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Unlocking the Secrets to Glass Skin: the Ultimate Guide to K-Beauty Skincare


August 31, 2023

K beauty was introduced into the Western world about half a decade ago. Though K beauty might look like a new term for today's world its origin dates back to the Joseon and Goreyon dynasties of South Korea. The beauty regime and products in Korean skincare mainly focus on treating skin problems in advance to achieve radiant, porous and glass-like skin. If you want to understand Korean beauty from a historical point of view and the right methods to build your K beauty routine, then this article is for you.

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Ideology of K Beauty

K Beauty believes in committing to the idea of skincare before makeup. While Western world beauty products are made, keeping skin problems in mind, K Beauty, on the other hand, focuses on the prevention of skin problems and taking action in advance. It's a normal part of the lives of Korean people to take care of their skin, and looking presentable is taught to them from a very young age.

So, instead of covering up skin issues with makeup, K Beauty aims to find the root cause of skin issues and the possible solutions. If you want to be in good shape, you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle in the same way K Beauty also focuses on being consistent for achieving flawless skin. So, instead of applying harsh products, it aims to work on the ecosystem of your skin, which includes hydrating, nourishing and protecting it.

History of K beauty

Talking of the past, the Korean people aimed to follow a multistep routine to achieve good skin. According to them, the face of a person was the representation of their inner self and was somewhere linked to their inner health and well-being. Most of the products they used were made up of natural ingredients like grounded beans, rice, wheat bran and peppermint leaves.

The two monarchies that influenced Korean beauty the most were the Goryeo and Joseon dynasties. The Joseon dynasty mainly finished with natural and modest looks, which were considered achievable by using natural products and a good skincare routine. Women in this era generally used toners made out of gourds, cucumbers, and motherworts. During the Goryeo dynasty, beauty standards increasingly revolved around elegance. At that time, a rather stereotypical view revolved in a society where women wearing heavy colorful makeup were considered to be from the lower class resulting in a trend where upper-class women wore lighter makeup. They largely used light peach-toned blushes, and during festivities, they occasionally adorned themselves with yeonji.

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Modern Day K beauty & Glass Skin

You must have seen TikTok videos of people telling how they got non-porous flawless skin and their routine of what is popularly known as Glass Skin among the youth. Firstly, for those of you unaware of the term Glass Skin, it is a term given to dewy, youthful, even-toned clear-looking skin. This term came into recognition half a decade back when various K drama celebrities and music idols started discussing it on various social media platforms and, since then, people have been obsessed with the concept of Glass Skin.

Though it might seem unrealistic, with a bit of change in the daily lifestyle and skincare routine, it is possible to achieve glass skin. Below are a few researched methods of achieving flawless skin:

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1. Double Cleansing

As the name suggests, the process of double cleansing includes washing your skin twice to get a much deeper cleansing effect. In this process, you have to first wash your face with an oil-based cleanser followed by micellar water. This not only cleanses the skin but eventually removes makeup or sunscreen the person is wearing. Double cleansing tackles both surface and deep-down impurities.

Note: If you are an occasional makeup wearer and have dry skin, then it might not be a good idea to double cleanse every day. A gentle cleanser alone would be enough.

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2. Exfoliate

It's the process of removing dead skin cells and clogging pores, which can be achieved either by using a physical exfoliator or a chemical one. Physical exfoliates use friction and small particles like grain, groundnut shells etc. to remove dead skin. Whereas chemical exfoliators use acids and enzymes to loosen and remove dead skin cells using ingredients like alpha and beta hydroxy acids.

Note: Avoid exfoliating if your skin has cuts, wounds, or sunburn and be extra careful if you have sensitive skin.

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3. Toner

Earlier Toners were used to maintain the pH of the skin after cleansing, but with changing times they have become an important part of a beauty routine and are now available for various skin types. A Toner in the mid-skincare step is used after cleansing your face, just before applying the moisturizer. It can be used twice a day using a cotton pad or fingers for much better coverage.

How to choose a Toner?

Look for general ingredients like rosewater, chamomile and aloe vera for hydration and soothing effects respectively.

4. Add on Essence

Essence is a nourishing liquid formulated using hydrating ingredients and nourishing nutrients. It's good for restoring hydration and balance to your skin. It also helps to absorb serums and moisturizers. The essence usually contains ingredients like water, glycerin, hyaluronic acid, botanical plant extracts etc.

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5. Serum or Ampoules

Ampoules are a rather new term in the world of skincare, but that doesn't mean they are less efficient. They are formulated generally to target stubborn concerns such as hyperpigmentation, signs of ageing and so on. It is highly advised to use products like serum and ampoules on well-hydrated skin. To rule out any questions, you should always make sure that you do a patch test.

6. Moisturize

Ever felt dryness after a face wash? Moisturizers are used to hydrate your skin and reduce the dryness caused by exfoliating and washing your face. There are a variety of moisturizers out there in the market for various skin types. If you don't want to use a ready-made moisturizer, you can use aloe vera gel, algae gel or milk.

Note: Moisturizing after a bath helps the body to seal moisture and keep the skin hydrated.

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7. Eye Cream

Most people use moisturizers under their eyes. It must look like it's good for the area under the eye, but it's not. The area and the skin under the eye is soft and faster than the skin of other parts of the body.

Eye creams are formulated specially for the eyes and serve their purpose well. It is believed that using an eye cream from a young age can help you bring down the problems caused by ageing like puffiness, wrinkles etc.

Note: You should apply the cream in a circular direction using your ring finger, starting from the inner corner and then gently massaging the outer orbital region.

8. Face oil sealing

Face oils are packed with vitamin C and other minerals and can be used even by people having oily skin. As both moisturizer and face oil are lipid-based, it is advised to use face oil before moisturizer so that the skin doesn't find it difficult to absorb the face oil. Face oil is prescribed to be used in small amounts (a few drops) and must be dabbed or patted. Face oils treat dry skin, ageing, acne, and many other skin concerns.

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9. Use SPF

Though earlier considered as a luxury, sunscreens are now an important part of our daily lives. With the increase in global warming, it has become important to protect ourselves from sunlight that contains harmful UV rays. Though sunscreen does not nullify the effect of radiation, it still helps to protect our bodies to a certain extent.

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Note: The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends a water-resistant, broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF of 30 or higher for any extended outdoor activity.

Hope the tips from the article will help you build a good skin routine.

And never judge your skin and always remember

" You are beautiful the way you are "

Charu Yadav
1,000+ pageviews

Writer since Aug, 2023 ยท 7 published articles

Hello ! I'm Charu a recent high school graduate from India. My work as an online peer tutor for middle school US & World History eventually made me intrested in the research and observational skills you get to use in journalism to voice your opinions. In future I see myself working in the field of science at the same time pursuing my dream of voicing opinions of people majorly teens that still remain unheard.