Skincare used to be straightforward with cleansing, toning, and moisturizing as part of your routine. However, due to environmental and nutritional challenges, there are now many things to consider to ensure that your skin is kept smooth and youth-looking.

Korean or K-beauty has taken the world by storm in the past few years, thanks to its ambassadors: K-pop and K-drama stars. When you watch K-pop videos, you cannot help but be amazed by how perfect these celebrities’ skin look.

Before going to K-beauty’s secrets, let us first go to the possible reasons why other beauty routines keep on failing:

Mistake No. 1: There is a focus on external beauty

When you look at many Western beauty routines, there is always a focus on external beauty. The importance of nutrition and lifestyle are rarely discussed, and beauty products are put to the fore. It is wrong in many ways because skin care is a part-and-parcel of your lifestyle. Therefore, if you want to improve your skin, take a holistic approach. Do not expect to have better skin if you keep on eating junk and sleeping odd hours. The South Korean beauty routine is focused on making sure that you eat, sleep, and exercise right along with using beauty products.

Mistake No. 2: There is no consistency with the routine

For many Korean beauty routines, the recommendation is to do it every single day for three months. The belief is that if you fail to follow through with this recommendation even for one day, then your routine is bound to fail. So, it is crucial to do the routine every day even if you get home tired and lacking in motivation.

Many non-Korean beauty routines do not emphasize the importance of consistency, and it is a big mistake. Only with regular habit can you see a difference, so if you want to have better skin, you must be willing to invest time and energy into the routine.

Mistake No. 3: The same products are used after three months

For all K-beauty routines, all products are said to work for at most three months. After that, you will see a stalling phase where your skin will not respond as strongly anymore compared to how it was at the start. Therefore, after every three months, you must change beauty products. It is the reason why many Korean beauty products are designed to fit for three months, with smaller bottles compared to their Western counterparts. It is because you are expected to switch brands after that period.

Mistake No. 4: The importance of products is not taken seriously

When you visit South Korea, you will be amazed by the seemingly unending aisles of beauty products dedicated to women, men, and seniors. Usually, in other countries, men’s products only comprise one small section of the aisle. The situation is vastly different when you compare it to South Korea, where many locals take beauty products seriously.

Although a healthy diet and regular exercise are essential, cosmetics are also included in many Koreans’ beauty routine. And as you get old, the products you use tend to be costly because a premium is placed on the quality of ingredients. Since your skin now lacks the elasticity compared to your younger days, products must also keep up with this deficiency. Thus, expensive products such as snail serums and honey masks eventually became popular among the elderly.

Do not get surprised, too, if you see locals spritzing facial mists on the subway. Facial mists offer hydration for the skin and keep you feeling rejuvenated. So, the mist is a crucial part of the Korean beauty routine.

Now that we’ve discussed the mistakes of many non-Korean beauty routines, what, then, can we learn from K-beauty? If your skin care keeps on failing, what lessons can you get from K-beauty?

Here are some tips to help you improve your skin care routine, thanks to wisdom imparted by the Korean beauty industry:

  1. Have a morning and evening beauty routine

Usually, most people only do an evening beauty routine just in time before they go to bed. For Koreans, it is certainly not the case. They have a different day and evening routine that they follow every day. The daytime routine is mainly for protection, while the evening routine is for hydration and rejuvenation.

There are differences in the products used. For example, you will use an oil cleanser, eye cream, facial mask, and cream-based moisturizer in the evening. And for the morning routine, you will use a foam cleanser, sunblock, and gel-based moisturizer. As you can see, the morning routine is to keep your skin protected throughout the day; while the evening routine is to keep your skin hydrated during as you sleep. It is a critical time because the air gets dry during the evening, especially after midnight. So, you need to have that extra protection at night.

If you want to have better-looking skin, be sure to have a different beauty routine for the morning and evening.

  1. Never miss a day of your beauty routine

You know on Friday nights when you are just wasted, you come late, and you don’t feel like washing your face? Well, many South Koreans never go to bed with their makeup on. For the cosmetic products to be efficient, you must never miss a day of your beauty routine. As you can tell from many locals, the youth-looking effects can be seen on their almost perfect skin.

The key here is to make it a habit. Set the alarm on your phone and set specific times for your morning and evening routines. Give time to do your routines, and never say you are too busy to complete it. Do it every day for two weeks, so you get to form a habit. Eventually, it will become second nature to you to do your beauty routine every day.

  1. Use the ten-step K-beauty routine

Now, do not get freaked out by this just yet. In fact, it is common for most South Koreans to use eight to ten beauty products for their routine. It is not unfounded, though, because every product has been carefully researched and proven to be effective.

It is said that you have to devote at least 30 minutes in the morning, and at least one hour in the evening, to complete your beauty routine. You will be using ten different products, with some products that you have to leave on your face for at most 20 minutes.

To give you an overview, here is the ten-step K-beauty routine as ranked in order of application:

Step 1. Water or oil-based cleanser: usually, the water-based cleanser is used in the morning, while the oil-based one is used in the evening.

Step 2: Exfoliator

Step 3: Toner

Step 4: Essence

Step 5: Serum or ampoule

Step 6: First face mask: the first face mask is made with charcoal to help lift off residues and dead skin

Step 7: Second face mask: the second face mask is meant to hydrate your skin after scrubbing off residues

Step 8: Eye cream

Step 9: Moisturizer

Step 10: Sunblock

The routine sure looks hectic, but when you see “before” and “after” photos of people using this ten-step routine, you will see the difference in as little as one month. The only drawback is it can get costly. However, the products that you purchase can last you up to three months, that’s why it is also worth it. Also, the effects are phenomenal and can make a big difference to your look.

K-beauty must be your go-to if you’ve been wanting to find success in your skincare routine. And remember, aside from beauty products, you must also ensure that you eat healthily, sleep well, and exercise regularly to get into a holistic approach to your skin care.

When Your Skincare Routine Fails, Go to K-Beauty
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Becca Shaeffer


Becca Shaeffer is our resident health nut. An Ohio native, she loathes for the day she can quit her day job and move to somewhere warmer. When she's not at the gym, she's either hacking her way through skin treatments or thinking about her favorite cheat meal - thin crust pizza with anchovies and jalapenos.


About Author

Becca Shaeffer

Becca Shaeffer is our resident health nut. An Ohio native, she loathes for the day she can quit her day job and move to somewhere warmer. When she's not at the gym, she's either hacking her way through skin treatments or thinking about her favorite cheat meal - thin crust pizza with anchovies and jalapenos.

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