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The Korean Skincare Routine 

In 2017, demand for Korea's innovative skincare and beauty products continued to climb, with sales increasing 66 per cent worldwide. Demand for K-beauty shows no signs of slowing down, thanks to the increasing traction of the “glass skin” trend - think skin that looks eerily translucent.

The Korean Skincare Routine has 10 steps to it and is practiced by millions of Koreans every day - both men and women. The routine essentially features cleansing, exfoliating, treating, moisturising and the application of plenty of SPF during the day - in other words all of the steps that I included in my recent blog post “Is it time to overhaul your skincare routine?” The Korean Skincare  Routine is said to be the reason why so many Korean women have bright, flawless skin. Many people who have tried it reported seeing a difference in their skin in just 7 days. 

Thanks to their industry leading skincare research, the export of Korean beauty products exceeded £1.85bn in 2016 making it one of the largest players in the market. In addition, South Korean women spend twice as much of their income on cosmetics than their American counterparts. This may partly be due to the fact that in Korea, skincare maintenance is drummed into you from a young age (early twenties) unlike some western cultures where slowing down the ageing process is not giving serious consideration until we are approaching our thirties. 

The 10 steps detailed in the Korean Skincare Routine do not necessarily have to be carried out every single day but adhering to the regimen will result in the ultimate pampering for your skin and a fresh complexion. 

The 10 steps in the routine are summarised below together with suggestions of ENVIRON products which can be used within each step. (Each of these products are readily available from Madame Skin)

1. The First Cleanse

This first stage of the cleansing process enables eye make up, other makeup and SPF to be removed before the “second cleanse”. Why not try:
  • Skin Essentia Oil Free Eye make up remover -  an oil free product suitable for sensitive skins which gently removes eye make up without drying skin around the eyes. 
  • Skin Essentia Dual Action Pre Cleansing Oil  - a plant derived oil based cleanser that acts as sebum solvent and assists in removing environmental pollutants from skin.
  • ß-Active Sebuprep - a mineral oil based pre-cleanser, which is essential for deep cleansing to help remove excess oil and environmental debris. This products helps in decongesting and cleansing the skin.
2. The Second Cleanse
This step is effectively the final stage of the "double cleanse" and helps to ensure that the skin is cleansed of any residual oil and dirt and the skin is adequately prepared for application of further products. Try: 
  • Interactive Cleansing Gel - this is formulated to remove residual oil from surface of the skin, to help enhance the effectiveness of the vitamin creams. 
  • Skin Essentia Mild Cleansing Lotion - a gentle cleansing lotion which effectively removes excess oils, make up and other impurities without stripping natural oils from the skin, leaving the skin soft and refreshed. 
  • C-Quence Cleanser is a luxurious, hydrating cleanser that contains specially selected ingredients effective in cleansing, nourishing and hydrating the skin.
  • β-Active Sebuwash - a foaming, gel cleanser that gently removes excess oils and environmental debris without drying the skin.
3. Exfoliation 

Exfoliation involves cleaning out blocked pores and sloughing off dead skin cells. Exfoliation should NOT to be carried out daily. Why not try:
  • Skin Essentia Hydrating Clay Masque - contains intensely hydrating ingredients and incorporates the finest clay. The formula assists in absorbing excess oil and micro-exfoliating the skin feeling smoother and appearing more radiant. When using to exfoliate, apply the Hydrating  Clay Masque on top of the pre-cleanser, massage with fingertips and rinse with water. Use no more than once or twice a week. 
4. Toning
This step is known in Korea as the “Refresher”. The toner / refresher is applied to skin to help address the pH balance of the skin and thus prepare it for the next stage of application of products. Why not try:
  • Skin Essentia Botanical Infused Moisturising Toner - this works in synergy with ENVIRON products to assist in moisturising and hydrating skin. Gives the appearance of a healthy glow as it helps to hydrate and moisturise the skin. 
  • C-Quence Toner - specifically formulated to work in synergy with the ingredients contained in C-Quence Crème and C-Quence 1 – 4, as well as to help increase hydration and improve the appearance of uneven skin tone. Works in synergy with the ENVIRON vitamin enriched moisturisers. 
  • Sebutone - a medium-strength toner containing lactic acid that helps to smoothen the appearance of skin and improve hydration. Suitable for oily, dehydrated and problem skin types. Contains lactic acid that helps to smoothen the appearance of skin and improve hydration.
5. The Essence
This step is the one step of the routine that is not commonly included in Western beauty regimens. It’s this step that is said to be the most important part of the routine and is at the heart of Korean skincare. “Essence” is a treatment product similar to serums, boosters, or ampoules but it has a watery in consistency like a toner. It is responsible for hydrating the skin and speeding cell turnover thus making the skin smoother and brighter. Within the ENVIRON range, there is no comparable product so generous usage of those products detailed in step 6 will become important. 
6. Serum, Boosters, or Ampoule Treatments
These are like super concentrated versions of the "essences' described in step 5 and are used to treat pigmentation, brighten skin and smooth fine lines. Why not try:
  • Focus Frown Serum - This products assists in softening and improving the appearance of fine lines.
  • Focus Hydrating Serum -assists in hydrating and adding volume to targeted skin areas, which may help improve the appearance of fine lines. 
  • Hydrating Oil Capsules - contain antioxidants and vitamin A in an easily absorbable oil-based formula. It helps to hydrate and gives the skin a silky feel.
7. Mask 
The Korean Skincare routine recommends that “sheet” masks are used no more than twice a week. Masks can be used instead of serums or essence if you are short of time to carry out this skincare routine. The ENVIRON range doesn't feature sheet masks but it has other masks which you can use instead. Why not try:
  • Skin Essentia Hydrating Clay Masque - contains intensely hydrating ingredients and incorporates the finest clay. After pre-cleansing and cleansing, this mask is applied evenly over the face including the eyelids. It is left on for a minium of 10 - 20 minutes, until dry or it may be left on overnight.
  • C-Quence Energising Masque - a gentle micro-exfoliating masque containing a high concentration of vitamin C. This product is specifically designed for people with rough, sun-damaged skin. It contains high levels of vitamin C. It assists in energising the skin and giving the appearance of a brighter complexion.
8. Eye Cream
Eye creams are concerned with anything from fine lines to dark circles. They are applied with a "tapping" action in order not to pull the skin and cause more wrinkles. 
  • Skin Essential Antioxidant and Peptide eye gel - a mild but highly effective eye gel, rich in antioxidant vitamins A, C and E. It is specially formulated for use around the eyes and assists in softening the appearance of fine lines, leaving the skin firmer and looking more youthful.
  • C-Quence Eye Gel - a light gel formula containing a variety of vitamins, antioxidants and peptides to help improve the appearance of fine lines and assist in moisturising the skin around the eye area.
9. Moisturiser 
The purpose of a moisturiser is to seal in the skins moisture. A good day cream and night cream - separate to SPF are required to enable your skin to remain hydrated. Morning and evening, moisturisers should be used all over face and neck to keep the skin protected and hydrated, sealing in all the work from your other steps. Why not try:
  • The Skin Essentia range - AVST 1 is the introductory moisturiser for the AVST step-up system. This product contains the lowest concentration of vitamin A, C and antioxidants in the range. AVST's unique emulsion assists in rebalancing and moisturising the skin. 
  • Alternately try the C-Quence range. C-Quence 1 is the introductory moisturiser in ENVIRON's premium range of luxurious moisturisers. It contains a low concentration of vitamin A and a medium concentration of vitamin C. This range is formulated for all skin types, including sensitive skin and first time users of ENVIRON vitamin A creams. It is also perfect for those clients who are keen to see tangible results in a short period of time.
10. SPF
Application of SPF is an absolute must in any Korean regimen. Even if going outside for just a few minutes, sunscreen is applied to prevent the skin from premature ageing. It should be reapplied throughout the day as needed. Why not try: 
  • ENVIRON RAD Spray SPF 25 - a medium protection broad spectrum spray sunscreen containing 4 different sunscreens which offer UVA and UVB protection. It also contains antioxidants which help to protect the skin.
So, how many steps can you commit to? If you need a help in choosing ENVIRON products which will enable you to improve your skin, don't hesitate to get in touch. We’d be only to happy to help.

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