Your New 4-Step, Glow-Inducing Korean Skincare Routine

Get fresh-faced for fall.

If you’re even just a little bit of a beauty junkie, Korean skincare is on your radar. Known for being ahead of the curve and incorporating nature’s most powerful ingredients, the country’s beauty pros have got a few things figured out when it comes to glowing, flawless skin. Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, two beauty industry veterans with notably beautiful complexions themselves, are bringing the best of Korean beauty stateside with their ecommerce site and brand consultancy, Glow Recipe. Not only do they sell potent serums and sheet masks on their site, but they also share their expertise, working directly with Korean brands to re-market their products for American consumers. A 4-Step, Glow-Inducing Korean Skincare Routine That Everyone Will Benefit From Christine and Sarah brought their concept to Shark Tank, where they received $425,000 for 25% of their company. Of the experience, which is known to be daunting (to say the least), Christine says it was all about relentless practice. “We know the ins and outs of our business better than anyone; the challenge is in getting someone else to see the potential,” she says. “As an entrepreneur, pitching—both yourself and your business—is a way of life.” We sat down with the beauty entrepreneurs, who shared a four-step routine—rooted in Korean beauty principles—that’ll leave you with soft, radiant skin all season long.

Oil cleanser + powder cleanser
1. Oil cleanser + powder cleanser
Double cleansing is essential in the evening. Use an oil cleanser or cleansing water to specifically target oil-based makeup, followed by a sodium lauryl sulfate-free cleanser to thoroughly wash off any remaining impurities and oil. Even if you don’t wear makeup, SPF (which we suggest you use daily) is often designed to withstand sweat and moisture, so using an oil cleanser or makeup remover will help fully remove any traces of residue on skin.
2. Toner
This step helps balance skin and prepare it to absorb the skincare products that follow. There is a belief in Asia that the more liquid the treatment, the deeper it penetrates, hence the new trend of essences or mists laden with anti-aging and hydrating ingredients. Moisturizers often contain occlusives, which help seal moisture into skin, so it’s great to layer a toner underneath to provide hydration and essential nutrients.
3. Serum
If you have a key skin concern—dullness, lines, wrinkles, uneven skin tone, etc.—an antioxidant-rich serum is your best bet to address it. They are the most potent skincare product in your arsenal, with the highest level of active ingredients. It’s the product we tend to invest in the most.
4. Cream
The great thing about nighttime skincare is that you can use products that are a little more emollient, since you don’t have to worry about shine. Matte skin equals dull skin in Korean skincare, and hyper-hydration is the time-tested basis for healthy, glowing skin. Even oily skin types can be dehydrated. An easy test to do to see if your skin is dry or dehydrated? Try the aestheticians’ method: Pinch the skin area and see if the fine lines smooth away immediately, which is a sign of hydrated, elastic skin. Blithe's pressed serum is a hybrid serum-moisturizer, so it's very versatile. If you feel drier, you can layer on another serum first, or use this as a stand-alone treatment after cleansing and toning.

Image courtesy of Ivanka Trump Illustration by Jonny Ruzzo