Beauty

No, Your K-Beauty Routine Does Not Need 10 Steps

Hypebae Beauty caught up with Jin Kwon, founder of London-based K-beauty retailer TONIC15, who gives the skinny on what a *real* K-beauty routine should look like.

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K-beauty is for the gworls that want glass/porcelain skin. The cultural beauty trend has introduced us to some of our greatest skincare obsessions: cleansers, snail mucins and of course, the iconic sheet masks. The Hypebae Beauty team definitely understands the flair and appeal of K-beauty.

When you think of a K-beauty routine, you may have heard of the endless steps that the regime consists of, but founder Jin Kwon of K-beauty retailer TONIC15 says that it doesn’t have to be like that. The rules are very simple. Period.

TONIC15 does so “simple” well. The London-based retailer is a one-stop shop for an extensive range of fabulous K-beauty products dedicated to helping you address a specific skin concern. Whether you’re dealing with oily, dry, combination skin or persistent acne, TONIC15 is equipped with the necessary solutions to get your skin back in shape.

Hypebae Beauty chatted with Kwon to get the deets of what a real K-beauty cleansing routine consists of and what you need in your skincare.

Where did the name TONIC15 derive from?

I’ve always loved to live life at a fast pace but once I started to feel the negative effects of this lifestyle I began to dedicate 15-minutes to me-time every day in an attempt to bring balance back to my life. This self-care improved my life so much that I wanted to pass the message on to others and remind them that self-care, even just 15 minutes a day, is so important. ‘TONIC’ is based on a nickname my friends gave me: “Jin & Tonic.” It also means ‘invigorating’ and ‘energy-boosting’ and it conjures up images of hydration and water which are all part of the ethos of the brand.

What sets K-beauty apart from other skincare steps and techniques?

Western skincare focuses on solving skin concerns using high-potency actives that can often be too harsh for many skin types whereas K-beauty is all about nourishing and hydrating your skin so it looks plumper, smoother, softer and ultimately amazing without makeup. It’s based on the idea that when skin lacks water and the skin barrier is compromised this is when you’ll get skin concerns like acne, dehydration or wrinkles for example. So, by keeping the skin hydrated and as healthy and balanced as possible you’ll prevent many skin concerns from occurring in the first place. It’s a very gentle and soothing approach. For instance, the 7-skin method is a key K-beauty technique. This is where you apply many thin layers of lightweight hydration to keep the skin supple and in good condition. Double cleansing is also a key pillar of K-beauty for maintaining good skin.

Why is K-Beauty mostly about skin and not makeup?

In Korea, there’s a huge focus on the “my skin but better” trend. That’s because everything starts from glowing, luminous skin. It’s a great base for makeup especially as modern makeup textures are very sheer and lightweight – from dewy cushion foundation formulas to balmy lip tints from AMUSE, (the number one Korean makeup brand) which offer a jelly or glossy finish with a sheer hit of colour.

What does a K-Beauty skincare routine look like during the fall/winter months?

It’s similar to your basic skincare routine which should include a cleanser, toner, serum, moisturizer and SPF, but with a few added extras for even more hydrating benefits.

1 Exfoliate. Do this when your skin feels patchy. If you love a physical exfoliator Klairs’ Black Sugar Polish is super gentle whilst By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water is a brilliant chemical exfoliator that’s gentle enough to use on sensitive skin.

2 Toner Pads. When you skin feels sensitized or dehydrated ISOI’s Cicago Cica Speedy Calming Pads offer instant cooling and soothing relief. They not only offer major hydration but they exfoliate gently too so you’ll get a brighter, plumper more refined skin finish. I apply them on sensitive areas for a few minutes before wiping them all over my face.

3 Add an oil. I love Beigic’s Lucent Oil for its nourishing, firming and luminizing effects. I like to either mix a few drops into my moisturizer or apply it as a top coat over my moisturizer riser to seal all the hydrating goodness of the previous steps into my skin.

4 SPF is non-negotiable even during the fall and winter. UV rays can penetrate through clouds, all year round so make a high factor SPF part of your daily skincare routine. I can’t get enough of the serum-like texture of Beauty of Joseon’s Ginseng Moist Sun Serum SPF50+.

 

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Are K-beauty Sheet Masks really effective? What are your go-to’s?

Sheet masks were invented in Korea. Cutting edge technology and competitiveness between brands is at the forefront of the Korean beauty industry so sheet masks have inevitably been formulated to be very effective. Korean people incorporate sheet masks into their daily care and do so a few times a week.

There are quite a lot of different types, materials (for the sheets) and ingredients to choose from in Korea when it comes to sheet masks. Whatever fabric is used (often biocellulose) it’s soaked in serums containing highly concentrated skincare ingredients (such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids). Unlike typical cream masks that are generally used for drawing impurities out of the skin, sheet masks are especially great for adding moisture back into skin. The mask blocks the air from the skin which helps the actives in the sheet mask to absorb better and penetrate deeper into the skin.

By Wishtrend Natural Vitamin 21.5 % Enhancing Sheet Mask is one of my favorites. It’s my go-to to when my skin feels dull since it instantly revives and brightens skin. I love to use it before applying makeup as it gives a radiant base to start with.

I’m From Mugwort Sheet Mask is the one I use when my skin feels sensitive and dehydrated. It’s so gentle and hydrating.

Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Tencel Sheet Mask is great for boosting the skin barrier. I love to use it during the winter time as it has calming centella asiatica and soothing aloe vera in it.

This interview has been condensed for clarity.

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