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It’s no wonder men feel like the industry itself is built around and for women… almost like men aren’t welcome. But, thankfully that’s not always the case. Korean skincare brands offer tons of options for men who want to look after their skin, from individual products to entire product lines.
Even still, the whole idea of following a skincare routine might seem a little out of your comfort zone. So, we’ve created this concise guide to Korean skincare for men to help you build out a daily skincare routine that works for you.
Why They Might Be a Guy’s Secret to Getting Great Skin
The key to smooth, supple, youthful-looking skin is all about adhering to a consistent routine. The traditional, trending K-Beauty skin care routine is all about hydration and treating your skin from the inside out with tried and true natural ingredients that get results.
Korean skincare brands are also known for incorporating the latest innovation and technology into their formulas to not only reverse existing problems but also prevent new ones. Whether you’re dealing with oiliness and acne, dryness and dullness, fine lines and wrinkles, or dark spots and hyperpigmentation, following a Korean skincare routine could be the answer.
The Korean Skincare Routine for Men
Cleansing your face with soap and water isn’t ideal. You need to use an oil cleanser to get rid of sunscreen, oil, dirt, pollution, and other impurities that can build up in your pores and lead to dullness or acne.
An oil cleanser should be used every morning and evening as your first step. Simply massage a dime-sized amount of cleanser into your skin for about 30 seconds and rinse with warm water.
After you’ve gotten rid of all those pore-clogging impurities, the next step is to use a foaming cleanser to complete the cleansing process. Look for one that’s gentle and doesn’t strip the skin of natural oils, but still leaves your skin feeling clean and refreshed. This step is also done morning and night following the same technique as above.
An exfoliator should be used after you cleanse your skin, but only about twice a week. This step removes dead skin cells from the surface of the skin and unclogs the pores. It’s essential for a smooth, youthful complexion and for preventing breakouts.
It’s best to avoid abrasive scrubs that can be damaging to the skin. Choose a Korean exfoliator made from botanical and fruit extracts that exfoliate without harsh scrubbing.
*If you’re going to shave, now is the time to do it. Your skin and be will be softest after cleansing and exfoliating, which allows for a much smoother shave. And, following up with toner will soothe and balance out the skin.
Toner is an essential step in Korean skincare, and it may be the reason this routine works so well for men. Many people think a toner is supposed to strip the skin (like an astringent), but Korean toners are formulated to do the exact opposite.
Korean toners are made to balance your skin’s pH after cleansing and begin adding hydration back into the skin. They calm the skin, reduce redness, and soften it so that other products can absorb easily. Simply use your fingertips or a cotton pad to pat it all over your face morning and evening.
Face masks may seem like a luxury rather than a necessity, but they really can make a huge difference in your skin. Korean face masks come in a variety of styles, including rinse off, sheet masks, and overnight sleeping masks.
They are formulated with targeted ingredients to repair, tighten, brighten, or deeply hydrate the skin. You can use one every single day or just when you want your skin to look extra good… it’s really up to you.
Serums are the heavy hitters in any K-Beauty skincare routine. They contain highly concentrated ingredients to address concerns like scars, hyperpigmentation, dullness, and fine lines. There are even serums that control oil and keep the skin looking fresh all day.
Since serums are so concentrated, you only need a tiny amount. Use them in the morning and evening, before applying moisturizer and sunscreen. If you want to try more than one formula, you can layer them or add and take away as needed, starting with the thinnest formula and working up to the thickest.
An effective Korean skincare routine utilizes two moisturizers- one for the face and one for the eye area. The facial moisturizer’s job is to protect the face from environmental damage and add hydration. The eye cream nourishes the thin skin around the eyes and targets issues like dark undereye circles, fine lines, or puffiness.
If you’re concerned about oiliness, look for a lightweight moisturizer that contains hyaluronic acid and aloe vera to hydrate without feeling greasy or heavy on the skin.
Hopefully, you’re already using sunscreen every day to prevent sun damage and skin cancer. The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends using a broad-spectrum SPF 15-30 sunscreen on all exposed skin every day and reapplying often.
If you’re like most men, you’ve probably never had much of a skincare routine before, and all of these steps might sound a little time-consuming. If you want to do just the basics, try doing the double-cleanse, applying toner, and using sunscreen during the day and moisturizer in the evening.
Then, you can add in the other steps when you want your skin to look extra nice. Remember, consistency is the key, whether you do just the essentials or the entire routine.