West Face East – How To Layer Your Skin Care, Korean Style

West Face East ~ How To Layer Skin Care, Korean Style

I’m shamelessly obsessed with Korean women and their world famous, spectacular skin. 

Ob. Sessed.


South Korea is recognized as being light years ahead in research and development of skin care products, and is known to have the very best, most high performing products in the world. 

American companies to go South Korean to buy technologies for their new products, but don’t have access to everything, just some things.

The technological advances in Korean skin care, and the obsession of Korean women with having and maintaining exquisite skin run unparalleled

Stateside women typically don’t think about their aging skin until there is a problem, at which point they run to the department store and buy overpriced skin care products and inject every filler and toxin they can into their faces to try and recapture youth.

Asian women see their faces more holistically. They start beauty regimens at an early age, see skin care routines as an investment in themselves. Rather than pile on heavy makeup they prefer to see exquisite skin, and the enhance it with light makeup.

It’s Utopic to me.

Korean women use a famously intricate 10 Step skin care program, compared to the average American woman’s 1.5 – 3 step program. Personally if you try to sell me a skin system that involves 3 steps I will run for the hills. Tell me there are 10 or 12 steps and you will have my undivided attention.

If you do use multiple skin care products you might enjoy this guide to layering your skin care like a Korean beauty queen.

STEP ONE: Eye Makeup Remover

Use an eye makeup remover to break down stubborn mascaras and waterproof eyeliners, gently dissolve eye makeup and clean the delicate eye area.

This is also fantastic for removing long wear lipsticks or any lip stains or colors that are difficult to remove.

STEP TWO: The Cleanse

Korean women use 2 step cleansing, one to remove makeup and the second to clean the skin.

My favorite is to use an oil cleanser to dissolve makeup, and if I have time use my clarisonic to do a second cleanse.

When you are cleansing your skin it is important to take time to really massage the face, which improves circulation and helps breathe new life into the skin.
Missha Near Skin Liquid To Foam is gentle and also balances the skin’s pH

Missha Near Skin Liquid To Foam

For non foaming cleanser try Holika Holika Soda Pore Cleansing Cream. It has capsules containing carbonated ingredients to get a deeper clean.

Soda Pore Cleansing Cream

STEP THREE: Exfoliate

But just don’t overdo it. For most people every 2 weeks is plenty. Personally I’m not a fan of skin care lines that tell you to exfoliate everyday – I think that’s too harsh on the skin, and creates perpetually roughed up texture.

If you are using a scrub look for one with fine grains, not big chunky particles. Or opt for an enzyme mask that gently eats away the dead surface cells.

STEP FOUR: The Refresher

This is what we in America would call “toning”, but where most toners feel like skin strippers to all but those with oily complexions, Korean Refreshers actually do leave the skin feeling softened, supple and ready to accept the treatment and moisturizing products. The thought behind it is to help remove pollutants as well as any residue from your cleanser.

Try Etude House Moistfull Collagen Facial Freshener ($23)
This refresher has collagen as its main ingredient, keeping the skin firm and moisturized, but also is alcohol free, making it ideal for all skin types.

Moistfull Collagen Facial Freshener

STEP FIVE: The Essence

Korean women consider this to be the most important step. What it does is speed the cell turnover rate, which makes skin smoother and brighter. Essence provides multiple intensive ingredients in just a single drop, and takes them deep deep into the skin where they go to work.

Personally I have noticed a remarkable difference to my own skin by adding in Essence. I’m currently using the Dragon Blood Essence ($27) from the Memebox website, but also look at the world famous Missha Essences.

Missha Near Skin Moist Capsule Essence gives double moisture benefit, plus protects skin from environmental pollutants, while leaving it sleek and soft.

Missha Near Skin Moist Capsule Essence

STEP SIX: The Ampoule 

The Ampoule is like a super condensed version of the essence. You can use ampoules to target specific skin issues – dry skin, clogged pores, uneven skin tone, excess oil – whatever the condition you want to treat there is an Ampoule or serum for it.

Missha Time Revolution Ampoule energizes, repairs and restores skin, is super nourishing and delivers intense moisture that regular skin care just cannot do!

Missha Time Revolution Ampoule

STEP SEVEN: Emulsion

Korean women understand the importance of hydrating the skin, and typically do two layers of moisturizer. 

Stateside women are always telling me that they don’t moisturize because they have oily skin (which basically means a shiny T Zone). Asian women generally have more oily complexions, but still understand the importance of keeping the layers below the surface treated and hydrated. An oily surface is no excuse!

So the first layer of moisturizing is the lightweight emulsion.
For rejuvenation, nourishment and anti wrinkle concerns try 
Holika Holika Black Caviar Anti Wrinkle Emulsion ($36)

Black Caviar Emulsion

To lift skin, tighten pores, hydrate without feeling greasy, and leave skin super soft try IPKN Hydro3 Cube Emulsion ($39)

Hydro3 Cube Emulsion

STEP EIGHT: Moisture Cream or Sleeping Pack

This is your heavier moisturizer, designed to seal in all the goodness you have layered so far, as well as treat any other specific needs, from pore minimizing to whitening to plumping to deep hydration. 
For dry skin that needs an extra boost of nourishment try
Elisha Coy Moist Up Super Hyalurone Cream ($27)

Moist Up Super Hyalurone Cream

For a dewy, healthy glow, to even out skin tone and tighten up pores try SNP Pore Contraction Whitening Cream ($25)

Pore Contraction Cream

Today I am ordering this one –
SNP Diamond Water Sleeping Pack. (Or I might order the gold collagen one.)

SNP Diamond Water Sleeping Pack

STEP NINE: Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are a fabulous addition to your skin care regime, specifically treating issues, from brightening to firming, to hydrating to clearing – you name it! Every time I go on the Memebox website I end up buying more sheet masks. They only cost from $1 to about $8 on average, so are not expensive, but make a huge difference to your skin. They are wonderful to travel with too.

The cotton sheet holds the treatment product against the skin, helping it to be more effective.
Try Deep Sea Water Skin Food Mask

Deep Sea Water Skinfood Mask


Sun damage ages your skin faster than anything else, so Korean women wouldn’t even consider venturing outdoors without a full layer of potent SPF on their skin. 
Try the Missha All Around Safe Block SPF 50

Missha All Around Safe Block SPF 50

Bonus step: STEP ELEVEN: Mist

I love this one! Facial mist can be used at any time. You can breathe life back into tired looking makeup with a quick spritz, you can revive your skin at any time, (especially wonderful if you sit in front of a computer all day) I often start my entire skin care process with facial mist. Facial mists are fabulous for every day use as well as being magic on long haul international flights!

It’s Skin Facial Solution Water Mist

All products in this blogpost are available through Memebox.
Click on any product link or on the advertisement below.

Memebox Starter Kit #Beginwithskin

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