Korean Skin Care

The real 10 steps of the Korean Skin Care Routine

Korean Beauty has become one of the most popular topics for a while now and this is not just “another trend”, it is here to stay for long.

Korean people are not only inspiring us to use new ingredients and try new products but more to have new habits and a lifestyle where we incorporate daily routine using products that are particularly special, that can be all used together to prevent damage and aging

There is no secret about how well Koreans take care of themselves and this has created an impact globally. Korean people (men and women) highly invest in their skin and they start early in life having a mindset of self care as their priority and making skincare products available to everyone no matter what.

What is the Korean Skin Care routine ?

Korean people are the masters on layering the right skincare products in order to really let each product absorb and work its magic starting by a double cleanse and finishing with sun protector. There are 3 important things to consider while doing these steps.

The overall goal is to cleanse, nourish and protect your skin by layering 10 different products on a very easy and practical way without spending crazy amount of hours. 

=> Also check out our ultimate guide for SkinCare Routine

The Korean 10 steps skincare routine 

These steps kind of remind me of the phrase “play smart not hard”, right? 


The 10 steps starts by doing a double cleansing; this consists on washing your face twice; once with an oil cleanser and then with a water based cleanser/foam. Each of them have a purpose.

Step 1 – Oil Base MakeUp Remover 

Oil cleanser are one of the trendiest products to have and this is because they not only tend to be relaxing while massaging off all the impurities, removes makeup and products such as spf. 

Tip: You can use this product 7 times a week day and night by also doing a light massage while applying it on to your face and neck to stimulate circulation.

Step 2 – Water Base Cleanser (foam)

After using an oil base makeup remover, you might think that you are good to go but Korean women and even dermatologists recommend using a water based cleanser to make sure that all the water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt are completely removed. 

Tip: You can use this product morning, day and night.

Step 3 – Exfoliator

This helps to remove dead skin cells and cleanse pores while also helping your other skincare products absorb better into your skin. The end goal exfoliating your skin is to get brighter and smoother surface. 

Tip: Do this step 1-2 per week focusing on the areas where you tend to have visibly larger pores. You can look for exfoliators that have black sugar, salicylic acid and lactic acid. 

Step 4 – Toner

This is one of the products that is key for me because it removes any residue from your cleansers and balances your PH levels leaving it ready for the next steps. 

Tip: Use this product every night and day after cleansing your skin, you will be impress of the results specially if you tend to have oily skin. 


The following steps are mainly focused on treating and using the right products with ingredients/nutrients/vitamins to improve skin’s condition. 

Step 5 – Essence 

This type of product tends to have a consistency of water and even though they can feel very light they are packed with ingredients such as collagen, snail, rice extract and hyaluronic acid. These are good not only to boost cell turnover but also help all the other products absorb better into your skin. 

Tip: You can apply it with your hand or using a cotton pad gently pressing into your skin.

Step 6 – Treatments: Serums/Boosters/Ampoules 

These are products that focus on treating a specific skin concern like acne, fine lines, skin marks, rosacea, among others. Some examples are vitamin C and Tea Tree Oil. 

Tip: Depending on your skin type and/or concern you may want to use one or two types of treatments and apply them where they are needed. For example: For acne you may only need to apply tea tree oil on the spot but you can apply vitamin C on other areas. 

Step 7 – Sheet Mask

These are the core of K-beauty and one of the most popular type of products for skincare right now. They are packed with nutrients and moisture that will absorb into your skin and will help boost hydration, help brightening and work magic for anti-aging purposes.

My personal favorite thing about using these masks is that they are a great way to experience the relaxation ritual while your skin is getting soaked in powerful ingredients, you also get to rest and clear your mind.

Tip: Depending on your skin condition, you may want to use a mask every other day for an extra boost. Leave the mask for 15-20 minutes, lay down and relax. Some of my favorite masks are infused with cucumber, green tea, roses, ginseng and chamomile.  

Step 8 – Eye Cream

This is a step that a lot of people dont do and I believe is as important as the rest of the face. This are is the thinnest and delicate area of your face and that is why adding a specific type of cream for it is crucial.

Eye creams are concentrated with also powerful ingredients that will not only add moisture and keep this area hydrated but they will also help reduce puffiness, brighten your under eye area, prevent and/or fight thin lines. 

Tip: Be gentle when applying your eye cream. Use tapping motions using your pinkie finger and don’t rub or pull. Do this step every day and night. 


Step 9 – Moisturizer

This comes in different forms and types of texture (cream, gel, lotion, etc) and they hydrate and keep moisture locked in your skin preventing it from drying, leave skin looking plumper and smoother. Some moisturizers could have other ingredients that can also help treat other skin problems as well. 

Tip: You may use a moisturizer on face and neck every day. Pick the one that works best for your skin type. Look for ingredients such as hyaluronic acid centella asiatica and snail. 

Step 10 – SPF

A must have and must wear every day product. Reasons why, it not only protects your skin from sun damage but also is the most effective way to prevent aging.

Tip: This has to be the last step in your skincare routine. You may use it on face and neck and re-apply it throughout the day. 

What no one tells you about the Korean Skin Care routine

Here are my favorite facts should know about this skincare Korean phenomenon:

Have self care as a priority 

Skin for them, is a habit and not just a “new trend” or something you “have to” do at a certain age. Their goal is to focus on preventing instead of having to treat the skin after it has been already damage by different factors like sun, pollution and of course, aging.

Korean women also swear by facial massages so they love to do this to stimulate their skin while cleansing and/or applying masks. This works magic on anybody’s skin plus it also helps you to relax and re-load for day or night. 

Quality in all their ingredients with affordable prices

Skincare for Koreans is not a luxury, they can easily find great products and the prices are not expensive at all which makes it much affordable and easy to get for everyone here there and everywhere. 

Packaging and branding that stands out

There are a lot of skincare products and brands nowadays but what makes a Korean product stand out is of course the particular colorful packaging each of the brands has. 

Preventing and improving skincare texture without harmful formulas is key for them

Since their skin tends to be much more sensitive, brands focus on making formulas with ingredients that aren’t too heavy or could irritate skin easily. Making most of their products easier for every type of consumer.

More skincare less makeup

For them, is all about achieving a natural dewy looking skin so they tend to use more skincare products than trying to cover their skin with makeup. Let’s say that their natural glow comes more from their skincare than from an actual highlighter. 

So for those of you who want to incorporate some of the basics of Korean Beauty you should know that it goes far beyond from just taking care of your skin and buying a bunch of products. 

You have to know your skin better in order to pick the right products and then apply them in the right order to see real changes on your skin. For this, Korean women came up with the 10 skincare routine term. 

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