Korea’s Summer

Korea’s Summer can be quite brutal in the middle of July and August, just like in Japan, Taiwan, or even HK – hot and very humid.One minute outside from your air-conditioned indoor, you come back inside drenched in sweat.

Even in the very humid condition, there’s no reason to avoid moisturizing your skin. Rather, there are more reasons to moisturize your skin during Summer despite many people neglect moisturizer because they feel like their skin is greasier.

Strong Summer sun outdoor makes water evaporate faster from your skin – referred by dermatologists as Transepidermal Water Loss (TEWL). And artificial dehumidified air (air-conditioning) indoor dries the skin as well.


Never Skip Moisturizer

Many dermatologists say that skipping moisturizer during Summer time will break down healthy skin barrier over time, which makes your skin more prone to inflammation, irritation, flaking, and sensitivity regardless of the skin type: dry, oily, or complex.

If you have oily skin and think you can go bare faced, think again. “Even though oil glands are more active in warmer weather, we tend to engage in more outdoor activities that break down the skin barrier,” says Annie Chiu, Los Angeles dermatologist. “If you skip moisturizer, the oil glands will actually become hyperactive and overproduce oil.”Oily face means your skin could be dehydrated. The key is to find the right moisturizer for your skin type and changing it up as needed with the seasons – not skipping it.

Moisturizer not only helps with locking in hydration; but also it maximizes the benefits from other products like essence, serums, and ampoules used prior. It serves as a shield that can keep you free from the worries of germs and other irritants. People deal with year-round skin issues, not just Summer. So humid weather cannot be an excuse.



How to Moisturize – layering

Believe it or not, hydrating your skin is not as simple as just putting on a product on dry skin. It is never just one step because moisturizers are not perfectly balanced with humectants, emollients, and occlusives. Using a wrong product results negative consequences. Different skin concerns require different combinations of products. This is called layering.

For non-Koreans, layering products may sound crazy and it would be too much product that your skin couldn’t possibly absorb all the moisture. I suggest you try it and experience it – there is a reason why K-beauty and its way of skincare is a huge hit world-wide.

Layering involves using toners, mists, essences, serums, lotions, creams, masks, and even sleeping packs. Their combination and the number of steps can vary to fit your skin type and concern. Also, more techniques are found every day and Korean products are becoming more innovative.


Too Much Information

Many articles you find in skin care routine may confuse you a lot. They say dehydrated skin can produce excessive sebum and make your face oily. So using oily products can make your skin drier. And oily face requires acids to reduce sebum. Reducing sebum can weaken your skin barrier. You need to put more occlusives or face oil to keep skin barrier. But putting them on also dries your skin. Blah blahblah … Baffling stuff, truly.

The idea is to strike a balance with enough moist in your skin and a healthy amount of sebum to lock in the moist and product your skin.But I will write an article on general guidelines on how to find the right routine in another time.

In conclusion, moisturizing helps you maintain healthy skin — the reason why most Koreans take 9~10-step skincare routine.And healthy skin benefits from various products such as essences, serums, and ampoules so much better than unhealthy skin. So never skip moisturizer.

By: John Yi

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