Ask the K-Beauty Squad: I'm Overwhelmed; Where Do I Start?
Aug 09, 2017
To kick off our continuing series answering your most pressing questions (beauty or otherwise), we ask the K-Beauty Squad for some advice to those who just may be starting out in Korean skincare and feeling a bit overwhelmed.
ASK THE K-BEAUTY SQUAD: I'm new to K-beauty skincare and a bit overwhelmed by all the products! Where and how do I start?
Contributing editor Coco Park:
Don't whip yourself into a frenzy of wanting to know "ALL THE THINGS" all at once. You should think more like a fine art gallery curator and less like a Boy Scout — you don't need to be prepared for (or have a product for) every little thing when starting out. Start with the basics and essentials and then build your way up to your perfect routine. The slower you go at this the better.
Editor at Large Jude Chao:
It also cuts down on the consequences of newbie over-enthusiasm. By which I mean the "I bought a 20-step routine and put it all on my face at once and my face exploded! K-beauty is terrible!" reaction.
Contributing editor Sheryll Donerson:
You'd be surprised at how many people start a K-beauty routine by just slathering a billion things on their skin at once and then being surprised when they have some sort of breakout.
I think it's best to take inventory of what you already have in your stash and go from there. Everyone already has a cleanser and hopefully a moisturizer, so it's all about filling in the gaps with what you think is necessary. Do you have acne-prone skin? A good BHA or AHA product (like the COSRX BHA and AHA liquids) would be a great thing to add. If you have dry skin, look to add a hydrating toner like the Klairs Supple Preparation Toner.
It's not necessary to buy all the things and slather them on your face at once. Do your research and make informed decisions based on your skin type!
Editor in chief Anna M. Park:
I think once you have your double cleansing, moisturizer, and sunscreen down (the basics!), the other products you should think about adding is a hydrating toner and a good essence with antioxidants. A toner will kick-start your skin's hydration process (a fundamental pillar in Korean skincare) and an essence with antioxidants will fight the free radicals that cause all sorts of premature aging. (And since free radicals are produced by everything from UV rays to pollution to stress, it's a never-ending battle!)
Want to know more? Check out our must-read guides here:
Teen's first skincare routine (but great tips for anyone just starting out and how to incorporate new products into your routine)
Understanding the basics of Korean skincare
Wanna ask the K-Beauty Squad a question? Submit it below and we just may feature your questions!
She may have started her career as a lawyer, but Anna found her true calling long before that, while poring over the beauty editorials and skincare how-to’s in teen magazines. Sure, the ladies at the Estée Lauder counter may have scoffed at her when she asked for an eye cream at the age of 16, but hey, she was just ahead of her time. Today, Anna is a beauty editor, obsessing over skincare ingredients and the Oxford comma. Follow her travels on Instagram at @annanymity.