Korean Millennials Are Following a New Skincare Trend Called Skip-Care

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Christian Viereg/Getty

Korean beauty crossed over to the U.S. a few years ago, and since then we’ve all been #blessed to know the wonders that are cushion compacts, essences, and, of course, sheet masks (while startling everyone in our vicinity in the process). Which is why I was surprised to find out that one of the biggest tenets of Korean skincare—the 10-step system—has been eschewed by Korean millennials for something called skip-care. On a recent trip to Seoul with the Korean brand AmorePacific, I met with someone from the brand’s research and development team who explained the concept to me. “Skip-care is a skincare method that allows you to identify the essential ingredients for your skin and avoid the use of unnecessary products for a simpler, yet proper, skincare routine,” she explained via a translator. In other words, it’s about using fewer products without sacrificing results when it comes to hydration. If you’re used to a skincare routine that covers the bases of moisturizing, balancing, brightening, and anti-aging, then skip-care means that you’ll find products that do one or more of those things in one step. It’s a simpler, more effective routine.

It’s not just Korean millennials who are searching for a more streamlined routine. Supposedly, “cosmetics restriction diet” (roughly translated from Korean) has gone up in search in Korea over the past few years, while searches for the seven-step method have gone down. Korean brand Laneige launched a new toner-moisturizer hybrid product called Cream Skin under this minimization concept. It’s a watery, milky consistency that feels like a toner but contains tiny oil particles suspended in water to provide the same hydration you’d expect from a cream moisturizer. Korean millennials love it because it allows them to skip moisturizer altogether while still keeping their skin hydrated—even more hydrated than from using a moisturizer, according to the studies they share. I used it throughout the duration of the trip and noticed an immediate difference in my skin’s dryness and flakiness levels (which had reached an all-time high after a 14-hour flight). It even soothed my eczema-ridden arms when I patted it on. For my fellow science nerds out there, I used a moisture meter to measure the hydration levels on my arm before and after applying the product. There was a huge spike in moisture just a few minutes after applying (around 40% or more). Now is the time when you get mad at me because I have to tell you that it isn’t available in the U.S. just yet (but hopefully will be soon!). However, there are other incredible multi-benefit Korean skincare products that can help you start a skip-care routine until it arrives, including another top seller from Laneige. Keep scrolling for some of my personal favorites.