In this post: Learn ll about the Korean Skincare Routine, what are the 10-steps to follow, what order to apply your skincare products (how to apply them), and the difference between Korean skincare routine for both day and night.
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 is a real night treat. I am talking of course about the 10-step Korean skincare routine.
What is the Korean Skincare Routine?
This specific skincare routine is used by the ladies in Korean and is famous for its many steps in order to reach perfection (that beautiful glass skin effect).
Indeed, if there is one beauty hack that our Korean friends are known for is their seemingly perfect skin that would make any Kardashian’s Botox treatment envious.
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.
If you keep reading this post, I will also give many of my personal tips on how to make this whole process all the more enjoyable, so that you can also appreciate taking care of yourself every night just as much as I do.
Are you ready to revolutionize your self-care habits with the 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 steps.
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.
That same day I went to Kiehls after work and my skincare routine was never the same again.
What is the Korean Skincare Routine?
We all know there are times when breakouts, blemishes, and dark marks persist, and the regular skincare routine just isn’t getting results, right?
That’s why the 10-step Korean skincare routine was invented. It is a simple technique of prioritizing your skin’s health over supplemental tactics, (such as heavy foundation and makeup that just hides imperfections instead of fixing them).
The 10 Steps of the Korean Skincare Routine, explained
In short, it looks something like this: oil cleanser (1), a foaming cleanser (2), an exfoliant (3), a toner (4), an essence (5), an ampoule or serum (6), a sheet mask (7), an eye cream (8), a moisturizer (9), and then either a thicker night cream or sleeping mask or an SPF (10)
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 ofcozy loungerwaer 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!
The Correct Order of the 10-Steps Korean Skincare
- Oil cleanse
- Foam cleanse
- Exfoliate (once a week)
- Serum & Ampoule
- Facial Oil
- Eye Cream
- SPF / Sleeping Mask
If you don’t fully understand what some (or any) of the above items mean, don’t worry. We will go over them one-by-one right now.
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
(even if I can fry eggs in my forehead on a normal day).
Oil-based cleansers are amazing as the first step in heavy makeup and suncreeen removal.
HOW TO OIL CLEANSE: Apply it to your dry face, gently massage it around for about one minute, and rinse it away with warm water.
Tip – If you want to take this one step further (as I of course have), 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 and follow by placing this warm towel on your face, and let it gently absorb the oil ad 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:
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).
STEP 2) Foam Cleanser
This was a step I usually avoided before I ever jumped into the Korean skincare routine. In fact, I hated washing my face before going to bed.
(it feels counter-productive to get my face wet when my end goal is to fall asleep).
It all changed when I found the Sensai foam cleanser that changed my entire mindset around washing my face. The soap smells so delicious that cleaning my face is a real treat. My face feels as clean as it could ever be, smooth to the touch and smelling fantastic.
If before my end-goal was to go to sleep, my new goal is to go to sleep well. 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
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.
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.
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.
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 and Ampolue
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 Retinols, Vitamin D, Salycilc Acid, depending on my skin’s need.
HOW TO APPLY SERUMS: Apply them directly to the skin and 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).
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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