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Korean Skincare Secrets Revealed

Okay, so these aren’t exactly secrets, but we are just finding out about them. All you have to do is take a look at some of Korea’s hottest mugs, and it should come as no surprise that they are far ahead of the US in the skincare game. Known for their clear, radiant skin, they’re clearly doing something very right, and it’s time to jump on this glowing bandwagon.


In our skin’s defense, Korea’s skincare products aren’t just more technologically advanced than ours, but they’re more easily obtained without prescriptions or scary price tags. But even without these superior products, there are plenty of things Korean women do that make a difference.

Korean woman focus on less makeup and more skincare, so their skincare routine is  a lengthy, rigorous process filled with multiple steps and more products than you’re used, but it’s not not-doable! Here are some of the biggest differences we noticed.

The Double Cleanse

This is exactly what it sounds like - washing your face twice before bed. After removing makeup with a cleansing tissue or makeup remover, an oil cleanser is massaged into the skin. This starts the cleansing process without stripping away moisture. This is followed by a gentle cream or foaming cleanser to remove every last trace of the day.

Coined the ‘424’ cleansing technique, Korean actress Suzy Bae takes 10 minutes to complete the double cleanse: 4 minutes of oil, 2 minutes of cleansing, and 4 minutes of rinsing.

Application Techniques

Korean women place importance on not only the quality of the products used, but the way in which they apply them. Massaging or “slapping” products into the skin aids in absorption, and stimulates circulation. Some women extend this by giving themselves facial massages, or practicing facial exercises.


Aside from the Japanese SK-II essence that has a cult following in the United States, essence is a fairly new term for most American women, but Korean’s consider this one of their most important skincare steps. Essences are similar in texture to our serums, and are used to lighten, brighten, and hydrate. Keep your eyes peeled, as American companies like L’Oreal are beginning to add essences to their product lines.


Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are another staple in the Korean skincare routine, and are used at least twice a week. These masks come in a single, wet, papery sheet with cut outs for your nose, mouth, and eyes - like a Jason mask, but good for your skin. This allows the ingredients to soak in better than a simple cream mask, and is ultra-hydrating.

Thanks to the craze, US sites like PeachandLily.com and SokoGlam.com have popped up to share some of these Korean goodies with us. So order yourselves some essence and sheet masks, and let’s give this glowing skin thing a go!

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