This Is How I Got My Friend Into Korean Beauty — & Why She’s Now Hooked
What transpires when a K-beauty pro slowly and thoughtfully introduces a K-beauty newbie to the world of Korean skincare? To quote her: “Such a big difference!” Here, a peek into their conversation, including a newcomer’s perspective (intimidating), how she got started (slowly), and the one thing that made such a big difference in her skin. (And no, it wasn’t 10 steps.)
Working in the beauty industry, I’ve always had a semi-consistent stream of messages from friends, their family members, and coworkers asking my opinion on various products. But lately I’ve been getting an increasing number of questions specifically about K-beauty. Korean beauty has solidified itself as more than just a passing fad; online retailers are popping up every week, more and more content creators are making Korean beauty products a part of their online presence, and Korean skincare products are lining an increasing number of shelves at major retailers like Sephora, where competition is vicious and shelf space comes at a high price. Sometimes I feel like I’m so sucked into the skincare vortex now that I can forget how overwhelming this whole world of Korean beauty and skincare, or the beauty industry in general, can be.
So I wanted to let you in on a conversation I had with a friend, who we’ll call “S” from here on out, for her perspective. She recently got into K-beauty and bought her first product (it was a hydrating toner *proud mama tears*). (I’ll list myself as “L” in the conversation below.)
L: What is your skin type, and do you have any concerns you’d like to tackle when it comes to skincare?
S: I have very dry skin, and I live in the Midwest right now, so during the winter it can get really bad. It’s mostly the dryness that’s a concern and maybe some redness I’ve got around my nose.
L: What would you say is your interest level when it comes to cosmetics and skincare?
S: I’d say I’m somewhere between a novice and someone who’s super into it. I don’t really keep up with a ton of new products and like, the latest news, but I definitely will do a little research before making a purchase, and I don’t mind making an investment in something that works well for me.
L: What was your perception of K-beauty before you started learning more about it?
S: It felt super overwhelming! I saw this stuff online about how there were supposed to be 10 steps, and then I saw 12-step routines, and I was like, “well, there’s no way I’m gonna be able to do that,” and it honestly made it feel very unapproachable. Like I said, I don’t mind putting some time and effort into my skincare and whatnot, but I don’t want to be spending more than 10 or 15 minutes getting ready to leave in the morning or go to bed. I didn’t even understand all the terms being used, like essence and emulsions and stuff, so that on top of the time commitment made it seem like something that just wasn’t for me.
L: And how do you feel now that we’ve had a few conversations about K-beauty and just skincare in general?
S: I think it was good for me to learn that the whole K-beauty ideology is more about options rather than steps you absolutely have to take. The way skincare was presented to me before was sort of a very set, regimented system, and breaking away from that was kinda scary, but it’s cool to know I can do what I make time for and feel comfortable with.
L: Yeah, I feel like it really is about customization rather than requirements. I don’t know any Korean person who does a 10-step routine every single night.
S: That’s so not the perception I had before because the internet makes it seem like everyone does that, and I was just this crusty girl in the Midwest who forgets my moisturizer sometimes, lol.
L: How are you liking the hydrating step that you’ve integrated in your routine now that it’s been a month or two? Did you ever see yourself adopting something called the 7-skin method?
S: Definitely not. It sounded super time-consuming and strange at first, but it’s made such a difference! I usually do only four layers or so, but after a few days I’ve noticed such a big difference. I’ve used different face sprays and moisturizers and stuff that said they were hydrating, but they all felt really similar to me. There have been a few times where I’ve skipped the layers and did just one before sleeping, and I could tell my skin felt not as soft in the morning, it was crazy. I don’t think I can go back, to be honest, and it really didn’t take as much time as I thought it would.
L: I get what you mean. When I explain my routine to people, I think it comes off way more intense and time-consuming than it actually is. It honestly takes me maybe five minutes or so.
Have you seen any other K-beauty products or trends that you think you want to try incorporating?
S: I’ve seen so many of those water creams that turn into droplets on Instagram, and they look so weird! I’d be interested in trying one of those. I also don’t wear sunscreen nearly as much as I should, so a Korean sunscreen would probably be something that would be good since I always hear people talk about how they’re lightweight and easy to use.
L: Is there anything you’d like people out there to know when it comes to getting into K-beauty?
S: Find a person to actually talk to or a source online that gives you an objective look at Korean skincare or makeup. The marketing can make it feel really overwhelming and not actually give you that much information. If I hadn’t talked to you about all this before getting into Korean skincare, I honestly would have continued to avoid it. My skin is so much happier because I did, hahaha!
I hope sharing our little chat gave you guys a look into some of the conversations I have pretty regularly, and also an idea of why we do what we do as the Beautytap editorial team. If you have any questions or need some guidance, please look through our articles (some beginner recommendations below) and/or reach out to our team! We’re here to help 🙂
The 5 basics of K-beauty you need to know before you get started (hint: hydration, hydration, hydration)
The essential skincare kit for newbies: How to get started
If you’re interested in the 10-step K-beauty skincare routine, you can read this, but hold on, before you freak out, also read Why you don’t need 10 steps and how you can customize your routine to fit you.
And if you’re curious about what S says changed her skin for good, read how you can customize the 7-skin method to fit your time and needs here.
And as always, feel free to reach out to the K-Beauty Squad with all of your beauty (and even life) questions at firstname.lastname@example.org!
Are you a K-beauty newbie, or have you ever introduced a K-beauty newbie to Korean skincare? How did you go about it, and what was their first product? Share your experience below!