT THE WATER AND OIL DIDN’T PICK UP. IT ALSO CREATES A LAYER OF NUTRIENT LADEN MOISTURE ON YOUR FACE. AMERICAN TONERS FAVOR RUBBING ALCHOL WHICH IS A BIG NO NO IN KOREAN TONERS. ALCOHOL IS EXTREMELY DRYING TO THE SKIN WHICH IS THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT WE’RE TRYING TO ACCOMPLISH


STEP 6  ESSENCE 

A VERY KEY STEP IN THE KOREAN BEAUTY ROUTINE THAT IS MISSING FROM THE AMERICAN BEAUTY ROUTINE IS ESSENCE. ESSENCE IS LIKE A WATERY SERUM BUT THE MOST IMPORTANT THING IS THE WAY IT’S APPLIED. YOU GENTLY PAT AND PRESS IT INTO YOUR SKIN, YOU DO NOT RUB. A BIG THING IN KOREAN SKINCARE IS NEVER RUBBING OR TUGGING AT YOUR SKIN AND TO ALWAYS BE EXTREMELY SOFT AND GENTLE WITH IT.

STEP 7  RESURFACING SERUM

SERUMS ARE A COMMON BEAUTY STAPLE WORLDWIDE. THEY HAVE CONCENTRATED DOSES OF POWERFUL INGREDIENTS MEANT TO TRANSFORM YOUR SKIN. FOR MY FIRST SERUM STEP I LIKE TO USE ONE THAT HAS RESURFACING PROPERTIES. LOOK FOR INGREDIENTS LIKE ALPHA HYDROXY ACID AND LACTIC ACID THAT HELP YOUR SKIN CELLS TURNOVER AND RENEW

STEP 8  PROTECTIVE SERUM

NEXT I LIKE A SERUM THAT IS HIGH CONCENTRATED IN VITAMIN C, IT HELPS FIGHT SUN DAMAGE AND FADES HYPER PIGMENTATION. I KNOW BY NOW YOU’RE PROBABLY THINKING THIS IS WEARING TOO MUCH PRODUCT ON YOUR FACE, BUT KOREAN PRODUCTS TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE AMOUNT OF STEPS THERE ARE GONNA BE AND SO FORMULAS TEND TO BE EXTREMELY LIGHTWEIGHT AND ABSORB WELL. THIS WILL NOT FEEL AS HEAVY AS IT SOUNDS. 

STEP 9  MASK

ONCE A WEEK I INCORPORATE A MASK INTO MY ROUTINE. I USE A VARIETY OF MASKS FOR DIFFERENT THINGS, DEPENDING ON HOW MY SKIN IS ACTING. IF MY PORES ARE CLOGGED I USE A PEEL OFF MASK, IF MY SKIN IS DRY I USE A HYDRATING GEL MASK, IF MY SKIN IS REGULAR I USE SOME SORT OF CLAY MASK. 

STEP 10  EYE CREAM

FOR EYE CREAM I LIKE SOMETHING LIGHTWEIGHT THAT DRIES DOWN MATTE IN THE AM SINCE I’LL BE WEARING MAKEUP, AND A HEAVIER THICKER EYE CREAM FOR PM. EYE SKIN IS DELICATE SO NEVER RUB THE SKIN AROUND YOUR EYES, INSTEAD, GENTLY PAT THE EYE CREAM IN WITH YOUR FINGER TIPS.

STEP 11  MOISTURIZE

ONCE YOUR FACE IS PACKED WITH VITAMINS AND NUTRIENTS AND OTHER GOOD FOR SKIN STUFF, IT’S TIME TO MOISTURIZE IT. PICK YOUR POISION, MOISTURIZER COMES IN SO MANY FORMS. I PREFER SOMETHING LIGHTWEIGHT IN A GEL TEXTURE IN WARM WEATHER AND SOMETHING HEAVIER IN A CREAM TEXTURE IN COLD WEATHER.

STEP 12  SUNSCREEN IN THE AM

I KNOW AMERICANS TEND TO HAVE A STRONG IMAGE OF THICK WHITE ZINC OXIDE WHEN SUNSCREEN GETS BROUGHT UP BUT IT’S TOTALLY NOT THE CASE ANYMORE. THERE ARE SO MANY LIGHTWEIGHT AND SHEER SUNSCREEN FORMULAS AVAILABLE NOW IN VARYING SPF STRENGTHS. I USE A BB CREAM WITH SPF 30 IN IT, WHEN THE SUN IS REALLY STRONG I USE A MIST SUNSCREEN IN SPF 50. FOR THOSE UNFAMILIAR, BB CREAM IS “BEAUTY BALM”. IT’S BASICALLY A MULTITASKING PRODUCT THAT OFFERS LIGHT COVERAGE, SUN PROTECTION, AND NUTRIENTS LIKE A SERUM.

STEP 12  WATER PACK IN THE PM

AT NIGHT I PUT ON A WATER PACK WHICH IS BASICALLY A REALLY HYDRATING WATER BASED GEL MASK THAT CREATES A NUTRIENT RICH MOISTURE BARRIER FOR ME TO SLEEP IN.

A LOT OF THESE STEPS REQUIRE KOREAN PRODUCTS WHICH ARE HARD TO FIND FOR AMERICAN GIRLS. I SUGGEST SOKOGLAM. IF YOU USE MY REFERRAL LINK YOU’LL GET 20% OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER 💋

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