Cosmetic Hallyu: Glow Recipe Helps Understand Korean Skin Care

First thing’s first- cleanse, toner, serum, moisturizer. At least, that’s what Christine Chang, the co-founder of Glow Recipe, says is the secret to great skin. Based out of New York, Chang sat down with KultScene to discuss how their natural Korean products are exactly what everybody needs to get dewy, radiant skin.

Glow Recipe sells natural Korean facial products to international audiences. Rather than going for cutesy makeup, Chang and her fellow co-founder Sarah Lee carefully find the best skin care products in South Korea to bring to their audience. Everything that is sold on Glow Recipe is not only Korean, but also natural and good for your skin. And they don’t just sell anything that is popular in the Korean market. Glow Recipe’s staff carefully cultivates products for their audience and uses a multicultural panel of testers in order to match the multicultural U.S. market. Even though Glow Recipe is based in New York, the company has started shipping around the globe.

Why Korean beauty? Chang and Lee worked in the cosmetic industry for around ten years, and saw that a lot of innovation was coming out of Korea and that the people around them in both the industry and their personal lives were noticing. With their unique insight, having experience in both the U.S. and Korean beauty markets, the two started Glow Recipe to bring people the best that Korean technology, ingredients, and innovation can bring.

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“Korea has a really long heritage of natural beauty, dating back to palace literature, and a lot of those [ingredients and remedies] are present here with natural makeup. And a lot of those [things] are present in Europe but they weren’t coming over to the U.S. We wanted to bring those over to the U.S. to bring people great brands and teach really good practices,” explained Chang.

Is it another part of the Korean wave, Hallyu? “I think it’s hard to separate culture and music and pop culture and celebrity from beauty because they talk about it and use it and their fans around the world hear it,” said Chang. “And, if anything, I think the products going forward, will have more integration with Korean celebrities, Korean dramas, it’s almost like a seamless package… I can only imagine what will happen going forward.” She brought up 2013-14’s Korean drama, My Love From The Star, which caused a lipstick craze that led to Yves Saint Laurent selling out of a color worldwide; Korean skin care isn’t far behind.

The primary differences between Korean and American beauty routine? In Korea, beauty and skin tone are closely connected. The goal of Glow Recipe isn’t to give your skin the matte look that is often desired by America, covering up with makeup; the goal of Korean beauty is to treat the skin, to make a radiant, dewy look even before applying any makeup. Korean women are willing to try just about anything to get beautiful skin, so Korean products are much more adventurous than what the American market is used to. Because of this, Korean skin care may be daunting. But Glow Recipe makes it easy for even a beginning.

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Many people may have seen the fabled Korean ten-step skin care routine, one of which is on Glow Recipe’s website, split between morning and evening regiments. “To us, core steps are the cleanser, the toner to prep and hydrate your skin. Then you have the serum, which is designed to penetrate deeply into your skin to treat the concern, and then there’s the moisturizer to seal it in. Those four things are essentials when we talk about a basic routine,” said Chang, regarding women’s daily routines. And for men? Exfoliating, because of stubble, and using SPF are key.

Chang also suggested that people take off your makeup like you would change into pajamas: As soon as you get home.

Along with the four steps, Christine Chang said that SPF is essential for daily use. Masks, essences, exfoliating ampoules, mists, etc. are also necessary for a regular routine, but hydrating and cleaning skin are the most important thing. Trying products for 4-6 weeks is also important, no matter how regularly you apply them, so that your skin goes through a whole cycle of renewal.

All this information might make us feel overwhelmed, but Glow Recipe makes the Korean skin care routine look easy with some links on their blog. I was so intrigued by Glow Recipe’s routine and products that Christine Chang showed me some things, and gave me a few testers to try at home. Having spent a half a year living in South Korea, I thought that I knew the Korean beauty industry. I was wrong. I tried out a sample of Glow Recipe’s products, and within a few days I noticed how the natural products were doing much better things for my skin than my normal products.

Here are some things that Glow Recipe suggested specifically for KultScene’s readers, all of which you can find at www.GlowRecipe.com.Glow Recipe also makes custom sample kits for its customers, so that you can try out whatever you’d like. Added bonus: Use the code KULTSCENEGLOW to get $5 off on your first Glow Recipe purchase.

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Do you use Korean facial products? What other Korean products would you like to learn about from KultScene? Share your thoughts in the comment section below and be sure to subscribe to the site and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr to keep up with all of our posts.

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