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I'm an American who's lived in South Korea for 3 years, and my new beauty routine makes my skin look better than ever

I'm an American who's lived in South Korea for 3 years, and my new beauty routine makes my skin look better than ever
The writer wears a black shirt and jeans jacket and smiles below the branches of an apple tree
My beauty routine is very different than it was when I lived in the US.Eliza Mikunda
  • My beauty regimen has dramatically changed since moving from the US to South Korea three years ago.

  • South Koreans value fresh looks, so I did away with heavy foundation and dark eye makeup.

  • I value a multistep skincare routine and invest in professional beauty treatments.

As an American who moved to South Korea three years ago, I can say living in the land of K-beauty has dramatically changed my makeup and skincare routines.

K-beauty is a term used to describe a skincare routine using products made in South Korea and emphasizes hydrated, glowy skin.

I've found that many South Koreans value different beauty aesthetics than Americans, and I've since become a K-beauty fanatic.

Here are six ways my beauty routine has changed since I moved to South Korea.

I protect my pale skin from the sun every day

I'm very pale, so back in the US, I'd often spend hours in the sun trying to get a golden glow.

But in South Korea, I've noticed that people tend to do more to protect themselves from the sun.

Sunscreen, long sleeves, hats, umbrellas, and anti-UV face patches are commonplace here. I now apply sunscreen daily, regardless of season or weather.

In the summer, I wear hats and use an umbrella.

I learned about the importance of double-cleansing

Seflie of the writer in a pale-pink shirt smiling sorting. She wears minimal makeup and sits against a beige wall
My skin has improved since I started double cleansing.Eliza Mikunda

Double cleansing, which involves washing your face with an oil-based product followed by a water-based product, is an essential step in the South Korean skincare routine.

In the US, I was barely washing my face, let alone double-cleansing.

Once I lived in South Korea, I realized I shouldn't be afraid of oil cleansers.

Since adopting the double-cleansing method, I've noticed that the oil and foam cleansers remove product more effectively than a makeup wipe.

My skin is glowy and I don't get breakouts as frequently as I used to.

Thanks to South Korea's more affordable beauty clinics, I invest in professional treatments

South Korea is one of the beauty capitals of the world, and based on what I've seen, cutting-edge treatments are much cheaper than what I had access to in the US.

Thanks to the accessible and affordable treatments here, I've invested in my skin and hair health from the inside out.

Whether I'm getting facials, vitamin injections, or a scalp scaling, the treatments here always seem to make my skin and hair shine.

I now embrace youthful, fresh makeup looks

South Koreans seem to value natural, youthful makeup over heavier looks.

For example, I once wore black liquid liner and mascara in South Korea, and people asked why I was wearing fake lashes. This made me reevaluate the way I did my makeup.

Now, I use more natural-looking brown mascara and eye pencils.

Cushion compacts, glittery eye shadows, and gradient lip tints have replaced my old foundations, dark eye shadows, and bold lipsticks.

My makeup has become lighter in application and color, allowing my natural features to shine through.

I know more about my skin's coloring and undertones

Selfie of the writer in a blue collared shirt, dark-blue cardigan, and minimal makeup. The writer smiles softly and stands in front of green trees
I don't use heavy eyeliner anymore.Eliza Mikunda

Personal color, which involves a process of analyzing which hues best suit you, is huge in South Korea.

Many stores even label makeup as "cool best" or "warm best."

I had a color analysis done last year, and it changed my life.

I used to stick to black, white, and beige, but learning about my coloring empowered me to try new things, like lavender blush.

My skin looks much brighter and clearer when I adhere to my color palette.

I have a multistep skincare routine

The 10-step Korean skincare routine is pretty well-known in the US, and though I haven't quite reached that level, my regimen is getting there.

In the US, my routine consisted of St. Ives face wash, Pond's cold cream, and maybe some sunscreen.

Now, my multistep regime incorporates cleaning, toning, treating, and moisturizing my skin. Products like essence, ampoules, and sheet masks help me achieve radiant, hydrated skin.

My new routine also gives me time to prepare for the day or unwind before sleeping.

Read the original article on Business Insider