A KOREAN BEAUTY EXPERT SHARES HER ROUTINE
What kind of skincare routine would you have if you had unlimited access to #allltheKBeauty?
We asked Lauren Lee, Founder of STYLE STORY, who is also based in the world’s beauty capital, Seoul.
Here, a Korean Beauty expert shares her routine.
How good is it to have access to all the K-Beauty all the time?
“In my job, I’m lucky to get to play with new Korean Beauty products! Our team is constantly sent new products to try (often before they’re released) and we get to meet many of the people behind the brands as well. In Seoul, it seems like every street is filled with beauty stores, from all-in-one stores like Olive Young and Lalavla to road shop brands like Missha and even bigger specialty stores like Chicor. I’m constantly trying out fresh products and ingredients and it’s a lot of fun.
Korea also has many expos throughout the year where beauty startups can launch their products. I love going to the K-Beauty Expos and seeing the creativity from all the up-and-coming brands.”
Are there any downsides to the job?
“Probably two things that stick out – the first is knowing that I’ll never get to try all the things I’d like to because there are more new releases than I have skin available for. (I have massive FOMO!)
Also, trying out so many new products is tough on my sensitive skin. I have an easily reactive skin type and often deal with breakouts or poor reactions to products that just weren’t quite the right fit for my skin. My skin is a guinea pig for my job!”
How did you get into Korean skincare in the first place?
“I first discovered Korean Beauty products back in 2011 while studying for part of my degree on exchange for a semester in Seoul.
As a broke student, the staff at the K-Beauty stores in Korea used to load me up with free samples – I got to try so many different products that way! It wasn’t long before I swapped my whole skincare routine over to Korean Beauty products – and I’ve never looked back!
What kind of skincare products are you most interested in?
“Having suffered from terrible cystic acne (and bad acne scarring) as a teenager, I have always been interest in skincare products that can help treat my acne and repair my skin. One of the benefits of having suffered from bad breakouts from a young age was that I learnt early on how to take care of my skin, and which products work best with it.
My key concerns still are keeping breakouts at bay and plumping my skin to reduce the appearance of my scars.
Run us through your skincare routine
My morning skincare routine is kept to a minimum these days, as I no longer wash my face in the morning. That’s a tip I picked up from another beauty expert!
My skin is very sensitive and dry and I’ve noticed a massive difference in my skin’s texture and breakouts since I stopped washing my face of a morning. Instead, I just go straight into layering on my Vitamin C essence when I wake up. I then apply a few serums, a moisturiser and my SPF. This helps reinforce my skin’s barrier and doesn’t strip it of much-needed moisture.
At night, I do my full routine, starting with a double cleanse. This helps to activate circulation, and remove any SPF and makeup products I used throughout the day. My first cleanser is a really gentle cleansing balm that takes care of my makeup and SPF. I follow up with a gentle foam cleanser to remove any leftover dirt or debris – you’d be surprised how much this second cleanse picks up!
Once my face is clean, I start my routine with a humectant filled toner, which is excellent for prepping and hydrating the skin. I add hydration back to my skin in as many steps as possible!
Then I move onto my treatments. I apply a Vitamin C essence first, followed by a redness-reducing essence and any pimple treatments before moving onto my hydrating serums. I like to mix and match my serums depending on the weather, pollution levels in Seoul and any skin issues I am experiencing.
What is one piece of advice you have for K-Beauty beginners?
Don’t be scared to try new products but don’t be tempted to try everything at once!
I remember the feeling when I first discovered Korean skincare – I felt like Alice down the rabbit’s hole. There really is a dizzying array of choice on offer, but it’s always better to start slowly and introduce your skin to new products cautiously.
My number 1 tip is to start off by replacing your old products with new Korean beauty ones when they run out. That way you’ll give yourself a proper testing period so you can work out the perfect K-Beauty match for your skin!
Editor’s Note: If you need tailored assistance with your new routine, don’t forget to reach out to the SS team for a free skincare consultation.
Got any questions for our K-Beauty expert? Leave them in the comments below!