What’s the best Korean skincare routine for men? well, let’s find out today in this article.
Traditionally, in western culture, skincare is seen as something only for women.
The female figure is often used in marketing, while men are still in the bar soap phase. On the other side, eastern culture has always seen skincare as a form of personal hygiene and both, men and women, have at least a basic regimen and take care of their skin.
I think we all agree that every man should elevate their skincare game and ditch those hair-face-body washes.
Starting a skincare routine at this moment, when a plethora of products exists, is very difficult. So, we have created a simple guide to make things as easy as possible for you.
So, without wasting further time let’s get started with our Korean skin care for men guide.
Korean Skin Care Routine for Men – 5 Easy Steps
Step 1. Oil-based cleanser
So our first step for a Korean skincare routine for men starts with an oil-based cleanser.
Double cleansing has been part of Asian culture since the 14th century[U1] . Women used to wear heavy paint-like make-up that would get entirely dissolved by an oil-based cleanser and then continue with a second foaming cleanser.
The idea of using oil on the skin frightens many people because the first thought is: how can oil cleanse? And wouldn’t that make my skin oilier? I’m here to tell you that’s not the case.
Chemistry has taught us that oil dissolves oil and oil and water don’t mix. Make-up, for instance, is usually oil-based.
Using a micellar water or water-based cleanser won’t get rid of all impurities because water doesn’t have an affinity for oil.
Now, many men may be asking themselves: I don’t wear makeup, why do I need to use an oil cleanser? It would help if you had it for two reasons:
1. To remove all traces of sunscreen (we will get to this later) and
2. To reduce blackheads.
Those tiny black dots on the nose, forehead, and chin are, in a nutshell, oil, dirt, sebum, and dead skin cells solidified inside the pores and oxidized.
These are called open comedones and are a common issue in men. Considering that these blackheads are practically oil, an oil-based cleanser will soften them and make it easier to remove them completely.
Nayamka from LaBeautyologists[U2], recommends 20 minutes of massaging the affected areas with an oil cleanser to remove oil plugs.
For men who sweat a lot from the gym or physical work, oil cleansing is a must! It will prevent sweat from clogging the pores and prevent bacteria from multiplying and causing acne.
Our oil cleanser of choice is iUNIK Calendula Cleansing Oil. This product is suitable for every skin type, even sensitive ones; it is formulated with 94% pure plant oil perfect for cleansing without stripping the skin’s natural oils.
We recommend double cleansing only at night or after sweaty sessions.
Step 2. Water-based cleanser
The second part of double cleansing is following your oil cleanser with a water-based cleanser.
This product is what a typical cleanser looks like; it could be foamy, gel, milky or creamy. And I am not talking about your bar soaps.
It’s time to stop using them because their alkaline pH strips out the skin and damages your skin barrier. Water-based cleansers should be very gentle on the skin.
Their pH level should be close to the skin’s natural pH, which is around 5. If your skin is feeling tight and squeaky clean after cleansing, it means that the product is too harsh for you and you need to switch it immediately.
Usually, foam or gel-to-foam cleansers are suitable for skin types on the oilier side, and our product of choice would be Kaine Rosemary Relief Gel Cleanser.
This could be definitely used by acne-prone skin types as well because Rosemary extract is known to reduce inflammation and acne.
For skin types on the drier side or people who get very dry skin in winter, we recommend cleansers that are more moisturizing, for example, Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser from Krave Beauty.
Depending on your skin type, you can cleanse 1-2 times a day. In the morning, if your skin doesn’t feel oily or you haven’t sweated during the night, it is perfectly okay to skip cleansing and rinse the face with lukewarm water.
Step 3. Exfoliation
You may have heard that exfoliation is the key to healthy and glowy skin, but what is it, and do you need it?
Traditionally, exfoliation was directly related to scrubs. These products were formulated with big, pointy grains, very harsh on the skin, and usually marketed towards acne-prone skin.
If you have any product that fits into this description, throw it away immediately because it is making your skin worse.
These scrubs can cause micro-tears on the skin, where bacteria can penetrate and cause inflammation and acne.
In the last decade, the skincare industry has made significant improvements. Exfoliation is more effective and gentler than ever.
We recommend chemical exfoliation over physical exfoliation. Chemical exfoliation is done with acids that are divided into two big groups: Alfa Hydroxy Acids and Beta Hydroxy Acids. These two groups have their differences and are used for different skin
If you are more on the oilier side and your biggest concerns are blackheads, sebaceous filaments, and acne, we recommend using BHA, or Salicylic acid.
Isntree Chesnut BHA 2% Clear Liquid, is formulated with 2% Salicylic Acid and Willow Bark Extract, as well as many hydrating ingredients.
It is a toner, so it could be used either by applying it with hands or on a cotton pad. Just like with any other active ingredient, start slow. Start with once a week, slowly introducing it to your skin and increasing frequency up to 3 times a week. Listen to your skin, and don’t overdo it!
If your main concern is dull skin, acne marks, white bumps (closed comedones) or dark spots, then you should reach for AHAs. This group of acids has a larger molecule than BHA and works only on the skin’s surface, removing dead skin cells and reducing hyperpigmentation.
If you have sensitive skin, mandelic acid is the right one for you; dry skin types should reach for lactic acid, and if your skin type is more on the resistance side, go for glycolic acid.
Follow the same guidelines as for salicylic acid and apply it directly after cleansing at night.
Step 4. Moisturizer
Writing about Korean skin care for men and not talking about moisturizers, is that even possible? Hell No.
Before we go straight to moisturizer recommendations, there is a myth we need to address. I’ve often heard that moisturizers make the skin oilier and that you should skip them.
On the contrary, moisturizing is one of the three fundamental steps of having a skincare regimen, according to dermatologists.
It has many beneficial effects on the skin besides moisturizing and hydrating it. Moisturizers are formulated with ingredients that fortify the skin barrier and increase the water-retention abilities of the skin and depending on the formulation, they could have antioxidant, soothing, anti-aging, etc properties.
It is essential to find the right moisturizer for your skin type. A good product will hydrate your skin enough for you to feel comfortable and smooth, without leaving it oily, with dry patches, or breaking you out.
Dry skin types need richer moisturizers with more emollient and occlusive ingredients to nourish, deeply hydrate, and keep all the moisture in the skin, preventing water from evaporating.
When choosing a moisturizer, look for ingredients like ceramides, shea butter, glycerin, etc. our recommendation is ROUND LAB Soybean Nourishing Cream, packed with nourishing ingredients, a thick but easily absorbed texture, perfect for dry and deeply dehydrated skin types.
If you are someone with skin on the oilier side, we recommend moisturizers with a thin gel-like texture, but full of humectants and hydrating ingredients.
COSRX Hydrium Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream is a deeply hydrating moisturizer with probably the most lightweight texture ever. Green Tea Extract soothes the skin and gives it a cooling sensation. Moisturizers should be used twice a day after cleansing or toners.
Step 5. Sunscreen
Last but not least, sunscreen is a very important part of Korean skin care for men. Let’s find out why.
Using sunscreen is the last step of your morning skincare routine. Sun protection is a must all year round. UV rays are present even when it rains or snows and can damage skin cells at a molecular level.
This damage can be manifested in dark spots, freckles, premature aging, and even skin cancer. According to AAD[U3] , men are more prone than women to developing and dying from melanoma.
This statistic emphasizes that using sunscreen is important not only for cosmetic reasons but also for healthy ones, especially in men.
Korean skincare routines, no matter how short or long, always focus on prevention rather than treatment. K-beauty sunscreens have high broad spectrum protection and very elegant formulations.
They don’t leave that typical oily filter on the skin or the white cast. They also use innovative and new UV filters. It’s very important that you find a sunscreen you enjoy using every day.
We have a few options for you depending on your skin type and desired finish.
For dry skin type, we recommend COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun cream because it has a richer texture and it’s very moisturizing.
For oily skin types that don’t want a shiny finish, Missha All-Round Safe Block Essence Sun Milk. If you really like a dewy look, go for Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Watery Sun Gel.
Wrapping Up our Korean Skin Care for men
So, finally, it’s time for wrapping up this article. What do you all think about this Korean skincare for men? do you have any suggestions, well if yes, then do drop your valuable suggestions in the comment section below, I love to hear from you all.