Korean beauty is known for its innovative products and traditional 10-step skincare routine, but the latest K-beauty trend taking over is all about a simplified approach. Known as “skip-care,” the idea is that streamlining your routine to focus only on what your skin really needs and cutting out any extra steps returns your skin to a healthier state.
It makes sense skip-care is stirring up interest. After the year we’ve all had, people seem to be ditching their complicated routines for simple, slow beauty. Things like minimal makeup, low-maintenance highlights, and “skinimalism” are expected to be some of the biggest trends this year. And as life starts to pick back up, paving the way for new priorities, I for one am looking forward to downsizing my routine—without compromising the results.
Because despite the pared-down approach, skip-care doesn’t mean sacrificing the benefits of your favorite double-cleansers, toners, essences, serums or sheet masks. Rather, it means swapping out the 10 separate products for a few powerful multitaskers. From hydrating cleansers to moisture-balancing toners, using smarter products that minimize the number of steps in your regimen can really pay off.
And that’s where K-beauty brands really deliver. There are a number of products that have been specifically developed with high concentrations of key ingredients to maximize efficacy. Scroll on to learn more about latest innovations coming out of South Korea, all of which will make a beneficial addition to a newly-adapted skip-care routine.
Skip-Care Step 1: Cleanse
The first step in any skincare routine should always be cleansing. Removing makeup, excess oil, dirt, and dead skin creates a clean surface that allows the product you use after to penetrate skin properly and thus function. To turn this into a multi-functional step, look for a cleansing balm that washes away every last trace of makeup—including your fave waterproof mascara that’s fiendishly hard to wash off—and deep cleans pores while also hydrating and soothing the skin.
I’ve become a big fan of the Seoul Cleansing Balm ($19; thebeautyspy.com). It starts off like a sherbet and melts down to luxurious oil that wipes away gunk and eliminates the need for a double cleanse. Free of drying alcohol, irritating mineral oils, and pore-clogging silicones, skin is left squeaky-clean and soft. Plus, ginseng and green-tea soothe while a blend of peptides balance the moisture barrier and boost collagen. How’s that for a skincare hybrid?
Skip-Care Step 2: Tone
I’m not talking about the astringent, alcohol-based solutions of the Western world. Rather, K-beauty toners gently balance the skin’s pH level and provide that first layer of hydration in a skincare routine. This allows for better skin barrier function, which is key for a healthy complexion, and helps preps the skin for the treatment steps that follow.
Pictured above, Laneige Cream Skin Refiner ($33; beautyspy.com) uses the brand’s Cream Blending Technology to deliver the moisture you would get from a cream in the feel of a lightweight toner. The two-in-one formula is also made with special white tea leaves that are harvested only once a year and yield high concentrations of amino acids to help strengthen, hydrate, and soothe. The result? A soft, radiant complexion.
Another two-in-one toner worth trying is the Neogen RE:P Nutrinature Ultra All-In-One Multiitem ($34, thebeautyspy.com). Powered by naturally-derived plant extracts, the lightweight emulsion functions like a toner and essence in one, helping to adjust the oil and moisture balance, improve skin texture, and visibly brighten.
Skip Care Step 3: Treat
The final step in a skip-care routine is treating the skin with active ingredients that are of the highest quality and hardworking. Opt for multitasking serums that target many (if not all) of the signs of aging, from dullness to wrinkles to skin sagging. And, by now, you’ve like caught onto a trend with the trend: Each product used in a streamlined routine should have hydrating properties—your treatment serums are no exception.
If you’re looking to reap multiple benefits from one step, I strongly suggest D’Alba Piedmont’s White Truffle Serum Intensive Solution ($55; thebeautyspy.com), which serves as an all-in-one skincare product to prevent signs of aging. Formulated with one of the world’s most expensive and elusive ingredients, the white truffle, this unique spray-on serum hydrates, lessens lines and wrinkles, firms, evens skin tone, and brightens. It also boasts 30 antioxidant-rich botanicals and hyper-hydrating hyaluronic acid.
Another great option: D’Care Face Up Double S Anti-Aging Serum ($63; hsn.com). With five types of hyaluronic acid, this dual-chamber treatment is one of a kind. Once dispensed, the two concentrates combine together to create hyaluronic acid threads that absorb deep into the skin to instantly plump and smooth. It’s also formulated with 11 anti-aging peptides to revive radiance, even tone, refine skin texture, and reduce wrinkles.
Now, I wouldn’t necessarily call myself a lazy girl, but if we can achieve the same results in a fewer steps, you can count me in. The latest innovations coming from K-beauty brands are truly proving less can be more. And let’s not forget the extra money (and plastic) saved by shopping for fewer products. Skip-care has a host of benefits for your skin—and beyond. So, what are you waiting for?
You might also like: The Best K-Beauty Masks For Modern-Day Skin Concerns
About Chelsea Scott: Founder of The Beauty Spy, specializing in Asian beauty products and seen on HSN monthly, is an acclaimed beauty professional with more than 20 years of experience in product development and marketing. She has successfully represented beauty products in various countries for more than a decade, including HSN & TSC Canada. For more, follow her on Instagram, @chelseabeautyspy.
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