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How to Successfully Switch to a K-Beauty Skincare Routine

How to Successfully Switch to a K-Beauty Skincare Routine
IMAGE Jeanne Young
Safely make the swap.

True-blue beauty girls know that skincare was never a trend—the concept has always been there since the beginning of time. But if you just started a solid skincare routine, or if you've realized you haven't been doing it correctly, or if you're wondering how to make the switch to Korean skincarewe're here for you. It would be good to point out that most Asian women I know confess to having better skin when most of their skin products are Korean or Japanese. Maybe it's because the products were made for Asian skin, but we can't be sure.

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Overhauling your entire regimen takes not only know-how and research, but also the courage to take risks! You could look in the mirror two weeks later and notice that, "Hey, my skin looks pretty clear today." Or the opposite could happen and you could wake up the next day after trying a new product the night before with a massive, pulsating zit on the tip of your nose, who knows?! But because many have walked this path, the way is well-lit with reviews and Reddit threads. Come and follow...

Step 1: Identify your pain points.

What is your issue? That is the first thing we need to ask. Is it an acne problem? A texture problem? Dryness? Dark circles? Either way, pinpoint it, that's where we start.

Step 2: Assess the treatment.

The second thing you need to figure out is if the product targeting your concern is working. If it's not, chuck it out right away. Congrats! You've successfully began the overhaul. If it works, but a secondary skin concern worries you, do some research and find if there are some ingredients you may be allergic to. (For example: alcohol, dimethicone/silicones, fragrance or fragrant essential oils).


Step 3: Spot the difference

K-beauty is a world full of its own terms and buzzwords, and if you're used to the Western way, forget everything you think you know for now and start with a little research. Knowing things like "AC" = acne care, "clinic" = intense treatment will make K-beauty shopping easier.

Step 4: A little goes a long way.

As you may discover, Koreans love their hydration! If you're not careful, you might get a little too carried away with layering and regret it once you feel the humidity and heat from outside. So keep the layers very, veeery thin, unless you're off to bed.

Step 5: Give it time.

Rome wasn't built in a day, girls, so achieving your new shiny and clean skin will take time. It takes a minimum of two weeks for a product to take action, and until then, do not change anything else. Yes, this takes a while but remember...Rome! Also, if you get any irritation within those two weeks, ditch the product causing it. (Unless it's a retinoid that usually "purges" the skin.)

Step 6: Lather, rinse, repeat.

So you've gone through two weeks without any violent reactions, congrats! Time to officially regularize that product into your routine. Now that it's stable, time to repeat the whole processremember to overhaul one product at a time, and always prioritize the most urgent skin concern.

BONUS: Never mix your retinols with your acids/vitamin C's, acids AND vitamin C's, salicylic and glycolic, and your water-based with oil-based formulas.

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