10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine
ow many steps do you take every night to feel like your skin has been cleansed and treated well? Two? Maybe three? Most of us will cleanse with some sort of make up remover or foaming face wash followed by a moisturizer and we might throw on a little serum and eye cream in between. The problem is this isn’t always enough. This is where the 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine trend enters.
Through out our day our skin is accosted by pollution and covered in makeup. Dirt and debris from our hands also contribute to unhealthy skin. Your skin care routine should be more than removing the top layer and adding moisture. Your skin care routine should be about more care.
The 10 step Korean skin care routine has been around in Korea for years but in the last few years the trend has become a global sensation. The 10 step Korean skin care routine revolves around 7-10 steps that effectively cleanse the skin, treat it, prep it and moisturize it. Put down in simple terms it takes out the bad stuff and puts in the good.
STEP 1 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: MAKE UP REMOVING OIL
The first step is to remove make up and topical products. We do this using a make up remover that is oil based. The oil is crucial to breaking up products so they can be washed away with water. Do this gently with a make up remover soaked cotton ball. The use of oil is important as most long wearing make up products and SPF can only be broken down using an oil based remover. Water proof mascara can be especially stubborn to remove.
STEP 2 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: FOAMING CLEANSER
The next step may seem weird but it works! Even though you’ve used an oil based make up remover to take off product the next thing to do is cleanse with a foaming cleanser. You’d be surprised how much is left behind when you only used a make up remover. The foaming cleanser will knock out the stubborn stuff like pollution and sweat. Foaming cleansers come in a variety of formulas that target skin needs. A gel like foaming cleanser is better for normal to oil skin types. The gel helps to break down sebum or oil on the skin and slow down the production of sebum over time. Creamy or milky foaming cleansers can help to nourish and moisturize the skin. Reach for a creamy foaming cleanser if your skin tends to be normal to dry. Of course for personalized recommendations see a skin care expert.
STEP 3 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: EXFOLIATE
Some people note that 10 steps a day is too much. The Korean Skincare Routine isn’t a mandatory 10 daily steps. There are a few that should only be done a few times a week. One of those is the next step: exfoliation. Exfoliating the skin is key to healthy skin because it sloughs off dead skin and polishes the skin for optimum radiance.
It also helps treatment products soak into the skin for greater effect. Exfoliators use a broad range of materials to scrub and buff the skin. There are two types of exfoliators.
The first type is referred to as “Mechanical” which basically means that you physically exfoliate the skin with an abrasive ingredient. Common ingredients are apricot kernel, sugar, micro beads and a variety of exfoliating cloths or sponges. Another type of exfoliator is “Chemical.”
Chemical exfoliators don’t need to be scrubbed but rather work to loosen the dead skin. Common chemical exfoliating ingredients are salicylic acid, beta and alpha hydroxy acids or fruit acids. Chemical exfoliators are typically applied by professionals like dermatologists or aestheticians however some lower dosage chemical exfoliators can be purchased over the counter.
STEP 4 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: TONER
One thing that cleansers can do to your skin is effect your skin’s pH. Skin’s pH is delicate and should be maintained using a toner or softening lotion. Toners and softening lotions are liquids that are applied after cleansing to reintroduce hydration and prep the skin for treatment products. There are a few things to consider when buying a toner or softening lotion.
Toners can very in their balance between hydrating ingredients like humectants and drying ingredients like alcohol. Humectants such as hyaluronic acid are great for the skin because they hold water to the skin providing long term hydration. Alcohol is added to tone and essentially dry oilier skin. Consider using a more oil controlling toner in the morning and a more hydrating toner or softening lotion at night.
STEP 5 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: ESSENCE
Next up is Essence which is a toner-like product in that it is a liquid meant to be splashed on or applied with a cotton ball. What makes Essence different from a toner is what’s inside. Although Essence’s on the market vary in formula and ingredients they typically will contain an ingredient that assists the skin is cell turnover.
Definitely a must-have and important role in this regimen, some argue this is the most important step. Treating the skin at a cellular level ensures all of the brightening and toning ingredients in essence get absorbed and used.
STEP 6 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: SERUM
A serum is a highly concentrated product meant to help with specific skin concerns. Most will help to smooth texture, refine pores and boost hydration. Serums are best applied to damp skin after essence and left to absorb for a few minutes before the next product.
Tap serum into the skin instead of massaging like you would a moisturizer. Tapping helps the product absorb into the skin and not your fingers.
STEP 7 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: SHEET MASK / FACE MASK
After an Essence is applied and absorbed you get to take a relaxing break. Apply a sheet mask (typically a pre-packaged cotton mask soaked in serums) and let it sit on your skin for the recommended time, usually 20-25 minutes.
Sheet masks help to lock in the products you’ve used up to this point. They also have great long term skin benefits as they absorb slowly into the skin.
STEP 8 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: EYE CREAM
Follow your mask with an eye cream chosen based on your skin’s needs. Pick an eye cream that absorbs quickly for hydration and something a bit thicker for moisture. Eye creams can be used to fight the signs of aging, take away puffiness or eliminate dark circles. Depending on your needs you may find one that takes care of all three. A favorite ingredient on the market is caffeine powder which helps to soothe and eliminate puffiness.
STEP 9 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: MOISTURIZER
Face cream or moisturizer is applied all over the face excluding the eye area. There are so many on the market that do great things. Determine your skin’s needs and find one that works for you. This is a vital step as adding moisture back into the skin after a cleansing routine helps to keep your skin healthy and radiant.
STEP 10 Of Korean Skin Care Routine: SUNSCREEN (SPF)
The last step is an important one that people often miss: Sunscreen (SPF)! SPF is a must no matter age, skin type or tone. Keep your skin protected from UVA and UVB rays by finding a broad spectrum SPF and applying before sun exposure and reapplying throughout the day. Higher levels of SPF will have a stronger protection from damaging UVA and UVB rays but not for a longer amount of time than lower SPF. This means no matter how high your SPF you must reapply throughout the day to stay protected.
While it may seem like a lot of steps, this routine has a lot of advantages that will have long term benefits such as clear skin, radiance and good skin health.