Korean beauty has long been known for its complex skincare regimen. By now we have all heard about the 10-step routine that has taken over the West by storm. While there is no denying that Korean skincare is impressive, there is a new trend that has been on the rise in Korea for a while now:
The Korean Skincare Diet.
That’s right. Many Koreans are ditching their elaborate routines for simpler, more skin and environment friendly regimens. To understand why, let’s count all the products that a fabled 10-step routine encompasses:
Oil cleanser, foam cleanser, exfoliator, toner, essence, serums and treatment, masks, eye cream, moisturizer and SPF.
That’s quite a batch of ingredients! These products were never meant to be used simultaneously. The general idea was to use them when needed. But, a lot of people have religiously followed the 10 steps daily. For some, that has resulted in a plethora of skin conditions, such as sensitivity, dryness and contact dermatitis.
Thus, the skincare diet was born.
This diet is all about getting back to basics. Mostly, these have been cleansing, moisturizing and SPF. However, it is suggested to approach this regimen with our skin type and concerns in mind. So, let’s see the three different takes on this new routine:
It is important to keep dry skin hydrated and ensure healthy water-oil balance. The preservation of skin barrier is a must! Find a good, non-drying cleanser. Look for creamier consistency cleansers that don’t foam up. For extra hydration, layer a toner with soothing and hydrating ingredients, such as hyaluronic acid. If you feel like that’s not enough, it’s okay to add a serum as the next step – but again, one that hydrates and nourishes the skin. Follow with a moisturizer. Best is a thicker cream with humectants like ceramides and oils, that provide generous hydration to all skin layers.
Seek products with oil-controlling ingredients, such as salicylic acid and niacinamide. Use a foaming cleanser that will effectively wash away the excess sebum, but not strip your skin. Look for a hydrating yet lightweight, alcohol-free toner. Incorporate a light lotion that will help hydrate your skin.
Acne prone skin
Assess what type of acne you have. That will help you figure out which products to use and which to avoid. Avoid scented products, as fragrance can cause more irritation. It is important to use a pH balanced cleanser, that is not too stripping. Follow up with either a lightweight toner or an exfoliating treatment. Use a lotion - if you’re using strong acne treatments, look for a nourishing, non-comedogenic moisturizer.
Skin type aside, everyone should incorporate a high protection SPF in their routine. Occasional masks for specific skin concerns are also beneficial, but not necessary for a healthy complexion. Essentially, make sure that you do not overload your skin with too many products and ingredients. All routines are different - stick to what you really need and use products mindfully. If you’re not even sure what benefits you’re getting from a treatment, it is probably not necessary.