Koreans are known for their flawless and radiant skin. That’s because they follow a unique and intricate skincare and beauty regimen to get that healthy, glowing complexion. If you want to get the same stunning skin, Korean style, here are the beauty secrets you need to know.

Daily skincare regime

These steps are usually part of a daily Korean skincare regime.

Use the “double cleanse” method to thoroughly remove impurities

 Double cleansing is a crucial step in Korean skincare. This involves cleansing your face twice so that you can remove impurities from your face completely. The first step involves using a gentle oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup and other impurities. The next step in the double cleanse method is to use a mild water-based cleanser or foaming cleanser to thoroughly remove any remaining residue from your face. The key in each step is to rub very gently to remove all traces of makeup and dirt. This will leave your skin squeaky clean and help keep it acne-free.

Try: Gentle Cleansing Oil from Sulwhasoo, a refreshing and mild cleansing oil that gently removes your make-up and the Gentle Cleansing Foam Ex also from Sulwhasoo, a mild cleansing foam that effectively removes impurities from your skin.

Refresh your skin with toner

 After cleansing, it’s time to prep your skin with toner so that your skin can better absorb the treatments that come next. Toner balances your skin’s PH levels and hydrates your skin. Squirt a bit of toner onto a cotton pad and gently wipe it over your face.

Try: White Dew Skin Refiner from LANEIGE, a light, moisturising whitening toner that is quickly absorbed into the skin to fill it with moisture and even out the skin tone through its detox mechanism.

Nourish your skin with essence

 Essence is a critical part of the Korean skincare regime. It’s like a hybrid between a toner and a serum. Less concentrated and more lightweight than a serum, essence is usually water-based. It can also come in a gel-like texture. Essence contains nourishing ingredients that moisturize your skin. It speeds up your skin’s cellular renewal process and helps to create a brighter complexion. To apply, pat gently over your skin to aid with absorption.

Try: Water Bank Essence_EX from LANEIGE, a moisturizing essence that will hydrate your skin and improve your skin’s texture.

Treat your skin with a serum 

Think of a serum as a more concentrated version of the essence. It is packed with special formulations to target specific needs – serums can be used to refine pores, smoothen out fine lines, stimulate collagen growth, brighten dull skin or tackle pigmentation. Serums penetrate deeper into the skin. Just like the essence, gently tap the serum over your skin for better absorption.


Try: Snowise Brightening Serum from Sulwhasoo which contains white ginseng to infuse skin with collagen and reduce dullness and discolouration.

Use an ampoule for greater impact

Ampoules have become more popular in recent years and they are even more potent than serums. Ampoules have a dense formulation of active ingredients to tackle specific problems such as hyperpigmentation, aging and dullness. Because it is more concentrated, it can deliver faster results. A few drops are usually enough for a greater impact. Choose the type of ampoule carefully, depending on your skin’s particular needs.

Try: White Plus Renew Spot Ampoule from LANEIGE, a brightening powder and soothing ampoule set to help you achieve clear skin.

Promote hydration with an emulsion 

An emulsion is usually slightly watery, light in texture and non-sticky. It acts like a moisturizer, helps to create more supple skin and is great for dry skin. It can be applied before or after the serum (tip: check the packaging of the product to see at which stage it should be applied). Massage gently on your skin.

Try: Snowise Brightening Emulsion from Sulwhasoo, a moisture-rich emulsion that absorbs quickly for super-smooth skin.

Protect the delicate eye area with an eye cream 

The area around your eyes is the most delicate and needs special care to keep it hydrated. Use a good eye cream to nourish and moisturize that area to prevent wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness, to improve the skin’s elasticity and to brighten up your eyes. For best results, gently tap the eye cream over the area – never rub it in. 

Try: Perfect Renew Eye Cream from LANEIGE that helps to repair damage and moisturize the eye area. 

Seal it all in with a moisturizer 

You can use a lightweight moisturizer to seal all the previous treatments for your skin. The moisturizer can come in various textures, such as a lotion, cream or gel. Pat it over your face to protect and hydrate your skin.

Try: Snowise Brightening Cream from Sulwhasoo, a brightening cream that boosts skin clarity, radiance and hydration.

Don’t forget the sunscreen 

Sunscreen is very important to prevent pigmentation and acts as a defensive mechanism to prevent aging. This is a step that should never be skipped. Use a sunscreen that has at least an SPF50+.

Try: Snowise EX UV Protection Cream from Sulwhasoo, a dual-functioning cream that brightens up your skin while simultaneously providing UV protection.

Non-daily regime

These steps can be done sparingly – a few times a week.

Exfoliate your skin 

Exfoliating your skin will help get rid of dead skin cells and gives you baby-smooth skin. But don’t scrub your face too excessively – exfoliate not more than twice a week. It’s best to focus on areas that have visible pores or blackheads.

Try: Snowise Brightening Exfoliating Gel from Sulwhasoo, a white ginseng scrub which gently exfoliates impurities from the skin, leaving it clean and smooth.

Use sheet masks 

Facial sheet masks are very popular in Korea and you can use this to further hydrate and brighten up your skin. They are light and will leave your skin feeling fresh. Don’t over do it though – twice a week should be sufficient. Be sure to choose one that is suitable for your skin type.

Try: Snowise Brightening Mask, an intensive mask that awakens your skin’s inner glow, enriched with white ginseng which minimizes melanin pigmentation.

Sleeping mask 

Once a week, you can consider slathering on an ultra-rich night cream or putting on a sleeping mask for extra oomph. This will deliver nutrients deep into your skin while you sleep. As they stay on your skin all night, you can use them in place of your regular moisturizer.

Try: Water Sleeping Mask from LANEIGE, an overnight mask that will give your skin a lively, well-rested appearance the next morning.

Note: The featured products by LANEIGE and Sulwhasoo in this article are available at Cosmetics Department, Level 1, Takashimaya Department Store, with selected products also available at Seoul in Love, a 12-day long event celebrating the best of Korean culture, with events, activities and products centered around K-beauty, K-entertainment, K-fashion and accessories, K-food, K-lifestyle and K-weddings.