Korean Beauty Decoded

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While Europe may be the place to turn to for the latest fashion trends, for all things beauty, the world has been turning to the East. In America we may value a stunning highlight, an expertly contoured face and a perfectly lined pair of brows – but Korean beauty aims for a more dewy, youthful complexion. To achieve the flawless, baby soft face that K-beauty strives for, Korea has crafted some of the best of the best in skincare products.

Historically, porcelain skin – and outward appearance in general – has always been highly valued in Korea. Running with this cultural norm, K-beauty views clear skin as a reflection of inner beauty, and places a huge emphasis on taking care of your skin first. K-beauty, which often comes in kitschy packaging, not only looks cute but packs some serious hydrating properties. Most products are so versatile that they’ll work for all skin types, as they add moisture without leaving skin too greasy with heavy ingredients.

One thing you may be familiar with when it comes to K-beauty and skincare, is the famous ten step skincare routine. VALLEY has pulled together this perfectly high-maintenance ten step process to help you put your best face forward.

1. Oil Cleanser

An oil cleanser is used to effectively remove any amount of makeup or dirt left on top of the skin, while packing a serious hydrating punch.

2. Foam Cleanser

However, because an oil based cleanser is not enough to thoroughly cleanse your face at the end of the day, a foam cleanser is needed to pull out any pore-clogging toxins left over.

3. Exfoliator

Only for use every couple of days, the third step is to work an exfoliating scrub into your routine to slough off any dead skin cells that may have built up.

4. Toner

After cleansing, a toner is then used to balance skin back out to its normal pH balance. This step also helps the skin to soak up the necessary moisture provided by the next few steps.

5. Essence

Step five is extremely important in the K-beauty routine. Essences are water-charged, lightweight liquids that regenerate skin cells and prepare the skin for moisturizer. They help to set up skin to be as moisturized and luscious as it can be.

6. Serum

Serums, another crucial step, are a thicker, more concentrated version of an essence. There’s also a wide variety of serums available that can treat any of your personal skin concerns – from acne to aging.

7. Sheet Mask

An extremely popular western beauty buy as of recent, introduced by Korea. Sheet masks are sometimes used in place of an essence.

8. Eye Cream

Tired of dark puffy under eyes? The eye cream step is intended to properly hydrate and protect the sensitive skin around your eyes.

9. Sleeping Mask

Moisturizers come in a variety of forms – from sleeping masks to gels – and help to plump up and protect skin with a final boost of hydration.

10. SPF

Even on days it isn’t sunny, protecting your face from the sun with a product that contains SPF is a necessary step when it comes to caring for your skin.

Whether you think the Korean skin care regimen is too intense or it is something you are willing to try it is no secret K-beauty is innovative and the place to look if you are looking to step up your skin game.

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