K Beauty Skincare Steps and Recommeded Products
K Beauty skincare products have taken the beauty world by storm in the recent years due to their natural and gentle innovative formulas, giving intense hydration and natural glowy skin and also beautiful and fun packaging designs.
Korean (men and women) take their skincare routines very seriously and are taught from childhood the importance to looking after your skin and body. They believe in fixing skin concerns rather than covering them with makeup and using skincare to help your skin look its absolute best. Skincare is not luxury in their culture it is a necessity, as important as eating and brushing your teeth.
There are 10 steps in a Korean Skincare Routine which may sound excessive, though the results are proven that if you have the time and patience it really works. It's all about layering the products in the correct order in consistency to aloow the products to achieve their full potential and to combat your skin concerns giving maximum results.
Now K Beauty products and brands are translated here in Korean (obviously duh?) so, unless you understand the Korean language their skincare brands and ingredients may be a little overwhelming to navigate to a new explorer who will no doubt have no clue in where to start. So, I am going to introduce you to all the steps and to some brands and products that have been introduced to me via UK stockists.
The 10 step process and some of my recommendations –
Step 1 – Eye makeup remover.
The start of your what we know it as “The double cleanse”. If you are wearing makeup this would be your first cleanse and I would take an oil or balm cleanser all over your dry face including your eyes working in circular motions to remove and melt away all traces of makeup.
Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm * – A hypo allergenic balm cleanser with a light fruit sent in beautiful and aesthetically pleasing pink packaging. This cleanser is suitable for all skin types and is hydrating as well as deep cleansing.
Available from – www.skinkind.co RRP £20.00 100ml
Step 2 – Facial cleanser.
The second cleanse, a water based cleanser that will foam or emulsify upon application to wet skin. Again work in circular motions. This will help make sure your whole face is cleansed whilst also increasing circulation which is great for plumping and collagen production. Then wash away with a cleansing cloth.
Pyunkang Yul Pore Deep Cleansing Foam cleanser* – A cleanser that deep cleanses the pores and restores balance. It has the most beautiful lemongrass scent and is actually one of my most fave cleanser I have ever tried. Strong statement!
Available from – Skin Kind as part of a tester set 40ml & 3 other products RRP £15.00
Purito From Green Deep Foaming Cleanser* – A PH balanced daily cleanser made from 20 kinds of essential plant based ingredients. Suitable for all skin types. Leaves skin clean and non drying.
Available from – Skin Kind RRP £15.00 150ml
Make P:rem Safe Me relief moisture cleansing foam – A popular foaming cleanser. The formula contains beautiful soothing essential oils including sage and lavender, giving it a lovely aroma. The formula is also soothing and incredibly gentle making it perfect for all skin types especially those that are sensitized.
Available at Feelunique RRP £15.00 150ml
VQ Cica Green Tea Jelly Cleanser* – Another very gentle cleanser made with vegan friendly ingredients with a very fun jelly formula. Contains green tea which is great for balancing the skins sebum levels while also hydrating and minimising signs of ageing. Suitable for all skin types especially those with inflamed skin.
Available from Vitamasques RRP £19.99 65ml
Step 3 – Exfoliator (this can be chemical or physical).
Exfoliating helps remove unwanted dead skin cells that clog your pores and dull your complexion in turn minimizing congestion and brightening you skin giving that glow and radiance everyone dreams of. There are different ways to exfoliate. It can be a mask, an acid or a physical.
After looking through my products and thinking of ones I have used I am yet to try a K Beauty exfoliator but you can find some in the following UK Stockists.
Lookfantastic.com - for 20% off use code LFTFNICOLAL *some exclusions **
Step 4 – Skin toner.
One of my fave skincare steps that a lot of people do not realize the importance of. This is the final step of the cleansing process removing any left over traces of dirt, makeup or product residue also replenishing moisture at the same time and addressing other skin concerns. It is used by applying to a cotton pad and swept across the face. There are so many different toners so choose one that helps with your skin concerns.
Keep Cool & Soothe Toner – A soothing toner to calm sensitive or irritated skin. It contains a moisturising agent ingredient called Sodium Hyaluronate and works well with all skin types especially dry and oily due to its pH5.5 level.
Available from Feelunique RRP £18.00 160ml
I’m From Rice Toner – One of my absolute favourites and it has become a very popular product and brand here in the UK. Made from the best rice grown in Yeoju the origin of rice. It deeply and intensely hydrates the skin and leaves the skin balanced. It is an absolute dream to use! I especially enjoy this one in the summer after sun exposure. So calming!
Available from Amazon RRP £26.00 150ml**
Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner – One of my favourites! It is such a pleasure to use. Thicker than your average toner and two steps in one. For intense hydration. Made with 91% Milk Vetch Root Extract this product will replenish your skin with nutrients and energize. There is only one outcome ! Healthy skin.
Available at BeautyandSeoul £15.50 200ml or £9.50 100ml
Kosmetic Immunity Nourishing Refining Toner – This one has a spritz nozzle to allow you to spray directly onto the skin which is very refreshing. It has been formulate to refine pores, removing toxing and leaving the skin with a smoother surface. I really really enjoy tis toner and it works amazing with my oily skin.
Available from Skinsider.co.uk RRP £22.00 100ml
Step 5 – Facial essence.
This step was new to me within the last 12 months to, I mean I had heard of essence but had no idea how to incorporate it into my routine or what it was for. We are always learning! Korean women actually consider this as the heart and most important part of the Korean skincare routine and here I have been 32 years without knowing this important step existed. Now the cats out the bag about this type of product it is becoming increasingly more popular and I predict more brands across the globe will be introducing into their product inventory. We already saw Fresh Beauty recently bring their rose essence out to market. Essence is used to intensely hydrate and encourage cell turnover bringing out that glowy skin by either sweeping over the face on a cotton pad or my favourite technique pressing into the skin with the palms of my hands. Less product wastage. So now you see why we NEED this!
A little Tip I learnt about essence from reading “The Little Book of Skincare by Charlotte Cho”, Korean women also use essence on their hair to help with shine and vitality! Don’t say I don’t give you the good tips now. Lol!
I’m From Fig Boosting Essence – A vegan friendly formula made with 62% fig extract to penetrate deeply into the skin and moisturise whilst also having anti-ageing properties. It also gets the skin ready to absorb the next layer of skincare. I love this product, It really is pleasurable to use I just wish it had a scent to seal the deal. Unfortunately it is unscented.
Available from Amazon RRP £36.00 150ml**
I’m From Mugwort Essence – This one is formulated to calm and soothe irritated skin. Containing Mugwort extract which is rich in vitamins and minerals with anti-ageing properties. A real treat if your skin is feeling sensitised.
Available from Amazon RRP £32.98 150ml **
Secret Key Treatment Essence – If you love packaging you will adore this product! It is absolutely beautiful to look at and to use to. Formulated with rose water and galactomyces for intense hydration.
Available from Amazon RRP £22.95 150ml **
Step 6 – Ampoule.
Ampoules are as we know them serums. In my opinion where you really treat your skin and a product I always encourage people to spend their money on if they are to splurge on any step. The better quality a serum is the more you will benefit from it.
Huxley Secret of Sahara Essence Grab Water – Huxley is one of my fave K Beauty brands. They are at the higher end of the budget but they are such a pleasure to use with their signature scent. This product Is fortified with beaut ingredients to give long-lasting nourishment and anti ageing properties whilst also protecting the skin against harmful pollutants.
Available at Look Fantastic RRP £38.00 currently reduced to £30.40 (15/02/21)**
Step 7 – Sheet mask (yes these aren’t just for selfcare Sunday)
Who doesn’t love a sheet mask. In the bath, doing the laundry, cooking dinner, taking 5 minutes to yourself. Its luxury but for Koreans it is a twice a week or more ritual. Sheet masks infused with serums and essences to restore moisture.
Beauty sheet masks can be picked up so cheaply and are often on offer in TK MAX
My favourite brands for K Beauty Sheet masks –
OhK -availabe at LookFantastic for 20% off code LFTFNICOLAL **
Step 8 – Eye Cream.
The skin around the eye area is really, really delicate and can often be the first place signs of ageing is obvious. The eye area must be treated with care and when applying the product not to be too vigorous. I use my little finger to gently tap the product in or a cool eye cream applicator tool to roll over the eye area and awaken the skin. Never pull the skin, it will stretch and cause sagging.
Klairs Nourishing Eye butter – A luxurious thick eye cream that melts into the skin and absorbes quickly. Contains powerful peptides and replenishing ingredients to protect your eye area from external aggressors and also plump and promote youth and a wide awake appearance.
Available from Look Fantastic RRP £23.00 – for 20% off use code LFTFNICOLAL **
Step 9 – Facial moistursier.
The thickest formula and therefore one of the last steps of the Korean Skincare Steps to seal in all the goodness you have just applied. Play with the formulas depending on your skin type for comfortable wear.
Cosrx Oil Free Ultra Moisturising Lotion – An oil free formula with a lightweight gel texture perfect for oily skin, my skin really appreciatedt his product. Such a hydrating lotion packed with vitamins and antioxidants, for oily/ combination skin types.
Available from Boots RRP £26.99 100ml
Pyunkang Yul Moisture Cream – A rich moisturiser that is like a comfort blanket and a face plumper al in one. Actual heaven in a pot! Non greasy and keeps the moisture level there all day. I also found my makeup applied like a dream over this moisturiser. Suitable for all skin types especially sensitive due to its fragrance fee soothing formula
Available from BeautyandSeoul RRP £25.00
Step 10 – SPF (AM Routine) Night Cream or Night mask (PM Routine)
Despite recent negative press on Korean SPFs not being as protecting as they are advertised I have found them to have the best formulas for my skin type. SPFs break me out badly! So I have refused to wear despite their importance. SPFs aren’t just for summer they protect from the harmful rays of the sun which are present all the time. Where ever you can see daylight you are being exposed. Even indoors through windows! Over exposure can cause ageing and skin cancer so it is important to always finish your AM skincare with SPF. Since I found Korean SPFs I am an avid user and always apply when needed (almost every day) Their formulas are very appreciated by my oily skin.
Dr Ceuracle Cica Regen Anti Dust Sun Gel – A light gel formula that protects against the sun and other pollutants.
Available from Feelunique RRP £24.00
Night Masks are used as an over night as a sleeping pack. Our skin regenerates while we sleep so night masks can aid the regeneration process and also give the skin some intense therapy. I love a night mask as an alternative to a moisturiser and use 2/3 times a week.
Cosrx Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask* - This mask made with 87% of propolis extract and natural beeswax provides intense moisture and hydration. Honey also has healing benefits perfect for inflamed skin. A beaut clear formula mask that is so comfortable to wear and left my skin feeling awoken in the morning.
Available from Boots £24.00 60ml **
VQ Multi vitamin mask *– This is so fun and so beautiful. A vegan friendly multivitamin Jelly mask infused with hyaluronic acid for intense hydration. The capsules disperse and absorb into the skin shortly after application. You ill wake up with beautiful glowing skin!
Available from Vitamsques RRP £19.99 60ml
Huxley Secret of Sahara Sleep Mask – Again another gorgeous product from Huxley a brand I am a fan of. You will wake up glowing and enjoy the pleasant aroma when you apply. A gel formula that melts instantly into the skin, so comfortable to wear and calming. Infused with Huxley's signature ingredient prickly pear for a potent blend of antioxidants to combat signs of ageing.
Available at Look Fantastic RRP £24.00 for 20% off use code LFTFNICOLAL **
There we have it, I bet you are feeling overwhelmed right? It is a lot of steps though truth be told We probably use the majority of these steps without realising. How many do you already use and which are new to you?
I really enjoyed putting this together for you all so would love to hear my readers feedback. If you learnt something new or purchased a product off recommendation. Please let me hear about it.
* PR Samples ** Affiliated
Thanks so much for reading
February 15, 2021