What Korean Skincare Can Do For You

what korean skincare can do for you

Known for their elaborate 10-12 step daily beauty regimes, exotic ingredients and high-precision application techniques, there is a lot to be admired about the dedication and purpose many Koreans employ regarding care for their largest organ (…their skin.)

Steeped in history, Korean skincare has a lot to offer western users, causing a new consciousness around this “phenomenon”. I have always been completely intrigued by the concept of Korean skincare, so recently I decided it was time to find out more about it. So – what IS Korean skincare all about?  I tapped leading Australian-based Korean skincare and makeup store, ANIQA to learn more.

The Korean Skincare Philosophy

FACT #1 – Whereas many westerners see skincare as a chore, Koreans do not. Instead, the process of skincare becomes something therapeutic to be enjoyed! Deeply respectful of their skin, Koreans approach skincare with knowledge, time, and a nurturing touch.

FACT #2 – Koreans place great value on time-tested philosophies. I was amazed to learn that Koreans have been honing their skincare game for more than 5000 years! The “Donguibogum” (an ancient document and national treasure) advocates medicinal herbs and natural substances for skin health. The knowledge and principles in Donguibogam has served as a foundation for many innovative Korean skin care products.

FACT #3 – Koreans truly value the importance of having healthy skin, which equates to beauty. Clarity, brightness, and translucence are the fundamental goals of many Korean skin care regimes, and achieving these with the help of k-beauty products has become a popular choice among skincare enthusiasts.

FACT #4 – The main point of difference between Western and Korean skin care is the innovative use of ingredients, from ginseng, mung bean, snail secretion, bee and snake venom (!!!), with the latest trends being the use of donkey’s milk.

Korean Skincare Steps Explained

Earlier I mentioned that Koreans were quite fanatical about their skincare, (after all, a 10+ step process knocks most western beauty routines out of the park!)

However, it’s important to note that the 10-12 steps aren’t always practised every day, and you can manage with a basic cleanse, tone, moisturize and sun protection as a bare minimum, if you wish.

1. First cleanse – Remove makeup and surface impurities with an oil or a cleaning wipe.

2. Second cleanse – Foam cleanser with gentle motions, no heavy scrubbing! (Products to try: Mizon Egg White Bubble Cleanser or Snail Cushion Foam Cleanser)

3. Exfoliate – Essential to remove dead cells to allow products to work their magic, plus creating that flawless porcelain surface.

I have recently been using the Mizon Seaweed Jelly Scrub and absolutely love it! This is a very gentle exfoliator which you apply to dry skin. Packed with Konjac, this exfoliator also contains rice powder and amber powder. It buffs and shines without any harsh irritation or nasty abrasives.

4. Toner – Remove residual dirt or cleansers/exfoliators left behind.

5. Essence – A critical step in the Korean regime, and completely foreign to most western beauty consumers.

According to ANIQA, essence is “a liquid that is rich in nutrients and aids in the skin regeneration process by enhancing the skin’s cellular renewal and turnover rate.”

I have been using the Mizon Moisture Ex First Essence which I pat onto clean skin. The essence feels like a super-charged water and it leaves my face feeling very supple and hydrated without ANY feeling of weight or product. It absorbs instantly and creates a great base for my serum.

6. Serum/Ampoule – A concentrated (customisable) solution to tackle a certain problem area such as ageing, hydration, brightness etc. Products can be layered.

I have been using Mizon Skin Recharge Activating Serum which contains a key ingredient, Bifidobacteria Ferment Lysate (the same lactobacillus bifidus found in breast milk), obtained through a difficult culture process. This ingredient works to improve weak and roughened skin and improves key skin issues such as hydration, elasticity and skin balance.

7. Sheet mask – Added hydration. Simply align on the face, let the product work it’s magic and put your feet up!

8. Eye cream – A specialist cream to treat fine lines, wrinkles and dehydration.

I have been using the Cremorlab Wrinkle Off Eye Cream which can also be used as an eye-makeup primer. It is a velvety-smooth medium-density eye gel that hydrates and calms the eye area.This product absorbs instantly and leaves no residue.

9. Moisturiser/Emulsions – Adding back essential nutrients. Pat or massage gently in a circular motion.

10. Sleeping masks – A powerful moisturiser, not to be confused with a “sheet”. A super-charged creme works miracles while you sleep.

11. SPF – Absolutely essential to keep pigmentation, wrinkles and general signs of ageing at bay. Koreans know that all their steps are futile if adequate sun protection is not undertaken!

For more information on Korean skincare, be sure to head to the Australian-based ANIQA website. They can also be found on Facebook and Instagram!

Do you have any experience with Korean skincare products? Do you think their philosophy and routine is something for you? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!





  • Reply lucywe1 Friday 7th August, 2015 at 5:49 pm

    For me personally, my skin looks at its best after simply cleansing and mositurising and holding back on makeup for a while.. But I guess different things work for different people!

    • Vanessa Roberts - Editor
      Reply Vanessa Roberts - Editor Wednesday 12th August, 2015 at 9:17 am

      This definitely makes sense Lucywe1. Too much makeup definitely stops the skin from breathing. Thank you for sharing!

  • Reply Xiaxiao Thursday 23rd July, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    korean skincare and makeup is so good especially for the price

  • newbie
    Reply newbie Sunday 19th July, 2015 at 7:34 pm

    so much time!

  • Reply ragdollbaby Friday 17th July, 2015 at 9:29 pm

    I never looked at a skincare regime as being an enjoyable ritual. And honesty I don’t see a lot of difference (or lasting effect) between when I do multiple steps to when I don’t do anything.

  • Reply BellaB Friday 17th July, 2015 at 4:57 pm

    The concept is good, but I’m just not sure I’d have the time or dedication to maintain that kind of routine.

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