The thrill of using Korean skincare products comes from the fact that different K-beauty brands, offer innovative products and continue to leverage uncommon natural ingredients for one reason. Good skin. With such a competitive market, you can expect everything for everyone and most importantly, the luxury of good options. But all the beauty of it aside, there are mistakes you should try to avoid, especially if you’re new to the Korean skincare journey, the different brands and many steps there are.
The following tips are inspired by various Korean beauty experts and my experience as a staunch follower of Korean skincare.
- Misinterpreting terms
In your Korean skincare journey, you are likely to come across terms that might be confusing or even overwhelming, to say the least. For instance; what does whitening or brightening on Korean products actually mean? Is a sleeping mask different from a sleeping pack? Let’s not even mention essences, ampoules and serums. Nevertheless, this is what you should know.
Essentially, as far as Korean beauty products are concerned, whitening and brightening mean the same thing. In other words, a product that gives you radiant and glowing skin. From the Klog, a product that points out whitening as a benefit is suitable for someone with hyperpigmentation, acne scars, dark spots or a dull skin tone. Therefore, the term whitening/brightening in Korean skincare products doesn’t necessarily translate to bleaching or changing your skin colour, but rather it has got everything to do with radiance and glowing skin.
- Jumping on the bandwagon too little too soon
While it is good to have effective skincare products, it is futile to have products that do not work for your skin and concerns. Skin is a very individual thing and of course not every hyped product or ingredient will work for you. That said, after you’re done researching and noting down the products you would like for your skin, invest in travel size packages or starter skincare sets to give yourself time to assess the products and the experience you get from using them.
Another useful hack is adding one product at a time and slowly building a skincare regimen that is tailored for you. Korean skincare products can be pricy and I wouldn’t recommend you to buy everything at once. Well, unless you know your stuff.
- Wrong application
Applying any skincare product the right way determines its effectiveness and Korean products are not an exception. Forget rubbing. Instead, start tapping the products and in gentle motions.
Use your palms to warm the product then glide it from the centre of your face going outwards – that is, from the nose to the sides of your cheeks. Use the same motion to apply the product from the forehead to the temples and from the centre of your chin to the jaws. Finally, apply the product from the decolletage, upwards your neck and to your chin.
This might sound like a lot, but once you heed to the motion your hands adjust naturally. Applying your products this way promotes blood circulation, encourages cell regeneration, prevents the swelling of lymphatic nodes and prevents the skin from sagging due to constant downward motion.
- Treating instead of preventing
Korean skincare follows one principle. Prevention is better than cure. Hence, to prevent early signs of ageing, focus on prevention methods like using sunscreen, moisturising and taking care of your skin rather than neglecting it and relying on the products to reverse the damage. Stay on top of your game, be proactive and seek to maintain healthy skincare practises, for a healthy glow up looking skin.
- Applying products in the wrong order
To make the most out of your Korean skincare product, pay attention to the order of application. Since Korean skincare is about layering always start from the lightest product to the heaviest not unless the instructions on the product say otherwise. Try these Korean 10 step Korean skincare routine for great skin
- Being inconsistent
Do not double cleanse and moisturise your face today, then use a wet wipe and stay dry the next day and hope to achieve results. Once you establish your routine follow it religiously whether it’s in the morning or at night. Also, do not switch up on products too often not unless a certain product doesn’t suit your skin. (More details on this on the next points).
Verily, one thing Korean skincare teaches you is to be intentional with your skincare as the opposite often leads to disappointments.
- Mixing ingredients
One disadvantage of switching up products too often is you might end up mixing ingredients that don’t go well together.
Korean skincare is all about potent ingredients and from Charlotte Cho, the founder of Sokoglam, mixing ingredients can lead to irritation and breakout. Case in point, you don’t want to combine AHA’s or BHA’s with vitamin C. The same goes for Niacimide, a very popular ingredient in Korean skincare, with acidic ingredients. One way to avoid this mistake is through constant research, learning and then adjusting. Watch out for these ingredients in beauty products.
- Storing your products in the bathroom
Due to the potency of Korean skincare products, try storing them where they’re not susceptible to temperature changes. This maintains their effectiveness and overall shelf life. On the other hand, avoid leaving your products exposed to direct sunlight or storing them in the bathroom since this environment is a breeding ground for bacteria and constant temperature change. A good place to store your skincare products would be in a drawer, a cabinet or a lidded storage box.