TheKoreanGuide is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission.

How to Get White Skin Like Koreans (with 12 Tips!)

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Published on:

Achieving the white skin gets to be very tough, especially if you never had very pale skin to begin with. 

And while there are a lot of tips and tricks out there, they’re usually very confusing or packed with bad tips you don’t need.

Want to get white skin like Koreans do and lighter skin in general?

Follow these 12 tips to get started.

12 Tips To Get White Skin Like Koreans

The following guide provides the best ways on how to get white skin like Koreans. Peruse the following 12 tips, tricks and techniques to ensure you get that bright, beautiful Korean-like appearance to your skin.

1. Whitening Does Not Equate to Bleaching

Many people mistakenly think that whitening means bleaching and this simply isn’t true with Korean skincare. Bleaching refers to the act of removing pigmentation from the skin. Whitening, on the other hand, refers to brightening the skin to a gorgeous glow.

Part of the misunderstanding with “whitening” labels is the linguistic translations. This is because many Asian words and their full meanings don’t fully translate well to English.

So, in terms of Korean skincare products, whitening means “glowing, luminous and radiant.” Therefore, it’s not about skin color but rather the appearance of the skin itself regardless of skin tone. This means it can fade acne scars, hyperpigmentation, sunspots and other darkening/discoloration of the skin. [1]

2. Skincare First, Makeup Second

The reason why Koreans have such beautiful white skin is that they do not prioritize makeup. When they do wear it, they use only the bare minimum to enhance and draw attention to their natural features. They don’t wear loads of blush, contour, eye shadow or layers of lipstick.

Most Koreans do a simple concealer to dab out blemishes, marks and scars with very little powder. But it’s the touted 10-step skincare routine that’s the key to that glassy, porcelain appearance. They do it faithfully twice per day and begin at a very young age.

3. Create an Extensive Skincare Routine

One of the main takeaways from a typical Korean skincare regimen is the idea of layering. Once you complete the dual cleansing along with exfoliation, the following steps include things like toner, serums, treatments, essences and moisturizer – in that order. It starts from the lightest to the heaviest in terms of consistency.

But, if you’re the kind that just washes your face and slathers on a bit of moisturizer, you must increase your routine slowly. One of the worst things you can do to your skin is completely switch out products and increase friction. This will not glean the results you seek.

Therefore, gradually add products one by one until your skin adjusts to them. For example, start with toner before your moisturizer. Do this for a month or so and monitor how your skin reacts. When it accustoms itself, begin the dual cleansing process beginning with oil and followed it with a foaming cleanser. [2]

4. Look for Korean Skincare Products with Whitening Ingredients

Many K-beauty products promote brightening and whitening agents within their formulations. These will include things like lemon or other citrus fruits such as orange or yuzu. Additionally, you can look for vitamin C serums specifically designed for whitening. The list below contains some things to look for in terms of whitening:

  • Mulberry Extract
  • Licorice Root Extract
  • Pearl Powder [3]
  • Niacinamide
  • Rice
  • Snail Secretions

5. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle

The best tip for white skin like Koreans is to ensure you live a healthy lifestyle that includes diet and sufficient exercise. Be sure to eat plenty of fruits and vegetables that have concentrated amounts of things like vitamin C and B.

This means you should avoid fast and processed foods. Keep fries, hamburgers and cupcakes to a minimum. It also means limiting alcohol and tobacco consumption, since these can have a drying effect that causes premature aging.

6. Cleansing & Moisturizing Are Crucial

The start to a perfect Korean-style skincare regimen to achieve that translucent and dewy glow is the dual cleansing process. This means beginning with an oil cleanser and removing it with a suitable foaming one. Your cleansers should not clog pores or cause skin purging.

The moisturizer should have gentle humectants that pull moisture from the air and put it deep into your pores. Things like hyaluronic acid, honey or glycerin are ideal. Also, with both cleansing and moisturizing, gently rub your face in upward circles with the tips of your fingers to massage it.

As a side note: Don’t use your index or middle finger to apply skincare products to your face, especially when it comes to the delicate skin around the eyes. Those first two digits on your hand are far too strong for your eyes. Use your pinky or ring fingers instead.

7. Exfoliation Must Be Part of Your Routine

Exfoliation is incredibly important and you should make it part of your daily skincare regimen. This is particularly true if you work in an environment that has chemicals, exposes you to massive amounts of sunlight or other harmful effects to the skin. However, dry and sensitive skin types must opt for nonabrasive exfoliation products.

8. Sleeping & Sheet Masks Are Important

Your skin performs its best cellular recovery during sleep. So, hyper moisturizing with a sheet mask or sleeping mask will do wonders for a tired, dull complexion. You should use them at least three times per week. This is especially true in summer and the dead of winter.

9. Sunscreen Is Important

Everyone, regardless of skin tone, requires a good SPF with broad spectrum defense to protect effectively against the sun’s harsh rays. When exposed to things like UVA and UVB, skin not only ages quicker but it also has the potential to develop spots and discoloration.

10. Avoid too Much Contact with Sunlight

Historically, in the Far East, light or white skin meant you were a noble or of another higher class that didn’t do physical labor outdoors. Ergo, it had an association with wealth and status, inferring the understanding of not being in the sun for too long.

When you’re in the sun, your skin will darken to a considerable degree. This can result in spots, uneven tone and hyperpigmentation. So, if you want white skin like Koreans, avoid spending too much time in direct sunlight. Use plenty of sunscreen, wear a hat and sunglasses in the hotter months of the year.

11. Use Products Appropriate for the Season & Location

Remember, in Korean skincare, what you put on your face is akin to food for your stomach. So, you want to use products appropriate for the season just as you would with food. For instance, you wouldn’t want a hot coffee or a steaming bowl of soup on a humid summer day.

So, in the summer, use a cooling light moisturizing gel especially on hot and humid days. For hot arid locations, a medium-light moisturizer that provides protection will be ideal. In wintertime, use thicker creams to help give a barrier to freezing temperatures.

12. Employ the Korean Blurring Technique

Koreans blur unwanted marks with one or more smart coverage products and a cosmetic sponge. Using things like BB cream, CC cream, light foundation or concealer to help achieve the appearance of flawless, white skin. Ensure the color of it matches your skin tone correctly and blend the product well so it isn’t visible.

One of the worst things Western women do is use the wrong color foundation and fail to blend around the hairline, temples, chin and neck. You will never see this on a Korean woman.

Wrapping up

With all the tips out there, it’s quite hard to find the best way to get white skin like Koreans. These 12 tips will help you achieve your flawless skin faster than any other method out there.

Enjoy the article?

You'll love my daily email! Learn something new about South Korea every single day. It's completely free. <3

    About The Author

    Photo of author

    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

    You May Also Like