You’ve no doubt heard about the elaborate skincare regimens that many Korean women use in the name of youthful skin (10+ steps isn’t unheard of), and the fact that they start these practices early — cleanser/toner/moisturizer routines are often set by adolescence and anti-aging products are in use by the early 20s. For those of us who want to reap the rewards of a more diligent skincare regimen but don’t have the time or money for a baker’s dozen product — or happen to own a time machine — here are 3 simple Korean skincare-inspired tips to try.
1. Wash your face thoroughly
Double cleansing (using one cleanser specifically to remove makeup and immediately following up with another meant to remove dirt and grime) at night is very popular in Korea, says Sarah Lee, a cofounder of Glowrecipe.com, a site that brings Korean beauty products to America. Applying anti-aging products on a clean face helps them penetrate into the skin better, explains Rachel Nazarian, MD, an assistant professor of dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, so they’ll be more effective.
2. Take your SPF application seriously
Damage from UV light is a huge contributor to prematurely aging skin. It’s common for Korean women to apply SPF daily even if they don’t plan to go outside, says Christine Chang, fellow cofounder at Glowrecipe.com, which may help explain how they maintain wrinkle-free skin well into older age.
3. Keep your skin hydrated
The typical Korean skincare regimen centers on hydration, says Lee. Each product used offers moisture in addition to its other benefits (even toners, which don’t strip the skin of its natural oils, unlike the alcohol-based astringent ones we often use here), and many are designed solely with hydrated-skin in mind, like sheet masks.