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Skincare

Is Korean skincare really better?

By Bianca Hazelhurst
26/09/2022 | Read time: 5m

If like me, you've been taught to be weary of eating or applying anything to your body with foreign writing, then Korean skincare might sound a little daunting.

Thankfully most Korean skincare brands are catching onto the fact now that English speaking people are becoming obsessed (and I mean obsessed), with their skincare goodies and it’s becoming more and more accessible to us. 

But why the obsession? And is Korean skincare really any better than western skincare brands?

Well, of course we know that not all skincare is created equally no matter the origin. There are excellent western skincare brands as well as terrible ones, and excellent skincare Korean brands and probably not so good ones (although I’m yet to personally comes across that >.<). 

The principal difference between the two is the approach to skincare. Korean skincare is far more centred on preventative care vs westernized skincare which tends to treat skin issues as they happen.

On top of that, Korean skincare products tend to also be of far higher quality, in greater concentration of the advertised ingredient and to top it all off, less expensive.

With beauty being so important in South Korean culture, customers are very knowledgeable about cosmetics products and have very high standards, so cosmetics companies are under pressure to produce the best merchandise. This innovation, quality, and price give them an edge in the global market.

I wonder if you’ve tried reading the ingredient’s list of some of your serums and creams. In general, most common UK and American brands (not naming names), start off with the good old ‘Water, Paraffinum Liquidum, Glycerin, Lanolin Alcohol’… etc. 

You’re essentially paying for very expensive water and occlusive, and to make matters worse the added alcohol to just about nearly everything is just going to dry your skin out, leaving you needing to apply more and more moisturiser. A vicious cycle!

Korean skincare is very much you get what you pay for 

If the product advertises a main ingredient, you’re very likely to have that ingredient as a large percentage and concentrated ingredient of that product. Here are some examples:

COSRX Centella Blemish Cream 30ml

SOME BY MI Yuja Niacin Brightening Moisture Gel Cream 100ml

SOME BY MI AHA.BHA.PHA 30 Days Miracle Cream 60ml

MARY & MAY Idebenone + Blackberry Complex Intensive Total Care Cream 70ml

PYUNKANG YUL Moisture Cream 100ml

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream 100ml

ISNTREE C-Niacin Toning Cream 50ml

And who doesn’t love to get what they pay for! As well as getting your money’s worth, you’re also going to actually achieve the results the product is promising if you use it correctly. Do you have acne prone skin? Mugwort! Do you have sensitive skin? Centella! Do you have dry skin? Green tea! 

An interesting and particular difference is that of the approach to acne 

If you’ve never struggled with acne, well, we’re all jealous. But for the rest of us (it’s okay, you don’t have to raise your hand), we’ve got endless promises from creams on shelves and over the counter.

The problem with western solutions to acne prone skin and oily skin is that the products promoted often use harshly drying ingredients, leaving the skin stripped and worse off. The K skincare approach to acne is all about hydration and therefore they use a lot of hydrating ingredients.

This can leave the skin feeling a little overwhelmed and heavy at first application, but in the long run this approach is going to give your skin all that extra goody moisture your skin is craving to repair itself with. You can’t rebuild a wall without the right building materials, and you can’t repair your skin without the right skin feeders.

We believe at UNBLEMISH that in order to get the best skin of your life, you need to figure out your specific goals and then understand which ingredients help you meet those goals, THEN buy products.

Not the other way around. Better on your skin and your pocket – what’s not to love?

Because South Korean beauty is so centred on beautiful, healthy and glowing skin, their skincare products simply don’t have another choice other than being the best and delivering promised results.

The thing to bear in mind about Korean beauty products and regimens is that they are built for the long haul. Consistency and dedication are what yield the results we all want. Think of switching over to Korean skincare from our habitual quick-fix solutions as the difference between going on a crash diet and adopting a clean eating lifestyle.

Instead of using products full of harsh ingredients that strip the skin’s natural barrier, Korean skin care philosophy is about working with your skin’s natural ecosystem by cleansing, hydrating, nourishing, and protecting it — allowing your skin to thrive. To read more benefits, head on over to a UK blogger ‘What Laura Loves‘ to see her tips and tricks!

The bottom line

Taking care of your skin is a form of self-care and, thus, self-love. Once you get the hang of it, these steps won’t take much time at all and give back far more than the time it takes.

The main thing to figure out about a Korean skin care routine is your targeted skin care needs. Then, you can gently address them with the correct products.

Additionally, the proper application is just as important – both in the way and order they’re applied. You can learn more about application techniques and order in our blog articles.