GIVE THE GIFT OF GORGEOUS. CHECK OUT MED SPA MONTH MENUS.

Style

Demystifying the Korean Skincare Trend

The skincare trend, called K-Beauty, involves building light layers of products, and Courtney Dunlop has built a 10-minute daily routine to demystify the process.

By Claire Porter

Oct 2018

line of soap bottles with small, leafy plant
Photo courtesy ShutterstockCourtney Dunlop co-owns Good Skin Day with Elle Feldman, and as a former beauty editor and current contributor for Marie Claire, Dunlop is partly responsible for bringing to America’s attention Korean skincare’s cutting-edge technologies and affordable prices.

#1 Oil-based cleanser

How It Works

“Regular cleanser, as good as it is, is very ill-equipped to take off makeup and sunscreen, especially if it involves minerals,” Dunlop says. Oil cleansers dissolve minerals, makeup and pollution particles that accumulate on your skin.

What To Try

Try One Love Organics Vitamin B Enzyme Cleansing Oil ($42 at Good Skin Day), Clinique Take the Day Off Cleansing Balm ($29.50 at Ulta Beauty) or Institut´DERMed Enhancing Eye Makeup Remover ($28 at Acacia Spa) for stubborn makeup.

How and When To Apply

Every night, apply massage oil into dry skin. Wet your fingers to emulsify the cleanser, then rinse. If you have on mascara, use a micellar water or makeup remover on your eyes. In the morning, you can skip straight to step 2 or 3.

#2 Water-based cleanser

How It Works

The second step of a double cleanse removes remaining residue, leaving you with a blank canvas for the rest of your products to work effectively.

What To Try

The type of cleanser you use depends on skin type and preference. Try One Love Organics Easy Does It Foaming Cleanser ($25 at Good Skin Day) or Alchimie Forever Gentle Cream Cleanser ($41 at Good Skin Day).

How and When To Apply

Every morning and night, apply cleanser per package directions, then rinse off and pat skin dry.

#3 Exfoliation

How It Works

Exfoliants, which can be scrubs, acid pads or even enzymes, remove dead cells and smooth rough patches that make skin look dull and lackluster.

What To Try

Try CosRx Whitehead Power Liquid ($22 at Good Skin Day), Institut´ DERMed Clarifying Peel ($64 at Acacia Spa) or SkinCeuticals Micro-Exfoliating Scrub ($30 at CoxHealth Center for Plastic Surgery and MedSpa).

How and When To Apply

Follow package instructions. Depending on how active the product is and how sensitive your skin is, you can exfoliate as frequently as every day or as sparsely as once a week.

#4 Mist

How It Works

“You don’t want your skin to dry out right now, so time is of the essence,” Dunlop says. A mist soothes the skin which is fragile after having been washed twice and then scrubbed.

What To Try

This can be any alcohol-free face mist or floral water. Try Botanical Naturals Aloe & Orange Blossom Toner ($12 at Good Skin Day) or jane iredale POMMISST Hydration Spray ($30 at DermaHealth).

How and When To Apply

After you’ve cleansed, morning and night, give yourself a healthy spritz all over your face and neck. “Really go to town,” Dunlop says.

#5 Essence

How It Works

Dunlop says this is where her clients see their skin transform dramatically. Essences saturate the skin so products absorb better, penetrate deeper and become more effective.

What To Try

Make sure your product is alcohol-free (no Sea Breeze astringent here!). Try the Indie Lee COQ-10 Toner ($32 at Good Skin Day).

How and When To Apply

Immediately after misting, sprinkle a small amount of product in your palms, rub your palms together and pat your face like a cushion, pushing the essence or toner into the skin.

#6 Water-based serum

How It Works

Water-based serums contain loads of skin-nourishing benefits (each serum targets different needs) that penetrate deeply. “This stuff is going to go deep into your skin, so choose wisely,” Dunlop says.

What To Try

CosRx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ($23 at Good Skin Day) has snail secretions, which are high in hylauranic acids. For anti-aging, try Indie Lee Swiss Apple Facial Serum ($130 at Good Skin Day), which uses apple stem cells to regenerate skin and smooth lines and wrinkles.

How and When To Apply

While your skin is still damp from your essence, squeeze a small amount onto your fingertips and pat it all over your face and neck.

#7 Sheet mask

How It Works

Masks pump even more nourishing ingredients into the skin and help cells soak up all of the products you’ve just applied.

What To Try

Avoid paper masks, which dry out skin, and look for hydrogel masks. The rubbery material forms to the face and gently massages the juice into the skin. Try Petitfée Black Pearl & Gold Hyrdogel Mask Pack ($6 each at Good Skin Day).

How and When To Apply

Apply your mask right after your serum, anywhere from every day to twice a week. Leave it on for as long as you can—ideally 20 minutes. Discard your mask, then massage in any leftover product.

#8 Eye cream

How It Works

The skin around and under eyes is thin and delicate, so applying an eye-specific cream helps with under-eye puffiness, dark circles or wrinkles.

What To Try

Try One Love Organics Vitamin E Eye Balm ($49 at Good Skin Day) or Indie Lee I-Waken Eye Serum ($48 at Good Skin Day) for dark circles. Chill SkinBetter Transform Instant Effect Gel Eye ($85 at Mercy Medical Spa) for a cooling burst.

How and When To Apply

Morning, night or both, use your fingertips to delicately tap the cream onto the skin underneath your eyes.

#9 Moisturizer or night cream

How It Works

A moisturizer, night cream or sleeping mask seals in the products that have soaked into your skin like a moisture protective layer.

What To Try

Day or night, try Alchimie Forever Kantic Calming Cream ($69 at Good Skin Day). Made with ricewater, CoxRx Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask ($24 at Good Skin Day) leaves skin bright and dewy the next morning.

How and When To Apply

Apply a thin layer of moisturizer all over. If you’re using a sleeping mask, instead of massaging the product in, place it on your skin, then lightly smooth it over your face—don’t rub.

#10 Sunscreen or facial oil

How It Works

One of the most crucial steps to great skin is protecting it from UV damage and sun exposure. At night especially during the winter months, substitute the sunscreen for a facial oil, which will further seal in moisture.

What To Try

Dunlop swears by Banana Boat Dry Balance sunscreen ($5.99 at Target) for the body. Try Colorescience Sunforgettable Brush-On Sunblock SPF 50 ($60 at Acacia Spa) for the face. At night, try Indie Lee Squalane Facial Oil ($32 at Good Skin Day) or Epionce Priming Oil ($50 at DermaHealth).

How and When To Apply

Smooth sunscreen over your face, neck, chest and ears, paying special attention to areas that are prone to burning. At night, add two to three drops of oil to your palms, spread between your hands then pat the oil over your face.

Tags: