Step-by-Step At Home K-Beauty Facial

By Minji 

  • Now that I'm at-home mostly and can't go get expert facials, I came up with my own K-beauty inspired DIY facial!
  • You can do it solo, it only takes ~30 minutes and is guaranteed to spark a glow
  • Read on for the detailed step-by-step guide

One of my regular monthly skincare activities includes going to get an expert facial.  During times where my schedule is relatively more relaxed, I’ll try to go every 3-weeks even.  I have friends and family in Seoul that swear by going every other week but it’s never happened for me.  In any case, I LOVE going to get facials steadily and have been doing this since my early 20s as part of my overall self-care routine.

Now that I can’t really venture out, I’ve been wondering how to continue with this wellness ritual.  Concurrently, I’ve been working internally on trying to adopt a more offensive approach to things and err on the side of being proactive with life instead of simply playing defense during these unprecedented times. So with no intentions of giving up my regular facials, I’ve been flexing my creative muscles and tapping into the skincare knowledge I've accumulated throughout my years in Seoul and also as a certified skincare formulator... and came up with this step-by-step K-beauty inspired at-home facial!  You can do it solo, it only takes 30-40 minutes depending on which steps you choose and it's guaranteed to liven up your complexion – won’t you give it a try? 

First, cleanse your face and neck with an organic cotton pad soaked in micellar water.  Swipe upwards in short strokes – I like to blossom out from my nose like a flower, being careful to not cause unnecessary wrinkles but being meticulous and swiping every inch of my face.  Make sure you get your hairline and all the edges of your face, and maybe some extra strokes around your T-zone area if you have combination skin like me.  

Second, soak a fresh hand towel in a bowl of hot green tea – then after squeezing out the excess liquid, place it on your face for 2-3 minutes to soften and prepare your skin for the treatments to come.  You can do this with regular hot water too, but I find green tea adds a touch of luxury and is packed with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties too. 

Third, use a glycolic acid pad to gently exfoliate your skin.  Swipe like you did with the first step, then let your skin sit for 2-3 minutes so the acid can do its job and gently exfoliate away.  I've seen pads as strong as 15%, but I personally use 10% and have seen 5% pads out there for more delicate skin types.  

Fourth, apply your favorite hydrating facial sheet mask to your face and get ready for a blissful 20-minute maskitation session!  If you own a microcurrent device, you can also use it on top of the mask for about three minutes before you settle in.  I find that this helps significantly with absorption…an LED device on top is not bad either.

Lastly, after you’ve fully indulged in maskitation, peel off the mask and follow up with your regular multi-step routine, starting with a toner, then serum, moisturizer, eye cream and face oil. After your apply face oil, either using a gua sha tool or sake glass, give yourself a 2-minute face massage too and I promise you won’t be able to miss the glow. 

If you’re doing this at night, might not be a bad idea to end with an overnight sleep mask to seal in all the good nourishment you’ve added to your face.  If it’s day time, make sure you apply a light weight sunscreen since exfoliation can make your skin more sensitive to the sun.      

It’s definitely a bit more work than just lying there at a spa, but it will save you time and money...and most importantly, different times call for innovative solutions to grab life by the horns.  Feel free to add on or take away steps that don’t work for you and cultivate a DIY facial routine that will keep your self-care habits and ceremonies in tact.  Make sure to join our newsletter for free access to other exclusive skincare tips - be in the know and spark a glow!