If you have opened any major beauty and fashion magazine lately, you have probably noticed that everyone is talking about Korean skin care or K-Beauty. In fact, a lot of Western beauty brands are taking inspiration from Korean beauty brands and developing entire lines based on K-Beauty philosophies.

With all the buzz about K-Beauty, you probably already know that there’s a lot more to it than the skincare routines you’re used to. A Korean skin care routine can have as many as 10 steps or more and include things like essences and ampoules that you’ve probably never heard of.

It can all seem a little overwhelming, especially if you are used to a typical skin care routine of cleanse, then tone, then moisturize. If you’re ready to try a Korean skincare routine, here are some tips to help you avoid the most common mistakes people make when they are just starting out.

Not Storing Your Products Properly

Don’t leave your K-Beauty products in the shower or displayed on your bathroom vanity. Store your products in a dark, cool place. Direct sunlight and fluctuations in temperature can reduce the effectiveness of the main ingredients. Vitamin C, benzoyl peroxide, and retinol are especially sensitive.

The best place to store your skin care products is in a cabinet or drawer where no light can get to them. For products that have vitamin C, you might even consider storing them in the fridge to keep their potency and prevent them from breaking down.

Using the Wrong Formulas Together

Formulas containing certain ingredients shouldn’t be mixed together because they can cancel each other out or interact and cause irritation to your skin. For example, you should never mix formulas containing vitamin C with formulas that alpha hydroxy or beta hydroxy acids. These ingredients could cause some major redness and peeling when used at the same time.

Not Sticking to a Routine

As with most things in life, consistency is the key to an effective skin care routine. No matter how tired you are at night or how late you are running in the morning, you need to stick with your routine. Being consistent with the products you’re using is important, too. Be sure you give a product plenty of time to work before you try something new.

Focusing on Treatment Instead of Prevention

Prevention is one of the key philosophies of Korean skincare. Don’t wait for fine lines to show up around your eyes before you start treating them. Korean philosophy teaches that you should focus on supporting the current health of your skin by being proactive. Use an eye cream and SPF now, before your skin becomes damaged.

Using Your Products in the Wrong Order

Even if you have all the best products for your skin type, they won’t work as well if you use them in the wrong order. One of the easiest ways to know if you’re using them in the correct order is to apply the lightest products first and work your way up to the heaviest. If you apply the heavy products first, the lighter ones may not get absorbed into your skin.

Trying Too Many New Products at One Time

Even though it might be tempting to dive right in and follow the 10-step Korean skin care routine right away, that might not be what’s best for your skin. Try replacing the steps in your current routine with their K-Beauty equivalents and then slowly add in the other steps one at a time. That way, you can see what’s working for your skin and what isn’t.

Not Using the Correct Motion When Applying

Don’t just apply your products in any random motion. You should always start in the center of your face and work your way upward and outward. For example, start at your nose and work your way toward your temples, and then start at the center of your forehead, again working towards your temples. This motion can help to fight the pull of gravity and reduce puffiness by helping your lymphatic glands to drain.

Always Tap, Don’t Rub

Never rub your skin unnecessarily. The skin on your face is delicate and rubbing can lead to premature fine lines and sagging. It is very important to be as gentle as possible when applying your products. You should tap the products into your skin gently, using the upward, outward motion described above. Tapping will also help with lymphatic drainage, too.

Misunderstanding Korean Skincare Terms

You are going to come across a lot of new terms when you start researching K-Beauty. When choosing the best products for your skin, it is important to understand what these terms mean. When you come across a new term, spend a little time learning about it.

For example, the term “whitening” is often misunderstood. When a product is labeled as whitening, that doesn’t usually mean that the product bleaches your skin, as many people think. The product is actually made to target dull skin, dark spots, and hyperpigmentation. Anyone can safely use these products, no matter what skin tone they have.

Not Cleansing Properly

Many people don’t realize how important it is to cleanse your skin properly. So many people rely on cleansing wipes and think it’s good enough, but it really isn’t. It is so important to remove dirt, impurities, and oil from your skin. Korean skincare philosophy teaches that the best way to do this is by double cleansing.

An oil-based cleanser should be used first. The oil is necessary for breaking down the oils produced by your skin during the day, as well as SPF and makeup. Follow the oil cleanser with a water-based one to remove any remaining residue, sweat, or dirt. Don’t make the mistake of skipping the oil cleansing step because water and oil don’t mix, and a water-based cleanser just can’t do a thorough job on its own.

There’s no doubt that a Korean skincare routine can produce amazing results. Educating yourself about how to use the products properly can help you achieve your best skin yet!

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