The 4 Pillars of Korean-Style Skincare

The term “k-beauty” has been floating around the beautysphere for some time now. It’s safe to say that Asia is leading the skin industry with Korea at the helm, churning out some of the most innovative gadgets and products. Remember the juicer that also made face masks? It was made in Korea. There are a few things that differentiate Korean beauty regimens from the beauty practices of other nations. For starters, the average American woman has a three-step, three product skincare regimen that she follows, which focuses on cleansing, toning and moisturizing.

Everything You Need to Know About Korean Beauty

Korean skincare averages between five and twelve products; it isn’t just a practice—it’s a lifestyle, like going to the gym and eating clean. While the routine itself is multi-faceted, Korean-style skincare is grounded in four things: customization, hydration, complexion, and protection. Of course, at the heart of every skincare regimen is the desire for healthy, clear skin that doesn’t need to be camoflauged by makeup. As a result, your goals for your skin should also be reflected in your diet. 

Read: Eat You Way To Beautiful Skin

So why should you consider layering your skincare with double or even triple the products in your current regimen? With the right products you can signifcantly boost hydration, reduce signs of hyperpigmentation or melasma, and increase cell turnover and the production of collagen. Here’s what you should focus on:

Layering and Customization

Layering and customizing your skincare allows your to create and alter your skincare ona  daily basis to fit your needs. Maintaining a beatury regimen that is water-rich will allow your to layer your products with ease and target problem areas. Products should be layered based on texture, startinging with the lightest texture like a gel or a serum and building to heavier textures like creams and crèmes.


Regardless of your skin type– yes, that includes you, oily-skin-reader— your skin needs to be hydrated. Focus on products that are water-based as well as emollients that will ensure that your skin remains plump and wrinkle-free as long as possible. You also want to be mindful of stripping your skin of the oils that it naturally produces, as this can lead to dry, flaky skin. To prevent this from happening, be conscious of the temperature of the water when you wash your face or shower. Though hot water feels great, it’s extremely drying to the skin; warm water is best. Creams, serums, and beauty waters are all things to consider when re-evaluating your regimen. Hydrting ingredients include:

  • Ceramides
  • Cocoa Butter
  • Mango Seed Butter
  • Peptides/Amino Acids
  • Glycerin
  • Hyaluronic Acid


“Good skin” generally means clear, even skin. Brightening treatments are a great fix for mealsma and hyperpigmentation, but this issue is where exfoliationg really shines. Mecahnical exfoliants such as facial brushes are great if used once or twice a week, but gentle exfoliants that contains alpha and beta hydroxy acids are safe options that can be used daily. Also, look for these ingredients to even out skintone:

  • Caviar/Salmon Egg
  • L-Ascorbic Acid
  • Salicylic Acid
  • Azelaic Acid
  • Niacinamide


No surprise here, SPF is one of the most important aspects of skincare. As popular as that “black don’t crack” adage is, we still have to shield our skin from the harmful rays of the sun to prevent skin cancer and combat the effects of aging. An SPF of at least 30 should have a permanent spot in your regimen—even during the winter— and should be re-applied every two hours especially during exposure to the sun.