Facial skin takes the brunt of the elements -- hot or cold, wet or dry -- and is worth extra attention. South Korean skin care is known for an elaborate, multistep routine that nurtures youthful skin with a proactive and consistent approach. But high-end Korean beauty products are pricey -- a set with all the components easily reaches into the triple-digits. Instead, use these 10 skin-care tips and products to replicate the vaunted Korean beauty routine at a fraction of the cost. (Consult a dermatologist before making any drastic changes to your skin-care regimen.)
10 Secrets to a Budget-Friendly Korean Beauty Routine
The Korean cleansing routine differs from the American approach. While Americans typically use makeup remover and wipes, many Korean beauty gurus subscribe to a double cleansing. The first wash calls for an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup followed by a second wash with a gentle cleanser to grab leftover makeup, dirt, and oil. The face is then patted dry with a face towel (not the one used to dry hands).
Compared with American astringents and toners, which have a high alcohol content, so-called "refreshers" are gentle. Some contain natural ingredients to help restore the skin's pH balance and ready the skin to better absorb serums and creams applied later. Some Korean women pat a few drops of refresher on their faces with their fingers and others use cotton pads. Skin Food Peach Sake Toner ($9 on <a href="http://amzn.to/1N1NFzZ">Amazon</a>) and The Face Shop Chia Seed Water 100 Toner ($14 on <a href="http://amzn.to/1PmCSSR">Amazon</a>) are both gentle and highly rated refreshers.
Many Korean beauty gurus believe that makeup removal and facial cleansing should take the same amount of time as putting on makeup. Rather than rushing through their routines, they meticulously layer on product after product. High-end potions aren't necessary to a successful Korean beauty routine, but patience is. In other words, invest the time and commit to the proper care.