13 Korean Beauty Tips for Glowy, Flawless-Looking Skin

January 12, 2024
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By: Makeup.com | Makeup.com by L'Oréal

13 Korean Beauty Tips for Glowy, Flawless-Looking Skin

Sheet masks, Douyin makeup, glass skin: Korean beauty is the gift that keeps on giving. Over the past several years, we’ve fully integrated K-beauty and the philosophies that come with it into our lives—and truthfully, we’ve never looked better. But if there’s one thing about Korean beauty, it’s that there are always new tricks and techniques waiting to be discovered. That’s where we come in. Ahead, we’ve compiled a list of 10 of our favorite Korean beauty secrets for glowy, healthy-looking skin. Whether you’re just getting into K-beauty or are looking to discover a few new Korean beauty tips to incorporate into your daily routine, keep reading—we’ve got you covered.

Double Cleanse at Night

The double cleanse is a cornerstone of a classic Korean beauty routine. The technique involves washing your face twice: First with an oil-based cleanser (to remove sunscreen and makeup), then with a water-based cleanser (to help get rid of impurities like dirt and excess oil). Try it with a hydrating, non-comedogenic oil cleanser like Kiehl’s Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil and a non-stripping water-based cleanser, such as CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser

Mask Before You Moisturize

Even if you’re totally new to K-beauty, you’re probably familiar with the sheet mask. These pre-made face masks typically come in a pouch filled with a hydrating facial essence or serum and are a must in a traditional Korean skincare routine. One of the biggest benefits of sheet masks is that they’re incredibly versatile: You can find one to target nearly any skin concern, from dullness to dryness. Once or twice a week, after washing your face, apply your favorite sheet mask (we love the SkinCeuticals Biocellulose Restorative Mask), then sit and relax for ten to fifteen minutes. Once you’re done, peel off the mask, moisturize, and revel in your newfound glow.

Try a Sleeping Pack

In K-beauty, overnight face masks are called sleeping packs. Typically, they have a thick cream or gel formula and blanket the skin in concentrated, intense moisture. You can use one every evening in place of night cream, or reach for a sleeping pack anytime you feel like your skin could use a bit of TLC. Try Youth to the People Hydrate + Glow Dream Mask for a brightening boost, or reach for cocokind Resurfacing Sleep Mask Overnight Treatment and wake up with plumper, more even-looking skin.

Prioritize Your SPF

Daily suncare is an integral part of the Korean beauty philosophy—as any dermatologist will tell you, daily use of sunscreen is one of the best ways to keep your skin looking and feeling its healthiest. And whereas old-school sunscreens sometimes had a heavy or greasy feel, new iterations are formulated to provide a (much) better user experience. La Roche-Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Fluid Facial Sunscreen SPF 60 is an editor favorite, thanks to its weightless texture and fast-absorbing formula. 

Switch to Cushion Foundation

If you’re wondering how to do Korean makeup like a pro, start with a cushion foundation. These formulas offer light to medium coverage and typically have a dewy finish for that coveted your-skin-but-better look. Plus, many boast skin benefits, too. YSL Le Cushion Encre de Peau, for example, has a formula that features 78% skincare ingredients for a fresh, moisturizing feel. 

Experiment With the Popsicle Pout

The popsicle pout is another Korean makeup-inspired look we can’t get enough of. The gradient, stained lip look—named for the way your mouth looks after eating a popsicle—is both incredibly flattering and easy to achieve. Start by lightly blending foundation or concealer onto the outer edges of your lips to blur the vermillion border (the boundary where your lips meet your skin). Then, dot a pigmented lip gloss like NYX Professional Cosmetics Duck Plump High Pigment Lip Gloss onto the center of your mouth and press your lips together for the perfect just-bitten look.



Consider Caramel Blush

If hot pink was the blush color of 2023, this year’s hue is definitely caramel—at least in K-beauty spaces. This sweet, nutty hue is a favorite among Korean beauty enthusiasts thanks to the way it warms your skin without making you look obviously bronzed. L’Oréal Paris True Match Blush in Subtle Sable W5-6 has pinkish undertones that pair beautifully with fair skin, while the deepier, toastier brown of Maybelline Fit Me Blush in Buff perfectly complements darker skin tones. 

Start Doing Facial Exercises

Beauty is self-care, and one of our favorite ways to get the most out of our beauty routines is by practicing face yoga. This technique, born from traditional Korean beauty treatments like gua sha and face rolling, involves strategically working your facial muscles to help revitalize your skin’s appearance. More importantly, however, it provides an opportunity to slow down. We find ourselves feeling more relaxed and mindful every time we set aside ten minutes to enjoy the practice—which is why face yoga has become a nightly routine for more than one of our editors. 


Snag a Foundation Spatula 

Next time you’re applying liquid foundation, ditch the sponge and use a metal spatula instead. We’ll admit that applying makeup with a spatula sounds a little strange at first, but trust us: It’s game-changing. The mini metal tool allows your product to spread easily, resulting in a smooth, uniform base—without the need to apply a ton of product. This little swap is among our favorite Korean beauty secrets for achieving that flawless-looking glass skin base. 

Try Fermented Skincare

Fermented ingredients aren’t just for sprucing up your dinner: In fact, they’re a major trend in the Korean skincare space right now. The science behind it is compelling, too—research suggests that fermented ingredients may be easier to absorb, and therefore, more effective than other options. Of course, choosing the right formula is key. If you’re looking to brighten your skin, reach for Youth to the People Kombucha + 10% AHA Power Exfoliant, which helps reveal a smoother-feeling and more even-looking complexion. For hydration, meanwhile, we’re fans of Benton Fermentation Essence, which you can layer under your daily moisturizer (and sunscreen).

Always Remove Your Makeup 

You’ll never catch a Korean beauty buff falling asleep in the day’s makeup, and there’s a reason for that: Sleeping with your makeup on can wreak havoc on your skin. So before hitting the pillow, remove your makeup with a double cleanse (as outlined above), or if you’re feeling less motivated, give your face a quick wipe down with micellar water and follow with moisturizer. We’re partial to Garnier Cleansing Water All-in-1 Waterproof Makeup Remover, which gently lifts away dirt, makeup, and other impurities for clean, refreshed skin.



Add Rice Water to Your Routine

Head to any Korean beauty store, and you’re likely to see a lot of products containing rice water or rice extract. It’s a massively popular ingredient in Asia, and once you read up on the benefits (brightening, moisturizing, anti-aging…), it’s easy to see why. You can incorporate this ingredient into your routine with products like SkinCeuticals Hyaluronic Acid Intensifier, which contains purple rice extract, and Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner, which stars fermented Korean black rice. 

Don’t Forget Your Neck

K-beauty devotées know that skincare doesn’t stop at your jawline: Any products you put on your face should be applied to your neck, too. Extend your essences, serums, moisturizers, and sunscreens down the full length of your neck and décolleté. There are even sheet masks designed specifically for use on your chest. Our current favorite is LAPCOS Hydra Collagen Chest Mask. Pop it on for fifteen minutes after your Sunday evening everything shower for the ultimate self-care moment.


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