In the world of Korean skincare, the ideologies and the way they use products is actually quite different from the Western world; especially with creams. In Western cultures, there is a massive difference between day and night creams. Day creams often contain SPF while night creams are rich in active ingredients like Vitamin C and Retinol.
This is a slight controversial topic, but in Korea, ALL creams can be used during the day and night. It is entirely up to personal preference. In fact, lotions and emulsions are more often considered day creams for their lightweight texture.
I’m not saying K-Beauty brands DON’T use any active ingredients in their creams though. There are still a few brands like TIA’M and IOPE who have recently come out with a Vitamin C cream and a Retinol Concentrate (respectively).
However, the majority of Korean Skincare brands tend to not include more active ingredients in creams. Instead, they have a much wider range of serums, essences and ampoules which you would be able to use in conjunction with the cream or lotion.
To understand this, let’s take a quick look at the ‘basic’ Korean skincare products that a brand will usually make per line:
- Toner (often also called Skin)
- Serums (and maybe an Ampoule)
- Eye Creams
The idea behind producing a full product line is so that customers can easily purchase all the products they need without having to look around searching for different things to mix and match. Obviously, not every brand and product line will include all of the skincare products listed above, but it’s just a general idea for you.
Now we all know that a basic day routine goes like; cleanse, tone, maybe a serum or essence, day cream then SPF. Below is a simple representation of a day routine by ‘Korean’ skincare brands. Can you spot the difference?