Understanding K-Beauty Skincare & Vegan Products *

-This post is in collaboration with Skinsider-

You only had to travel back in time, just a little more than a year ago, to be able to walk into the likes of The Body Shop or Lush, where you could rub your hands on anything (imagine that!), sniff everything to your heart’s content, and try sample after sample. Oh, how I miss the thrill of walking into Lush and having a full-on debate over which bath bomb to get.

In the last year, as with almost all shopping habits, things have moved online or at least leaned more to online than ever before. You only have to browse through Instagram to get bombarded with ad after ad only a few minutes after you like something. And while I’m sure you’re as guilty as me for hitting the shopping button on Insta (WHY DID THEY MOVE IT?!), you may have found something new that piqued your interest.

For me, it was Korean skincare, otherwise referred to as K-Beauty. It is massive online and is the ideal thing to look into if you’re in the midst of trying to improve your skin routine. Now, without being able to walk into a shop and have a good look at the products, how do you know what’s what and whether the products are vegan-friendly? No need to worry. I’m about to explain (as quick as I can) everything you need to know about K-Beauty skincare & vegan products.

Firstly, let’s cover the basics. The reason Korean skincare is different is down to the use of natural ingredients. Korean brands favour natural extracts and the like because they’re viewed as more active and receptive on the skin. While that sounds amazing (it is), there is one drawback; it shortens shelf life. While a typical daily moisturiser might have a 12, 16, or even 24-month label on the back, K-beauty products might only be 6 or 12. That means you need to buy products that fit in with your routine and don’t go to waste. 

Speaking of waste! You might have heard that K-Beauty products are all vegan. While most of the brands are, it doesn’t mean their products are. The majority of K-Beauty brands will have “cruelty-free” listed on their products. That is fantastic as it’s a sign that the products were never tested on animals. It is important to note that you might still have to look at the ingredients, as brands will often use active ingredients that aren’t full vegan. 

The most common example of this would be honey, while a more unusual ingredient that is incredibly popular in Korean skincare would be snail essence (YouTube it!) I recommend looking at Skinsider’s vegan range to get started with proper vegan products if you are trying to add some new favourites to your skincare routine.

And finally, it helps to know what a typical K-Beauty skincare routine goes like. You might have read about these 10 and 15 step routines that sound like they take a day and a half to do, but there are three pillars that you should stick to even if you only spend 5 minutes a day looking at your skin:

  1. Cleanse

  2. Hydrate

  3. Protect

Now each of those has subsections which would be better if you really were going to spend 2 hours taking care of skin, but no one has time for that. Just always think of these steps when you’re reaching for those tea tree oil pads, thinking it’s the only thing to do, and you’ll soon start developing good habits for your skin.

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