The K-Beauty trend will not be slowed down anytime soon – and we are happy about it. Breaking through the standards of the industry and winning over fans one by one, the Korean beauty care scene is a force that can not be looked away. But, surprisingly, there is still very little known information about this fast evolving trend. Sure, there are a numerous Korean beauty care brands and products (sheet masks, anyone?) now available in the United States, but how can we differentiate facts from hype? The same way anything grows popularity, rumors and misleading information are sure to come by.
We chatted with our insider source, beauty director Sung Jin Lee from Korean Luxury Magazine, to separate the facts from fictions. With an editorial background that includes top Korean publications like Noblesse and Cosmopolitan, Lee not only has Korean beauty care background experience, she actually lives it.
Do you follow the 10-step Korean skin care routine? Is it really a thing in Korea?
I don’t always follow these 10 steps. The “10-Step Regimen” is a term invented by foreigners (specifically Americans), but it’s not a known “thing” in Korea. For me, I usually use: cleansing oil, cleansing foam, toner, serum, eye cream, face cream, and lastly – oil. Lately, people have been incorporating a special boosting serum as well. Foreigners are usually surprised by these many steps and think that these are too much, but Korean women don’t think so. We consider it a standard practice since we have been doing it for a very long time.
How does the ‘essence’ fits in this steps sequence, and how does it differ from a serum?
In general, a serum contains a higher concentration of nutrients than an essence. It is believed that 3 minutes after washing your face, your skin quickly dries up. Typically, it takes more than these 3 minutes to put on most products, so anything that can help to maintain and keep in the moisture so the skin could remain well hydrated, like a boosting essence, is very recommended.
What is the most popular Korean skin care brand right now?
Actually, there is not one top brand in Seoul right now because there are so many skin beauty care brands. Women have become very aware about the right products to use for their specific skin type.
What about different trending ingredients?
There isn’t a group or popular ingredients in Korea right now, either, but these are some that have become common in Korean skin beauty care products in recent years. Epidermal growth factor (EGF) is great for rejuvenating your skin. Also, I have noticed a great improvement in my skin by using some products with retinol in the late afternoon.
We have heard so many rumors and stories about the latest trends in beauty care right now in Korea. Which one is really the most popular?
Illuminated, dewy skin. Not only on the surface, but from the inside out.
Out of all the available skin care products out there, what is the one you think everyone should invest in trying it and why?
Good skin moisturizers are considered a basic skin care necessity.