Over the past few years, the K-beauty industry has attracted a lot of attention from the western world. This is for two reasons: One, Korean cosmetics are completely independent of American product trends, and two, their skincare regimes are so intricate, a 10-step routine is standard.
In Singapore, porcelain perfect skin is the exception, not the rule. In Korea? Well, it’s the other way 'round.
While we want to get serious about anti-ageing and tend to our skin the way Korean women do, K-beauty stores aren’t always so easy to navigate. (I.e. What are we supposed to do with snail slime-based products?!)
Here, Ruby Wang, founder of Nudie Glow, explains how to tackle anti-ageing the Korean way:
1. You’re never too young to start a good skincare regime
"In Korea, skincare is a lifestyle. Lots of Korean women grow up with their mums telling them about the importance of skincare, so they generally build the awareness at an early age and get serious about it in their 20s—if not earlier!"
2. In Korea, the average skincare regime has between five and 10 steps
"Koreans are well-known for their famous 10-step routine. However, on a day-to-day basis, most Koreans actually have a pretty simple five to six step routine, consisting of the daily essentials such as double cleansers, toner, essence, moisturiser and sunscreen. Some of the other steps are only used one or two times a week, like exfoliators, sheet masks and sleeping masks.
Nowadays, with the busy lifestyle in mind, more and more companies are developing multi-function products that combine two or three steps in one product! The J One Jelly Pack, $45 at Nudie Glow, is a good example of a moisturiser, makeup primer, hydrating mask, all-in-one type of product."
3. Anti-ageing is about prevention
"For Korean women, it’s all about prevention rather than fixing problems. This is why you can find many anti-ageing ingredients in Korean moisturisers, essence, and even makeup primers! Women generally start to use anti-ageing skincare during their 20s to early 30s."
4. If you do undergo a cosmetic procedure, it’s nothing to be ashamed about
Cosmetic procedures are really common in Korea. Women are very open about this and generally happy to share if they’ve had something done. It is also common for parents to reward their children with cosmetic procedures for graduations and other achievements. Many of my Korean friends even get thrown congratulatory parties for getting plastic surgery.
Botox, fillers and the like are common, especially for special occasions like weddings, where they need to look beautiful. Botox is not just for the women, lots of Korean men get them too!
5. Korean customers aren’t brand loyal
There are thousands of Korean skincare brands—some people prefer the big established brands like Innisfree, Laneige and Etude House (called road-shop brands in Korea.) Some prefer the smaller, up-and-coming brands like COSRX and Neogen, which are getting really popular. But in general, people don’t just go by ‘brands’, they go by ‘products.’ They will have their favourite items from multiple brands. The COSRX Pimple Pads are currently the best-selling product in South Korea, according to Korean drugstore chain Olive Young—they sold 400,000 units in the last two months.”
This story first appeared on ELLE.com.au.
For more Beauty, head here. Or check out Lee Sung Kyung’s Beauty Routine Revealed and The 10 Best Korean Skincare Products & How To Use Them.