In the latter part of 2018, my skin was in the worst state it had ever been. I was struggling to balance running Beauty & Seoul with my full-time job in sports marketing plus running around trying to socialise, living on coffee and 3-4 hours of sleep a night. My skincare routine suffered as a result and as such my skin become oily, congested, red and broke out all the time. 

Fast forward to 2020 where I have managed to achieve a much more healthier work life balance, I thought I would share the top things that helped transform my skin. My skin is by all means not perfect, but it is possibly in the best state it has ever been and I put it down to these things: 

Double Cleanse… no matter tired or lazy you may feel!

I know it seems like a faff at the end of a long day at work but double cleansing rids your skin of impurities and excess oil, creates the perfect canvas for subsequent steps and simply making this change will result in fewer breakouts.

My favourite oil cleansers at the moment are the sensitive-acne prone cleanser from Troiareuke – the Troiareuke Oil Cut Cleanser and the blackhead-reducing Hanskin PHA Cleansing Oil. For a sensitive skin option, you cannot beat the Enature Moringa Cleansing Balm which feels delightfully luxurious on the skin.


Reguarly sheetmasking

I was at a skincare talk in Korea once when the dermatologist asking us how often we sheetmask. I thought I was pretty good at my twice-a-week habit so I was shocked to see many Korean girls sheetmasking daily. I always said to myself ‘I never have time to sheetmask in the evening’ but how often do you lay in bed at night on your phone when you could be doing that whilst giving your skin a treat?  Now everyone’s schedule is different and many will not be able to sheetmask every evening but doing so really helped clear and brighten my complexion.  

I like to have a range of sheetmasks at my disposal depending on how my skin is feeling.

My holy grail sheetmask is the 100% eco-friendly and recyclable Sioris Make it Bright Sheetmask. My go-to moisturising ones are the Hanskin Real Complexion Sheetmask and Jumiso Rich Nourishment Sheetmask.  My favourite brightening ones are the Dr Althea Natural Brightening Velvet Sheetmask and the Shangpree Illuminating Sheetmask. Finally, my favourite soothing ones are the Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Soothing Pack and Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Mask. 

Don’t over exfoliate!  

Bit of a controversial one as acids do wonders for people, but it’s very easy to go overboard with them. In an attempt to combat my breakouts, I was using several products with AHAs and BHAs but it was actually damaging my skin’s natural barrier, resulting in more impurities getting trapped in my pores – the exact opposite result of what I was trying to achieve. Acids in your routine is a great step, just don’t get carried away and use too many! As soon as I stripped back my routine and returned to more hydrating products, my skin began to clear. People often think when they’re breaking out they need to ‘dry them out’, but don’t forget your skin also needs hydration and sometimes dry skin can impair your skin’s barrier resulting in breakouts.

I tend to only use acids in the evening and if I do, I’ll only use for one step. For oil cleansing, I’ll use the Hanskin PHA Cleansing Oil or for an exfoliating foam cleanser the Cosrx Salicylic Cleanser, a great option for those with acne-prone or oily skin. For toner, we have the cult-classic Cosrx AHA BHA Toner for oilier skin types or the Benton Aloe BHA Toner for drier skin types. 

Getting your zzz’s in

I know it sounds so cliché but getting my 7 hours of sleep in has meant I’m more productive during the day, my mind is in a better headspace and consequently my skin seems a lot happier. It wasn’t until I realised I was surviving on 3-4 hours sleep that it can’t have been a coincidence that my skin was in such a bad place. Whilst you catch those vital Z’s, why not multi-task and use a sleeping mask? Designed to nourish the skin whilst you sleep, I would recommend everyone to use one! My favourites are the Cosrx Ultra Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask or the Klairs Freshlhy Juiced Vitamin E Mask. Prioritise yourself, and don’t neglect things like diet, exercise, sleep and mindfulness!



Using a SPF Daily

When I was younger, I was all about that tan. Growing up in Australia and spending most of my childhood outdoors and on the beach, I would ignore my mum when she would tell me to put on SPF. Oh how I regret that! It wasn’t until my 20’s when I became more in to skincare that I realised how important using a high factor SPF is. Not only does it provide protection from the sun’s rays, but it also helped brighten my complexion. Korea has produced some wonderful formulations that absorb easily and leave no white cast. My personal favourites are the Troiareuke Acsen UV Essence Sun Protection and the Purito Comfy Water Sun Block.



Thinking about what tools I use

I’ve introduced a few tools in to my routine lately and changed a few methods of cleansing. I spend a longer time emulsifying my oil cleanser (breaking it down and really cleansing before rinsing) and taking my time rinsing off and if my skin is feeling dry, I’ll leave my face to drip dry and go straight in with a toner. I sometimes use a cotton pad to do a ‘point’ sheetmask (i.e. soaking the cotton pad in an essence of choice and putting on areas that feel irritated or dry – this usually works best with a Korean layerable cotton pad). I love doing this in the morning – I will leave these on for a few minutes when I’m making a coffee or blow drying my hair to give skin a boost of hydration all whilst I get ready for the day. I’ve also started miconeedling twice a week and using a jade roller on my face as often as I can. As a result, my skin looks plumper and healthier - yay!

What has worked to improve your skin? Let’s share our tips!


April 17, 2020 — Maree Kinder


Sony said:

I had perfect skin until I hit 20 & then it all went down hill. I’ve really struggled over the years trying everything from high end commercial brands/natural products/home remedies/I eventually ended up at a dermatologist for a few months but to no avail.

It’s so debilitating & frustrating when your skin isn’t good. My skin is oily on the surface but dehydrated & dry underneath. No matter how many oils/ rich moisturisers serums have helped. It’s sensitive too & easily irritated/I always have little pimples & bumps ( not acne) blemishes & rough texturised skin.
All that is now changing since using K beauty products. I am just blown away by how smooth my skin is becoming & the pimples have just dried up. I love the blue purifying balm/Benton aloe BHA toner/Hemish white clay foam wash & am continually ordering loads of other products to try all the time. Of course not every product works for me but they are so reasonably priced & a lot of the products come in smaller cheaper versions so you can afford to experiment.
I’m black & dark skinned & got a sample of the PURITO Water Comfy Sunblock & was surprised to find that it really doesn’t give a white cast to my skin, so just went ahead & ordered a full size.
My skin has never looked better. I just find these products especially the acid ones so much milder than mainstream western big brands. I love makeup & am now excited to do my face again even though with Covid-19 nowhere to actually go but as soon as that ban relaxes I’ll be out with my new smooth glowing skin. I’m really over the moon & so grateful for having these products in the UK as it has been life changing for me.

Thank you. 👏🏾👏🏾

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