Updated: Sep 20
Millennials and Gen Z often have differing viewpoints, but there's one thing they unanimously agree on K-beauty is a skincare essential for both generations. The skincare market is currently flooded with an array of Korean skincare products, ranging from BB and CC creams to pimple patches and face masks.
Korean and Indian skincare have always centered around achieving radiant and flawless skin. In India, where there's a longstanding obsession with fair and blemish-free skin, Korean products have gained immense popularity and are readily accessible through e-commerce platforms like Nykaa and Amazon.
According to an Al Jazeera article, Amazon India reported a staggering "growth of more than 3.5 times in the K-beauty category," attributing this surge in demand to Korean beauty products.
In a Hindustan Times article, Anurag Kedia, co-founder and CEO of Pilgrim, observed, "People are increasingly investing in personal care and are open to exploring new global beauty regimens. This has created numerous opportunities for innovation in the beauty segment, with K-beauty leading the way. Interestingly, the pandemic has accelerated this adoption."
One recent K-beauty trend involves immersing one's face in ice-cold water, which may sound peculiar but has gained traction among beauty enthusiasts, especially after celebrities embraced the practice. So, why should men, who often require extra skincare attention due to factors like summer heat and pollution, be left out?
Korean skincare has revolutionized our approach to skincare products, ushering in a surge in sheet masks, eye creams, emulsions, night creams, oil-based cleansers, and more. This skincare revolution not only introduced innovative ways to care for our skin but also ensured that men were an integral part of this new skincare paradigm by offering gender-neutral products suitable for men's skin.
Traditional skincare routines often overlook certain essential steps found in the K-beauty regimen. K-skincare has taught us valuable practices that, when adhered to diligently, can yield the desired results for various types of men's skin, whether it's oily or dry.
So, what steps should a man follow to embrace the K-skincare routine? Here's a breakdown:
Right now, we all know about washing our faces. After a long day, we can feel tired and dirty, and there's dirt on our faces that clog our pores. This is true for both men and women. Men spend a lot of time outside in the sun, dealing with harsh sun rays and pollution.
To keep our skin clean and free from dirt, it's important to cleanse our faces properly at the end of the day. The K-skincare routine suggests using two types of cleansers.
The first cleanser should be an oil-based product. It's gentle on the skin and effectively removes dirt and any other products you might have used on your face earlier in the day.
The second cleanser should be a mild face wash or a gentle foaming cleanser. This ensures that a man's face is deeply cleaned and ready for the next skincare product.
The next step is exfoliation. Sometimes, pollution and dirt get into our skin and can clog our pores. Oily skin can make this problem worse, leading to bumps and acne.
To get rid of the dirt and oil that have entered the skin, it's important to exfoliate, and the K-skincare routine includes this step.
If you have dry skin or maybe a beard and your skin is used to strong products, you should exfoliate using a facial scrub with ingredients like rice, walnuts, or different types of salts.
For men with sensitive or combination skin, it's better to use chemical-based products like AHA, lactic acid, or glycolic acid for exfoliation.
Remember to exfoliate your skin twice a week to get rid of all the impurities and keep it clean.
Moisturization, Essence, and Hydration
After you've exfoliated and removed impurities from your skin, it's essential to hydrate and moisturize it. Exfoliation can strip away some of your skin's natural oils, so it needs hydration.
An essence is a product that deeply hydrates the skin. It's a good choice for men because it's lightweight and usually comes in a gel-like form, so it doesn't make the skin feel overly oily. Hyaluronic acid is a popular ingredient for this purpose.
Choosing the right products for hydrating and moisturizing is crucial based on your skin type. If you have oily skin, you should avoid products that make it even greasier and attract more dirt. So, it's important to carefully pick moisturizing products that suit your skin before applying them.
A great addition to your skincare routine is a serum. Serums target specific skin issues and work directly on them. You can use them in both your morning and nighttime routines.
If you're a man dealing with dull skin that lacks brightness, consider using a vitamin C serum. These serums have a high concentration of active ingredients, making them ideal for targeted treatment.
If wrinkles are a concern, go for a serum with a peptide complex. And if you're trying to reduce the appearance of large pores, niacinamide can help.
When using a serum, make sure to gently pat it onto your face and neck for the best results.
The skincare and cosmetics world got really excited when sheet masks came onto the scene. Most of us have tried a sheet mask at some point, and if you haven't, we suggest you give it a go. Korean skincare is famous for using sheet masks, and it's where they first started.
So, what's the deal with sheet masks? Well, the basic idea is to push hydrating and other good stuff into your skin using a special sheet as a barrier. These sheet masks come in different materials like tissue, hydrogel, and biocellulose.
When you use a sheet mask, it's a chance to relax and have some "me time," which everyone deserves. At the same time, it helps your skin soak up all those beneficial ingredients.
Eye creams and eye masks
The area around our eyes is where men usually show the first signs of aging, so it's crucial to take good care of it. Fortunately, there are many products out there, like eye creams, masks, and serums, designed to prevent wrinkles and dark circles, especially after a long day of work.
Using eye creams can provide your skin with strengthening proteins. On the other hand, eye gels are better for younger skin or if you often have puffiness around your eyes. If you have dark circles, a brightening eye gel can help, and using an eye mask can also be a relaxing way to take care of your eyes.
Finally, one of the most important steps in the K-skincare routine is using SPF (sunscreen), and it's a step you should never skip. Our skin can suffer significant damage from UVA and UVB rays. Even on cloudy days, it's essential to wear sunscreen. Sun damage can lead to issues like pigmentation, dehydration, and premature aging. So, make sure to apply sunscreen to protect your skin from the sun's harmful effects. Double up on your SPF today for added protection!
Traditionally, there has been a stereotype that men should never show vulnerability and should not care about their skin, as if it's something reserved only for women.
But the truth is that skin care is essential for everyone, regardless of gender. We all have skin, and we all need to take care of it.
Thanks to influences from the Korean skincare market, many men have now embraced the idea of proper skincare. The Korean trend features leading men who openly acknowledge the importance of caring for their skin. They're not afraid to show their feminine side and understand that everyone needs to care for their skin to look and feel their best. So, why not you? Taking care of your skin can help you look and feel more charming and confident.
Written by: Aakanksha Bajpai
Edited by: Aniket Joshi