Summer Skincare a la K-beauty | What to Swap and What to Save

As the mercury rises, we’re quick to bury our tired winter coats and brandish our bikinis – so, why don’t we do the same for our skincare? In Korea, it’s commonplace among ladies (and men) to prepare their summer skincare lineups just as they would their wardrobes. See, the key to K-beauty is understanding what your skin actually needs and you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to see that what your skin requires on an icy winter’s day is a little different to what it needs when it’s 29-degree barbecue weather. So, here are a few tips that will help you do summer skincare in true Gangnam style.


When it comes to sunscreen, more is more

Of all the skincare steps, sunscreen feels the most like a chore, but it’s one that’s unavoidable and you should be doing it daily. In fact, in summer, experts say you need to step it up a notch and reapply it every few hours, especially when you’re taking a dip in the pool or beach or you happen to perspire a lot. If you’re not a fan of the messy side of sunscreen, you’re in luck, because the Koreans have now made sunsticks a thing. That’s right, long gone are the days of slapping on watery Jif-like fluid, because now you can just rub this solid sunstick on your face and you’re done – no muss, no fuss.


For everything else, less is more

When it comes to the rest of your skincare lineup, go lighter. Summer heat can trigger your pores, creating more oil and unless you want to look like a glazed doughnut, it’s best to shift out the heavier creams, opting for lighter gels. If you would rather die than part with your glorious creamy moisturiser, consider using it as a night cream and subbing in a more summer-friendly cream during the day.


While it may seem counterintuitive since your skin may feel oilier and more clogged, you should also consider taking your exfoliation down a notch as it can make your skin extra sensitive to the sun. This applies for both physical and chemical exfoliation (acids and enzymes). If you’re worried your pores will start to clog up, try alternating with a gentler exfoliant.


Antioxidants are your new best friend

You already know antioxidants are great for you because every blueberry commercial out there won’t stop talking about it, but did you know you can apply these to your skin, too? Antioxidants are anti-ageing powerhouses that you need to ramp up in summer because of the harmful free radicals from sun exposure. If you have sensitive skin, try a soothing, anti-inflammatory antioxidant like green tea, or if you have tougher skin with some pigmentation issues, go for vitamin C, which has skintone evening properties.


Mist is a must

Korean women know that hotter temperatures aggravate and sensitise the skin, which can lead to inflammation and redness. Nobody wants that – after all, it’s Venus not Mars that is usually the summer goddess inspiration. A great solution is a cooling mists that also contains antioxidants to keep your skin calm and collected throughout summer. Most Koreans take these everywhere from work to the beach!