It’s official – beauty routines all over the world are having a Korean makeover. In the search for health, hydration and a pristine, perfect skin, K-Beauty is a very worthy buzzword.
K-Beauty is not another Kardashian franchise. It’s a measure of beauty with extremely specific standards, which enables skin to look its absolute best. It’s designed to keep skin looking radiant and glowing, so that less is more. It’s no longer cool to cover skin with makeup – it’s all about looking great without makeup.
At the forefront of K-Beauty is the quest for ‘glass skin’, a term that describes clear, luminous, and seemingly transparent skin. It refers to that fresh-faced, well-rested glow that most of us wish we could wake up with each morning.
If you’re still not sure, look at aspiring makeup artist Ellie Choi’s skin for an example.
Glass skin is smooth, flawless, poreless skin that’s got a beautiful, almost ethereal sheen to it. Mul-gwang is the Korean term used, and it’s a strategic skincare regimen that in its basic form looks like this …
Cleansing traditionally involves massaging a cleansing lotion into the skin to clean away makeup and other build up from the day. Korean cleansing, however, uses a cleansing oil like su:m37 Skin Saver Essential Cleansing Oil to break down makeup, SPF and sebum on the surface of your skin before applying a rich foaming cleaner like su:m37 Bright Award Micro Whipping Deep Cleansing Foam.
This two-time technique is called ‘double cleansing’ and it removes sweat, bacteria and old skin cells. Double cleansing gets much deeper into the skin than one round of cleansing, making sure all impurities are removed from the pores. It’s not necessary to double cleanse in the mornings, but of an evening before bed, you should.
Whether you are double cleansing or not, make sure you massage your cleanser into your skin for at least a minute to thoroughly remove makeup, toxins, pollution and build up. This way you’ll ensure you gain all the benefits from your cleanser. The temperature matters too, as too hot or cold and you risk irritating the skin, especially if you suffer from acne or skin conditions such as rosacea. Your pores aren’t designed to withstand extreme temperatures, so always try to aim for lukewarm water.
After cleansing, apply a hydrating skin refresher and then an essence to replenish the skin. Su:m37 Water-full Timeless Pore Essence uses fermented fruits and pine tree leaf to control sebum and fermented bamboo sap and Aquafirm™ to give 24-hour moisturisation.
To “unglue” any remaining dead skin cells and to refine pores without irritation, apply a face mask like the su:m37 Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Mask. A multi-functional premium sheet mask which features a unique “double-layered” design concept, this mask provides intense hydration for a brightening & whitening effect. The Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow mask sheet effectively targets the 3 elements – skin’s moisture, radiance and elasticity – with its unique ingredients, Aqua Ferm™, Aqua Light™ and Poria Light™ to keep them in optimal condition. As a result, your skin looks clearer and brighter all-day long.
To use, take out a mask, remove the transparent film and place over your face. Gently sweep across the face with your fingers to attach the mask tightly, and leave on for 10-15 minutes.
There’s no such thing as ‘too much moisture’, so take the glassy effect to the next level with su:m37 Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Cream. It Is a brightening cream with hydrating and whitening functions, with a unique cream-in-gel texture that releases a burst of moisture and which retains moisture for long hours without stickiness. It also contains an Ion Liquid Crystal Technology that wraps your skin in a protective layer of moisture to maximise moisture retention.
A skin refresher helps remove pollutants and any residue from your cleansers, while also restoring your skin’s pH balance. Su:m37 Water-full Radiant Hydrating Glow Toner soothes and refreshes fatigued skin and provides vital nutrients with fermented pomegranate to cool and lower skin irritation. This skin refresher will help prep your skin for whatever comes next, be it makeup, SPF sunscreen, or protection from daily pollutants.
Drinking water throughout the day is a key part of glassy, radiant skin. Staying hydrated from the inside out really does help to give your skin that healthy sought after glow. Eat smartly too, as greasy, fried foods will play havoc with your skin. Eat lots of vegetables, throw in some fruit too and give your skin a boost from your diet.
The Korean rule of thumb is that if you are going to spend 30 minutes putting on your makeup each day, you should spend the same amount of time taking it off. Take your time and massage everything deeply into the skin. Koreans believe that massaging the face increases circulation, which ultimately leads to brighter skin.
If you haven’t already noticed, Korean women are all about layering. Aside from the layers listed above, there are others to explore too, from ampoule and gel creams to glow emulsions, sleeping creams, eye creams, secret oils and exfoliators.
All these layers might sound intimidating, but a Korean skin care routine doesn’t have to be. It doesn’t have to be expensive either, as investing in fermented skin care products can alleviate the need for expensive facials and other treatments.
Glass skin comes from time and effort and the very best of nature. Don’t choose products with added colours, preservatives and fragrances, choose su:m37, whose philosophy is to let nature take its own course … with a little push from fermentation!