No matter what number of steps your skin-care routine consists of or which merchandise you utilize, for a lot of Koreans it is the best way wherein these merchandise are utilized that issues most. As an example, some slap on their toner, whereas others solely use sure fingers to rub of their serums, however most of all, individuals may be extremely explicit concerning the cotton pads they use to wipe away their make-up. (And if you happen to’re GOT7’s Mark, you are particular concerning the quantity you utilize.)

Cotton pads are such a sizzling subject in South Korea as a result of individuals take further precautions to stop pores and skin irritation, in keeping with Liah Yoo, a YouTube star and founding father of the favored Korean skin-care model Krave Magnificence. (Related reasoning is behind the rise of the Pores and skin-Care Food plan pattern.)

Plus, with out the suitable cotton pad, micellar waters and toners, that are important points of Korea’s iconic 10-step routine, change into mainly ineffective. Maintain scrolling to seek out out why cotton pads are extra necessary to reaching clear, glowing pores and skin than you ever knew — plus, which pads individuals in Korea swear by.

Why are cotton pads a vital a part of a very good skin-care routine?

Cotton pads are merely essentially the most hygienic methodology for making use of skin-care merchandise. “They guarantee a clear utility and may wipe away residue,” says Ellen Marmur, an affiliate scientific professor in each the division of dermatology and the division of genetics and genomic analysis on the Icahn College of Medication at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York Metropolis.

More often than not, your fingers alone are high-quality for placing on merchandise, however New York Metropolis-based dermatologist Neil Sadick factors out that cotton pads permit toners and essences to be utilized extra effectively. “Naked fingers do not permit the product to be utilized evenly or cowl the entire face, so utilizing cotton pads can assist management product utility,” he explains. Cotton pads are additionally helpful for concentrating on particular areas, such because the under-eyes.

Nevertheless, the unsuitable cotton pad can irritate delicate pores and skin and change into a counterproductive a part of your skin-care routine. Marmur and Sadick agree that pads with a tough texture or these created from a cloth that has been bleached or handled with different chemical compounds may be too harsh on pores and skin and set off allergic reactions.

A straightforward method to forestall your pores and skin from reacting negatively to a cotton pad is to verify the pad is soaked with product, Marmur says. Certain, you can be losing product this fashion, however “it ensures the cotton pad is not dry, so it is much less prone to trigger irritation,” she provides.

What’s the distinction between Korean cotton pads and American ones?

Getty Pictures and Soko Glam

The rounds or squares you will discover at drugstores within the U.S. are sometimes fluffy and absorbent. They do the job at absorbing product, however tend to depart lint behind on pores and skin. “Lint can take in moisture and go away your pores and skin dry and coarse,” Sadick explains. “Furthermore, it may clog the pores or entice particles and filth, additional irritating the pores and skin floor.” And in my expertise, American cotton pads can really feel scratchy and sometimes collapse simply.

Cotton pads that Korean magnificence manufacturers promote, however, function a smoother, stronger texture that appears (and feels) extra like a spongey face wipe than a cotton ball, making them gentler on the pores and skin. More often than not they’re made with unbleached and untreated cotton to assist reduce irritation. “They do not capsule, are extraordinarily mushy, and don’t take in all the product so that they go away your pores and skin feeling hydrated when paired with toner,” explains Charlotte Cho, an aesthetician and cofounder of Ok-beauty e-retailer Soko Glam.

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