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K-Beauty – Part 3: Layering – “more is better”




In Korea, women attach more importance to skin care than they do to make-up. They have high standards and prefer to use innovative, skin-friendly products that contain natural and effective ingredients. Their elaborate skin care routine is more of a daily ritual, deeply rooted in the Korean culture. In this 3rd part of our K-Beauty article series, we will acquaint you with the Asian beauty care ritual known as "layering". 

To maintain their perfect skin, Korean women employ a multi-stage skin care routine every day. This can take up as much as 40 minutes of their time every morning and every evening, as per the motto "more is better" || "effort pays off". It involves at least 10 different products, each of which targetedly addresses a different skin problem. The principle behind the layering method is to combine the individual products wisely and apply them effectively, in a specific order, throughout the care ritual.

Create the perfect complexion, layer by layer

The Korean care routine is an optimal combination of cleansing, preparation, hydration, care and protection. It is important to apply the more lightly textured care products before the richer ones.


Greatest attention is given to careful cleansing, in order to free the pores of dirt and sebum and prepare them for optimum uptake of the active ingredients. One thing that is special about Korean cosmetics is the "double cleansing" process. This involves first removing make-up by gently massaging with a cleansing oil and then cleaning the skin with a cleansing foam or a mild wash lotion. Korean women deliberately take more time for this step, massaging the skin with circular movements in order to stimulate the blood circulation and clean the skin thoroughly.

Once a week, an exfoliation step is also included in the routine.

Preparation & hydration

The actual care stage starts with a toner or "refresher". This toner removes any last residues and is meant to restore the natural pH of the skin. The toner should be soothing, and should prepare the skin optimally for the next care step.

Many Korean women consider applying an essence to be one of the most important steps of the care routine. An essence is a kind of thin liquid serum with a water-like texture, which imparts a moisturizing feel the instant it is applied.

Liquid essence is applied from bottom to top by gently dabbing it onto the face until it is fully absorbed into the skin.

Care and protection

Following the essence, the Koreans will then apply a serum that corresponds to the needs of their skin, again by gently dabbing it on. Compared to an essence, this serum is more viscous and can be employed to minimize wrinkles, tighten the skin, combat impurities or provide other benefits as needed, with the appropriate choice of actives.

Depending on their skin needs, Korean women will employ a sheet mask soaked in various care products several times a week, some even daily.

Being especially sensitive, the area around the eyes requires special eye care, which is carefully and gently dabbed on. By the end of the care ritual, the skin should really shine. Overnight, the skin should be thoroughly moisturized; accordingly, no care collection is complete without a moisturizer and a rich night cream.

Another beauty secret of Asian women is to use high SPF sunscreen and to avoid too much exposure to the sun overall. In fact, most Korean women consider it a must to apply a sun protection product every day, all year round.

Korean women are known for their smooth, beautiful skin for good reason. They invest a lot of time and care into their daily beauty programme, the quintessence of which is a preventive care concept.


Claudia Dür

Social Media Manager

Stories - Nature - Movement. These three words have the greatest meaning in my life.

As a passionate communicator, I am responsible for social media at IMPAG. In addition, I write various contents for our communication activities in the area of personal care. I love stories, constructive exchange, open discussions and teamwork. In my spare time you meet me and my family always in motion, be it biking, climbing and hiking in the mountains or surfing in the waves of the Atlantic.

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