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Makeup  | © Breakingpic / Pexels
Makeup | © Breakingpic / Pexels
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10 South Korean Beauty Hacks You Need in Your Life

Picture of Linda Dunsmore
Updated: 6 March 2017
In 2015, South Korea exported $2.7 billion worth of skincare products worldwide. That is no wonder considering the nation’s high-quality and innovative makeup and skincare industry. Whether it’s BB creams, sheet masks or face peelings – South Korea has done them first. That’s why we have looked into the top 10 South Korean beauty hacks you need in your life.

Sheet Masks

Already a major hit in the Western world, sheet masks have been a skincare essential for years in South Korea. Every skincare store sells them in bulk and they are available for all skin types. Korean models at the Seoul Fashion Week swear by these hydrating wonders in a bag and use them as often as they can to moisturize and brighten their skin. The most sought-after mask sheets include the mugwort mask from Aritaum, Klavuu’s enriched pearl serum mask and the Laneige Water Bank Double Gel Soothing Mask.

Overnight Sleeping Mask

The second phase of a Korean skincare routine includes overnight sleeping masks. They’re extremely easy to use and super effective. Throw them on in the evening, sleep and wake up with radiant skin in the morning. Especially in the colder months, it is essential to hydrate your skin. If you, too, are looking for amazing skin overnight, check out the AmorePacific Moisture Bound Sleeping Recovery Masque and the Too Cool for School Egg Mellow Cream.

Volcanic Clay Mask

Once a week, Koreans like to relax while enjoying a wonderful volcanic clay mask. First introduced my Innisfree, this effective mask is a 6-in-1 pore treatment and contains 6,020mg of volcanic clay from Jeju Island. Use it to exfoliate dead skin cells, tighten pores, deep cleanse and even out your skin tone.

Swear by Ginseng

Ginseng is known to have anti-aging properties and has been used in Korean skin care for quite some time. Koreans swear by the ancient root as it is also deeply integrated into local cuisine and tea culture. Ginseng is used to detox as it contains a lot of antioxidants. Try out the ginseng line from Korean skincare brand Sulwhasoo and you will know what it is all about.

10-Second Rule

This rule does not regard dropping food on the ground but is rather a rule of thumb when applying skincare products in South Korea. Korean researchers have found that it is best to apply toner within 10 seconds of taking a shower. At the same time, this also goes for a moisturizer. The reason behind this theory is that after cleansing and/or after taking a shower, the pores are open and mor receptive to products.

Double Cleansing

South Koreans know that cleansing your face is probably the most important step of every skincare routine. It is recommended to double cleanse, especially when wearing makeup, to completely get rid of all the junk that blocks our pores. The first step is to use an oil-based cleanser to get rid of all the makeup. Then, wash your face again with a foam or soap to deeply clean your pores and remove any residue.

Rice Water

Korean’s emphasis on skincare is not a recent phenomenon but rather an old tradition. Even in the old days, Koreans had various beauty hacks they incorporated in their daily lives – no matter what rank they had in society. Still today, it is common to use rice water to wash your face because of the many benefits. However, you don’t have to cook up your own rice but can simply purchase various products, such as Primera’s black rice emulsion or Inisfree’s rice sleeping mask pod to get the same anti-aging and moisturizing effects.

Skin Massages

It’s known that circulation is a great way to keep skin healthy. That’s why Koreans like to apply their products with circular motions and light massages. This goes even further as to skin clinics offering budget facial massages at every corner in South Korean cities. However, you don’t have to leave your house to get the benefits, simply focus on certain pressure points, such as the sides of the temples, when applying your skincare products.

Skip the Towel

You might be surprised how many bacteria are hiding in your towels. Even after washing and drying them. Harsh chemicals in detergents also harm our skin. That’s why it is actually best to simply air dry your face after cleansing and then applying toner before it dries completely. Try it and you’ll feel the difference.

Hang up your Towels

Towels seem to have an important role in Korean beauty hacks as proves this last hack. Especially in the winter months, it is important to keep your skin hydrated and prevent dry air in your room. That’s where our damp towels come in handy. After taking a shower and (air) drying your face, take your wet towels with you and use them as a simple humidifier at night. Many Koreans even hang wet towels around their bed in order to get better sleep in the winter.