Why We're Switching To A Korean Skincare Routine To Get Better Skin


Naomi campbell

Source: Vittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images

Korean women are known for their flawless skin, we tell ourselves it’s just good genes, but the reality is, it’s their skincare routines! The K-Beauty trend has become huge, with Western beauty brands jumping on the vibe with sheet masks (a Korean beauty essential for decades) and serums (the Western version of essences). So we found ourselves wondering, is Korean ‘glass skin’ actually achievable for everyone, and what really is the difference with their skincare routine?

We spoke to two beauty bosses who know EVERYTHING there is to know about Korean beauty, the Founders and CEOs of GlowRecipe.com, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang. Their knowledge and passion led them to create their curated site of only the best Korean skincare brands, and it’s full of some insanely cool products we’ve already set our hearts on (stay tuned for our reviews). Finally, here’s the DL on the difference between K-beauty and Western beauty, and how you can get their beautiful skin too:

The glow recipe - sarah lee and christine chang

Source: Glow Recipe

What’s the main difference between Korean and Western beauty?
“While Western skincare generally focuses on anti-aging, Korean Beauty is all about having a dialogue with your skin – listening to the skin’s needs with a holistic approach. Layering hydration while also preventing damage from environmental factors, pollution, and harmful UV rays is key. One example is our approach to toners. Toners in Korean Beauty are super important as it’s the first liquid step of hydration. Toners absorb into the skin faster than the other steps, hydrating the skin and setting it up to better absorb following skincare steps. Toners in Western beauty are usually astringent and are often skipped in a skincare routine.” – Sarah Lee, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Glow Recipe.

How does a Korean skincare routine differ to Western? 
“K-Beauty is all about thin, light layers of active ingredients to achieve a hydrated, lit-from-within glow. We liken this to wearing several thin layers in the winter to stay warm vs. wearing one chunky sweater. One misconception is that K-Beauty is a complicated, 15-step routine. At Glow Recipe, our philosophy is all about creating a routine specifically for your skin. Start with the core steps of double cleansing, followed by a hydrating toner, a serum, and a cream to seal in all the hydration. From there, you can incorporate masks, ampoules and additional serums based on what your skin needs.” – Christine Chang, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Glow Recipe.

korean skincare

Source: Glow Recipe

What are key ingredients that Korean Beauty revolves around?
“Natural ingredients are a long-standing heritage of K-Beauty – palace women of the olden days used rice and red beans to treat their skin. Other examples of natural ingredients are kelp, botanical ingredients like Camila that grow locally on Jeju Island, and fermented grains. In addition to natural ingredients, K-Beauty uses best-in-class, scientific ingredients such as ceramides and hyaluronic acids in diverse and innovative ways. For example, our LJH Grow Hyal B5 Toner contains five different types of hyaluronic acids at different molecular weights for a multi-layer penetration of the skin.” – Sarah Lee

What is the essential part of a K-Beauty routine?
“Double cleansing is very important in K-Beauty, by using an oil cleanser to melt the oil-based makeup and sunscreen, then a foaming cleanser to melt away grime and pollution. Creating a clean canvas is key to having your subsequent skincare steps can work efficiently. Also, the toner is another essential step as it’s the first liquid layer of hydration – and liquids penetrate into the skin more effectively than an emollient cream that sits on top of the skin. By doing the 7-skin method (applying toner seven times consecutively) you can achieve a natural glow that will even give radiance underneath makeup.” – Christine Chang

What’s the one Glow Recipe product both of you can’t live without?
“I can’t live without our Pink Juice moisturizer! It’s the perfect lightweight, oil-free moisturizer for oily to combination skin, which I have. I used to use different moisturizers for different areas of my face, but now I can use this product for all over as the last step of my routine.” – Sarah Lee

A post shared by Sarah Lee (@sarah_glow) on

“I can’t live without the Blueberry Bounce Cleanser as it provides a deep enough cleanse to remove makeup, but is also filled with antioxidants from blueberries that leaves the skin hydrated and protected.” – Christine Chang

Of course, we both can’t live without our Watermelon Sleeping Mask! It’s a definitely skin-game changer that gently exfoliates skin while you sleep, revealing baby soft results in the morning.

Who else is already online ordering K-Beauty skincare products?