The famous 10-step Korean skin care routine decoded

The famous 10-step Korean skin care routine decoded

The famous 10-step Korean skin care routine decoded

South Korean culture has been dominating the rest of the world lately. From BTS to Squid Game to Kimchi – all of us are, one way or another, indulging in the many incredible offerings of Korea. But there’s one entirely different avenue of Korea’s culture that has taken the world by storm over the past few years – Korean Skincare. We’ve all witnessed the incredibly flawless glass-skin Korean celebrities have and wondered how in God’s green earth is that even achievable.

Their extensive beauty routine has ten (sometimes even more) steps to include in one’s skincare regimen. While this may seem as overkill to someone new, it is in-fact one of the most comprehensive routines that target each and every skin concern possible. The fame that K-beauty comes with is warranted simply because it is so good and it emphasises on one major thing – Prevention.

Focusing on naturally driven ingredients with a scientifically innovative approach to making formulas, their skincare products are unparalleled in the world’s beauty market. It’s time we all jump on this wagon heading to the best skin days of our life!

Step 1 – Oil Cleansing

The first step is always cleansing – more importantly oil-cleansing (at least once a day), which involves using a balm or an oil based product that effectively clears out your makeup, pores and any environmental pollutants from the surface of the skin. Not only that, but these oils will penetrate into your pores and clean any remnants that got away. It’s cleansing on a whole new level of meticulous care.


Step 2 – Water Cleansing

The regimen is followed by yet another step of cleansing, however this time it is a water-based cleanser. This is your typical face-wash step but that’s not the only thing it does. The product can be targeted towards many aims including hydration, brightening, and smoothening, effectively clearing away any dirt or residue on your skin.

Step 3 – Exfoliation

This particular step is the key to attaining healthy skin. It not only sloughs off the dead skin cells that accumulate naturally on one’s skin, but it also aims to get rid of excess sebum, blackheads and whiteheads. There’s two types of exfoliation to choose from that’s best suited to your skin. First being physical exfoliation, which often includes a sugar scrub or a clay mask, or tools like Konjac sponges and mechanical brush heads. The second type is chemical exfoliation, often deemed gentler and more sensitive-skin-friendly, which includes essential acids like AHA, BHA and PHA that seep deep into your skin and exfoliate from within.

Step 4 -Toner

The toner is often a very essential step in your regimen. It not only rehydrates your skin from any potential moisture loss that may have taken place during the double cleansing ritual, but it also balances your skin’s pH, making it plump and nourished. The focal point of a toner is to prepare your skin for the next skin-care steps to follow, making it ready to receive those vital ingredients to reach beneath the surface and deliver all the goodness they have to offer.


Step 5 – Essence

Always keep a skin essence on hand. One of the keys to the glow-y results of a regular Korean skincare routine is layering products. Rather than relying on one thick cream to do all the work, the Korean skincare approach advocates layering lighter products to allow the skin to breathe and avoid clogging the pores. That’s what toners and essences can do, delivering targeted hydration and moisture deep with the skin, often with star ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid, which traps moisture from the surroundings and delivers it to the skin.

Step 6 – Serums and Ampules

Maximising hydration, this step assures the skin’s rejuvenation, especially when it’s following exfoliation. One can curate this step according to their skin needs and this step should not be missed out on. If you have a skin concern, best believe there’s a serum out there for it. Serums and ampules are also great because they contain a higher concentration of a specific ingredient or two, prioritising targeted skin care to an area your skin needs care for immediately.



Step 7 – Sheet Masks

You may all be aware of this particular step! Korean Sheet-masks have become incredibly famous around the world, and with good reason.  Sheet masks are typically soaked in serum that quickly deliver all skin essentials and provide relaxation in a span of just ten minutes. Sheet masks can help alleviate certain skin concerns and offer much needed calming and soothing for one’s skin. Plus, there’s a mask out there for every single skin type. They’re often great for immediate results, especially before a big event, giving you glowing skin within minutes. It your very own mini spa!

Step 8 – Eye Care

The name speaks for itself, but it’s a whole different ball game. Don’t take this step lightly, because the area around one’s eyes is delicate and sensitive where normal moisturising products won’t be entirely suitable. A product specifically for the eyes contains gentle ingredients in appropriate potency to get rid of all problems including fine lines, dark circles, and puffiness!

Step 9 – Moisturiser

After all these steps, a thick layer of cream must sound a little crazy. But in the traditional Korean beauty routine, using this moisturising layer is vital.  In addition to nourishing skin, moisturiser helps to seal in the products previously applied in your routine. Think of it as putting a lid on a jar so none of its contents spill out.  Moisturisers typically also contain occlusive substances that work to physically block water loss, so all that skin stuff you just applied won’t be lost to the environment.


Step 10 – Sun Protection

Forget whatever you’ve read so far, because this stage is without a doubt the most important. Sun protection is the quintessential skin care step, defending one’s skin from any possible skin issue that could ever arise. It’s the holy grail of prevention and care. The best practice for using a sun block is to apply it multiple times a day, usually at three hour intervals. And no, just because the sun has set or you’re not going outside doesn’t mean that radiation won’t get to your skin.


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