The Korean Beauty Show Podcast

The Korean Beauty Show Podcast

Lauren Lee
Oct 19, 2020 21 min

How to Pick the Perfect Korean Beauty Product

CONNECT WITH ME Instagram: Facebook: Website: Pinterest: Tik Tok: Download Your Free Guide to K-Beauty: Episode Description: With hundreds of thousands of Korean beauty products on the market, it can be hard to know which one is your perfect fit. If you aren’t sure where to start, or have started but are yet to find your holy grail, then stay tuned because today I’m sharing my top tips for finding your perfect Korean Beauty product. WHERE TO START Your Skin Type First of all, it’s important to identify which skin type you have. Are you oily, dry, combination or normal? You may think you know, but have you ever investigated the condition of your skin in enough detail to be absolutely sure? If the answer is no, now is the time. If you’ve never had your skin assessed professionally, there’s a quick and easy way to check it at home. Cleanse your skin and pat dry. Leave iti completely bare for 30 minutes without applying any products. After 30 minutes, examine your face. Check for shine See how it feels when you make facial expressions, such as smiling. If your skin feels tight, you most likely have dry skin. If you can see shine on your nose and forehead, you most likely have normal/ combination skin. If you can see shine on your cheeks, your skin is classed as oily. Now that you know more about your skin type, you can make a start on investigating the ingredients that best match your skin type Finding Beneficial Ingredients for your skin type If you’re still not sure exactly which ingredients will be the best for you then take a listen to last week’s episode - episode 23. I ran through a massive list of popular K-Beauty ingredients for a wide range of different skin issues and types so you’re bound to find a few pointers there. Check the Ingredients List While picking any product, be it Korean or otherwise, don’t forget to check the ingredients list printed on the packaging. If you’re shopping online, the website should have the full ingredients list printed. If you’re still unfamiliar with ingredients lists and what to check for, there are plenty of useful resources available online that can help you decode the list, such as incidecoder, cosdna and skincarisma. If you speak (and read!) Korean, apps like Hwa Hae are great for this, especially for Korean beauty. Check the Authenticity of the Seller Unfortunately, there are fake K-Beauty products floating around so be careful where you buy your products. STYLE STORY is obviously a trusted source for K-Beauty products but there are many other stores around the world as well. Be careful on marketplace websites, particularly sites where they combine products at a fulfilment centre from many different sellers. Be sure to always look out for trusted sellers with lots of reviews on these kinds of platforms. A Word of Caution A lot of people go online to forums and Facebook groups for skincare advice. While these can be good, a lot of the advice floating around on them is nothing more than a personal opinion, oftentimes taken from a blogger or YouTuber. I’ve seen some really shocking advice doing the rounds with everything from how to apply Vitamin C serum (incorrectly, mind you), which stores to buy from to source Asian sunscreens that flout Australia’s sunscreen regulations and more. Take the advice you see on these forums with a gigantic grain of salt unless it is a trusted commenter, or expert. Ditto for the ‘popular product of the day’ recommendations. If you’re still confused, get in touch with our team at STYLE STORY or you can find me on Instagram. The team and I are super passionate about Korean skincare and getting your skin in tip-top shape. What To Do If You Liked Today’s Episode Leave a review for the podcast on Apple iTunes or on STYLE STORY’s Facebook page See for privacy information.
Oct 12, 2020 31 min

Best Korean Beauty Ingredients For Your Skin Type

If you’re wondering what K-Beauty ingredient is perfect for your skin type or any skin issues you are experiencing, then stay tuned because today I’m running through a massive list of some of the most popular ingredients in Korean skincare. CONNECT WITH ME Instagram: Facebook: Website: Pinterest: Tik Tok: Download Your Free Guide to K-Beauty: SNAIL MUCIN Who Should Use It: Those with acne and hyper-pigmentation Key Benefits: Filled with skin-friendly goodies plus provides skin with long-lasting moisture. Best Products: APLB Healing Moisture Snail Cream COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence GINSENG Who Should Use It: Those looking to manage anti-aging concerns Key Benefits: Antioxidants protect against the free radicals + brightening Best Products: Beauty of Joseon Repair Serum: Ginseng + Snail Mucin BETA GLUCAN Who Should Use It: Excellent for improving the look of redness and other signs of sensitivity. Key Benefits: Has antioxidant properties and soothes skin. An ingredient derived from the cell wall of mushrooms, it has antioxidant properties and is a skin-soothing agent, making it ideal for sensitive skin. Best Products: Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream iUNIK Beta Glucan Daily Moisture Cream HYALURONIC ACID Who Should Use It: Perfect for dull, dry, dehydrated, oily and aging skin. Key Benefits: Hydration and oil control. Best Products: APLB Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule Serum EGF Who Should Use It: Those looking for anti-aging products. Key Benefits: Supports collagen and elastin and skins texture and elasticity. It can hold on to moisture in the skin to help it maintain optimal levels of hydration. Best Products: APLB EGF Facial Repair Essence PROPOLIS Who Should Use It: Mature skin; troubled skin Key Benefits: Soothes irritation, fights blemishes, and reduces inflammation. Best Products: APLB Bee Pollen Propolis Ampoule Serum APLB Vitamin Propolis Moisture Cream GREEN TEA Who Should Use It: Those with redness, inflammation and acne Key Benefits: Green Tea is rich in antioxidant EGCG which, helps to rejuvenate the dying skin cells that, in turn, helps to fight the signs of ageing. It is also rich in Vitamin B-2 which keeps the skin firm and young. Best Products: JJ Young by Caolion Lab Green Cleansing Stick Tosowoong Pure Green Tea Mask BIRCH SAP Who Should Use It: Red skin, irritated skin, sensitive skin. Key Benefits: Birch Juice contains 17 amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins which are beneficial for the skin. They also have detoxifying properties. Can be used to battle extreme sensitivity. With its many vitamins and minerals, it provides ample nutrition to the skin. Best Products: COSRX Oil Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion ALOE VERA Who Should Use It: Those with redness, sunburn and breakouts. Key Benefits: Great for after-sun care, and to prevent redness and calm breakouts. Thanks to its high water content, it is super hydrating. Best Products: APLB Aloe Hyaluronic Cream Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel VITAMIN C Who Should Use It: Those with acne scarring, pigmentation and dull skin. Key Benefits: This antioxidant fights free radicals, boosts collagen production, and most importantly, lightens dark spots. That makes it perfect for hyper-pigmentation, acne scarring, and patchy skin tones! Best Products: APLB Vitamin C Ampoule Serum APLB Vitamin C Propolis Lotion GLUTATHIONE Who Should Use It: Those with acne and pigmentation. Key Benefits: This powerful antioxidant also has the ability to brighten and even out the skin tone. It treats acne directly and helps reduce the number of acne scars, uneven skin tone, and marks caused by acne, which is important for keeping the skin healthy in the long run. Best Products: APLB Glutathione Ampoule Serum APLB Glutathione Brightening Tone Up Cream APLB Glutathione Hyaluronic Acid Essence ARBUTIN Who Should Use It: Pigmented and Dull Skin. Key Benefits: Like other brighteners, it prevents the formation of tyrosinase in your skin—a UV-activated chemical that causes darkened scars and sun spots. By incorporating arbutin into your regimen, you can reduce the amount of pigmentation your skin takes on after a long day under the sun. Best Products: Tosowoong 5% Arbutin Cream TEA TREE Who Should Use It: Those with acne. Key Benefits: In concentrated amounts, its disinfecting properties can banish pimples and fight bacterial infection. Best Products: iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Serum iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Toner GALACTOMYCES Who Should Use It: Those looking for anti-aging benefits and pore care. Key Benefits: Significantly reduces the size of enlarged pores as well as blackheads. Also it helps the skin to brighten up tired and dull looking skin. Best Products: Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence RX APLB Galactomyces Mugwort Nutritional Cream CICA Who Should Use It: Those with breakouts, redness and troubled skin. Key Benefits: Hydrates the skin by strengthening its protective barrier. It also has antioxidant properties and contains amino acid which helps to soothe the irritated skin. Best Products: APLB Centella Cica Repair Cream BROWN SUGAR Who Should Use It: Dull skin and acne prone skin. Key Benefits: Brown sugar is used for exfoliation as the small granules are perfect to slough the dead skin cells. It also acts as a moisturizer as sugar granules draw moisture from the environment. When the skin is free from dead skin cells, impurities and residues, there are fewer chances of having breakouts or acne. Best Products: Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask MUGWORT Who Should Use It: Red, Sensitive Skin Key Benefits: Soothes and nourishes the skin, helping treat redness and other skin sensitivities. Mugwort is one of Korean skincare’s hottest trending ingredients. In traditional Korean medicine, mugwort is known as a “warming” ingredient for the body and is used to improve circulation and relieve muscle pain. Best Products: APLB Galactomyces Mugwort Nutritional Cream RICE WATER Who Should Use It: Everyone Key Benefits: Rice Water is an old K-Beauty go-to from the Joseon Dynasty. It helps to battle large oily pores. It also helps to deep cleanse the skin and is good for brightening. Best Products: Skinfood Rice Mask Wash Of What To Do If You Liked Today’s Episode Leave a review for the podcast on Apple iTunes or on STYLE STORY’s Facebook page See for privacy information.
Oct 05, 2020 13 min

Broke Beauty Guide

Can’t seem to rub two cents together but #beautyislife? I feel you! Whether you’re still a student or just terrible at making your budget last til the next pay day, today we’re talking the skincare and K-Beauty essentials to use in your routine without going broke in the process. Episode Summary: On today’s episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast we are talking “beauty on a budget”. Times are tough and not everyone has the money up their sleeves for bougee beauty buys. Which is why today I’m running through my top tricks for identifying what you need, how to stop wasting products and which products to scrimp and save on. My Top Tips 1 Identify your must-have products Before you go out and purchase all the products, take stock of what it is you really need and allocate your budget there. If you are suffering from specific skin issues, treat those first 2 Use up your old products before you buy new ones Make sure that you’re only buying products you actually need – ideally, by replacing new for old. Remember – most skincare products have a shelf life of between 6 – 12 months once they are opened, so if you’ve got multiple types of the same product on-the-go at once, this can quickly lead to wastage. 3 Condense your routine where you can One of the easiest ways to do this is to opt for products that contain two (or more!) products in one. 7 skins toners are great for this, eliminating the need for multiple products. Try Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner 4. What Skincare to Splurge On Serums: they are made with the smallest molecules, helping them to enter the skin on a deeper level. Cheaper serums are usually made with lots of filler ingredients so it makes sense to splurge a little on a good one Try: APLB Idebenone Ampoule Serum, Missha Time Revolution Ampoule, Tosowoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule 5 Grab a beauty bargain A few of my favourite K-Bargains under $20 are: Innisfree No Sebum Mineral Pact Subi Perfect Pimple Patch Innisfree’s Jeju Volcanic Pore Clay Mask COSRX Low pH Gel Cleanser Cheap and Cheerful Beauty Brands - Innisfree, Benton, Beauty of Joseon, Banila and COSRX (although their newer products are significantly more expensive than their earlier releases). One brand that I love is JJ Young by Caolion Lab - great products for the pores made by the same company as makes the significantly more expensive Caolion brand. So a veritable steal for high quality pore refining products the likes of which are regularly stocked in Sephora. What to do if you Liked Today’s Episode Save 10% off your Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream with code ‘podcast’. Jump on over to where Bubble Tea is now being served! See for privacy information.
Sep 28, 2020 15 min

Korean Beauty for Acne Scars

Acne scars are the worst. Not only do you have to suffer through acne itself, now you’re left to deal with the scars and marks they left behind. Everybody gets them; we all hate them. Today on the Korean Beauty Show podcast we’re talking the best Korean Beauty products for fading acne scars, pronto. CONNECT WITH ME Instagram: Facebook: Website: Pinterest: Tik Tok: Download Your Free Guide to K-Beauty: Episode Summary: If you want to say goodbye to acne scars quicker, then stick around because on today’s episode I’m running through my top tips and tricks, as well as the best K-Beauty products to send them on their way ASAP. WHAT CAUSES ACNE SCARRING? Acne scars are caused by inflamed lesions that form on the skin. The pore swells, causing a break in the follicle wall. If the rupture occurs near the skin’s surface, the lesion is usually minor and heals quickly. Serious lesions however spill out onto the dermis and destroy healthy skin tissue. Although the skin works to repair itself, it’s finished “repair job” is never the same as before the injury, leaving evidence of the acne scar. On today’s episode we will be focusing more on the red or coloured marks left behind after acne rather than deeper, pitted scars. They require a different method to see improvement, so we can tackle them in a later episode BEST ACNE SCAR FADING INGREDIENTS There are a whole range of different beauty ingredients in K-Beauty products that are designed to fade acne scars quickly. Some of my favourite acne mark fading ingredients to look out for include: Vitamin C Vitamin C has many great benefits for the skin, including improvement in active breakouts and increased collagen production. It also provides the skin with a brightening effect that can reduce and improve the appearance of pigmentation and post-acne scars. Niacinamide This is a form of Vitamin B3 that works well for overall brightening, including reducing the appearance of uneven skin tone, redness and acne. Snail Secretion Filtrate A wonder beauty ingredient beloved by Korean Beauty fans that contains skin-friendly antioxidants, proteins, elastin, and glycolic acids. Snail mucin is especially helpful for breakouts, uneven skin tone and acne scarring. Try COSRX, Mizon and APLB. Glutathione This powerful antioxidant also has the ability to brighten and even out the skin tone. It treats acne directly and helps reduce the number of acne scars, uneven skin tone, and marks caused by acne, which is important for keeping the skin healthy in the long run. Try APLB’s Glutathione products. Some of my favourite K-Beauty picks: Pimple Treatments As the old saying goes, ‘prevention is better than a cure’. Not picking at your pimples in the first place goes a long way to minimize scarring. Subi Perfect Pimple Patch tackles breakouts quickly, painlessly and with as minimal scarring as possible. Made with medical-grade hydrocolloid, this luxury pimple patch is the thinnest, most invisible patch on the market. If you get pimples in hard-to-reach places (like the side of the nose or around your mouth) then these are your patches. The thinness, stickiness and absorptive powers of Subi’s patches means they stay in place long enough to effectively tackle the pimples that other patches can’t. Spot Creams COSRX AC Collection Ultimate Spot Cream Acids Commleaf AHA Green Tea Peeling Liquid COSRX Poreless Power Liquid Serums Vitamin C Serum – APLB, Purito, SOMEBYMI APLB Glutathione Ampoule Serum Moisturiser Tosowoong Spot Whitening Vita Clinic Cream Sleeping Mask Mizon Good Night White Sleeping Mask Tube Resources for Today’s Episode Best Korean Beauty Products for Fading Acne Scars What to do if you liked today’s Episode Save 10% off your Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream with code ‘podcast’. Jump on over to where Bubble Tea is now being served! See for privacy information.
Sep 21, 2020 21 min

Launching a K-Beauty Brand

To celebrate the 20th episode of the Korean Beauty Show Podcast, on today’s episode we’re going to take a look into what it takes to launch a new K-Beauty Brand. CONNECT WITH ME Instagram: Facebook: Website: Pinterest: Tik Tok: Download Your Free Guide to K-Beauty: Episode Summary: At STYLE STORY, we are celebrating the launch of our first in-house brand Jelly Ko! Today, I’m going to take you behind the scenes to talk about how we did it, why we did it, as well as some of the trials and tribulations that go along with setting up a new brand. TOPICS DISCUSSED The Timing was Right As a K-Beauty expert, I’ve consulted with a lot of brands for many years, helping them put together everything from their marketing strategy to planning new product releases, naming products, helping with labelling, ingredients and more. As part of my job, I’ve analysed literally thousands of ingredients lists and Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS). I know what makes a good product, a bad product and just a mediocre one I’ve also learned a whole lot about what people like and dislike in their beauty products, and been able to use that data to better plan new product launches for STYLE STORY, and match those to our customers’ needs. Australian Cosmetic Regulation There are a lot of products that either can’t be sold in AUstralia because they contain an ingredient that can’t be sold here in a cosmetic formula or can’t be sold in the percentage they are in in a particular product. This is a huge task for cosmetic distributors to work out exactly what can and can’t be sold in Australia, what needs to be relabelled and working out all of the different cosmetic regulations, requirements and laws that need to be complied with. This is a huge part of the work we do at STYLE STORY. It is expensive and time-consuming. Case in point - some of The Ordinary’s products that can’t legally be sold in Australia. There has been a big case this week about fake The Ordinary products circulating in the Australian market. This was easy to spot because these products aren’t legally allowed to be sold in Australia. Unfortunately, there are many Korean Beauty products like that as well, including: Korean sunscreens, none of which have ever been approved by Australia’s TGA (Liah Yoo had the same problem when she was trying to introduce her Krave sunscreen into the US - she had used sunscreen filters that aren’t approved there so wasn’t able to sell them as sunscreens) There are many Korean products containing certain ingredients (like arbutin), which many Korean BB Creams have in them that can’t be sold here. As a result, we’ve have had to say no to many products and brands that have ingredients that can’t legally be sold here either at all, or in the percentages they are contained in. Sometimes we have to say no because we just don’t have the time to fill in all the paperwork that needs to be done to import certain products. A lot of sellers, even big players, are willing to break Australia’s cosmetic laws and sell products that can’t legally be sold here but as industry leaders STYLE STORY is not willing or able to do that. This has been a continuous source of frustration for us over the years Reformulations and Discontinuations Anyone that has been using Korean beauty products for a while will be familiar with the cycle of reformulations and discontinuations This is a constant source of stress for us as distributors, because we have to spend the time and money to analyse the ingredients lists all over again, check that they comply with all Australia’s cosmetic regulations, which is not a short process and then also break the news to customers, many of whom are not as happy about reformulations We wanted to break this cycle by coming out with our own line of products that we control. We wanted to make a brand we wanted to use! We’re all about combining great ingredients with beautiful packaging and textures that are beautiful to apply and look at Jelly Ko’s brand concept is to tasty skincare for your face. We have combined Korea’s design innovation and skincare technology with a fun brand concept that makes you look forward to using our products every day A lot of the Korean brands we are seeing these days are like carbon copies of each other, they all have a same propolis line, a cica / centella line, an AHA/BHA line, ceramide line, tea tree line, trouble skin / dr xx I sometimes think this is designed to make you buy more and more products. It’s also very confusing for consumers. We talk to people every day who are just so confused with what products they should be using, what order to use them in, etc. Instead, we wanted to focus more on a good, well-rounded formula, with textures that we adore and love to use rather than a fad. We’ve also designed products that can be used by multiple different skin types so you don’t need to shop across multiple lines. The Hard Part: Starting your own brand is definitely not easy - it takes years to come up with the right formula, find the right packaging We were very lucky to be able to work with some of Korea’s best cosmetic chemists Overall, the process was very complicated with packaging, design, formulation, complying with cosmetic regulations and also the various stability tests What To Do if You Liked Today’s Episode: Come and visit us Save 10% off your Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream with code ‘podcast’. Jump on over to where Bubble Tea is now being served! Winner of the $100 AUD STYLE STORY Gift Voucher: “Review 14.09.20 I am enjoying this Podcast so much, it’s so genuine, honest and nurturing. I am a guy that has been so interested in skin care since I was a kid. My mum always helped and and this Podcast makes me feel included. I’ve been using Japanese / Korean / and western brands like La Mer! This is helping me find what is best not just for my skin but also for my friends and family. I cannot wait for more and to see where this goes! Well done! 👏👏👏” Please get in touch with our team STYLE STORY to claim your gift voucher! See for privacy information.
Sep 14, 2020 16 min

AHAs, BHAs and PHAs Decoded

When it comes to acids, you’ve probably seen a few acronyms popping up over and over – AHAs, BHAs and PHAs. Today, we’re jumping in to take a look at the three most common types of acids and how to use them in your routine. Episode Summary: Exfoliants have come a long way since your first apricot scrub. While exfoliating has always been a big part of skincare routines, these days the chemicals are taking the spotlight What do all they mean? AHA, BHA and PHA are the most common types of acids used in skincare today. If you’re using acids in your products, chances are it’s one of these three. AHAs Alpha Hydroxy Acids (AHA) are the original gangster of skincare acids. Naturally found in fruits, water-soluble AHAs such as lactic or glycolic acids gently melt away dead skin cells. They also stimulate the cell regeneration process, making for great anti-ageing benefits. They are also perfect for drier skin. AHAs can benefit pigmentation, help to even out skin tone, preserve moisture and even reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Try: COSRX AHA Whitehead Power Liquid and Commleaf AHA Green Tea Peeling Liquid. BHAs Beta Hydroxy Acids (BHA) are a gentler alternative to AHAs. Salicylic acid is the most commonly used BHA today. Containing many of the same benefits as AHAs, the fat solubility of BHAs dissolve oil and makes them effective on blocked pores, blackheads, whiteheads and acne. BHAs also have anti-inflammatory properties and soothe redness. Try: Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner, COSRX Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol and ISNTree Clear Skin BHA Toner PHA The new kid on the block, Poly Hydroxy Acids (PHAs) work similarly to AHAs in that they also melt away dead skin cells. What makes PHAs different is that their molecules are larger. This means they take longer to work, which makes them perfect for light exfoliation on very sensitive skin. They are even recommended for sensitive or easily irritated skin. For mature skin types, PHA is also a good option as it helps preserve collagen levels. Want to try all three together?! Try SOME BY MI’s cult-favourite AHA BHA PHA line! Practical Tips Stay Sun Safe! It probably goes without saying, as you should already be using a high SPF product in your skincare routine, but if you want to introduce acids, then SPF is essential. Acids can work wonders with exfoliation, but they do make your skin more sensitive to the skin, so be religious about reapplying as well. Make sure you don’t overdo it on the acids. Combining them can cause irritation, so if you are prone to dry skin, sensitivity or redness, stick to just one. On the other hand, if you have oily skin, combining BHAs and AHAs may be safe and even beneficial. A word of caution though – if you notice any redness, sensitivity, or excessive dryness, that’s a sign to slow down with your acids. Cut back to using them 2-3 times a week and alternate between your acids. If you’re layering them, start with your BHA first. Think of layering acids like double cleansing – start with your oil-soluble BHA first, and then move onto your AHA. BHAs are typically formulated to be a pH of 3.5 and AHAs have to be formulated at a pH of under 4. You’ll want to use your BHA product first, not only because BHAs are lower in pH but also because they are oil soluble and AHAs are not. What to do if you liked this week’s episode - AHAs, BHAs and PHAs Decoded Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast so you never miss another episode Today is the last day to go into the running to win a $100 AUD STYLE STORY Gift Voucher. All you need to do is leave your review for the podcast. Resources for Today’s Episode K-Beauty Alpha H Liquid Gold Dupe Skin Acids Decoded How to Layer Acids See for privacy information.
Sep 06, 2020 17 min

What’s the Difference between an Essence, Serum and Ampoule?

On today’s episode of the Korean Beauty Show podcast, we’re taking a look at the difference between essences, serums and ampoules. I’ll explain what they are, how you use them and why you might want to add them into your skincare routine. Episode Summary: Why Are There So Many Treatment Steps in the Korean Beauty Routine? While it might seem like these are just different names for the same products, technically these are three different products. They can all be used and layered in a single skincare routine. The difference between them comes down to their potencies, textures and positions within the skincare routine. You don’t have to use all of them - feel free to mix, match and find the right fit for your skin. What is an Essence? An essence is a lightweight liquid that is designed to follow cleansing and toning in your skincare routine. The primary objective is to add hydration to the skin. This is one of the key steps in a typical Korean Beauty routine, and it’s one that distinguishes Korean skincare from other beauty routines. What’s in Essences: Essences can contain anything from plant extracts and antioxidants to brightening ingredients like niacinamide or soothing ingredients green tea. Some essences contain trending K-Beauty ingredients like snail mucin (Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence). Why Use One: Adding an essence to your skincare routine provides a good base for your skin to better absorb the next products you apply. It allows them to penetrate more deeply into the skin, which makes them more effective. What is a First Treatment Essence or Starting Essence? Often abbreviated to “FTE”, First Treatment Essences are often made up of fermented ingredients. This process of fermentation reduces the molecular size of the ingredients so that they are more deeply penetrated into the skin. A cult favourite of this variety is Missha The First Treatment Essence Rx (Pro Ferment). What is a Serum? The first thing you’ll notice about a serum is that the product’s viscosity (i.e. how thick it is) as well as the potency is increased compared to an essence. What’s In Them: Serums are typically concentrated with more active ingredients than other skincare products. Why Use One: You can tailor your serum to help you achieve a particular skincare goal, such as wrinkle reduction, brightening, hydrating or calming. Mizon AHA 8% Peeling Serum is a great example that’s used to refine the skin’s texture if you have bumpiness or uneven skin. It also helps with dark spots. What is an Ampoule?Ampoules are the most potent of the skincare products. What’s in Them: They are formulated with more concentrated actives to deliver a powerful solution for specific skincare needs. Why Use One: Because they’re absolutely jam-packed full of the star ingredient! Take the iconic Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule, which is infused with Bifida Ferment Lysate or Toswoong Propolis Sparkle Ampoule, which contains a whopping 80% propolis extract to remedy dull skin. A word on where to use it in your routine – technically, an ampoule can be applied before or after a serum, depending on the viscosity of the product. To decide where to place it within your lineup, arrange your products from thinnest liquid to thickest, place your ampoule where it belongs, and apply in that order. A Word on Essence, Serum and Ampoule Naming Conventions First and foremost, the line between essence, serum and ampoule are becoming blurred as more and more products hit the market. There’s also often a difference between the naming conventions used by different brands, and between Japanese and Korean products. Technically, the potency and viscosity of essences, serums and ampoules should all be different. Essence should be the most watery and lightest in terms of active ingredients; ampoules should be the thickest and jam-packed full of actives. However, this is not always the case. Rather than fixating on what the bottle or brand says, my advice is to consider what your skin needs and choose products that meet those needs accordingly. If you like, you can layer each of these products in your routine. This allows you to target more than one skincare objective within the same routine (i.e. anti-aging essence, brightening serum and hydrating ampoule). BUT if you prefer to just use one or two of these products, that’s totally fine! Ditto the placement of products in your routine - if you end up with a serum that’s more watery than your essence, there’s no issue with using the serum first, and then the essence. There are no rules in skincare. My go-to is to work my way up from the product with the most watery consistency to the one with the thickest so there are no issues with product penetration. What to do if you liked today’s episode Don’t forget to rate and review the podcast on Apple iTunes. All reviews left by 15 September will go into the running to win a $100 AUD STYLE STORY Gift Voucher. If you’d like to chat about anything in today’s episode, come and find me on Instagram. See for privacy information.
Aug 31, 2020 19 min

Korean Skin Toner Trends 2020

Over the last few years in Korea there’s been an explosion of different methods for toning the skin, as well as new categories of products to support them. Today, I’m sharing the Top 3 Trending Toning Methods in Korea right now, how to do them and which products you can use for them. Episode Summary Toner is known by various different names in Korea – “Skin”, “Toner”, “Softener” and even “Booster”. This year’s hottest trends are: The 7 Skins Method; The DDak To Method; The Chap To Method Method 1: The 7 Skins Method One of the hottest trends to emerge in Korean skincare is the ‘7 Skin Method’. This unique method involves layering your toner for more hydrated, healthier looking skin. What is It: The 7 Skin Method is an additional step in your skincare routine that involves applying a moisturising toner in 7 thin layers. You then remove other layers like essence, serum, ampoules and lotions. Why 7 Skins: The idea is to deeply hydrate the skin and seal in the newly added hydration with an occlusive, like a moisturiser. Why the Name: The name for this method comes from the Korean word for “toner”. Toners in Korean are commonly referred to as “skins”, so the literal translation for this method is the “7 Toner Method”.How to Do It: The technique is simple: After cleansing your face, splash some toner onto a cotton pad and apply it to your face and neck. While your face is still damp, pour the same toner into your hands and pat a thin layer into your face. Repeat step 2 five more times. The next step is to simply apply your moisturising cream over the top. If you’re applying the 7-Skin Method in the morning, move onto your sunscreen and makeup. Tips: Play around with your layers and work out the perfect number for your skin. You might find your skin doesn’t need the full 7 layers and that’s okay – stop when your face feels fully hydrated! If your skin is particularly dry, feel free to do more than 7 layers. What Products to Use: Choosing the right toner is key for the 7 Skin Method, as the wrong toner may end up irritating your skin instead. The ideal toner is something with low-no alcohol in it’s formula, little to no added fragrance and no dyes. Avoid anything with acids in it either. APLB Centella Mist Toner – This unique all-in-one mist is perfect for the face and body, helping to care for troubled or sensitive skin wherever it occurs. Apply it anywhere your skin is rough, bumpy, red or sensitized for immediate soothing relief. Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner – a cruelty-free toner formulated for dry, sensitive skin that combines traditional oriental medicine ingredients with modern skincare. iUNIK Vitamin Hyaluronic Acid Vitalizing Toner – a revitalizing post-cleanse toner that contains Hyaluronic Acid (45%) and Seabuckthorn Extract (5%). It offers deep hydration, making it the perfect choice for rough, dry skin. Why is it So Good? It guarantees glowing skin! The seven-skin method allows your skin to drink up the toner more than it normally would by letting the skin soak up one layer at a time. It’s also a great way of reducing the number of skincare products you’re applying to your skin. You can forego your usual treatments and just use your toner instead. This makes the 7 Skin Method perfect for those with sensitive skin (provided you choose the right toner!) It’s also great for those on a budget, as it allows you to reduce the amount of skincare products you are using. Last but not least, the 7 Skins Method is perfect for travel. By using your toner instead of your usual bevy of products, you’ll cut down on excess luggage. How People Do the 7 Skins Method in Korea in 2020: People are doing it with both an essence or toner. People use it instead of a sheet mask = this is known as a ‘Mini Pack’. The cotton pads used for it are super thin – they’re not the kind of pads people use to remove makeup in other countries (i.e. cotton rounds). These are special pads designed specifically for the 7 skins method. Several brands make them. The popularity of this method of toning has resulted in the boom in ‘mist’ type products in K-Beauty. Mist Toners have become much more common, and that’s largely thanks to everyone trying to ride the 7 skins toning train. Misting just makes it even easier to apply several layers of toner. Mist toners are perfect for people with sensitive skin, as they involve much less friction on the skin because you don’t need to use your hands. Method 2: The Ddak To Method This is a new toner method becoming popular in Korea. It is perfect for people with generally lacklustre skin in need of gentle exfoliation. Who Should Do It: Oily Skin = Good Dry Skin = Okay Sensitive Skin = Bad How it’s Different to 7 Skins: This one is more about exfoliation and removing grime. It’s popular among people who wear makeup. This is different from the 7 Skins Method, which is about hydration. What is It: The Ddak To Method is a method of using your toner as another step in cleansing. This is designed to get rid of any debris or substances left over. It offers gentle exfoliation with a cotton pad. You soak a cotton pad with a special type of toner and then really gently rub this all over your face. It has a double function of cleansing and hydrating the skin at the same time. The ingredients in the toner are really important for this method as well, as you will be essentially massaging it all over your face and neck with the cotton pad. The other thing is that because you’re applying so much product, don’t use anything too expensive because you’ll be going through a lot more product than you usually would. How to Do It: You do this toning method straight after cleansing your face while your face is still wet (don’t wipe the water off it) Instead, go straight in with your Ddak To toner. You need to follow the natural grain of your skin. Why the Name: Ddak Da means “to wipe” in Korean. And that’s why this method is the Ddak To method (“To” is for Toner) What Toners to Use: Water-type toners need to be used for this one. Try: iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Toner – a dual-function toner that’s perfect for sensitive skin, containing star calming ingredients tea tree (67%), centella asiatica (20%) and portulaca extract to moisturise and nourish while keeping skin clean and clear. Isntree Green Tea Fresh Toner – Perfect for oily and combination skin types, this toner uses natural, EWG “green grade” ingredients to balance and nourish the complexion. The formula is 100% vegan and cruelty free and has a pH of 5.8, making it perfect for the 7 skins method. Method 3: “The Chap To Method” What is It: This is a method of applying toner in your hand and then gently patting it into the skin to help absorption. How to Do It: Pour the toner into your hand and then gently pat it into your skin At the last step, press your palms into your face until the last of the toner is absorbed. Why the Name: “Chap Chap” mimics the sound you make as you’re patting the toner into your skin. And then To stands for ‘Toner’. Put them together and you’ve got “Chap To”. What Toners to Use You’ll need a thick-type toner for this one. Try products containing ingredients like ceramides, creams and beta glucan in them. Laneige’s Cream Skin Refiner is perfect for this method. See for privacy information.
Aug 24, 2020 14 min

How to Know if Your Skin is Purging Vs Reacting

Episode Description: Today, we are exploring the difference between your skin purging and reacting and how to know whether your skin is just adjusting to new products or whether it’s time to ditch them. Episode Summary: Purging Purging is a term commonly used to describe an adjustment period when you start using a new product, when your skin gets worse before it gets better than before. This is completely different from an adverse reaction, when your skin is straight-up irritated or allergic to something in the product, and no amount of time will change that. Purging is caused by “actives”: Vitamin C; Anti Acne Medication (i.e. Roaccutane) Hydroxy acids (glycolic, lactic, malic, mandelic, salicylic, lactobionic acids; gluconolactone; fruit acids) Retinoids (retinol, tretinoin, adapalene, tazarotene, isotretinoin, retinyl palmitate) Benzoyl peroxide Chemical peels, lasers, microdermabrasion Other exfoliants (scrubs, brushes, enzyme exfoliants) Signs of Purging: Quite common if you’re new to exfoliation; Occurs because skin cells are turning over quicker than usual; The turnaround of the spots themselves should be quick; In total, purging should only last around a month, because that’s how long the skin takes to renew itself Reacting If your skin is having an adverse reaction to a product, the only way to stop it is to stop using the product. Signs of Reacting The product doesn’t contain any actives (NB. Hyaluronic Acid is not an active); Sudden breakouts in new areas; Spots get consistently worse over time; Spots may be accompanied by itchiness, rash, inflammation If your skin isn’t getting better after around 6-8 weeks with the new product, ditch it. Tips to Deal with Breakouts from Purging 1. Avoid Picking at Spots If it helps, try putting a hydrocolloid pimple patch over it like Subi Perfect Pimple Patch. 2. Prevent Your Skin from Drying Out Skip spot treatments like Benzoyl Peroxide and Salicylic Acid because they’ll dry your skin out. 3. Stay Hydrated Opt for pH balanced moisturisers that contain ceramides. Try APLB Derma Daily Repair Cream. 4. Use SPF Whenever you’re using acids, this is a must. What to Do If You Like Today’s Episode Join the STYLE STORY mailing list for your chance to be one of the first to try Jelly Ko’s new Bubble Tea Steam Cream for free. Leave a review for the podcast and go into the draw to win an AUD $100 STYLE STORY Gift Voucher. Competition closes 15 September 2020. See for privacy information.
Aug 17, 2020 26 min

K-Beauty in Korea vs Overseas

Today, we’re exploring the difference between K-Beauty in Korea versus K-Beauty overseas. If you’ve ever wondered if the products actually sold in Korea are different to the Korean products you find in your country, then stay tuned because I’m going to explore the differences and why I think they happen. Episode Summary: K-Beauty in Korea is Very Trend Based Trends in Korea move SO quickly (anywhere from six months to two years and a new trend is dead). Once the trend is over, people are bored and want new stuff - and so the next trend is born. This doesn’t just happen in K-Beauty, but with Korean food and clothes as well. This is very different from overseas. In the last 10 years just some of the trends I’ve seen rise and fall in K-Beauty include ingredients like: Peach Sake Grape Carbonated Water Snail Centella Propolis Starfish Horse Oil Honey Mugwort Ginseng This can be contrasted to beauty overseas, where a lot of people enjoy using the same products and can be quite loyal to a single brand. Especially among older generations, it’s not uncommon for someone to wear the same perfume or night cream for most of their life. A lot of people also find beauty and skincare confusing, so tend to opt for all-in-one products or products that simplify their routines. That is gradually changing, but Korea is much less like that. Even if the product names stay the same, it is rare that the formula will - Korean beauty brands are constantly playing with their formulas and so you’ll see products that are in their “Fourth Generation” or upgrade - it will likely be a similar product to the original, but with the same name. Marketing of K-Beauty Products is Different in Korea compared to Overseas The way K-Beauty products are marketed in Korea (i.e. the type of brand models and language that is used to promote the products) is not always readily translatable overseas. Unless there is a middle man or woman translating the trends (which is what we do at STYLE STORY), a lot of things just get lost in translation and don’t make their way to western countries. We’ve already looked at some of these differences in the Korean Beauty Show, like in Episode 8 where we explored the meaning behind skin brightening vs skin “whitening” and how a Korean audience interprets the meaning of this vs a western audience. The simple fact is that some Korean beauty concepts are more easily translatable to other parts of Asia, which is why K-Beauty has penetrated quicker in places like Thailand, Singapore, China and Vietnam, compared to western countries. There is just a lot more that needs to be translated and explained. Different Beauty Standards Korea has very different beauty standards than many western countries, including some preferences for things that most of us never even think about. Some of those include: A V-line face shape The ideal face shape in Korea is egg shaped – tapered at the bottom like a “V”. Square jaws and round faces are considered particularly unattractive, which is why there are so many products catering to a slimmer jawline. This is not a concept we often hear of in western countries. It’s different to a double chin and focuses on the actual shape of the jawline itself. Many popular western celebrities who are regarded as beautiful have very square jaws and faces. This leads to the creation of products and services in Korea to help people attain a desirable ‘V-Shaped’ face. Preference for very pale vs tanned skin We’ve spoken about this before but the Korean preference is for paler skin. It’s not that they can’t tan but that tanning is not “in style”. People prefer to stay out of the sun and use sunscreens and umbrellas to keep their skin fairer. You can pick non-Koreans and overseas born Koreans out among a crowd in Seoul because they’re the ones with a deeper tan. Westerners who hear this might think this sounds ‘racist’ but in fact this has nothing to do with race because Koreans are by and large all the same race. It is linked to Korean history where the wealthier class (the ‘Yangban’) stayed indoors (men were scholars, women were home-makers). They were out the sun because they didn’t need to work in the fields for money. This meant that by default, wealthier people had fairer skin and working class / poorer people had darker skin because they were the ones outside and doing manual labour. The association thus became that tanned skin was a sign of being poorer. It’s the opposite in the west – Caucasian skin doesn’t tan as easily, so tanning denotes that you have a lot of free time (enough to go on holidays and sit outside in the sun) rather than being cooped up inside working in an office. This naturally affects the kind of products people want to buy in Korea vs overseas. There are entire categories of skincare in Korea that just aren’t that popular in the west – things like “Tone Up Cream” that give the complexion a brighter, more lively look and blur the effects of pigmentation. Contrast this to categories of skincare like “fake tan” that are popular in western countries but aren’t really sold in Korea. Dewy Glow vs Matte Skin Westerners tend to prefer a matte finish and tone down glow and oil. K-Beauty however puts a lot of focus on glass skin and a luminous complexion. These preferences lend themselves to the creation of different products - not all of them translate or perform well in sales overseas. Korean primers haven’t really made big waves overseas, whereas they are a massive category in Korea thanks to the luminous glow they provide. Some concepts not as easily translatable – Hanbang, Dokdo Toner Hanbang is a type of Korean skincare based on traditional Korean medicine. It includes the use of herbal remedies to treat illnesses and maintain overall health. The preparation of the ingredients often involves fermentation, and that gives the products a very distinct, herbal smell. Hanbang just doesn’t translate as well in countries that don’t practice or understand oriental medicine techniques, and who aren’t as familiar with the kinds of herbal scents these products have. Similarly, a lot of products and names have special meanings to Koreans that don’t necessarily translate outside of Korea (i.e. theDokdo Toner). 3 Preference for Foreign Products, Particularly Among Wealthy Koreans Many Koreans are surprised to find out how popular K-Beauty is overseas and that’s because they don’t use Korean products themselves. A lot of Koreans with the means to do so use French and American cosmetics, or the Japanese brand Shiseido. What to Do If You Like Today’s Episode Join the STYLE STORY mailing list for your chance to be one of the first to try Jelly Ko’s new Bubble Tea Steam Cream for free. Leave a review for the podcast and go into the draw to win an AUD $100 STYLE STORY Gift Voucher. Competition closes 15 September 2020. See for privacy information.
The Korean Beauty Show Podcast
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