Welcome to the first ever blog post for my month-long series #BeautyPassport where I will be discussing cult favourite products and other beauty trends from one specific country per week. And this week, we are going to… *drum rolls* SOUTH KOREA! (But obviously you already know that)
The Korean beauty industry have definitely changed a lot of women’s beauty game and successfully started a worldwide envy over the Koreans’ healthy, glowing and ever young looking skin. I am no exception. I have fallen into the spiral, you guys. I have been excessively researching on other people’s Korean skincare routine in hopes of stumbling upon ‘the perfect one’. Still haven’t found it, though. But what I did find are some holy grail products behind the greatly raved about Korean skincare routines and you guessed it, I went on a mini shopping spree. Well, technically my sister did. She was in Seoul and I made her go around town. Bless her soul.
Okay, so here’s what I found:
1. Cleansing is crucial
Ever heard of the term double cleansing? It’s the first step of a Korean skincare routine and it is basically a two part cleansing routine, starting with an oil based cleanser (oil based make up remover, cleansing milk, etc) and followed by a water-based cleanser (oil free facial wash). And nope, it doesn’t end there. The double cleansing routine must always be followed by exfoliation too. Here are some of the products that have made it into the holy grail list:
Meet the girls on your next shopping wish list: Banila Co Clean It Zero (left) and Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads in Wine (right). Basically, the Clean It Zero is a magical, sorbet-textured, candy-smelling, make up remover that deeply cleanses your face without clogging your pores with oils. The warmth of your skin will melt the sorbet into this rich and smooth texture and it seriously cleanses your make up in seconds, even waterproof mascara! Afterwards, you need to wash your face off with a water-based facial wash and top it off with Neogen’s Gauze Peeling Pads, which are pre-soaked exfoliator pads that smoothens the texture of your face into something similar to baby’s bums! Best of all, it is infused with ingredients extracted from wine and it literally smells like grape-flavoured bubble gums! My skincare routine has never been this exciting, you guys.
2. Balance is key
When you’re already using multiple products for cleansing and exfoliating, your skin easily gets stripped off of its natural oils and the different Ph balances in different products can mess things up. The Koreans know the trick: invest on a good toner. To put it simply, toner is the bridge between cleansing your skin and enriching it with more goodies. It balances your skin’s Ph level and preps your skin for further steps in your skincare routine. Here’s what the whole of Korea was obsessing over:
Long story short, two famous Korean makeup artists ‘invented’ the beauty water to replace the common toners. And you guys, this thing is bomb. This Beauty Water by Son & Park has everything packed up perfectly inside. It’s hydrating, refreshing, smoothens out my pores, cleanses everything else that I left out in the first few steps and I’m in love with it! One thing I’m not crazy about, though, is it smells very… hygienic? Is it acceptable to describe a scent that way? It smells clean and crisp, but it’s just not the kind of fragrance I want on my skin. But other than that, I’m in love with it. And also, look at that super chic packaging!
3. Sheet masks are your BFFs
When I think of Korean skincare products, I immediately think of sheet masks. I feel like they were the one who made sheet masks popular and everyone’s just crazy about it. And yeap, the Korean skincare routine embraces sheet masks as its best friends. It’s just super simple to use and only takes like 15 minutes of your time.
One of the most popular sheet masks from the high street brands is definitely Too Cool for School’s Egg Cream Mask, which are sheet masks created with ingredients found in eggs which are supposed to be good for tightening your pores and also hydrating and firming your skin. Although these ones are rather slimy when I first opened them, they settled down perfectly on my face and left my skin feeling silky smooth and refreshed. I am definitely obsessed with sheet masks now that I’m doing it twice a week. It’s just a great way to wind down and refresh after a long day at work.
Overall, these products have impressed me more than I thought they would. If you think these are just another additions to the Internet’s overly hyped ravings, I would recommend you to try them out first because I think you will come to love at least one of them. One thing I find to be in common between them is that they are all scented in some ways. I don’t know if Korean skincare products are all scented or if I just happened to pick up the scented ones. I don’t usually love fragrance on my skin as I’m always afraid that they might dry my skin out, but these products have been good so far. Well done, Korea!