The 10 step korean skin care routine

10 Step routine Oil Cleanser

1. Make up remover + Oil Cleanser

Daily usage, especially evenings

Make up remover and off to bed – Is that really it? In Korea, they would probably smile at you, pat your head, and hand you an oil cleanser. It is considered the only way to truly remove all your makeup.
Massage it over your dry face and neck in upward circular motions. Add a splash of lukewarm water to emulsify the product and massage again. Rinse everything off with lukewarm water and look at your incredibly clean skin.

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10 Step routine Foam Cleanser

2. Water-based cleanser

Daily usage

The famous double cleanse would not be complete without it – the water-based cleanser. Apply it on your wet face to rinse the face clean of any remaining residue and impurities.

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10 Step routine Exfoliator

3. Exfoliator

1-3 times a week, morning rather than evening

There is no need to exfoliate on a daily basis (especially if you have sensitive skin), but including it in your routine 1-3 times a week is key for clear and polished skin, as it removes dead skin cells and prevents dirt and oils from getting too cosy within your pores.  
Gently massage the exfoliant into your skin, rinse, and pat the skin dry. Included it in your morning rather than your evening routine, as in the latter your skin will have time to renew overnight, causing some of your efforts to be in vain.

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10 Step routine Toner

4. Toner

Daily usage

In Korean skin care, toners play a very important role. They support the cleansing process, rebalance the pH level, provide nutrients, and prepare your skin for the remaining skin care routine. Especially after the initial cleansing, your skin is naturally in a more fragile condition, and a good natural toner is like food for your skin. Dispense it on a cotton pad or sprinkle it onto your hand, then apply it to your face, and let it absorb. Now your face is ready for the real magic.

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10 Step routine Essence

5. Essence

Daily usage

This step might be totally new to you, but an essence is an absolutely crucial part of the Korean skin care routine. What is an essence you might ask? It is kind of a toner/serum hybrid, picture a more watery serum, that helps to moisturize the skin and make the most of the serums that follow.
Similar to the toner, apply it with a cotton pad or simply pat it onto your face.

10 Step routine Serum

6. Treatments

Daily usage

Treatments comprise boosters, serums, and ampoules – all forms of concentrated skin treatments that contain a few active key ingredients to address specific issues like brightening, dark spots, wrinkles, etc. Note that you can use multiple serums (the thicker, more viscous ones go on later), or vary the serum you use in the morning and at night. Remember, because of their potency, a high quality serum can take your skin care routine to the next level!

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10 Step routine Mask

7. Sheet Masks

1-3 times a week, or as you wish

If essences are the heart of the Korean skin care routine, sheet masks are the soul. Sheet masks are extremely versatile and there is pretty much one for whatever your skin desires. Filled to the brim with serum, the special design of the masks allows your skin to absorb the essences and lock in the moisture by hindering evaporation and increasing skin temperature. All you have to do is put one on, sit back and relax for 15-20 minutes (check out our tutorial for a more detailed how-to).

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10 Step routine Eye Cream

8. Eye Cream

Daily usage

The skin around your eyes is very thin and prone to dehydration, fine lines and irritation. An eye cream can help you provide this area with extra hydration and protection. When you apply the cream, it’s crucial to follow these 3 tips: Use your ring finger to gently tap the eye cream around your eyes, never rub, and avoid to come too close to the eye.

1 0Step routine Face Cream

9. Moisturizer

Daily usage

Moisturizing is key to keeping your skin young – we’ve all been told a million times. Interestingly, this crucial step of your routine is less about adding moisture, but more about attracting and trapping existing water in the skin. Finding “the one” amongst a myriad of options can be daunting. The breakneck speed of innovation, especially among Korean moisturizers, does not really help here either. To apply, tap or slowly massage the moisturizer into your skin and neck in upward motions.

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10 Step routine SPF

10. Sun protection

Daily – through out the day

The easiest and most effective way to prevent premature aging (and skin cancer!)? Sunscreen! Apply every morning, and reapply throughout the day as you see fit. The reason why this is the last step? So it is not diluted by prior products.