This review contains PR samples° and affiliate links* Guys, shared summer skin woes are real, and so today I am introducing you to 5 skincare heroes for your K-beauty summer routine – conveniently all available at Wishtrend (or, well, Yesstyle, if you prefer that), and with a yummy extra 15% discount, courtesy of yours truly!
Summer is here, and as someone who doesn’t really enjoy hot and humid days, I feel ambivalent at best about everyone’s favourite season. My skin is equally unimpressed by the increased temperatures and volatile weather changes of Germany’s summer 2020, and so I have made quite a few adjustments to my skincare routine these past weeks. Inspired by a recent Wishtrend delivery, I felt it could be useful to share 5 favourite skincare heroes in my 2020 K-beauty summer routine. All 5 products are great for a variety of skin types and concerns typical for the hottest season, so hopefully I can help those of you unsure if and how you should switch up your beauty routine during summer!
Now, it may surprise you that there won’t be any sunscreens mentioned in this article. My main reasoning for this is that for me, and I would say for most of you skincare-savvy readers, the addition of a daily sunscreen is a must, no matter the season or weather. If you are unsure what sunscreen to pick, I have reviewed a number of faves on the blog that you can check out for inspiration! At the moment, I mostly grab either the amazing LAGOM Cellus Sun Gel SPF50+, great for most skin types since it is super moisturising, or the Klairs Mid Day Blue UV Shield SPF50+, which is especially suitable for oilier skin.
K-Beauty Summer Routine Hero ONE: I’m from Mugwort Essence
Skin tends to be more prone towards redness and inflammation in summer due to the increased temperatures. It also gets oilier overall, which is mostly a problem for people with acne-prone and already oilier skin. But even dryer skin can struggle with excess sebum and sweat causing sensitivities or even rashes.
Mugwort is a wonderful ingredient to add to your K-beauty summer routine. I talked about the wonders of mugwort a while ago, but had actually never tried the famous I’m from Mugwort Essence* until quite recently. This Wishtrend product was basically the first one to kick off the mugwort craze of 2018/19, and it still remains one of the bestsellers from the brand.
Mugwort, sometimes also referred to by its Latin name “artemisia”, has a long tradition as healing herb in Korea, thanks to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory properties. In skincare, mugwort can help ease redness and soothe acne-plagued skin in the same vein as tea tree or centella asiatica. Its strong, herbal scent isn’t for everyone, to be honest, but I have learned to enjoy the sage-like aroma when using the essence.
The I’m from Mugwort Essence can be used as a toner both evening and morning, depending on needs. I love using it in the mornings, since it feels so wonderfully refreshing on my overheated skin! Some people also swear by using this as a mask treatment by drenching large cotton pads with the essence and then applying the pads onto distressed areas of the face. You can leave the pads on your skin for about 10ish minutes or as long as they are still damp.
This contains 100% artemisia princeps extract, though of course the whole “100% extract” marketing promise is a bit misleading given the fact that a watery essence will need something else besides the plant extract to actually have this watery consistency. Usually, the plant extract is dissolved in water, with some form of preservative added. From how I understand it, Korean laws don’t always need brands to give a full list of these ingredients when citing a particular plant extract as the main ingredient. Youtuber Soo Beauty did a very informative video on the subject of the “100% mugwort” essences – I’m from isn’t the only brand using this slightly dodgy marketing technique.
Needlessly shady marketing aside, the I’m from Mugwort Essence is truly a great product for summer! It is watery and light, with no added fragrance or drying alcohol, and free from any cloyingly heavy ingredients. This works for all skin types, though dry skin will likely need to add other hydrating products besides the essence, which mainly works as a skin-soother and redness-eliminator.
K-Beauty Summer Routine Hero TWO: I’m from Rice Toner
People with dry skin don’t have it easy in summer: unlike us oilier skin peeps, they cannot just skip those deeply hydrating and moisturising skincare steps, since they will probably have to deal with flaky, irritated skin straight away. It is difficult to find skincare textures that are bearable in the heat, yet still work well for dry skin problems.
Enter the wonderful I’m from Rice Toner* – which, by the way, also works marvellously well for oily or combo skin, thanks to a near oil-free formula! The amount of private messages that I received when showing my unboxing of this toner in my Instagram stories was astonishing, and it really showed me how many of you already love this cult fave.
Based on that classic diy skincare treatment we all tried when YouTube was still in its infant shoes and people like Michelle Phan our main gurus, the I’m from Rice Toner has a similarly milky-white colouring as the rice water supposedly used by Asian women to wash their faces and achieve that flawless, bright complexion. Enriched with 77.78% rice extract, the I’m from Rice Toner also features complexion-boosting niacinamide, anti-wrinkle specialist adenosine and moisturising amaranth extract.
The great thing about this brightening and hydrating toner is that it doesn’t feel sticky or heavy – it offers pure hydration without leaving a film or any tacky residue. It is also one of the few K-beauty toners without any hyaluronic acid. Now, personally I love me some HA in my toners, but I know that some people are sensitive towards this humectant, and it can cause redness and breakouts for those people.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the I’m from Rice Toner:
“Rice extract, Methylpropanediol, Triethylhexanoin, Hydrogenated poly (C6-14 olefin), Niacinamide, Pentylene glycol, Common Purslane extract, Rice bran extract, Japanese elm bark extract, Amaranthus caudatus seed extract, Hydrogenated lecithin, Distilled water, Polyglyceryl-10-myristate, Butylene glycol, Adenosine, Cellulose gum, Ethylhexylglycerin, 1,2-Hexanediol.”
This is a great toner option for summer, especially for dry skin, but it works well for anyone struggling with dehydration and dull skin – one of my forever skin struggles, sigh. It is a gentle, alcohol- and fragrance-free product perfect for a minimalist K-beauty summer routine.
K-Beauty Summer Routine Hero THREE: Rovection Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule
The Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule* is another great choice for us oilier skin peeps, thanks to its star ingredient LHA, short for “beta-lipohydroxy acid” (usually listed as capryloyl salicylic acid in INCI lists). LHA is a gentler derivative of salicylic acid and has the same lipophilic properties, meaning it cleans out gunk from your pores and helps eliminate excess sebum – a big problem during the warmer summer months.
I do wish the ampoule was a big larger than its 15ml size, but otherwise I’ve been enjoying using this especially as a morning serum. It feels refreshing and hydrating, with a light texture that contains soothing neroli water and hyaluronic acid. My current fave is to mix 3 drops of the Geek & Gorgeous B-Bomb 10% Niacinamide serum with 2 drops of the LHA Blemish Ampoule – this amazing combo really helps combat redness issues and seems to prevent my skin from getting too sweaty-oily during the day (gross, I know – oily skincare friends can relate).
Now, this does contain a bit of alcohol, and the neroli water could potentially trigger your skin if fragrance is an issue, so make sure to study the ingredient list carefully and patch test if you have known sensitivities. The ethanol didn’t bother me personally, since there are so many great humectants in the formula, e.g. three forms of hyaluronic acid, beta glucan and aloe vera extract.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Rovectin Clean LHA Blemish Ampoule:
“Citrus aurantium amara (bitter orange) Flower water, Propanediol, 1, 2-hexanediol, Methylpropanediol, Niacinamide, Purified water, Sodium hyaluronate, Sodium hyaluronate crosspolymer, Glutathione, Hyaluronic acid, Capryloyl salicylic acid, Hyrolyzed hyaluronic acid, Aloe barbadensis leaf extract, Panthenol, Carbomer, Glycerin, Raspberry ketone, Hydroxyethyl urea, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Tromethamine, Ethylhexyglycerin, Allantoin, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Butylene glycol, Benzyl glycol, Beta-glucan, Hydroxypropyl cyclodextrin, Disodium edta, Ethanol.”
To me, this ampoule is definitely a classic summer skincare product, with its light and refreshing texture great for dehydrated skin with oiliness problems. The LHA content is probably quite low, at least I don’t feel any strong tingling or similar, so acid beginners will also find the ampoule a great way to try out chemical peels. Dry skin types may find this a tad too light, and it definitely works best for oily and combo skin.
K-Beauty Summer Routine Hero FOUR: Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop
I am currently obsessed with the Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop* serum, it’s a truly incredible product, great for all skin types, but especially wonderful to add to a richer, yet still not too cloyingly heavy routine for dryer skin. The name “watery oil” is apt, and I was so surprised by the unique texture: it really does feel like an oil, without the actual oiliness, miraculous!
The Watery Oily Drop contains a long list of delicious ingredients, among them antioxidant-rich green tea water, brightening licorice extract, and collagen-enhancing copper peptides. Not only does this serum provide moisture without the usual texture issues that heavier oils can cause, it is also a great anti aging product thanks to peptides, fermented ingredients, and free radical fighting antioxidants. I love layering a few drops of the Watery Oil Drop between two hydrating gels to enrich my summer skincare routine, and my skin just seems to glow after each use.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Klairs Fundamental Watery Oil Drop:
“Aqua(Water), Glycerin, Butylene Glycol, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, Bifida Ferment Extract, Betaine, Dipropylene Glycol, Sorbitol, 1,2-Hexanediol, Aspergillus/Rice Ferment Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Dipotassium Glycyrrhizate, Sorbitan Sesquioleate, Ethylhexylglycerin, Sodium Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Xanthan Gum, Arginine, Carbomer, Tocopheryl Acetate, Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Ceramide NP, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Copper Tripeptide-1, Acetyl Hexapeptide-8.”
Like all products from the Klairs Fundamental range, the Watery Oil Drop does not contain alcohol or added fragrance, or any essential oils. It’s a fantastic serum for sensitive skin and makes for a great first anti aging product. If facial oils are too much for your skin in hot weather, but your skin is craving something deeply moisturising nevertheless, switching to this water-light texture miracle may be just the ticket!
K-Beauty Summer Routine Hero FIVE: Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream
I want to write a full review for this gorgeous gel cream soon, but couldn’t wait to include it in today’s article because it is such a star product! Again, Klairs is just nailing the texture game with this moisturiser from their Fundamental line – everyone over on Instagram is swooning over texture shots of this beauty.
The Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream* would have almost worked better in a bottle instead of a jar, since it is runny like a light lotion. Surprisingly enough, the gel still feels very moisturising and even has a bit of an oily “slip” to it when applied. The finish is glowy and almost slightly shimmery, but not greasy or too shiny, just a healthy glow that looks fresh and summery.
Like the Watery Oil Drop, this contains green tea water from Jeju Island and a number of soothing plant extracts great for oilier and inflamed, overheated skin: centella asiatica, mugwort, rosemary and hydrating seaweed extract, just to name a few.
Here is the full list of ingredients for the Klairs Fundamental Water Gel Cream:
“Camellia Sinensis Leaf Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Aqua (Water), Ethylhexyl Palmitate, Cetyl Ethylhexanoate, 1,2-Hexanediol, Pentaerythrityl Tetraethylhexanoate, Panthenol, Oryza Sativa (Rice) Extract, HibiscusEsculentus Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extract, Laminaria Japonica Extract, Artemisia Vulgaris Extract, Centella Asiatica Extract, Rosmarinus Officinalis (Rosemary) Leaf Extract, Phytosphingosine, Caproyl Sphingosine, Tocopherol, Glyceryl glucoside, Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Trehalose, Jojoba Esters, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Hydrolyzed Jojoba Esters, Glyceryl Acrylate/Acrylic Acid Copolymer, Cetyl Alcohol, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Ammonium Acryloyldimethyltaurate/VP Copolymer, Hydrogenated Polydecene, Ethylhexylglycerin, Cyclohexasiloxane.”
Again, Klairs listened to its customer wishes and did not add any alcohol, fragrance or essential oils. The cream does have a light scent that faintly reminds me of baby powder, which I personally love. I would say that this is probably my favourite moisturiser at the moment for both AM and PM, and I keep reaching for it again and again. Thankfully, it comes in a large 70ml size, so it will last me for a while! This moisturises without being too rich, as it has the perfect balance of nourishing and hydrating ingredients. Thus, the Fundamental Water Gel Cream is the perfect moisturiser for combination skin, but any type of dehydrated skin in search of a lighter summer moisturiser will enjoy this.
K-Beauty Summer Skincare Essentials Roundup
Now listen, you don’t have to change your skincare routine if it works for you year-round! However, many people notice strong to subtle changes in the way their skin behaves during temperature and weather changes, and especially humidity and heat can wreak havoc on our skins. Oilier skin types will struggle with excess sebum and a higher risk of breaking out, while dry skin will have a hard time with cracked and flaky skin. And, well, redness is an issue for most people thanks to sweltering heat and oppressive humidity, which can make it hard to endure any heavier textures. So, it is nice to have a few summer skincare essentials on hand that are lightly hydrating, pleasant to use and can soothe inflammation and other skin ailments connected to extreme weather.
If you are thinking of doing a little bit of summer shopping at Wishtrend* to get these or other K-beauty goodies right now, I’ve got an extra little treat for you: use my coupon code “ULRIKE15” for an extra 15% off your entire order – valid till the end of July, potentially even longer if Wishtrend so wills it.
Let me know in the comments: In what ways, if at all, do you switch up your K-beauty summer skincare routine?
Take care guys, and stay safe!
°PR Sample, kindly provided by a brand or shop – I am not obligated to write this blog article, was not paid for the article, and my opinions are entirely my own.
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!