While dermatologists note that no skincare method is a true one-size-fits-all solution, K-Beauty may very well be the closest thing to that ephemeral skincare silver bullet.
A multilayered skincare routine that is preventative rather than diagnostic, K-Beauty is all about building lifelong sustainable habits to keep your skin soft and supple for years to come.
Explore K-Beauty’s 10-step method for glowing luminous skin, and learn how to incorporate each step into your very own skincare routine.
Follow The 10-Step Skin Care Routine
1. Remove Oil-Based Impurities with an Oil-Based Cleanser
Foundational to any K-Beauty skincare routine is the act of double cleansing to remove impurities from the skin. Double cleansing is a two-step process, starting with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser.
After washing your face, utilize an oil-based cleanser to draw out oil-based impurities such as sebum, SPF, and pollutants. While using oil to clean oil may seem counterintuitive, board-certified dermatologist, Shari Marchbein, notes in the Sunday Edit, “Oil cleansers work by the principle of oil attracting oil.” By attracting oil build-up on the skin, oil-based cleansers clear the skin and remove impurities that could lead to breakouts and skin irritation when left unchecked.
2. Follow Up with A Water-Based Cleanser To Clear Surface Irritants
After rinsing off the oil-based cleanser, the second step of the double cleansing process involves a water-based cleanser, used to rid the skin of oil residue as well as sweat and dirt.
Unlike oil-based cleansers, water-based cleansers work at a surface level, cleansing the outermost layer from pollutants and debris. Water-based cleansers are sold in foam, cleansing water, and gel varieties, which all provide different benefits depending on skin types and needs.
3. Exfoliate Weekly To Remove Dead Skin
A good exfoliant should remove dead skin from the surface of your face to allow new skin cells to grow and decrease the chance of blackheads and clogged pores.
While physical exfoliants manually buff away those unneeded layers of dead skin cells, chemical exfoliants utilize acids to break the bond between skin cells to make it easier to wipe away dead skin cells.
Exfoliants should be used as often as every other day, and as little as once a month.
4. Tone Your Skin To Maximize Hydration and Balance Your pH
Since facial cleansers can leave their own unique residue on the skin and also disrupt your skin’s natural pH levels, toner’s main job is to deep-clean any remaining residue and re-balance your skin’s pH level to avoid excessive oil production.
Differing from the acidic and often harsh nature of Western toners, K-beauty toners are unique in their gentle hydration, using a mixture of ingredients such as kelp extract, mineral water, grapeseed oil, and more.
5. Enhance Your Hydration with A Drop of Essence
Essences are a unique K-Beauty skincare method that primes the skin with a liquid-based product chock-full of fermented ingredients. Working on a cellular level, essences are able to penetrate the skin at a deeper level than your everyday moisturizer, and enhance the benefits of other skincare products by creating supple, absorbent skin.
Offering deep hydration and brightening ingredients to achieve the popular “glass skin effect,” they’re K-Beauty’s best kept secret for smooth and dewy skin.
6. Supercharge Your Skin with Serum
More viscous than their essence counterpart, serums offer similar benefits to essence but in a more concentrated and potent fashion. While the beauty world has hotly contested the need for both essences and serums (given their nearly identical properties), serums are still a great way to penetrate the skin at a deeper level and target discoloration and aging.
7. Hydrate Skin with a Weekly Sheet Mask
Incorporate these cotton-based sheet masks, soaked in a mixture of rejuvenating ingredients to help restore your skin’s pH and keep it glowing all week long.
For best results, beauty experts recommend leaving the sheet mask on for 15–20 minutes. Sheet masks assist with hydrating skin, eliminating wrinkles, cleaning clogged pores, and evening complexion.
8. Protect Your Eye’s Sensitive Skin with Eye Cream
As the thinnest and most fragile area of skin on the face, it’s important to give your eyes a bit of extra TLC throughout your skin care routine. Eye creams are formulated to deliver the correct amount of moisture needed to firm up the skin and reduce wrinkles and puffiness.
Filled with antioxidants and vitamins, eye cream is a crucial step to prevent premature aging and also reduce dark circles for a fresh and bouncy look.
9. Moisturize To Prevent Dryness & Signs of Aging
According to Harvard Health, the main reason moisturizers work so well is that they supply water to the skin with a greasy substance to seal all of that hydration in. Moisturizer essentially holds together all of the powerful cleansing and hydrating products used in the prior eight steps, as a finishing touch to end or start the day.
10. Keep Your Skin Sun-Safe with SPF
Sun damage is a leading-cause of skin cancer, rapid skin aging, and pigmented, blotchy skin.
As the final step for the 10 step method, slather on some SPF to keep your skin safe and protected from the sun’s harmful rays.
While all of these steps might feel daunting, don’t be overwhelmed. Although this 10-step method is a golden standard for achieving fresh and natural skin, even incorporating two or three of these steps can support soft and supple skin. For best results, incorporate one new step at a time to measure skin reaction and change.
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