Korean beauty hacks to make your skin perfect
In Korea, having absolutely perfect skin – a beautiful ‘glass’ complexion - is a national obsession. And they know how to get that to get gorgeous skin. It’s more than what you put on your skin; it’s also what you eat and drink.
Those TikTok pass-the-brush challenges originated in Korea. Even in their just-out-of-bed state, the women have flawless skin. There’s a lot of work that goes into it though, so if you want to get that crystal-clear look, be prepared to put in some effort.
So what is actually required to achieve that dewy-fresh K-skin?
1. Start in the shower
To get your skin clean—really clean—you need to take your time. The shower is a great place to start. Using the steamy heat of the shower as a pore-softener, you want to double-cleanse and massage.
First, use an oil-based cleanser and massage your face for four to five minutes. Use circular motions with the tips of your fingertips to cleanse, increase circulation and encourage a dewy, fresh appearance. This massage trick encourages hydration, as well as removing dirt, grease and grime. The steamy air helps to soften pores, so you’ll also release those evil blackheads.
Then, wash your face with a gentle foaming cleanser. Take your time and ensure all traces of makeup are removed. To finish cleansing, rinse the cleanser off with warm (not hot) water.
2. Give your skin a treat
Korean women have a huge range of skincare products to choose from, so they give themselves skin treatments weekly at least, often more. Try some of these cheap, natural ideas:
Gentle exfoliation: Take a soft but nubbly facecloth and give yourself a gentle exfoliation. Rub your skin in a circular motion using the facecloth. Use tepid water and an oil based cleanser if you’re worried about rubbing your face raw.
Try a charcoal sheet mask: Charcoal helps to draw dirt from pores, helping to detox, clarify and exfoliate your skin. Simply apply a pre-made mask and then relax for 15 to 20 minutes. Don’t do this more than once a week though, as it can dry out the skin.
Layering product: It’s wise to gather some targeted treatments for any ongoing issues you have. Whether they’re serums or essences, these products help to solve problems before they occur. After washing (or double-washing), you can apply a light toner (check out Okana Skincare) to prepare your skin for layer-upon-layer of nutrients. Apply serum or essence sparingly to your palms, then massage or press into your skin. Apply two or three layers this way. Finally, apply moisturiser. This is how you treat dry, irritated or discoloured skin.
3. Get healthy from the inside
While it can be a big ask to whole-heartedly adopt the Korean diet, which is rich in seaweed, kimchi, ginseng and other delights, you can adopt some of their techniques. In general, Korean diets are low-glycaemic, which is said to help with acne and inflammation. Consume loads of fruit and vegetables and eat oily fish, such as salmon, once a week or more. The Omega oils are fantastic for your skin health. Drink enough water too; dehydration makes your skin look dull and dry.
Barley tea is a Korean staple, and for good reason. It’s great for circulation, rich in antioxidants and is said to help with digestion. Replace one of your morning coffees with this sweetly nutty drink and potentially reap some health benefits.
4. Utilise your downtime
Sleeping is important for mental, physical and skin health. It’s when your body takes the opportunity to refresh, renew and regenerate skin cells. Make sure you take full advantage of this time; while you’re snoozing, you can be helping your skin to achieve a higher level of perfection.
First thing to think about is your pillowcase. Wash it regularly, so that grease and dead skin cells don’t build up. Every few days, change the pillowslip so that your face isn’t resting on the dirt from last night.
Secondly, use skin products specifically developed for overnight use. Super-moisturisation with a nurturing night cream helps to wind the clock back overnight.
5. Oil isn’t a bad thing
Your skin makes its own natural beauty treatment - sebum. It’s why people with oily skin age better than those with dry skin. So it makes sense to try some nature-sourced oils on your skin. Avocado, rosehip, jojoba and argan oil are all low on the comedogenic scale (don’t block pores) and offer loads of nutrients and goodies for your skin. As with any new product, try a patch test first and discontinue use if the oil irritates the skin.
6. Create a good routine and stick to it
By far the best thing you can do for your skin is creating a great basic cleansing/toning/moisturising/sunscreening routine, then sticking to it. While fancy beauty treatments can make a difference, what you do religiously every day makes an even bigger difference.