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The 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine

July 14, 2020

The Korean skincare routine has become a popular favourite outside Seoul. It is more than just a skincare routine, it is a lifestyle that has taken to the global stage, grounded in the Korean culture, and improved by scientific advancement. This routine goes beyond just having more beauty products, it is about having the right kind of products that serve the right purpose and using them in the right order, at the right time of the day. Korean beauty products are a new wave so using them for this 10 step routine will most likely be better (but not compulsorily, you can make use of what you have).

Koreans have had the key to beauty, and the obsession with healthy skin has been ingrained in their culture for many years now. If you are new to a skincare routine then doing all the 10 steps may be a bit much for you. It is not a must you follow all the 10 steps every day accordingly, but doing a few steps in the routine when necessary- and in the right order, is enough to give you that coveted Korean skin glow.

Without any further ado, let’s jump right into the most talked-about Korean skincare routine.

The Korean Skincare Routine Procedure

#1. Oil Cleanser & Makeup Remover

This is the foundation for the Korean skincare routine, and the first step in the double cleanse process. This removes makeup and helps to break down oil-based impurities such as sunscreen, sebum, pollutants, and so on. This is also relaxing because you get to massage this cleanser into your face.


Massage cleanser into dry skin gently and add lukewarm water to emulsify, then finally rinse off. This is done both morning and night.


#2. Water-Based Cleanser

This is the next step in the double cleanse process. Dermatologists and aestheticians advise that you cleanse twice because it helps to remove any leftover impurities that may cause breakouts. Water-based impurities such as sweat, and dirt left behind by the oil cleanser are dissolved by the water-based cleanser. You could also make use of tools such as an electric facial cleansing brush to help you reach tough corners.


Apply cleanser to damp skin, all the way to your neck and massage in a circular motion, then finally rinse off with lukewarm water. This is done morning and night.


#3. Exfoliate

Dead skin cells are sloughed off with physical and chemical exfoliation, and pores are also cleaned out as well to give you a visibly brighter and smoother skin. Guess what? Exfoliating helps your skin to absorb your other skincare products allowing them to work effectively. Learn how to properly exfoliate your skin for positive results.


Exfoliate gently 1-2 times a week, concentrating on areas with visible pores on your cheeks, and your nose as well.


#4. Toner 

The ultimate prep product is a toner, and they help you remove whatever residue is left from your cleanser, while also repairing your skin so it can effectively absorb the moisturizer that comes next. This step helps to balance the moisture that may have been lost and regulate the pH levels of your skin.


Gently pat the product into your skin with your hands, or make use of a cotton pad and swipe all across your face.


#5. Essence

Essences are concentrated with a blend of hydrating, complexion-enhancing, and anti-aging ingredients all in one. I’m sure you must be like “wow, that’s a lot”, but surprisingly they are lightweight so you don’t need to worry about having a heavy product on your face.


Pat the sprinkled product into your face and neck with your hands gently.


#6. Treatments

Treatments include serums, boosters, and ampoules which are the ultimate protectors of your skin. They come loaded with powerhouse ingredients and target specific skin issues ranging from fine lines to acne, and hyperpigmentation. Although, you can decide to skip this step if you do not have any pigmentation or any of the other issues. 


Lightly dab the product into your skin, paying more attention to problem areas.


#7. Sheet Mask

Just as the essence is the heart of the Korean skincare routine, the sheet mask is the soul of this routine. A very important factor is the kind of sheet being used, and the longer the sheet stays on your skin the more time your skin has to fully absorb all the nutrients and moisture embedded in the sheet. Interestingly, it promotes tranquillity and a meditative state of relaxation.


Place the sheet mask onto your skin properly, kick your feet up, relax, and give it about 15- 20 minutes, then pat in any excess essence.


#8. Eye Cream

The eye is the most delicate part of the body, and so is the skin around it. Using an intensive eye cream regularly can prevent dark circles, puffiness, and so on at bay. Eye creams are extra gentle on the skin and are filled with non-irritation ingredients that are beneficial to the skin around the eyes.


Using your pinkie finger, gently tap the product around the bone area of your while trying to avoid your water line. Never rub around your eyes, as this may increase the possibility of fine lines developing around the eyes.


#9. Moisturize

Moisturizers come in different forms and are good in sealing up all the moisture in your skin to keep it plump, smooth, and free of fine lines.you can get the best moisturizers online.


Gently pat the moisturizer into your face and neck both in the morning and night. This step should be done every day.


#10. Sunscreen

Sunscreen! This step can seriously not be overemphasized. It is important to wear sunscreen even if you’ll be indoors for the most part of the day. It is the simplest and most effective way to prevent skin issues like premature ageing, and even skin cancer. This should be the last step so it protects your skin from the harsh elements without losing its potency due to the additional products.


Pat the product into your face and neck gently as this is the last step in your morning routine. Do touchup and reapply on exposed areas throughout the day.


Yes, now that I have broken down the famous Korean skincare routine, it’s time for you to put this into action and get that flawless, beautiful looking skin you’ve always wanted. You can watch how I cleared my skin in one month, and see how my skincare routine worked for me.

Side Note: Some of the steps are redundant like the toner, treatment, and essence, so you can skip one or two depending on whatever skin issues you may have. You should also note that it is not a must to follow all 10 steps every single day of the week, as some are required only a few times a week, while others can be done every day.