Before I started working in the publishing industry, I was busy learning everything I could about Korean beauty. Being involved in training and marketing for a Korean beauty brand, my daily grind revolved around absorbing every known glow-boosting and pore-tightening ingredient known to Seoul.
Mind you, I'm not saying that I know everything about Korean beauty—the industry is always evolving—but after consuming X amount of training manuals, going on so many product test-drives, and having countless one-on-one prettifying sessions with legit Korean beauty experts, I picked up a lot of valuable lessons that have altered my beauty habits, which I'm now sharing with you! Here, everything you need to know to score a flawless complexion—the SoKo way!
1. Anti-age as early as 18 years old.
I remember that we used to sell BB creams loaded with anti-aging benefits suited for teens because while Koreans know that teens are more prone to breakouts, they also don't forget to add moisturizing ingredients to keep eveything balanced. If you haven't started using anti-aging products yet, there's no better time to begin than now.
2. Use sunscreen like you're living next door to the sun.
A major way you can tap into the fountain of youth is to always wear sunscreen. If you're not shielding yourself from the UV rays, your nightly habit of slathering anti-aging serums and moisturizers will simply be a waste of product and effort.
3. Moisturizing is the name of the game.
The main logic behind their extensive skincare routine is that they like layering products that hydrate and plump their skin. Plus, Korea has four seasons, so their skincare needs vary with every transition.
And yes, their product lineup and suggested skincare routine might be too much (and expensive) for the regular Pinay, but you don't really have to envelop your face with 30 products. You simply need to be consistent with taking care of your skin. When all else fails, never neglect to wash your face, apply sun protection, and hydrate your skin.
4. Whitening is not bleaching.
You'll often spy Korean skincare products and makeup with the label: whitening. Before you gasp at the thought of lightening your beautiful Filipina skin tone, be aware that their brightening products are meant to control and correct hyperpigmentation, meaning those dark spots caused by sun exposure or dried-up zits. With regular use, you'll score a lit-from-within complexion.
5. Masks are important!
Our Seoul sisters value the powers of masks. These come in many forms: sheet masks, sleeping packs, or mud packs. All these provide potent good-for-your-skin ingredients that grant instant flawless results. A word of caution: The spa-like feel of wearing one and the blooming complexion you'll notice with every use can be very addicting.
6. If you have great skin, you won't need loads of makeup.
I remember being taught how to create an evening look. Being used to the plakado foundation finish and intense smokey eyes I learned in makeup school, I was pleased to discover that you can look pretty amazing in the evening without wearing tons of makeup.
And since Korean ladies are religious with their skin care regimen, their complexion doesn't need much work. In fact, two tiny drops of foundation are enough to do the job. As for the eyes, liner and mascara are essential to opening them up. Our tip: Concentrate the liner near the lashes for a natural, doll-eyed appearance.
7. Their makeup techniques are designed to create a youthful face.
Korean women are fascinated with highlighters, straight brows, and popsicle-tinted lips because all these shave years off your face. So, besides an impressive anti-aging skincare regimen, their makeup tricks contribute to their baby face beauty.
PHOTO: Flickr Creative Commons/Andre Pienaar