Korean beauty has been the forefront of many people’s skincare routines for years now. We’ve all heard of the 10-step Korean Skincare Routine or how to achieve “glass skin," but what actually makes K-beauty different from Western beauty is the focus on ingredients, hydration, and anti-aging. There is no real right or wrong way to do a skincare routine, but the Eastern world has come up with a pretty solid routine to bring forward your best skin, especially for K-pop stars who work in an industry where aesthetics are just as important as music.
Members of the most popular K-pop groups like Twice, BTS, and Blackpink all have discussed their favorite products and how they take care of their skin. Members Nayeon and Chaeyoung of Twice have taken to video streaming platform V Live at the end of the day to show their fans how they care for their skin. Their steps were as follows: Makeup removal using wipes and an oil cleanser, cleansing, toning, using a sheet mask, applying a night cream or moisturizer, applying lip balm, and finally, if it had been daytime, they would have applied an SPF.
Korean skincare is very ingredient-focused and the goal is always to hydrate and deliver anti-aging elements to the skin, making the specific products that K-pop stars use very important. Here are the products that idols have been known to use and love, as well as our recommendations based on your reviews.
STEP 1: Oil Cleanser
Nayeon and Chaeyoung use Biore Perfect Oil cleanser to remove their day’s worth of makeup after using a gentle cleansing wipe. This is a super basic oil cleanser that’s super reminiscent of the Mac Cleanse Off Oil that will draw makeup remnants off your face and leave a clean slate.
STEP 2: Cleanser
For cleanser, the same two members of Twice Nayeon and Chaeyoung use Senka’s Perfect Whip Cleanser. Senka is a subsidiary of Shiseido, which is much more affordable and very popular in Japan. This is a very popular cleanser in the Eastern skincare world but may be drying for some due to a surfactant called stearic acid in the ingredients list. This pulls off excess oil on your face very effectively. We only have one review of Senka's Perfect Whip (shoutout to user @Gudegude) so I've added similar suggestions below, including Glossier Milky Jelly Cleanser.
STEP 3: Toner
Toner is used to re-achieve homeostasis in your skin’s surface and bring the pH level back down to neutral after cleansing. BTS’ member Taehyung, known by his stage name V, has gone on V Live to show his routine and mentioned his dermatologist introduced him to a brand called Zeroid, which is very popular on the Asian skincare market. Their toner is a nice balance of acids and seems very similar to Glossier Solution and Pixi Glow Tonic.
STEP 4: Sheet Mask
This is a staple in Eastern skincare and has made its way into Western skincare as well. Some of their favorites? All the members of BTS love the Mediheal brand sheet masks and BTS leader, RM, swears by these. There’s even a special set made for BTS fans complete with a set of masks and photocards for collecting. These are very similar to the Innisfree My Real Squeeze Sheet Mask which has a variety of ingredients for all skin concerns, and the Peach Slices Shrink Pores Sheet Mask.
STEP 5: Moisturizer
The final step to seal it all in is moisturizer. In Naeyon and Chaeyoung’s skincare V Live, they mentioned a night cream as it is thicker and holds in more moisture while sleeping. For daytime, member Jisoo from Blackpink has mentioned that she loves a product that doubles as a moisturizer and primer to apply makeup with ease. Her favorite is the J. One Jelly Pack. This product is very similar to Glossier Priming Moisturizer, First Aid Beauty Hello Fab Priming Moisturizer, and Kielh's Ultra Facial Moisturizer, all of which moisturize and preps your skin for makeup.
STEP 6: Lip Hydrator
All K-pop stars rave about the Lucas' Papaw Ointment for the lips. Members of Twice and Blackpink use it regularly and they are very keen to recommend it to anyone who asks. The ingredients in this product are very gentle and moisturizing, so it’s not surprising that it’s well loved. A similar product is Dr. PAWPAW Original Balm, which contains more aloe than Lucas' Papaw Ointment.
STEP 7: SPF
Finally, sun protection completes any 7-step routine. As K-beauty has a huge focus on hydration, ingredients in sun care products will also provide a moisturizing factor. Jessica Jung, formerly of Girls' Generation, has talked about the benefits of sunscreen time and time again, and included it as a necessary step in her beauty routine for Vogue. The CosRx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream provides SPF 50 with aloe, and Supergoop and Glossier Invisible Shield remain two of the most popular SPF products on the app.