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Article: The Korean 10 Steps Skincare Routine

Skincare Routine

The Korean 10 Steps Skincare Routine

Understanding the Korean skincare routine and order

The Korean skincare routine has taken the beauty world by storm. It focuses on layering multiple products for a healthy, glowing complexion. But beyond the hype, what exactly are these steps, and do you need to follow all ten?


This blog post will explain the benefits of the 10-step Korean skincare routine and offer product recommendations for beginners and those seeking a more advanced approach. The 10-step Korean skincare routine might seem overwhelming, but fear not—we're here to guide you through it.


The Power of Double Cleansing

Korean skincare emphasises a gentle approach to cleansing,  which is why the routine starts with a double cleanse. This is especially helpful to remove makeup and sunscreen, but also beneficial for those looking to minimise the appearance of fine lines and improve overall skin tone.


Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser

In Korean skincare, gentleness is key, starting with the double cleansing. Oil-based cleansers effectively remove impurities like makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum without compromising the skin's natural barrier. Oil cleansing nourishes, and hydrates the skin, maintaining its balance and preventing irritation.


  • Purpose: Removes makeup, sunscreen, and oil-based impurities like sebum.
  • Benefit: Dissolves makeup and sunscreen without stripping the skin of natural oils.
  • Featured Product: beplain Mung Bean Cleansing Oil (All Skin Types)


Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser (Morning & Night)

Following up with a water-based cleanser ensures thorough cleansing by removing any residue left by the oil-based cleanser. Opt for gentle, hydrating cleansers with a low pH to avoid stripping the skin and disrupting its barrier.



Exfoliation for a Brighter Complexion

Exfoliation helps remove dead skin cells, revealing a brighter and smoother complexion.


Step 3: Exfoliator (1-2 times a week) Revitalizing the Skin

Exfoliators come in two types: physical and chemical. Physical exfoliators remove dead skin cells from the surface, while chemical exfoliators penetrate deeper, encouraging cell turnover for smoother, brighter skin.


  • Purpose: Removes dead skin cells and promotes cell turnover.
  • Physical exfoliators: Use scrubbing particles to remove dead skin cells (e.g., sugar scrubs).
  • Chemical exfoliators: Use acids (AHAs, BHAs, PHAs) to dissolve dead skin cells.
  • Benefit: Promotes brighter, smoother skin and better product absorption.
  • (See "Exfoliation 101" for choosing the right type for your skin)


Balancing and Hydrating: Toners and Essences

Korean toners and essences are different from their Western counterparts. They focus on balancing and hydrating the skin rather than stripping it.


Step 4: Toner for Balancing and Hydrating

Korean toners differ from Western counterparts, focusing on hydration and pH balancing rather than astringent properties. They prepare the skin for better absorption of subsequent skincare products while keeping it hydrated and balanced.


  • Purpose: Balances skin's pH level and removes any leftover residue from cleansing
  • Benefit: Prepares skin for better absorption of subsequent products
  • Featured Product: Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner (All Skin Types)


Step 5: Essence: Hydration Booster

Essences flood the skin with hydration, maximising its ability to absorb nutrients from the rest of the routine. Keeping the skin hydrated and plump plays a vital role in maintaining skin health and preventing premature ageing.


  • Purpose: Delivers a concentrated boost of moisture and nutrients.
  • Benefit: Hydrates and plumps the skin, maximising absorption of other products.
  • Featured Product: Abib Heartleaf Essence Calming Pump (All Skin Types)


Targeted Treatments: Serums, Ampoules & Eye Creams

This is where you can address specific skin concerns with potent ingredients.


Step 6: Serums & Ampoules for Targeted Treatment

Serums and ampoules are highly concentrated formulations designed to address specific skin concerns such as dark spots, wrinkles, and dullness. They penetrate deep into the skin, providing intensive treatment for noticeable results.



Step 7: Sheet Masks / Sleeping Masks for An Extra Hydration Boost and Nourishment

Sheet and sleeping masks provide an intensive dose of hydration or address specific concerns. Sheet masks provide intense hydration and deliver active ingredients directly to the skin for a quick and noticeable boost. Sleep masks offer a more long-lasting and multipurpose treatment, replacing or complementing moisturizers based on individual needs.


  • Purpose: Delivers a concentrated dose of hydration and other beneficial ingredients to concerns like fine lines and uneven skin tone.
  • Benefit: Provides a temporary boost of hydration, brightening, or other targeted specific benefits.


Step 8: Eye Cream for Moisturizing and Treating around Eye Area

Eye creams provide essential moisture and active ingredients to target concerns around the delicate skin around your eyes area. They are crucial in hydrating and sealing the skin, promoting a youthful and rejuvenated appearance.


  • Purpose: Provides hydration and addresses concerns like puffiness and dark circles for the delicate under-eye area.
  • Benefit: Targets specific concerns in the thin, sensitive under-eye area.


Sealing in the Goodness: Moisturizers and Facial Oils

Moisturizers and facial oils keep your skin hydrated throughout the day or night.


Step 9: Moisturizer (Morning & Night) Locking in Hydration

Moisturizers and facial oils are the final hydration step, preventing trans-epidermal water loss by forming a protective barrier on the skin's surface. They ensure long-lasting hydration and help maintain skin health.


  • Purpose: Hydrates and seals in moisture to prevent trans-epidermal water loss.
  • Benefit: Keeps skin hydrated and plump.
  • Featured Product: Dr. G Red Blemish Clear Soothing Cream (All Skin Types) (See "Moisturizers & Creams: Finding the Right Fit" for more options)


Facial Oil (Optional)

  • Purpose: Create an occlusive barrier to prevent moisture loss further.
  • Benefit: Provides extra hydration and nourishment for dry or mature skin types.


Step 10 - SPF: Protecting Your Skin

Sunscreen is essential for protecting the skin from harmful UV rays. For effective sun protection, choose mineral and chemical sunscreens based on your preferences and skin type.


Korean 10-Steps Skincare Routine FAQs

Q: Why is the double cleansing method important in Korean skincare?

The double cleansing method removes impurities without compromising the skin's natural barrier, ensuring a thorough yet gentle cleanse.


Q: What role do essences play in the Korean skincare routine

Essences provide hydration and prepare the skin to absorb nutrients from subsequent skincare products, promoting overall health and vitality.


Q: How do moisturizers differ from facial oils in the Korean skincare routine?

Moisturizers hydrate the skin and contain occlusives to prevent trans-epidermal water loss, while facial oils create a protective barrier to lock in moisture.


Additional Korean Skin Care Tips:

  • Pay attention to your skin type and choose products formulated for your specific needs.

  • Don't be afraid to experiment with different products until you find what works best for you.

  • It's important to be gentle with your skin, so avoid scrubbing or using harsh products.

  • Drink plenty of water and eat a healthy diet to promote healthy skin from the inside out.

  • Apply sunscreen daily, even on cloudy days, to protect your skin from harmful UV rays.

  • By following these tips and incorporating the Korean skincare routine into your daily regimen, you can achieve a radiant, youthful complexion and minimise the appearance of fine lines.

  • While the Korean skincare routine offers a comprehensive 10-step approach, it can be simplified for a morning and night routine. In the morning, focus on cleansing, hydration, and sun protection, while the night routine can incorporate more intensive treatments like serums and masks.

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