K-beauty lovers know that youthful skin isn’t just about having a wrinkle-free complexion. It’s about having glowing, plump, and bouncy skin that mimics the kind of skin you had when you were younger. As we age, we tend to lose that vitality as sagging, dullness, hyperpigmentation, and, yes, wrinkles, begin to form.
It’s all about prevention in Korean skincare — like cleansing your face as soon as you get home from school, always making sure to use antioxidants to stave off those damaging free radicals, and never, ever leaving the house without wearing SPF.
If you’re a little late into the anti-aging game, don’t worry: You can still safeguard and repair your skin at any age. It all comes down to understanding how your skin interacts and is affected by environmental aggressors and your genetic history.
It might sound complicated but it’s quite easy to accomplish when you have the right information. Ahead, your comprehensive guide to understanding how and why your skin ages, plus the K-Beauty solutions that will keep your visage looking fresh and feeling strong.
How Skin Ages
Sun exposure, pollution, and genetics are all culprits in the fight against dull skin. “With age, the major changes that occur to our skin include the development of dark spots, lines and wrinkles, and prominent pores,” says Dr. Joshua Zeichner, director of cosmetic and clinical research in dermatology at the Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City. Plus, as New York City dermatologist Dr. Hadley King points out, there can also be “thinning, loss of elasticity, loss of volume, and broken capillaries.” Sagging, in particular, is an issue that Korean women pay close attention to as it indicates that collagen (the protein fiber that holds skin together) is decreasing over time.
Protect & Prevent
“After the age of 30, skin cell turnover starts to slow down and the skin cannot repair itself from damage as well as it once was able to,” Dr. Zeichner says. The most effective preventative measure is also an easy one to follow. “The best way to protect the skin is to use sunscreen regularly — even low levels of UV light exposure add up over a lifetime,” notes Dr. Zeichner. “Studies have demonstrated that people who wear sun protection every day regardless of the weather or time planned to be spent outside have significantly less sun damage compared to people who only wear sun protection when it is sunny,” Dr. King says. “Avoid peak hours, wear protective clothing, and a broad-brimmed hat.”
Sun gels are just one of the ways that Korean women incorporate SPF into their routines. True multitaskers, they help hydrate the skin in addition to protecting it. The Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel also helps to counteract the damage done by infrared waves and radiation by cooling the skin’s temperature.
One super simple way to make your skin bouncy and hydrated is the K-beauty fave 7 Skin Method. Basically, you just keep layering your toner (7 times) to revive dry, irritated skin. It helps restore your skin’s moisture barrier so your skin is more equipped to deal with different environmental aggressors. The better protected your skin is, the less premature aging you’ll encounter.
Cell turnover slows as we age, so skin appears more dry and dull. An easy way to get a youthful glow is to remove dead skin cells via exfoliation. K-beauty loves chemical exfoliators because they don’t create micro-tears in skin like physical exfoliators can. An easy way to restore hydration and exfoliate at the same time is to use a multifunctioning sleeping mask, like the Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask.
In addition to your daily dose of SPF, integrating key ingredients into your routine will keep your skin firm and healthy. The big C, as in Vitamin C, is at the top of the list. “Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant that calms free-radical damage and helps support healthy collagen production,” says Dr. Zeichner. Along with other antioxidants, it can help purify and protect the outer layer of skin against environmental stressors.
Get to Know Cica
Next up is Centella Asiatica, a plant more commonly known as Cica. “It’s an Asia-indigenous plant with antioxidant properties and it’s also dense with amino acids” Dr. King says. “Studies have shown that when it is applied topically, it stimulates collagen production, increases circulation, and promotes cell turnover.” Sounds like a win against future sagging skin!
Plump It Up
If you want to plump your skin, you definitely want to be using Hyaluronic Acid, which is a hydration essential. “It’s like a sponge that pulls in water to the outer skin layer to help plump and hydrate,” Dr. Zeichner says.
Pick Powerful Antioxidants
If you want to up your antioxidant game (trust us, you do) add some Propolis into the mix. “It’s a natural product made by honey bees that has antioxidant properties,” explains Dr. King. Propolis is a powerful healing agent that rejuvenates your complexion and heals irritation. Bonus points if you use Green Propolis, a rarer form that helps strengthen the skin’s natural barrier, soothe inflammation, and is packed with flavonoids. The Make P:rem Safe Me. Relief Moisture Green Ampoule is an easy way to incorporate some good green into your routine.
Use a Treatment
The heavy hitters of any anti-aging routine are treatments. While serums and essences play a big role in K-Beauty, many Korean women get professional facials on a regular basis for a personalized remedy. That might not be realistic for many of us, but the good news is that K-Beauty innovations have created at-home products that give you the benefits of in-office procedures.
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How does Minus Serum define and contour the jawline and face while leaving it nice and glowy? ⚡ It has Sodium Deoxycholate, frequently used in in-office slimming procedures to break up fat cells ⚡ Micro-tingling Spicules help the formula penetrate deep into skin for maximum efficacy ⚡Antioxidant-rich Lactobacillus Ferment helps exfoliate to remove dead skin cells, calm, and brighten skin #getfitfaced #privatedoctor
Korea is a hotbed for innovative ingredients and treatments. While we don’t carry this on our site, we’re super in awe of what Private Doctor, a new K-beauty clinical brand developed by ID Hospital (Korea’s top derm clinic) is producing. Their first product, Minus Serum, focuses on facial contouring as a new way to approach aging. The serum contains Spicules, microscopic needle-like molecules derived from sea sponge that help the formula deliver results as effectively as possible, and Sodium Deoxycholate, an ingredient commonly used in in-office slimming procedures, to help target sagging caused by aging. Adding a treatment like the Minus Serum to your routine will improve skin of all ages and problems.
Lock It In
Last, but not least, you always want to make sure you’re hydrated — moisturized skin is plump and bouncy, making fine lines and wrinkles less noticeable and protecting skin cells from drying out and causing more damage. As the temperatures gradually drop, it’s important to find a hydrating cream or gel-based formula to stave away that annoying dryness. Dr. Zeichner recommends moisturizing twice a day, in the morning and at night. Adopt other methods that quench your skin’s thirst such as drinking plenty of water, keeping an essence on hand to spray on the go, and even invest in a mini humidifier that’s great to use at work or while you travel.
To restore hydration throughout the day, K-beauty lovers use infused mists. Just spritz and go.
Now that you know the secrets of anti-aging the K-Beauty way, you can make sure your skin looks its very best no matter how many candles are on your birthday cake.
What’s your best anti-aging secret? Tell us in the comments below!
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