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Korean Skincare: The Definitive Guide

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Last updated:

Korean skincare has become one of the most popular parts of the beauty industry. The popularity of Korean skincare increases each year as Western society discovers new things about this innovative skincare niche.

There are many important techniques in Korean skincare that make it revolutionary in the beauty industry, like prioritizing damage prevention versus improving your appearance. 

This cosmetic fad is so popular because Korean skincare helps people successfully achieve their beauty goals. Many products can improve the appearance of your skin, which results in a decreased need for cosmetic adjustments like surgeries.

In Korea, reducing the need for cosmetic surgeries is important. So is the empowerment of men and women, which results from clear skin and youthful appearances.

This article discusses Korean skincare, including why this routine-based skincare fad is so popular among the beauty community. You will know the different skin types and several critical Korean skincare tips by the end of the article.

What Is Korean Skincare? 

Korean skincare is a routine practiced in Korea and adopted by Western culture. It has changed the beauty industry with its advanced 5, 7, and 12 step routines that ensure daily preservation and treatment of every type. These routines have made skincare easy and clear, firm, and lively skin attainable.

In Western society, South Korean skincare is a close adaptation. There are millions of imports yearly of authentic skincare goods to give people outside Korea the real South Korean skincare experience. 

Does Korean Skincare Work?

Korean skincare requires commitment, and it works if you are willing to follow the routine. However, these skincare routines work. According to a study conducted about perception by the Cultural Science Institute, Korean skincare routines improve your appearance. Therefore, it reduces the need for cosmetic adjustments like surgeries. The benefits of these improvements have set a new standard of beauty.

Luckily, meeting these beauty standards is easier with the many tips at your disposal. Therefore feeling good about yourself is easier. People feel confident when they look good and Korean skincare encourages this attitude.

How Does Korean Skincare Work?

Korean skincare is a daily routine-based skincare process that has taken hold of the cosmetic and beauty industry. This skincare focuses on preventing skin problems by establishing these routines. Instead of fixing problems like outbreaks after they occur, Korean skincare prevents them. 

The skincare techniques in South Korea are innovative, combining several methods to create perfect combinations that work for every skin type. Unlike many places prioritizing singularity and selling one product, South Korean beauty products are highly specialized for skin type. After finding the perfect beauty products for your skin, you can make a skincare routine that works for your life.

Most people repeat their process twice daily, creating a long ritual that results in flawless skin that is smooth, clear, and blemish-free. Many people refer to this skin as glass skin because of its smoothness and clarity.

For many people, having clear skin is one of the most important things about skincare. Following this are smoothness, radiance, small pores, and much more. Korean skincare focuses on eliminating these worries by minimizing what causes them and preventing future occurrences.

The Different Skin Types

The many different skin types, like oily or glass, can impact the healthiness of your skin. You may require a different Korean skin routine, depending on your type. For instance, oily skins should avoid moisturizers, and people with dry skin must avoid astringent.

There are many different skin types, so you must identify your skin type to make the most of your Korean skincare treatment. Knowing your skin type makes it easier to find a Korean skincare routine that works for you.

Identify your skin type by looking in the mirror or using a tissue to wipe your face. After determining your skin type, you can use some Korean skincare tips to treat your skin. Remember, you are not just treating your face. You should treat your whole body with moisturizers and other products to ensure positive skin conditions.

Glass Skin

Glass skin is an ideal skin type. If you have glass skin, your face is blemish-free, smooth, and hydrated. Many people seek out glass skin type because it is associated with perfection and beauty. 

To achieve glass skin, you must have an established skincare routine. Korean skincare routines are ideal for balanced skin because they urge you to participate in preventative methods. These skincare routines keep you from developing blemishes, improve elasticity, and implement anti-aging.

Dry Skin

Dry skin is a skin type deprived of moisture. Your skin is peeling or flaky. Some people are born with dry skin, and others develop dry skin because of medication, weather exposure, and other common issues.

Oil and collagen are key ingredients in Korean face sheets and moisturizers. These hydrate your skin to reduce dryness and promote a younger appearance. The ideal outcome of using an oil-based cleanser or moisturizer is to promote your skin’s natural oil production. Avid cleaning and moisturizing products are your way to achieve this.

Remember that you must never use moisturizers or hydrating oils if your skin is damaged or you are suffering from a breakout. Using these Korean skincare aids can significantly damage your skin and lead to health problems, especially if the product penetrates the skin.

Acne-Prone Skin

Acne-prone skin is a problematic skin type that leaves many people vulnerable to sudden breakouts. People who suffer from acne-prone skin are more likely to break out than others. It is also much more common than people think.

Excess oils and clogged pores often cause acne. Pores clog when you do not wash your face, sweat in abundance, touch your face frequently, and much more. If you want to stop acne from occurring, you must be proactive.

Red Skin

When your skin is red, it is flushed and appears red or pink underneath or on the skin’s surface. Red skin typically comes from medical problems, sunburns, and inflammatory issues. Many red skin issues result in basic to severe inflammation.

Red skin is the easiest to identify since you appear visibly flushed or red across your whole body. For people who experience this issue, it can be bothersome and sometimes embarrassing. Luckily, there are ways to prevent the issue from occurring.

Oily Skin

Oily skin is excessively hydrated and may be caused by several reasons. Typically, people with oily skin have clogged pores or do not wash their faces frequently enough. Many people are born with oily skin. However, there are other reasons that people’s skin is oily, like the food they consume.

Grab a tissue and wipe your t-zone. A small amount of oils is normal and a sign of healthy skin. However, accumulating substantial oils from this area is a key identifier for oily skin.

Combination Skin

Combination skin is a face that combines several other skin types, like dry and oily skin. According to Healthline, several things can cause combination skin. The most common way to achieve combination skin, which is often considered an ideal skin type, is by consuming a balanced diet.

Some dermatologists consider combination skin a good skin type because it combines several others. However, this type of skin might be problematic because it can fluctuate. Some days your skin can be oily, and on others, it can be dry.

Korean Skincare Prevention Techniques 

Korean skincare is all about preventing skin problems before they occur. Prevention techniques like using argan oil regularly on dry skin can be majorly beneficial. However, it goes further than this with many of the prevention techniques involving important skincare rituals.

Learn skincare preventing techniques to achieve glass or regular skin. These types of healthy skin are best for your health. Disruption of any bodily system is dangerous to your health, given it is the largest organ in the human body. As the largest organ, you must keep your skin protected.

Always apply moisturizer, SPF, and other products to your whole body, not just your face.

How to Prevent Dry Skin

Steam baths, moisturizers, oils, and oil-based cleansers are great examples of how to prevent dry skin. Using hydrating oils, like argan oil and coconut oil, is great for preventing dry skin.

Any intervention method that hydrates and nourishes the skin will prevent dry skin. You must intervene early rather than later before permanent damage is caused by peeling.

It is common for people to experience dryness because of their environment. If relocating is an option, observe alternative areas that have weather more suitable for your skin.

Typically, an area with constant moisture in the air would be more beneficial for someone with dry skin. This is because their body would be more inclined to produce natural oils in a moist area since they would be sweating excessively.

There are many things that cause dry skin, so you should be careful when treating it. If you notice at any time that your skin is damaged, stop. Never use an oil-based cleanser, moisturizer, or oil on cracked skin, or you can cause permanent damage. 

You should always avoid using alcohol-based products when treating dry skin, or you will dry your skin further. You can also burn exposed areas, especially if the dry skin is raw from sunburn or another injury.

How to Prevent Oily Skin

Oily skin occurs when you have too much hydration on your skin, so you must dry your skin out to fix this issue. You can solve oiliness with proper prevention and cleansing techniques. The first step to drying your skin is to get rid of your oil-based cleansers and exchange them for oil-free cleansers.

The most common way to prevent oily skin is by washing your face regularly and using an astringent. Astringent is a skincare product containing alcohol, which dries the skin of its excess moisture. Quality products dry and empty your pores, leaving your skin oil-free and smooth.

Our bodies produce moisture regularly. People with oily skin have an excess of the regular person’s precipitation. Bathing and washing your face more frequently is the best way to achieve the glassy standard you desire.

If you have abrasions or acne, avoid alcohol, or you can damage your skin. Instead, you can prevent oily skin and alleviate this bothersome condition by using oil-free cleansers.

How to Prevent Sunburns 

Sunburn prevention techniques are critical to maintaining the long-term health of your skin.

Promoting the health of your skin means applying sunblock and using moisturizers with sunblock ingredients like aloe vera.

If you endure a sunburn, be sure to use aloe vera. Aloe vera alleviates pain, reduces redness by minimizing inflammation, and stimulates collagen production, quickening the healing process. According to Insider, taking aloe directly from the plant is the best way to receive the benefits of aloe vera.

Putting aloe vera on your skin will reduce redness. If you have red skin, rubbing aloe on your skin or an aloe vera-based lotion is great for reducing inflammatory issues. It is also a good idea to put your reddened skin in ice water.

While it may become red at first, the redness will vanish within a few seconds, and the coldness of the ice water will quickly lighten the red area.

How to Prevent Acne-Prone Skin

To prevent acne-prone skin, you must wash your skin regularly to clear your pores of any trapped dirt or grime. If you have any major skin issues, you should address them.

For instance, take care of any dryness or oiliness and adjust your skincare routine accordingly. If you have a sudden breakout, avoid parts of your facial routine, like exfoliating, that can irritate your skin.

Cleansing your skin daily in slow and gentle motions with warm water prevents acne-prone skin from breaking out. Avoid using hot water, or you will harm your pores. However, cold water can shrink your pores, which can be beneficial to people looking to tighten their faces.

Korean Skincare Tips

Korean skincare doesn’t have to be confusing. According to many different skincare professionals, Korean skincare is the best type of skincare.

You can achieve any skin type you desire with many techniques available, but only if you follow a proper skincare routine. Korean skincare takes discipline to achieve, given it requires routine and maintenance. 

Here are some Korean skincare tips to improve your skin and keep yourself looking healthy. 

1. Establish a Routine

The most important part of Korean skincare is establishing a clear face washing routine. Each morning and evening, you should perform the same skincare routine.

Establishing a routine is the best way to set a pattern and adjust your skin.

According to Healthline, using a 5-step, 7-step, or 12-step routine can significantly improve your skin.

This is mainly because establishing routine forms a habit with your skin. Essential parts of the skincare routine include oil and water-based cleansers, toners, moisturizers, SPF, eye creams, and more.

First, you must find something that fits your skin’s needs.

Accommodating your skin’s needs will give you the best results. So, identify your skin type and then establish a routine that caters to your skin. 

For instance, if you discovered your skin was excessively oily, you might need to use an astringent to dry out your skin. This thoughtful technique would improve your skin condition significantly, though using an astringent skincare product does not need to be a part of your daily routine.

2. Wash Your Face Regularly

Regularly washing your face is the only way to achieve clear and healthy skin.

Washing your face removes the dirt you accumulated throughout your day, and it leaves you feeling refreshed. Korean skincare asserts you must wash your face before performing all other parts of your skincare routine.

Wash your face twice per day, once in the morning and evening. 

You must use the correct cleanser when washing your face, or you can provoke skin problems. Use either an oil-based or water-based cleanser for the best results. The type of cleanser that you use is a very important choice and will vary depending on your skin type.

For example, people with oily skin should avoid using oil-based cleansers. If you suffer from already hyper-oily skin and then use oil-based cleansers, the results can be problematic.

3. Use Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are high-quality, popular Korean skin products that significantly improve your skin if you use them as advised.

The ingredients include oils, activated charcoal, and collagens that moisturize, firm, and heal your skin all at once.

Sheet masks are available at most beauty or grocery stores, and they come at an affordable cost for bulk.

Use a sheet mask to treat all skin types and accomplish the ideal glass skin type. Aside from oily skin, nearly every skin type can benefit from using sheet masks. Sheet masks moisturize, firm, and decrease inflammation on your face. Facial sheets also have many other benefits.

There are many types of sheet masks, including:

  • Charcoal
  • Aloe vera
  • Paraben
  • Cactus
  • Clay

4. Drink tea

The antioxidants in tea promote the positive functioning of the integumentary, immune, endocrine, and several other systems. According to the Michigan Government, when the skin is damaged, it disrupts the whole integumentary system.

Green tea, matcha, barley, and many other teas are good for preventing and fixing skin issues because of the antioxidants that boost the metabolism.

Teas are also influential in many of the body’s other vital systems. There are also many anti-aging properties, which are important for remaining youthful and rejuvenated.

Maintaining a youthful appearance is one of the most important aspects of Korean skincare. So, in addition to maintaining a rejuvenated attitude and temporarily youthful appearance, it prevents wrinkles and age lines long-term.

5. Use Exfoliants

Exfoliants are great ways to remove dead skins from the face. These facial cleansers also penetrate pores and remove dirt and grime from the face. Be careful what type of exfoliant you use.

Depending on your skin type, you might be more vulnerable to abrasions than others. As you use facial exfoliants, you must choose something that is fragile on your skin.

Depending on what you choose to use, that means an exfoliator and exfoliant that will not harm your skin.

Furthermore, you do not need to use exfoliants every day. Exfoliating every day can irritate your skin, so use it a maximum of twice per week or as advised on the label of your exfoliant or exfoliator. 

6. Use Eye Cream

Use an eye cream to remove the bags from underneath your eyes and make yourself appear younger.

The collagen in eye cream reduces inflammation and moisturizes under your eyes. If you are frequently sleep-deprived, you might need an eye cream to increase your elasticity.

Under-eye cream makes anyone appear younger, with a more restful appearance.

Even if you get plenty of sleep and your appearance seems restful enough, eye cream is important for preventing under-eye bags at a later age.

It is similar to a lotion, which helps women prevent stretch marks and sagging during pregnancy.

When applying eye cream, always tap it under your eye. If you rub it under your eye, it may cause sagging.

Eye cream should be applied at least two times a week or as advised by the directions on your eye cream.

7, Use Toner

Toner is a liquid face care product you should make a part of your skincare routine. It refreshes your skin, leaving it ready for moisturizer.

Toner leaves a layer of natural oils on the top of your skin, making the moisturizing experience even easier. It also dries the skin. The combination of the toner’s effects on the skin means it is an effective tool for balancing your skin problems.

You can achieve nearly any benefit from toner since they have many purposes.

Toners are more beneficial than astringent because they do not contain alcohol. Plus, toners protect the skin from damage by shrinking the pores.

8. Use a moisturizer

Moisturizer is a great way to keep your face hydrated, firm, and smooth. You should use it every night to promote positive skin development. You must pick out your moisturizer carefully and observe the ingredients with close consideration when choosing which moisturizer to purchase.

Collagen, hyaluronic acid, and fruit extracts are great ingredients to look for in moisturizers. These firm and hydrate your skin, leaving you feeling smooth and renewed. Moisturizers also tighten your skin, making it more elastic and resilient.

9. Take a Steam Massage

Regular steam massages can open your pores. By massaging your face, you increase the elasticity in your cheeks and promote a more exuberant appearance.

As you massage your face you encourage positive blood flow and good circulation to your face, a benefit to your integumentary system.

Heat the shower and wait until the room is fully steamy to take a steam massage. Place the towel over your head and face downward. Let the steam rise into the towel and absorb the heat.

As the heat overwhelms your face, massage yourself in slow circles.

Relax and allow yourself to sweat from the heat as if it were a sauna; this will be great for your integumentary and other bodily systems.

10. Jamsu

Jamsu is a Korean term for submerging your head in ice water for ten and twenty seconds. The term generally refers to a makeup priming technique.

However, submerging one’s head in a bowl of ice is a common way to reduce inflammation and promote the healing process of face abrasions or blemishes. 

Submerging your head in ice water for 10 to 20 seconds also tightens your pores. It is great for reducing swelling before a big event or the effects of red skin.

You may also want to use this technique if you have dry skin and struggle with makeup sticking to your skin.

As a setting technique, it sets the makeup onto your skin as a setting technique and creates a more natural look and feel.


Korean skincare is a revolutionary and relatively new beauty craze that has Western culture has become enamored by for many reasons.

The United States has become very interested in Korean skincare because of its focus on maintaining youthful appearances through prevention and dedication. With hard work and an established routine, you can have the healthiest skin of your dreams.

Plus, Korean skincare is innovative, with tips that help repair damaged skin.

To summarize, Korean skincare influences Western culture because of the positive effects on appearance and health. When people feel more positive about their appearance, they are happier and are less likely to reach out for cosmetic surgeries and alterations.

By using Korean skincare products and following daily South Korean skincare routines, people reduce inflammation, encourage positive health, and improve their self-esteem.

It is beneficial to society. 

Korean skincare focuses on prevention methods rather than constantly improving skin, such as establishing a morning and nightly routine.

According to the western culture’s adaptation, the Korean skincare routine should involve daily cleansing, moisturizing, tea-drinking, eye cream, and toner, among many others.

If you want to achieve glass skin or combination skin, you should abide by a Korean skincare routine, which can help you get that balanced skin you desire.

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    About The Author

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    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.

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