The woman in the photo above is 39 years old. This image wasn't retouched or photoshopped-that's what her skin looks like. Take a moment to process that.
Now, who is this ageless beauty, and how can we all have what she's having? She's Lee Sa-Bi, a South Korean model, actress, and the first native Korean to pose forВ Playboy.
We've all heard aboutВ the superiority of Korean skincareВ routines. Most of us have sampled bits of it from lines likeВ AmorePacificВ andВ Belif and are familiar with the famous 10-step regimen:
- Oil cleanser
- Foam cleanser
- Sheet mask
- Eye cream
- Night cream (for a nighttime routine) or sunscreen (for a morning routine)
We wanted to take a closer look at theВ real skincare routineВ of someone with skin as youthful as Sa-Bi's. With the help of fabulous translator Alicia Yoon, founder ofВ Peach & Lily, we spoke with the fresh-faced model, who shares nine side steps you should incorporate into your routine for the best results.
Keep scrolling to find out about her comprehensive, customized skincare routine, including her must-have products-from toners to sheet masks to supplements-that she uses to get a flawless complexion. Trust: Her advice does not disappoint.
1. Start Treating Skin Care As a Holistic Practice
вЂњA big part of Korean skin care is a healthy lifestyle-eating fresh, organic foods, exercising regularly (mostly by running around outside in the fresh air), and sleeping well,вЂќ says Sa-Bi. вЂњTo me, skin care was never about looking pretty or wearing a lot of makeup. It was always about being healthy and taking care of yourself.вЂќ
Sa-Bi says that for her, as for many women in Korea, there has always been a вЂњsoothing, ritual-likeвЂќ element to skin care. вЂњGrowing up, I saw my mother washing her face with rice water, which has nourishing and brightening benefits,вЂќ she describes. вЂњIt was all very ritualistic. The first batch of rice water is thrown out, and the second batch is used. Then, just water is used to rinse off thoroughly. I grew up doing this, too, because I saw my mother doing it. It was all a part of learning how to take care of yourself.вЂќ
2. Source Your Products Carefully@peachandlily
As for Sa-Bi's current Korean-based skincare routine, she says she's become much more industrious now that she's in her 30s. вЂњIn your 20s, you're focused on prevention, which, of course, takes effort, patience, and consistency,вЂќ she says. вЂњBut in my 30s, I'm definitely more information-driven when it comes to skin care. I want to know and understand what I'm putting on my skin.вЂќ
So, where does Sa-Bi find her products? Good question, considering Korea's massive beauty market. вЂњThere are exceptional Korean beauty brands, and they're getting more amazing by the day,вЂќ she says.
Places like Seoul's touristy Myeong-dong neighborhood offer hundreds of beauty shopsВ hocking the industry's latest launches. вЂњThese stores have fun products, usually very affordable, but they're not the places I would shop,вЂќ says Sa-Bi. вЂњLocals, especially those a bit more serious about their skin care, typically shop specialty brandsВ that can be found in spas, dermatologists' offices, and smaller boutiques.вЂќFaith Xue
According to Sa-Bi, these brands contain superior ingredients and formulations that work miracles on a variety of skin concerns. вЂњIt takes effort to get to know the brands and the ingredients, just as it does for what you eat,вЂќ she says. вЂњI think the same kind of knowledge should be applied to what you're putting on your skin.вЂќВ
3. Double-Cleanse Without FailBanila Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm $24Shop
вЂњI always make sure to double-cleanse. For days that I'm on air or have a photoshoot, I have so much makeup on that a lengthier but still-gentle double-cleanse is mandatory, no matter how tired I am or when I'm done shooting or filming. I massage thoroughly and ensure all my makeup is removed.вЂќ
Start with an oil cleanser and follow up with a water-based one, such as CremorlabВ T.E.N. Cremor Gentle Foaming CleanserВ ($32).
4. Brighten With Customized Ingredients
вЂњNow, because it's spring, I've changed my whole Korean-inspired skincare routine to one that focuses on brightening. I'm currently obsessed with the Shangpree Bitgoa line, the toner in particular because it boosts radiance with really amazing ingredients. This spa is really well-known for making some of the most beloved products by women looking for serious skin care.вЂќShangpree Bitgoa Hue Essence Toner $57Shop
5. Hydrate With IngestiblesNature's Bounty Advanced Collagen Skin Care Formula $17Shop
вЂњSince not all brightening lines are as hydrating as a hydration-focused line, I make sure I'm also using a lot of collagen-rich products since they have moisturizing properties. I also make sure I take my collagen pills, vitamin C, and skin probiotics.вЂќ
Shop the collagen supplement Byrdie editorsВ love below.Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides $25Shop
6. Protect Skin Indoors and Out
вЂњFor sunblock, I wear two kinds always, even if I stay indoors. I do this since you can get sun damage through UV lights and via sunlight through the windows as well. I love being outdoors, though, and am always very active and will work up a sweat when I work out, so I use waterproof sunscreens and sunscreens that protect you from pollutants as well. I really like the lightweight protection Mizon's sunscreen gives me.вЂќ Also try AromaticaВ Natural Tinted Sun-CreamВ ($25).Mizon UV Sun Protection Cream $26ShopLagom Sun Gel $27Shop
7. Treat With Nightly Sheet Masks
вЂњFor the last eight years, I have done a sheet mask every night, no matter what. I have done this without skipping even one day. You can call me a sheet mask connoisseur, for sure. I have tried thousands of masks, and I love the instant and deep hydration and glow sheet masks provide. If you do it daily, you also see long-term benefits. I have to say, Peach & Lily carries some of the best sheet masks. The Cremorlab sheet masks and Shangpree masks, in general, are phenomenal.вЂќCremorlab Herb Tea Pure Calming Mask $6ShopShangpree Marine Jewel Illuminating Mask $6Shop
8. Nourish With In-Office TreatmentsLee Sa-Bi
вЂњIn addition, once a week, I go to my dermatologist to receive nourishing facials with vitamin-rich treatments. In Korea, it's not as pricey or involved to receive these treatments, so it's a pretty common practice. Even men will go for consistent facials and treatments.вЂќ
9. Hydrate From the Inside OutContigo Purity Glass Water Bottle $20Shop
вЂњI also drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and healthy. I know that a big part of having healthy skin comes from what you eat and how you live. Taking care of your skin means taking care of your overall health. Beautiful skin is an outcome of a healthy lifestyle: eating well, sleeping well, and exercising enough, and, of course, using products with great ingredients that are right for your skin type. It's about also your attitude toward life-embracing the future, embracing getting older, and having a great attitude at each stage of life.вЂќ
Want to know more about Korean skin care? Check out this in-depth look at the country's beauty backstory.