Blog about Korean cosmetics, reviews and articles
It is no secret that the most popular facial products in Korea aim at lightening pigmentation and anti-aging.
An interesting fact – you won’t find a serum “for women after 40 years old” or cream “for aging skin 60+” from Korean manufacturers. Koreans believe, that one should first and foremost focus on the state of the skin, not on the “passport age”. Some need anti-aging care at 25, others – only at 40.
The visual signs of skin aging show in different ways and depend on the type of aging.
The first type of aging – decreased firmness in the soft tissues of face and neck: “tired face”. The typical physical characteristics of this type of aging are: pastiness, swelling, pronounced nasolabial folds and mouth corners. In the morning (or after resting) the face looks young, but by evening it starts to look tired, noticeably increasing in “age”.
Second type of aging – fine lines: a “wrinkled face”. The dominating sign of this type of facial and neck aging are wrinkles. The typical characteristics of this type of aging are dry skin, pronounced crow’s feet in the corners of the eyes, wrinkled upper and lower eyelids, “pleats” in the areas of upper lip and chin.
Third type of aging – elderly deformation of face and neck. The dominant signs are: change in the configuration of the face and neck and soft tissue deformities. People falling into this category of aging have a pronounced subdermal fatty layer even in their young years. The visual characteristics include: excess skin in the upper and lower lips, poorly defined jawline, jowls and double chin.
Fourth type – combination. It’s a mix of reduced firmness, wrinkles and deformation. The visual signs can include all of the ones described above.
Fifth type – muscular. People of this type have very developed facial muscles and not very pronounced subdermal fatty layer. This type is most often encountered in the inhabitants of Asia, Japan, Mongolia. The main visual signs of aging are: folds in the upper and lower lid, crow’s feet. In later stages of aging one can see a pronounced nasolabial fold and relaxed jawline.
Korean anti-aging cosmetics can be divided into three categories, and many products belong to two or even three categories at once. They can and should be combined.
Properly cleansed, exfoliated, hydrated and sunscreened skin protects itself well and recovers much faster using its own resources.
But differences between anti-aging and regular cosmetic lines do exist – they usually have more “goodies” for the skin – peptides, vitamins, micro elements.
Besides, products from anti-aging lines are typically (but not always) thicker in structure.
Even young women can use anti-aging lines, but you won’t see any special effects other than hydration – your skin is already young and great.
The best place to start are travel sets:
Sun protection products.
Sunscreen is a protective cosmetic product which helps shield the skin from the harmful UVA and UVB rays. One should choose these products based on specific skin needs and SPF. Sunscreens help avoid sunburn, premature epidermis aging and cancer. Direct sun rays affect the human skin very negatively. Especially dangerous is the prolonged exposure to ultraviolet in the summertime, when the sun radiation is too strong.
Sunscreen is the first thing you should buy and absolutely everyone has to use it – from the 15 year old girl to the 100 year old granny.
There is a myriad of sunscreens on the Korean market.
Antioxidants are compounds that protect the cells from potential harmful effects or reactions which can cause excess oxidation in the organism.
Many illnesses (chronic diseases, stress, radiation effects, aging process) take place in the body with the formation of free radicals (the product of incomplete oxygen restoration). Their excess leads to peroxide oxidation of lipids – the basis of cell membranes – and, as a result, to impaired health and premature aging.
Of course, the body has its own antioxidant defense system. This system works in us from birth, slowly getting weaker with years. So the need to support it arises.
Ferments (first antioxidant defence) work by “cleaning” active oxygen forms. They turn active oxygen forms into hydrogen peroxide and less aggressive radicals, then turn them into water and regular, beneficial, oxygen.
Antioxidant-vitamins (secondary antioxidant defence) are calls “extinguishers”. They “put out” aggressive radicals, remove excess energy, slow down chain reaction progression of free radical formation.
It’s important to remember that antioxidants work well only when they work as a group, supporting each other.
The question arises: if antioxidants are so useful, should you include them in cosmetics in high concentrations? It turns out that they are most effective at low concentrations. When there is an excess in antioxidants, they turn into their opposite – they become pro-oxidants.
Hence, another problem arises: does skin always need additional antioxidants, or will adding excessive antioxidants disrupt the natural balance of the skin? Scientists argue about this quite a lot, and there is no final clarity on this issue.
At least, the use of nourishing creams with antioxidant effects is justified if the load on natural antioxidant systems of the skin suddenly increases. For example, the antioxidants of our body have a particularly difficult time:
under strong ultraviolet rays (for example, on the beach);
in aging skin, when the natural antioxidant system is not in balance;
during an illness, especially with inflammatory processes.
In these situations, antioxidants introduced to the skin from the outside come in quite handy. Using antioxidants in products before and after sun exposure, in cosmetics for aging skin, nourishing compounds from this point of view is quite justified.
Besides, antioxidants are used in cosmetics to prevent the oxidation of the product itself. It’s especially important if the product contains unsaturated fatty acids, which oxidize very easily.
The most widespread antioxidants are vitamins C and E, superoxide dismutase, green tea, turmeric extract.
That’s retinoids, vitamin C, glycolic acid and peptides.
Attention – it’s not recommended to use retinoids and glycolic acid in the summer.
Vitamin C and peptides can be used all year.
Koreans prefer a lower retinol concentration in their products compared to other countries of manufacture, especially USA.
But even Korean manufacturers have products with high concentrations of it.
For example, Eyeconic® Eye Cream by Amarte contains 3.8% retinol.
But products with low concentration of retinol are considered more suitable long term.
The main thing – neither of these categories is worse/better than the others. Ideally, one should combine all in one routine.
I wish you a pleasant day and young skin!
Author Bozhena Suhareva.