A Korean Beauty Expert Told Us Every Single Product She Uses in Her Skincare Routine
There’s always a bit of curiosity and, honestly, a bit of secrecy around the products and routines people use to keep their skin healthy from the inside out. What’s even more intriguing is when you can get a peek into the skincare secrets of industry experts. This series will lift the veil on the products, tips and hacks behind people who are majorly *skinspirational*.
Oh yeah — Alicia also managed to squeeze graduating from Harvard Business School in there at some point ;) Being at the forefront of the Korean beauty industry and a total girl boss, Alicia really knows her ish. Here is her exact skincare routine and the products she swears by.
What is a Korean beauty expert’s skincare routine?
Step 1: The Morning Steam Facial. “If my skin is feeling extra dry in the morning, I start my morning routine with a ‘steamcial’ in the shower. I usually run some hot water first to steam up the bathroom, which just takes a couple minutes, and then I switch to lukewarm water and cleanse my face in the shower with the tiniest dab of a gentle oil cleanser to remove any oil-based creams or sleeping packs from the night before. I go back and forth between Aromatica Natural Coconut Cleansing Oil ($45) and Cremorlab T.E.N. Cremor Cleansing Gel Oil ($32) — love them both.”
Step 2: Apply Essence. “Then, I apply Cremorlab Aqua Essence Water Fluid ($40) to my face in the steamy environment of the shower. It’s a bit more viscous so it really helps to hydrate and acts as an emollient for skin, too. Skin is left really supple and soft afterward — it works like a charm. Post-shower/cleanse, I proceed with my skincare routine as normal, which is the same regardless of whether or not I did the steam facial.
Step 3: Hydrating Toner. “I follow up with a hydrating toner like Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Toner ($29), which I’ve been using for four years because it’s incredibly hydrating and soothing without heaviness. No alcohol, no harsh ingredients, and it incorporates royal jelly for hydration and nourishment. I test a lot of products, and this one remains my go-to for keeping my skin happy.”
Step 4: Essence (again). “Apply the same Cremorlab Aqua Essence Water Fluid ($40) essence again (even if I applied in the shower) for an extra boost of hydration.”
Step 5: Serums and Face Oils. “My go-to glow-inducing secret is to mix a drop or two of Aromatica Organic Argan Oil ($32) into Be the Skin Botanical Nutrition Power Serum ($39) and pat them onto my skin together. To maintain my skin’s firmness and elasticity, I use my holy grail serum: Shangpree S-Energy Long Lasting Concentrated Serum ($120). I keep a bottle of this with me everywhere and rely on it to totally plump up my skin. Finally, for brighter, more radiant skin, I love Mizon Mela Defense White Capsule Essence ($34).”
Step 6: Eyes. “In the morning, I usually skip eye cream in favor of Shangpree Gold Black Pearl Hydrogel Eye Mask ($60). It stays put while I get dressed and gives me instantly brighter eyes — and hydrates and firms the delicate skin of the undereye area. I don’t get a lot of sleep, so this helps me look refreshed.”
Step 7: Moisturize. “Cremorlab Hydro Plus Snow Falls Melting Cream ($42) does everything for me. It is lightweight and incredibly hydrating. I feel bare-faced afterward, but totally protected with all my good skincare ingredients sealed in. Best of all, I have no problem applying my makeup on top of it.”
Step 8: SPF. “The Hera UV Mist Cushion ($45) is the cushion compact that every Korean airline stewardess keeps on hand — and trust me, I’ve asked them all about their beauty secrets (and they look stunning and absolutely flawless for 14 hours straight in the dry air running on little sleep!). This compact keeps me looking dewy and flawless, no matter the time of month or how tired I might be that day.”
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(Featured photo + photo via Hye-Ryoung Min)