The K-Beauty Guide To Anti-Aging

Enter Christine Chang and Sarah Lee, who founded Glow Recipe after twenty plus years as marketers and product developers in the US and Korean beauty industries. Glow Recipe is renowned for natural, cruelty-free and harsh-free Korean skin care innovations and a stringent curation process that includes product testing on a multi-ethnic test panel. These are the girls we knew we should plug for a guide to anti-aging centered around all things Korean skincare, because hey, it’s absolutely been all the rage for quite some time now. This trend is here to stay, so here is Christine and Sarah’s guide to anti-aging K-beauty style…

From Christine Chang and Sarah Lee

In Korea, beauty equals healthy, youthful skin. Korean women are willing to try anything and everything to keep their skin ‘beautiful’, driving constant innovation in the anti-aging skin products market. It is no surprise that nearly every advancement in skin science in Korea has been driven in some way with the goal of achieving dewy, glowing, youthful skin.

Here are 3 tips, each paired with a recommended product, which we religiously use and strongly advocate for any anti-aging routine.

1. Hydration, hydration…24/7!

In order to achieve and maintain its beauty, glow, and youth, we must keep our skin continuously hydrated and nourished at all times. Hydration is ultimately the foundation of anti-aging, which explains why one after the other, skincare products with longer-than-ever-lasting hydration and easy, all-day reapplication are being introduced. Korea remains ahead of the game with fun, accessibly, and low-maintenance products, such as the increasingly popular face mists.

Face Mists
Your skin goes through a dehydration cycle throughout the day while being attacked by constant UV rays and pollution. Provide an extra layer of protection by spritzing your face with a moisture-filled, antioxidant-rich facial mist, like Soyedodam Organic Ginseng Mist, an organic Red Ginseng, Manuka Honey, Aloe Vera powerhouse. We recommend carrying it around in your purse, having it at all times at your desk at work, or by your bedside at home, to keep your hydration game strong.

When it comes to hydration, morning and night skincare is sometimes not enough. Most women in Korea carry mists around in their bags for 24/7 on-the-go hydration. It is perfectly common to see women spritzing mists on public transportation, in cafes, and while walking on the streets!

2. Apply SPF generously.

It is easy to skip over SPF some mornings, especially when it seems cloudy and there does not seem to be much sun to worry about. The key is to remember the difference between UVA and UVB rays. UVA rays cause aging, whereas UVB rays cause the skin to turn red and burn after exposure (an easy way to remember this is UVA = Aging / UVB = Burn). What is frightening is that UVA rays remain constant all year – therefore, so should your SPF protection.  Choose an SPF product that has a lightweight, usable texture, and apply a generous layer each and every morning. 90% of premature aging is caused by unprotected exposure to the sun, so this is the single most important thing you can do to keep your skin looking its best.

While we are not fans of moisturizers with SPF (we find that it is difficult to apply enough to get a sufficient level of protection), if it helps to get SPF into your daily regimen, it should definitely be considered an option. Ideally, we recommend you use at a minimum SPF 50 with a texture that you are comfortable with, after your moisturizer or cream – we love the texture of Dr. Oracle’s EPL Daily Sun Block, which is lightweight, yet hydrating and also works as a terrific primer for makeup.

3. Antioxidants are your new BFFs.

The power of antioxidants has been touted for years. The term “antioxidant” is used pervasively in and around anything to do with the health and nutrition industries. Antioxidant supplements alone represent a $500 million industry. As such, it has become easy to take them for granted when they are mentioned as part of a product. This is especially true when it comes to skincare — it is so easy to overlook the humble antioxidant for the sexier bad boys of the beauty world: retinoids, peptides, and even growth factors. But as more research emerges, we are seeing that antioxidants should not be just an afterthought in our daily routines — if anything they deserve to be the foundation of our regimens.

Antioxidants are molecules that inhibit the oxidation of molecules driven by the impact of UV rays, pollution, smoking, and even stress. This oxidation leads to the production of free radicals, which damage DNA as well as lipids and proteins essential to the healthy ongoing functioning of skin. Over time, such damage results in accelerated skin aging, such as wrinkles, sagging, uneven skin tone, and even skin cancer. Antioxidants, playing the role of foot soldier, act by gobbling up these free radicals. Think of antioxidants as the front line in our battle against aging, and a daily must-have as the presence of skin-damaging UVA rays and environmental aggressors maintain a constant presence throughout the year.

The best way to get antioxidants into your system is to layer them — after all, everything from vitamins C and E to naturally derived ingredients like green tea and soy contain antioxidants, with each type operating in a different fashion. So making sure to incorporate a variety of antioxidants is like buttressing your skin’s fortress with a high wall, cannons, and some flaming arrows for good measure.

A key must-have is a serum or an essence packed with antioxidants, in order to get the highest concentration of actives into the skin. Our best-seller at Glow Recipe, as featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, is Blithe’s Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum serves as a perfect example. Its key ingredient, Chaga Mushroom, is one of the most potent sources of antioxidants in the world.

Camellia seed oil is renown as a “moisture magnet,” and is also packed with antioxidants. Blossom Jeju sources their organic oil, found in their 100% Camellia Seed Dry Oil, from the lush ecosystem of South Korea’s largest island, Jeju, also known as the “Hawaii of Asia”. When it comes to treating the delicate under-eye area, the most susceptible to early aging, it does not get better than Whamisa Organic Flowers Eye Essence. This 95% organic eye treatment contains a host of antioxidants, from fermented lotus and green tea extracts, to the water-free base of chrysanthemum and aloe vera.

Check out more tips from the girls at Glow Recipe, here. Also, read this guide to essential oils from Joanna Vargas.