December 07, 2014 Charlotte Cho


Korean Winter Skincare Tips


For the first 21 years of my life, I was the quintessential LA girl. I wore cutoff shorts from Abercrombie and Fitch and lived in flip-flops year round (except when I was compelled to wear UGGs in 60 degree weather).

Then I went to live in Seoul and I was introduced to something called seasons.

I was initially down with it. I finally had a reason to buy mittens (with little finger flaps), a fur-trimmed coat and knee high boots. (It was imperative that I looked cute while frolicking in the foliage).

Then of course, winter came. It was my first real winter, and it was brutal.

People kept telling me, "you'll get used to it." Considering that it is now technically my seventh real winter, I think it’s safe to assume that I don’t think I'll ever (like, ever) get used to bone chilling temperatures. Seoul and New York winters are pretty comparable and result in one or more of the following: 1) a red and drippy nose, 2) dry and patchy skin and 3) chapped/peeling lips. Not a pretty sight.

Looking back at my very first winter, I realize I've come a long way. I once felt like a deer caught in headlights, but now I know what necessary steps it takes to make sure I'm protected from all the environmental elements. When I battle cold bitter winds to skin-cracking heaters, I make swift, ninja-like moves to keep my skin (and lips) looking bouncy and healthy. 

If you're tired of looking like a splotchy, flaky mess this season, follow my Korean winter skincare tips below!



A video posted by Charlotte Cho (@sokoglam) on

Start off with an oil cleanser. 
Banila Co Clean it Zero $21  

You know how obsessed I am with oil cleansers, but they're even more HG status during the winter. I find oil cleansers to be extremely effective yet gentle, which is imperative when your skin takes a beating from wintery elements.

It's the perfect way (for any skin type) to gently remove oil-based debris. Makeup, sunscreen and pollution are often oil-based and you need to clear your pores of all of that debris to maintain a clear complexion.
Oil cleansers are also moisturizing, which leaves your skin feeling soft and smooth.




Moisturizers are a no brainer, as they will protect and hydrate your skin throughout the day. Now the trick is to make sure that you use a moisturizer that is powerful enough to increase your skin's water retention capacity and restore the skin's barrier system without clogging pores. Goodal's Super Seed Oil Plus line does just that, by using an effective cocktail of fermented oils to protect, soothe and moisturize for various skin types.
For combination and oily skin types try Goodal's Super Seed Oil Plus Balancing Moisturizer.
For dry/aging skin types try Goodal's Super Seed Oil Plus Moist Moisturizer.

I mask about once a week during the spring and summer, but during winters I step it up a notch to 2-3 times a week. Why? The sheets are proven to help nutrients penetrate into your epidermis and increase the moisture content in your skin. Plus, why would I want to leave the house for a $50+ facial just to get a simple hydration boost? It's cold outside!


A photo posted by Charlotte Cho (@sokoglam) on


When in doubt– mist.
Missha First Treatment Essence Mist $19

Sheet masking is perfect for home when you're Netflix-ing and sipping on a glass of wine but what's a quick and easy way to hydrate when you're out and about? Mists! Mists can be kept in your bag or at your desk for a quick refresher. Remember, when your skin is dehydrated– it contributes to more visible fine lines and wrinkles. Plump up those areas with a dose of hydration and moisture.




End the night with a soothing sleeping pack. 
Goodal Anti-Wrinkle Sleep Cream Pack $32

Sleeping packs are kind of the best thing that happened since sliced bread, and an uber popular skincare step in Seoul right now. Sleeping packs not only intensely hydrate your skin (more than your regular ol' night cream) but they also provide noteworthy results: soft, elastic skin with less visible fine lines.

I'm currently obsessed with this sleeping cream pack from Goodal. It has fermented argan oils to intensely hydrate your skin, and I give it major bonus points for its therapeutic lavender aroma.
Mmm... such a soothing way to end the night.





SPF all day, every day.
Missha All-Around Safe Block Sun Milk $17

SPF should be top-of-mind, no matter what season. People tend to get lazy about applying sunscreen in the fall and winter because they think cloudy, rainy or snowy days means UVA/UVB rays don't come out to play. You can still get brown spots (pigmentation) from being outside whether it is in December or July.



Invest in a (ridiculously cute) humidifier.
Crane Cool Mist Humidifer - Owl $45

Still dry and tight? Humidifiers blow out a cool mist to increase moisture in the air, and help relieve dry skin and even sinus irritation. Everyone and their moms had one in the office and home in Korea, so I bought one for myself. And guess what? They really work. I've recommended them to my friends and they can't get enough of it. (If you think humidifiers are an eye sore and will mess up your apartment mojo, think again).


xx. charlotte


Do you have any special winter skincare tips? Share below in the comment section!







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About Charlotte

Soko Glam co-founder and chief curator. Licensed esthetician sharing the love of all things K-beauty.

About Sokoglam

Bringing the best in Korean skin care, beauty, and culture Stateside since 2012. Discover, shop, and learn with us.




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