The Korean Ideal Skin Types

Beauty | 21.2.2019 | Katja Kokko

Glass skin, honey skin, cloudless skin… the dewy and glowy Korean skin has many names. Looks like there’s a thin layer of highlighter on your face but, actually, that crystal clear and luminescent finish comes from skincare products.

Mul-gwang – Glass Skin

Glass skin is like having soaked your face in water. The glass skin is glowy, dewy, bright and smooth – the word gwang means both dewy and clear. If you’ve been watching Korean TV series Mr. Sunshineon Netflix, you might have noticed that the main character Go Ae-shin has a perfect glass skin.

Especially if you are over 30 and your skin is oily and thick, a poreless skin might sound like an unachievable dream to you. But if I compare my current skin condition with the skin I had five years ago, I can see a huge difference. How is it possible, that the pores on my soon-to-be 36 year old skin are not as visible as on my 31 year old skin? Now my skin is smooth, even, soft and clear. My secret is the unbeatable routine – quality products, the right techniques and a healthy lifestyle.

Kkul-gwang – Honey Skin

Honey skin is like having spread liquid honey all over your face without feeling sticky. Honey skin shines like a mirror, but it doesn’t look overly greasy, even if the difference between these two might be very small. I think I love honey skin the most, because I know nothing more beautiful than a plump, dewy glow. The skin shouldn’t be too shiny, though, and the make up has to stay put all day. 

Malgeun pibu – Cloudless Skin

Of these three Korean ideal skin types, cloudless skin is the smoothest and the most flawless. There are absolutely no pimples, freckles, pigmentation or pores. I’m still light years away from this skin, and I’m quite sure Koreans would turn up theirpetitenoses at my freckles and my small skin pores if they saw them. However, I love my freckles, and without them I would feel like my skin looks naked or sick.

Koreans think you can only obtain cloudless skin in the long run by combining the perfect skincare routine with a healthy lifestyle. I totally agree, since the perfect skincare routine, regular yin yoga and ashtanga yoga, adequate sleep and ketogenic diet have really changed my skin. It means healing a latent inflammation of your body, as they say.

Yun-gwang/3D-gwang – Strobing

Only certain people like strobing their face. Instead of make up, Koreans strobe their face with skincare products. But if a smooth and firm skin is not enough, they also do sculpting by layering up their hydrating skincare products. In addition, I use gua sha, because DIY sculpting doesn’t get more effective than this.

Facial massage, facial exercise – like the trendy face yoga – and gua sha are the key tools for sculpting.

Four-Step Skincare Method 

Neljä tärkeintä vaihetta korealaisen ihanneihon saavuttamiseen ovat kiillotus, kosteutus, kerrostus ja muotoilu.

The four most important steps to the Korean ideal skin are polishing, hydrating, layering and strobing.

1. Polish – Double Cleansing and Peeling

Polishing means carefully double cleansingyour face and using a mild AHA peeling. A few weeks ago, I got a brilliant tip that really works: you can combine Whamisa Cleansing Oil with Whamisa Micellar Water, and then use a konjac sponge to remove the make up.

This is how you do it: Apply 2 or 3 pumps of Whamisa Cleansing Oil on dry skin. Massage the oil carefully onto your face and neck using circular motions for at least a minute, and pay extra attention to the skin around your nose and chin. Then pour Whamisa Micellar Water on a damp konjac sponge and remove the oil from your face.

Whamisa Organic Flowers Cleansing Oil, €31,90

Whamisa Cleansing Water, €32,90

Finish the polishing with Whamisa Peeling Mitts. Swipe your entire face and neck carefully, and behind your ears, too. If you tend to have sensitive skin, it’s better to rinse your face with water after using the peeling mitt. If not, you can leave the exfoliator on your skin, because it only contains a small amount of alpha hydroxy acids.

For combination skin: Whamisa Organic Fruits Peeling Finger Mitt €29.90

For oily skin: Whamisa Organics Seeds Peeling Finger Mitt €29.90

For dry skin: Whamisa Organic Flowers Peeling Finger Mitt €39.90

2. Hydrate – 7 Skin Method

Polishing is followed by hydrating. Use Whamisa Toner and follow the 7 skin method:

1. Pour a couple of drops of toner in your palm or fingertips and massage them gently together.

2. Put your hands on your face and let them warm up a bit. The warmth fastens the absorbing. 

3. Pat the toner on your entire face and neck with no rush.

4. Apply the next layer of toner once the previous layer has completely absorbed. 

5. Make sure you only apply a small amount of toner at a time. Otherwise it will take forever for it to absorb.

For normal and combination skin: Whamisa Toner Original €41.90

For oily skin: Whamisa Toner Refresh €41.90

For dry skin: Whamisa Toner Deep Rich €41.90

3. Layer up – Sheet Mask

After 7 skin method, hydrating continues with layering up water-like products that are packed with moisturising and brightening ingredients.

The first step is a sheet mask. Whamisa sheet masks are so called hydrogel masks, which means not only the essence but also the actual sheet is made of hydrating and nourishing plant-based materials, such as water, aloe vera, and fermented plant extracts. The plant-based jellylike material keeps the mask in shape, and you can feel it getting lighter when using it. 

Spread the mask evenly over your face. Allow the essence to absorb for around 20 minutes, or until the mask feels a bit dry. Remove the sheet, and if you wish, continue by patting the leftover essence from the package onto your face and decollete. After use, throw the sheet mask into bio waste.

For pigmentation, scars, impurities, blocked pores,andfordull andsagging skin: Organic Fruits Sheet Mask €9.90

For pigmentation, and for dry, dull and sagging skin: Organic Flowers Sheet Mask €9.90

For dry, rough, wrinkled and sagging skin: Organic Seeds Sheet Mask €9.90

4. Sculpt – Face Cream

Lastly, moisturise your skin with a cream, or if you are very enthusiastic, with two creams. For obtaining a crystal clear glass skin, I recommend Whamisa’s cult product: Water Cream. If you wish, you can apply the intensely rich Nourishing Cream on top of it. It also works perfectly as a sleeping cream. For thin and sensitive skin, I recommend Nourishing Cream in wintertime. 

If you want to emphasise the sculpting effect, apply the cream by gently massagingupwardmotions. For best results, follow the facial massage instructions in my Kuulaan kaunis book.

Whamisa Water Cream, 38,90 €

Whamisa Nourishing Cream, 38,90 €


Always remember that your skincare routines shouldn’t be a task you need to complete, but rather a pleasure that makes you feel happy and proud of yourself. When you slow down, you cantake better care of yourself and your well-being. Skincare is definitely not just about pursuing perfection and obtaining flawless skin. It’s about loving yourself and finding your unique beauty. Thewayyou treat yourself really matters. You shouldn’t take the ideal Korean skin as a challenge, but rather as a journey of joy, curiosity and pleasure.

How does your skin look like? Which one of the Korean ideal skin types is your favorite?

Photos Timo Anttonen

Translation Hilla Hautajoki

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