You may have noticed the huge hype about the Korean skin care routine which is not something that started a short while ago, but it’s still talked off – with good reason. If you take a look at Korean women, they all have flawless complexion. But why? The reason for this is that they take their skin care very seriously, and it consists of 10 steps (quite a lot, right? :D). However, it’s not only the skin care routine that is totally hyped currently, but also their beauty products, which are, let’s say, quite different from the products we use in Europe. They often contain some ingredients, which are pretty unusual to us, like: snail slime, egg whites, egg yolks, bee venom, sheep oil etc. I read a lot about all of this and thought: I gotta try it. I just gotta try it. So I tested 3 products for a couple of months and today I’m sharing my opinion with you. Keep reading 🙂
What is The Typical Korean Skin Care Routine?
The typical Korean skin care regime consists of 10 steps:
- Oil cleanser
- Water based cleanser
- Exfoliator (not every day though)
- Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
- Sun Screen
This may really sound like a lot, but when I think about it, I’m actually almost there. My usual evening skin care routine consists of the following steps:
- Pre-Cleanse oil
- Cleansing gel
- Chemical exfoliator (once a week)
- Eye Cream
Now I have to admit, I use sheet masks or other hydrating masks once a week (usually when I’m taking a bath). I’m also not consequent with sun screen. Even if I use it, I use a moisturizer with UVA/UVB protection, but not separately a moisturizer and then a sun screen.
My morning routine is almost the same, except that I’m skipping the first two steps and wash my face just with water.
Why I Decided to Try Korean Skin Care Products?
3 years ago, as I started working as an advisor for natural skin care products, I started using only natural skin care products and near-natural products, and banned all those containing silicones and paraffinum liquidum from my routine. Ever since then, my complexion has become much better and I would never go back to moisturizers containing these ingredients.
Now in these 3 years I’ve been trying various products, some of which were really good, whereas the other were not that satisfying. As I was searching for natural skin care products, I read a lot about Korean ones which also are natural or near-natural (contain some synthetic ingredients, but no silicones paraffinum liquidum). Some of them got really good reviews and that’s why I decided to try them eventually.
Now I’ve ordered 3 products that got really great reviews (one of them was a repurchase) and here are my impressions.
1. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask
Why I Decided To Try It
The Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask is a deep pore cleansing mask containing volcanic clay from the volcanic island of Jeju. It promises to:
- shrink pores
- control sebum
- exfoliate, since it is contains the AHA ingredient which works as a chemical exfoliator
- remove blackhead (which was probably my biggest problem)
- deeply cleanse and
- brighten the complexion.
It is also a winner of 22 global beauty awards (reason enough to get curious and buy it :D)
Price: ca. € 12,-
How I Use It
First I wash my face and dry it. After this, I apply the mask over the entire face, avoiding the eye and lip area. After 10 minutes, I either wash it off with lukewarm water or take it off with a warm washcloth as additional exfoliation. I use it once a week. As I just bought it, I used it for 5 days in a row since I had many blackheads on my nose. After that I started using it once a week.
This very product is the reason why I’ve become a fan of Korean beauty products. It was the first one I tried quite a while ago and now I’ve repurchased it.
I tried many, many different masks and products which promised to remove blackheads and nothing helped. This one was the first and only product that removed all of them, like really all of them. I used it for 5 days in a row and they disappeared. Moreover, my pores have really tightened and my skin just looks much brighter.
What I also love about this product is that it is also an exfoliator, which is why I don’t have to buy any others to exfoliate my skin. After I use it my skin is so smooth and clean. It is really one product I can really entrust to you.
2. SON & PARK Beauty Water
While looking for a new toner, I came across this product which also got so many great reviews.
Why I decided to try it
This product is described as “more than just a toner”. It promises to:
- tone and
- hydrate the skin at the same time
It was developed by 2 most famous Korean make up artists (who also brought the natural and dewy look to life) and it is one of the most popular and most hyped Korean beauty products.
Even Charlotte Cho, founder of Soko Glam (the biggest Korean Beauty Shop) is a huge fan of the product (see the video she made for Sephora).
The ingredients are just wow. Here are some of them: Rose Damascena Flower Water, Orange Fruit Extract, Hamamelis Virginiana Water, Bergamot Fruit Oil, Olive Fruit Oil, Orange Peel, Grapefruit Peel oil, Lavender Oil, Lavender Water, Papaya Fruit Water, Anise Fruit/Seed Oil, Rose Flower Oil etc.
Since the beauty water is described as a multi-purpose product, it can be used as a cleansing water (similar to micellar water) to remove make up, as a toner after a cleanser, as an exfoliator and prep for make up and to refresh the skin.
It is a mild exfoliator since it contains willow bark and papaya extract.
Price: ca. € 26,-
How I Use It
In the evening I use it after my gel cleanser. I apply it on a cotton pad and sweep across my face.
In the morning I use it after I have washed my face only with water.
What I Like about the Beauty Water
The first thing I noticed is the beautiful, natural scent of this water – fresh, like citrus fruits.
I tried many toners before and all of them were more like an additional step to hydrate my skin and not to cleanse it. This one is just incredible when it comes to cleansing the skin. Even after I’ve washed my face with my cleansing gel and the Clarisonic, it takes off so much makeup and dirt that was still on my face. When I use it in the morning there is also again so much dirt on my cotton pad. I never realized how dirty my skin was in the morning (yikes :D).
It is also a great toner. It hydrates my skin after I’ve cleansed it and it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling on the skin (as some toners do).
I didn’t get any breakouts (which also happened with some toners I used)
What I Don’t Like about the Beauty Water
There is only one thing I don’t really like about the product – it contains parabens.
Even though I avoid products which contain parabens, I just wanted to try this one because it is so hyped and there are thousands of great reviews. However, I like the product so much because it is a great toner and it cleanses my skin additionally. Even though it is a bit pricier, I would buy it again, because it is enough for about 2 months if you use it twice a day.
3. COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
Snail slime – sounds really, like really yucky. Who wants to put this stuff all over their face? Me! Yes, I’ve overcome my disgust and decided to try it :D.
Why I decided to try it?
Snail essence is one ingredient that has been hyped for quite some time now in South Korea.
It is said that it has scar lightening, anti-inflammatory, healing, regenerating and anti-wrinkle benefits.
There are many moisturizers, essences and serums containing snail slime. However the special thing about this one is that it consists to 96% of snail essence – almost pure. Now if snail essence has really some benefits, then this product should prove it.
How I Use It
I use it instead of a serum. After the beauty water I apply one drop all over my face (the eye area as well) and then the moisturizer.
At the beginning I thought that the product would be disgusting and have an unpleasant smell, but it doesn’t smell at all. Totally neutral. It is really slimy, however it gets totally absorbed and it doesn’t leave a sticky feeling as I thought it would.
It hydrated my skin additionally like any other serum I used and it didn’t cause any breakouts, which is great. However, I have to admit that I don’t see any special results, which would make me repurchase it. Now I’ll finish it and try another serum the next time :).
Am I Going to Buy More Korean Beauty Products?
Hell yeah! At least the first two products will definitely be repurchased and I think the next time I’ll try s moisturizer too :).