There’s a lot of skincare information and products nowadays. On the one hand, this is good in a sense that we have a lot to choose from, but on the other hand, this might make it difficult, frustrating, and confusing for a lot of us—especially those who are only beginning their k-beauty journey.
Today we're going to give you some tips on how to narrow down your choices and eventually picking a skincare product that's right for you.
Narrow down your choicesNot everything out there is going to be for you, your skin type, or your skin concerns and goals. Start narrowing down your choices by asking yourself these questions:
What is my skin type?
Once you have determined your skin type, look for the products in your skin type category. (Read more about identifying your skin type in our guide HERE.)
What is my skin concern?
What is your concern? Is it acne? Dull or tired skin, scars and pigmentations? Look for the products (and ingredients) that are designed to address your skin concern.
Do your research and read about what others say about the product. For example, if a lot of people with acne-prone skin experienced irritation or worsen their breakouts, you definitely want to consider that feedback if you have acne-prone skin.
Just remember that other people’s experience (and preference) on a product does not guarantee that a product will be good for you, because each person’s skin is unique even if you have the same skin type.
Look at the ingredients list
Use the ingredients list (also called the INCI list) as a starting point if you’re looking for a specific ingredient to add/use in your routine, or if you need to avoid certain ingredients (for instance, if you’re allergic or sensitive to specific ingredients, or for other religious or ethical reasons).
Remember that the ingredients list does not determine if a skincare product will work, so the INCI list alone is not a reliable way to choose a product—so don’t base your decisions exclusively based on the INCI list. Use the INCI list together with the product reviews in deciding which product to use.
You can read more about our guide to the ingredients list HERE.
Get product samples
Now it's time to try the products on your list. Ask around stores for product samples of the skincare brands or items that you want to try.
While Korean skincare generally is generous when it comes to samples, sadly, not all products will have free samples available. However, there are starter kits and mini sizes that you can buy to try out the product first before spending on the more expensive full sizes. (If you have friends who are into k-beauty, you can also ask them if they have sample pouches of the products you’re looking for!)
Try out the products for yourself
This is the ultimate test (and probably the only test) to see if the skincare product works for you and if you will like the product. When you try something, give your skin a few days to adjust—the time it takes to feel the effect varies from product to product, or even the condition of your skin at the time you start. (Breaking out? Read our guide HERE to determine if you're purging or negatively reacting to a product.)
If you think the product is right for you, get the product and start incorporating this into your routine. This will also help you learn more about what works for you, so you can look for a similar product next time.
Now, if the product did not work for you, then you also learn about what to avoid next time and what to expect from a similar product in the future. That's the thing about k-beauty—it's a continuous learning experience. So don't be disheartened! You're sure to find what works just for you as long as you do your homework and keep an open mind.