The cover of

The Little Book of Skincare
Written by Charlotte Cho (of Soko Glam)
Published in 2015 by William Morrow

I became curious about Korean skincare methods after one of my favorite YouTube beauty bloggers (Shaaanxo) made a video demonstrating a bunch of Korean products she’d bought. She also mentioned something called the Ten Step Korean Skincare routine. At the time I had a Zero Step Skincare routine, so I decided to look into it.

The only real obstacle I had was picking which products to try. The choices are overwhelming—there are emulsions, ampoules, essences—on and on. That’s where The Little Book of Skincare came in handy. Charlotte Cho, of Soko Glam, does a great job of explaining all the product categories, what they’re for, and what order to use them in. (For example, and emulsion is a light, water-based moisturizer one might use for oily skin or during hot weather. An ampoule is a serum which targets a particular skin concern such as hyperpigmentation or enlarged pores.)

What makes the book charming is that it’s also a memoir of Cho’s years in Korea. She writes beautifully about the experience of growing up the American child of two Korean immigrant parents, the juxtaposition of her parents’ worldview with her own, and of her adapting to life in Korea. The book is a love letter to Korea as much a guide to skincare.

My only criticism of the book is that it also feels like one long advertisement for Soko Glam. This doesn’t really surprise me considering that Cho’s field in South Korea was public relations, but it is worth noting. I also found that although the products on Soko Glam are very good, the site’s prices for them are inflated compared to Amazon or other sites. Still, if the purpose of the book is to introduce oneself to Korean skincare, that doesn’t really matter.

Final verdict: a great introduction to Korean skincare practices; a heartfelt tribute from a Korean-American woman’s travels in Korea; buyer be a little aware.

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