In this post: Ever wanted to understand what is the 10 Step Korean skincare routine? Learn why this seemingly long routine is so famous among beauty care enthusiasts and understand what each steps means, what order to apply your skincare products, and other helpful skin care tips. Lastly, master the difference between Korean skincare routine for both day and night.
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Hi girls, how are you?
Today I want to talk to you about a little habit that has changed how I handle my daily skincare and personal self-care in general. It is a seemingly long process that involves as many as 10-steps (but that to me feels like a real treat). I am talking of course about the 10-step Korean skincare routine.
Today let’s go over how you can practice the 10 step Korean skin care routine at home.
A quick intro to the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine
This specific skincare routine is famous for its many steps in order to achieve perfect skin complexion (that beautiful glass skin effect).
The steps mainly consist of a double cleanse, exfoliating, tonifying, hydrating, and a few other little secrets.
If you’re thinking 10 steps is wayyyyyy too much and that you can barely remove your makeup with face wipes before going to bed, hear me out.
I was just like you, however soon what used to feel like an obligation has become a real pleasure of mine.
I honestly can’t wait to come home from work, sit in bed and start my little self-care routine. When I’m done, I feel so relaxed, clean and comfortable with myself that it feels like an immediate reward form the long day I just had.
Are you ready to revolutionize your self-care habits with the 10 step Korean skincare routine? Then keep on reading!
How I Started Adopting the Korean Skincare Routine
Up until a few years back, I was never exactly sure on what order to apply my skincare cosmetics (should I first apply the hydrating creme and then the serums, or was it it the other way around)?
It was a nightmare.
I started googling the order in which I should apply my products when I ended up discovering the Korean skincare 10 steps routine.
That was when my jaw dropped.
‘‘What on earth? 10 steps? No freaking way” was my first reaction.
However, I further read about each and every product, what it was for and how important it was in the skincare routine. By the end of the post, I was already convinced I needed those other products in my life.
What is the 10 Step Korean skincare routine?
“It may sound extensive, but most Korean women use an 8 and 10-step skincare routine each and every day to help keep their skin looking healthy and beautiful” Vicky, a Korean beauty and lifestyle blogger from Sorabella.com explains.
Here’s the gist of it all: Getting porcelain-like skin is all about 1) a good cleanse (twice, to be thorough), 2) targeting specific skin issues, and 3) protection (our friend, the sunscreen).
The Correct Order to Apply Your Korean Skincare Routine
You’re probably wondering by now what goes in a Korean skin care routine?
The famous 10 step Korean skincare routine looks something like this:
- Oil cleanser
- Foaming cleanser
- An exfoliant (not every day)
- A toner
- An essence
- Ampoule or serum
- Facial oil
- Eye cream
- SPF (AM) or thicker night cream or sleeping mask (PM)
Know that if you ever feel lazy and you want to skip any of these steps, it is perfectly alright. Remember this should feel like self-care and not as an obligation, after all.
I like to see it as a little time for myself, in which I sit down in my bed in a clean set of cozy loungerwear and nice clean socks, light a candle and start taking care of myself
(and maybe even eat a little Lindt chocolate truffle, for an extra self-care notch)
Girl, listen to me: you gotta treat yourself a lil’ bit every now and then. You deserve it too!
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The 10 Steps of the Korean Skincare Routine, explained
Step 1) Oil Cleanse
Wait, wait, don’t run away just yet!!
Even if you have oily skin, like yours truly, this is a very important step in your skincare routine, and in fact, it quickly became my favorite one too
Oil-based cleansers are amazing as the first step in heavy makeup and sunscreen removal.
HOW TO OIL CLEANSE:
Apply the oil to your dry face, gently massage it around for about one minute, and rinse it away with warm water.
Take this one step further
To make this even more soothing, you can go to the extent of buying 7 small towels for you to alternate for each day of the week.
Instead of washing off the oil with you hands and water, you place the towel under warm water. Follow by placing this warm towel on your face, and let it gently absorb the oil and gunk out from your pores.
This process is great especially if you have blackheads because it helps soften them out and they come out easier on their own (don’t press them out!!!).
Here is a great video on how to oil cleanse the right way:
Oil Cleanser Recommendation:
I use the Kiehls lavender facial cleanse oil for this (see below) and the added Lavender smell is just the cherry on top of the cake for a completely relaxed sensation (Cris my boyfriend loves the lavender smell and usually enjoys hanging out in the bathroom with me while I do the oil cleanse. It is adorable).
RELATED: My favorite Kiehl‘s skincare products
Step 2) Foam Cleanser
A double cleanse is necessary to thoroughly clean your skin at the end of the day, so step 2 is a foam cleanser.
Foaming cleansers remove water-based debris such as sweat and dirt, and help remove the excess oil from your oil cleanse.
My goal is to go to sleep feeling my best. And having clean, smooth skin is the way to go on about it.
HOW TO FOAM CLEANSE:
Simply put a small droplet of the foam into your palm and gently rub it around your face in a circular motion for a good minute in order to remove all of the remaining impurities.
STEP 3) Exfoliate
Not to be used daily, exfoliating renews your skin by scrubbing away dead skin cells. In fact, exfoliating is a necessary steps because it helps increase blood flow and remove dead skin.
I have quite a bit of blackhead on my chin and lately I’ve been getting breakouts on my cheeks (damn you adult acne!!), so once a week I enjoy using an exfoliator to more aggressively penetrate the pores to clear them out.
However, bear in mind that exfoliating too much can have counter-effects on your skin and cause you to break out.
If you wish to do it daily, try a dedicated sponge or brush, such as the Foreo Luna.
RELATED: Is the Foreo Luna 2 worth the price? Read my review.
Step 4) Toner
The toner is used to help bring some hydration back into the skin and get its pH level back to its ideal level of 5.5. In other words, it hydrates and increases the absorption of the remaining steps of your skincare routine.
Think of a toner as a primer for your skin: it acts as a way to prep the skin, so it’ll absorb the following products better.
HOW TO APPLY A TONER
Apply it gently to your face with a finger or cotton pad.
Step 5) Essence
Essences are water lotions that are filled with beneficial ingredients. It is a concentrated formula that specifically targets wrinkles, fine lines, and dull, uneven skin tones. With regular use, you will start noticing that your skin is smoother and brighter.
Considered the heart of the Korean skincare, yet overlooked by most people as a non-essential step, this is where the real magic happens, girls!
While the prior steps were all about cleaning your skin, in this step we add nutrients back into our skin to brighten and tighten things up, and to prep our skin for the next steps.
HOW TO APPLY ESSENCE
The application is fairly quick and easy. Just apply a few droplets to your hands and gently pat them to your face until it’s absorbed.
Step 6) Serum or Ampoule
These are high-concentration formulas that address specific skin care needs.
This is the part where you have to do our own research in order to buy one that will take care of whatever need you might have, be it dry or uneven skin, wrinkles, etc.
I vary between Retinoids, Vitamin C, Salycilc Acid, depending on my skin’s need.
HOW TO APPLY SERUMS
Apply them directly to the skin and gently pat it until fully absorbed.
Step 7) Facial Oil
Facial oils are deep nourishing oil extracted from nutrient-rich flowers, plants, and fruits. .
Again, even if you have oily skin, don’t overlook applying oil to your face as a hydration step.
HOW TO APPLY FACIAL OILS
Apply 2-3 droplets on the skin in combination with your moisturizer (this ideally is a night-only step – I personally never apply oil during the daytime).
Step 8) Eye Cream
Our good ol’ friend. If you’re not using one yet, let me tell you it is never too early (or late) to start. Eye creams should be a must in every girl’s daily life, in my opinion.
HOW TO APPLY EYE CREAM
Apply a pea-sized amount and be sure to use your ring finger to gently dab it on the under-eye and eyelid are.
(The use of the ring finger is because this finger applies the product with less pressure, thus less harshly to your skin).
Take your eye cream application to the next level with Foreo Iris. I got one for Black Friday last year and i love how it makes my eyes feel more open and less tired.
STEP 9) Moisturizer
Girls, don’t overlook moisturizing your face. Again, even if you have oily skin this is an important step (especially in winter times or if you live in countries which are very dry).
“Believe it or not, a moisturizer will add moisture to the skin, minimizing the skin’s perception that it is too dry,” explains Stanley Kovak, M.D., cosmetic physician at Kovak Cosmetic Center. “Adding moisture to the skin actually helps reduce the oiliness because it helps slow down sebum production.”
HOW TO APPLY YOUR MOISTURIZER
I use a pea-sized amount of product, spread it all over my face (and neck!!) and gently pat it in until fully absorbed.
When I wake up in the morning, my face always feels so soft and glowy. I also apply this day moisturizer, which is a bit lighter and doesn’t saturate my already-oily skin. I love how my face feels fresh, hydrated and not greasy at all!
STEP 10) SPF
Now as the last step (and only to be used in the morning time for obvious reasons), please never forget to use SPF! It is so important to apply sunscreen on a daily basis
(following my mother’s wise instructions, I use it even when it is rainy).
Do you think following a 10-step Korean skincare routine is too crazy? How many steps does your skincare have? Do you think any of the items could be dispensed?
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