Korean beauty is more than just a trend. It’s the epitome of thoughtful ingredients and leave-on-the-bathroom-counter packaging. And, as a result, more and more beauty aficionados are attempting the indulgent 10-step beauty regime that Korean women are fast becoming famous for.
Your Korean beauty cheat sheet
At WH, we believe balance is key, which is why we’re not telling you to wake up an hour earlier to fit in your morning workout, breakfast prep and a cumbersome beauty routine. Instead, we’re offering a K-beauty cheat sheet. Here’s how you can get the luminous skin Koreans are famous for without wasting precious time or those hard-earned bucks.
The double cleanse
Clean skin is so important in the world of K-beauty that you’re encouraged to cleanse twice. First with an oil-based cleanser, which will dissolve your make-up, and then with a foam/gel cleanser to get everything squeaky clean.
Many of us skip toning and if you’re cleansing twice you might be even more tempted. But it’s a useful step, not only to remove any cleanser residue (which lets your skin absorb the next step better) but also to deliver hydration and vitamins straight to your skin.
This is one of the most essential and unique K-beauty products. Not only does it promote healthy cell turnover (a bit like an exfoliator, but way more gentle), it also helps to prep your skin for maximum absorption of the next few products you’re about to apply. With your fingertips, pat a few drops into your skin.
The sheet mask
Potentially the most iconic K-beauty export – pop one on and soak your skin in the really good stuff. Sheet masks have tons of beneficial ingredients (most often collagen). Don’t throw away the remaining essence left in the packet – be sure to rub this all over your neck, chest and even your arms. Remove the mask after 15 to 20 minutes and then apply your moisturiser.
That’s right, snail secretion (mucin) — i.e. the goo that comes out of a snail — is a key K-beauty ingredient. The glycolic acid found in snail mucin helps your cells produce collagen and elastin to even out your skin tone and smooth the surface. Escar… Glow, anyone?
The sleep pack
Think of a sleep pack as a seriously hydrating or detoxing face mask that you don’t wash off. What could be better? And it’s about to be supercharged thanks to all the prep you’ve just taken your skin through.
The aim of the K-beauty game is youthful skin. You don’t want sun damage — or the terrible side effects that come with it — so SPF is non-negotiable.
WH K-Beauty starter kit
Okay, now that you’ve got the basics down, allow us to introduce you to the WH K-Beauty starter kit. We partnered with Glow Theory to bring you a little Korean beauty starter kit that will help you achieve a major glow up. Filled with seven products to bring you your best skin yet, this kit contains some of our favourite K-beauty brands and products.
Heimish All Clean Balm (5ml)
A cult beauty fave, this balm removes all traces of make-up and debris. When applied, the balm transforms from a solid into a silky oil cleanser, then emulsifies and becomes milky when water is added. The formula effectively dissolves excess sebum and gets rid of impurities without leaving your skin feeling tight and dry. Bonus: It’s also paraben-free, hypoallergenic and suitable for all skin types.
Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water (30ml)
Made with 70% tea tree leaf water, this cleansing water excels as a first or second cleanser. And we’re talking double duty here: while removing make-up and impurities, its antibacterial ingredients keep sebum in check and fight acne. Made with only 10 ingredients, it has no fragrance, so it’s suitable to use on even the most sensitive skin.
Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner (30ml)
Another cult fave, this toner rejuvenates and restores hydration to the skin while balancing pH levels. It’s made with plant extracts and soothing ingredients that help to calm, moisturise, reduce inflammation and resolve skin dryness.
Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Water Sleeping Mask (15ml)
Pumped up with hyaluronic acid, a substance that can hold up to 1 000 times its moisture content, this mask gives you a mega-boost of hydration while you get on with the business of catching those Zs. It actually has five (yes!) types of hyaluronic acid, ensuring each layer of the skin is penetrated. The result: properly hydrated, plump, healthy-looking skin.
A’pieu Chocolate Milk Sheet Mask
Who doesn’t love chocolate? Get your fix with a mask that harnesses all the goodness of chocolate and milk. With cacao extract to exfoliate, milk extract to hydrate and prevent dryness and Japanese apricot extract to purify the skin, you’re in for one sweet treat.
Package Sweet Dream Deep Sleeping Mask
Reward yourself after a long, stressful day with a mask that not only moisturises your skin, but also helps promote restful sleep. Coated in a creamy essence formulated with shea butter and jojoba oil, it hydrates and softens skin. And while your body is soaking up the moisture, lavender oil releases a soothing aroma that will leave you feeling super-relaxed and sleepy.
Klavuu Nourishing Care Lip Sleeping Pack (3g)
Enriched with nourishing avocado, sweet almond and apricot seed oil, this lip mask transforms dry, chapped lips into supple, soft pillows overnight. With a subtle vanilla scent and an emollient texture, there’s no thick, waxy feel, so it’s great for both overnight and day use.