SKIN CARE DIARIES | Back In Love With Korean Skin Care

by - August 18, 2020

Back in the early days of this blog, I was SUPER into Korean Skin Care - like the rest of the world seemed to be as well - but at that point in time what I found was that a lot of the formulas I was trying out just weren't ultimately quite right for my skin needs. I feel like since then, there has definitely been an evolution in the types of products that are coming out of Korean and I've found so many incredible products that are exactly what I'm looking for - especially when it comes to a couple of key aspects of my skin care routine. I've also really learned a lot about skin care in those years and have definitely learned what my skin likes and what it doesn't. As I was doing my bedtime skin care one night recently, it occurred to me that this would be a great skin care diaries post, so I want to go into a little bit of why the products didn't used to work for me and what is different now that has renewed my 

Keep reading for more!

Even though I'm an absolute cleanser junkie, Korean cleansers were something that I actually sort of always avoided. After some really bad experiences with foaming cleansers, I started avoiding them pretty much entirely. Foaming cleanser is an absolute staple of Korean skin care and the ones I tried back then had a tendency to leave my skin feeling stripped and tight. Stripped and tight is absolutely a dealbreaker for me because I protect my skin barrier like it's my child, if we're being honest. 

Now, though, I've found foaming cleansers from Korean brands that have that foaming action when you use them, but ultimately leave my skin feeling bouncy and hydrated when I rinse. I suspect that it's because they're not using harsh surfactants that strip the skin and instead are using ingredients that emulsify into a foam. Of course, I am not a cosmetic chemist and I don't want to state this as a fact, but that's my suspicion. I'm sure that there are still more intense cleansers from Korean brands that wouldn't work for my skin, but the ones I've been using recently work absolute wonders.

Products Featured: 
Frudia My Orchard Mochi Cleansing Foam Peach


Back in the day (probably like 7 or 8 years ago at this point) I picked up the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence - this was when everything was all about putting snail slime on your face - and while I definitely remember enjoying it, I don't think that I understood at that point what an essence did or how you were supposed to use it. Ultimately, I don't think that an essence is something that you need in your skin care routine, but they are something that I tend to reach for pretty often and I have to say, I just really love them.

To me, I slot essences into the hydrating toner stage. I prefer when they're a watery gel consistency that I can just sort of pat into my skin and I like ones that are going to pack a ton of hydration along with some great antioxidant ingredients. I don't think I used to understand what the difference between hydration and moisture were, but now that I do I definitely approach those two things differently but also prioritize them pretty equally. For me, getting that hydration into the skin with an essence and then sealing it in with a moisturizer are key to keeping my skin feeling bouncy and looking youthful. 

Products Featured: 

I feel like the word serum is such a catch all for so many different types of products. In my skin care routine, I always tend to have a selection of serums on hand that I can reach for depending on where my skin is at. Honestly, I feel like that's probably the biggest thing I've learned in the years since I was first using Korean skin care and probably choosing the wrong products for my needs - that I need to be a little bit more intuitive about what I'm using on my skin at any given time. Honestly, Korean brands probably aren't necessarily my first stop for serums, but there are some really amazing ones that I've found and that are consistently in rotation in my skin care routine these days.

When it comes to ingredients that I've sort of fallen in love with recently, Centella Asiatica (often marketed as Cica) is probably at the top of the list. When my skin is stressed out and in need of soothing, which has actually happened a lot recently as I've become a little bit less consistent and focused on skin care since the pandemic really dealt a blow to my beauty routine, I reach for a Cica product. I've also found some other serums that I really, really enjoy but honestly, if you're going to try out a Korean serum for the first time, I'd try a well rated Cica one (although this Tamanu Calming Serum from make p:rem x CrediThink is also pretty lovely.)

Products Featured: 

Moisturizers were probably at the top of the list of Korean skin care products that just didn't work for me, but that has very much changed since then. While the creams that I tried in the past were heavy in a way that really didn't work my skin, always overwhelming it and leading to break outs, I've really noticed a lot more lighweight creams on the market that tend to really melt into the skin and pack a ton of hydration without being super heavy. Although, that being said, as I write this I'm remembering that over last winter I also found a much richer cream from THEFACESHOP that also really worked with my skin.

Personally, I've really found that my skin generally reacts really well to those super hydrating but still lightweight gel cream sort of formulas and the best ones I've found personally have been from Korean brands. I'm honestly not sure whether it's because the formulas have gone through a really significant change or that my skin needs and responses have significantly changed, or really just some combination of both of those things, but aside from a couple of ride or die western brands, I've mostly been reaching for moisturizers from Korean brands lately and my skin has been loving it. 

Products Featured:
belif The True Cream Moisturizing Bomb*

Honestly, I don't know if it's a change in my skin or a change in the way that Korean brands are formulating their products, but they really are much more consistently working for me these days and I'm kind of in love. I do feel like KBeauty is an industry that is very much rooted in the new and I think that we see that both in the ingredients that they use in their formulas as well as the way that they formulate them. Whatever the reason is, I really am absolutely back on board with Korean skin care and it has very much become a staple in my skin care routine over the past year or so in a way it hasn't in a long time. I've always had a soft spot for KBeauty, but these days it's working so much better for me than it ever did before.

Click the links above to read full reviews of the products featured here - most of which I have reviewed in the past - and if you have any more questions about them, feel free to leave them in the comments and I'll try to answer them as best I can. Also, if you have any suggestions for products that you love and think I should give a try, please leave those below as well!

Thanks so much for reading!

You May Also Like