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The 10 step Korean skin care routine is a comprehensive and exhaustive ten-step procedure that aims to improve the health of the skin and its beauty.

The routine has been made popular by its ability to effectively deal with a myriad of skin-related issues which include the likes of acne, wrinkles, uneven skin tones and more. Korean women are known for their famously clear and youthful skin.

Well, their beauty secrets are no secret anymore. In this article, we’ll discuss Korean skin care steps in detail, the products used and their benefits on your skin. If glowing, beautiful, and youthful skin is something you desire, this one is for you.

Korean SkinCare Routine

10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

How 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 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.

1 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Cleansing Oil

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil removes makeup, oil-based products as well as traces of sebum

Source: Amazon

The initial step of the 10 step Korean Skincare routine is designed to get rid of oil-based impurities.

The first step in the Korean skincare routine removes makeup, oil-based skin products as well as traces of sebum. This step is essential because it unclogs the skin’s pores preventing any breakouts.

After a long day with makeup on or other skincare products, your skin picks up all manner of environmental contaminants and an unhealthy buildup of oil and dirt. Step one of the 10 step Korean skin care routine is particularly essential to individuals with oily skin. Oily skin is prone to acne breakouts and a regular oil cleanse helps to keep the pores open.

Step one of the 10 step Korean skin care routine is typically done at the end of the day but with oily skin, the step can be repeated at least twice daily. Korean oil cleansers have a simple formulation that incorporates a clear liquid coupled with an oil base. This combination has a non-greasy feel and should be part of your morning Korean skin care routine.

The combination binds to impurities allowing for easy rinsing off. People with dry skin are advised against performing an oil cleanse too often and instead focus more on the second step and lots of moisturizers. To sample the best Korean oil cleansers, check out reviews of Korean cleansing oils here.

2 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Foaming Cleanser

CeraVe Foaming Facial Cleanser completes the two-step facial cleansing process

Source: Amazon

Step two of the ten Korean skin care steps involves a foaming cleanser. Korean foam cleansers pick up from step one where, after oil-based impurities are drawn out, there are water-based impurities still lurking. This second procedure of the 10 step Korean skin care routine completes what can be called the two-step facial cleansing process.

How To Use A Foam Cleanser

Step two of the 10 step Korean skin care routine entails the use of a water-based cleanser that is applied directly to the skin. Korean foam cleansing products are massaged in circular motions allowing them to foam up. An additional benefit accrued from rubbing in facial cleansing products is that blood circulation to the skin is improved which translates into brighter skin.

After applying the water-based foam cleanser and rubbing it in, it is recommended to rinse it off using clean warm water to whisk away any trace residues left. Step two of the 10 step Korean skin care routine is recommended for most skin types and doesn’t cause any known adverse effects. This step also rids the skin off any bacteria present and prepares it for the follow-up treatments that come afterward.

This step should be carried out at the end of the day before retiring to bed. A daily facial cleanse should help you maintain a clean, clear skin tone. To sample the best foam cleansers on the market, check out my other articles on Step 2 here.

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.

3 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Exfoliate

Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off Exfoliator get rid of dead skin cells

Source: Amazon

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. Korean Exfoliators form part of the third procedure in the 10 step Korean skin care routine. Exfoliating the skin helps to get rid of dead skin cells that cause a dull appearance. Exfoliators remove this dull layer of dead cells, revealing a brighter, more vibrant skin underneath.

Why do you need to exfoliate your skin every once in a while? Well, a layer of layers of dead skin cells can block pores and prevent optimal nutrient absorption. Korean exfoliators come in different variations which may include bead-based or mild enzyme exfoliators.


Two Types Of Exfoliators

Exfoliators use a broad range of materials to scrub and buff the skin. There are two types of exfoliators - "Mechanical" and "Chemical". 

Mechanical exfoliators 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.

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. I do recommend using natural organic products on your skin and chemical products should be used with caution and sparingly.

How To Choose An Exfoliator

Choose an exfoliating method that is suitable for your skin’s texture to avoid causing any damage. It is generally advised to exfoliate twice or thrice every week. However, people with sensitive dry skin are advised to exfoliate no more than once a week.

You can exfoliate any time of the day but preferably when you have nothing much going on. Individuals with normal skin can exfoliate using a mild facial scrub, a glycolic mask or a gentle exfoliating brush. Oily skin can be exfoliated using a glycolic pad, a facial scrub, or a gentle exfoliating brush. To sample the best Korean exfoliators, check out some recent reviews here.

It also helps treatment products soak into the skin for greater effect.

4 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Toner

Missha Time Revolution Clear Toner restore your skin’s pH balance

Source: Amazon

After cycles of cleansing the skin of impurities and exfoliating it, the pH may be slightly off balance. The fourth step of the 10 step Korean skin care routine aims to restore your skin’s pH balance to optimal levels. Korean toners can either be water-based, alcohol-based, or gel-based liquids.

There is a sort of preference or consensus on the concern that non-alcohol based toners are better for most skin types. This is because the presence of alcohol in most skincare products has been associated with irritation in sensitive skin. The pH of the skin after the Korean skin care order of double cleansing should be restored to somewhere around the region of 5.5.

Korean toners do more than restore your skin’s pH balance, they restore a bit of moisture lost in the first and second steps. Cleansing can strip the skin of its essential oils which makes it harder to stay hydrated.

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.

How To Apply A Toner

To apply a toner, sprinkle a small amount of toner on the palm your hands and apply it directly onto your skin.

Alternatively, dispense the toner on a piece of cotton pad and gently swipe around your face while working outwards. To find the best Korean toner for your skin, check out my reviews here.

5 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Essence

LJH TeaTree 90 Essence hydrate and nourish the skin

Source: Amazon

The fifth step of the 10 step Korean skin care routine is meant to speed up the cellular turnover rate of the skin. Making it visibly brighter and smoother. Korean essences hydrate and nourish the skin giving it a fairer complexion. Essences are super-concentrated formulations of active ingredients that differ depending on the manufacturer brand and the type of skin they’re made for.

Despite the varying formulations, the goal of every Korean essence remains the same across the board. It is important to note that the primary role of essences is to hydrate the skin. Their consistencies range from thin to viscous, or emulsion-type textures.

Korean essences are an important part of the 10 step Korean skin care routine and are hailed as being the secret behind Korean women’s delicate “glass” skin. To sample the best Korean essences offered in the market, check out my other articles here.

How To Use Essence

An essence can be applied at any time of the day on clean skin. Choose your specific essence to match what your skin needs as different brands are made to address different conditions.

To apply an essence, pour up a small amount on your fingertips and apply it to damp, clean skin and pat it in for better absorption.

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.

6 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Serum

MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule for intense moisture-locking properties

Source: Amazon

The sixth Korean skincare order entails Korean Serums; lightweight, highly concentrated formulations designed to create a hydrating barrier and prevent moisture loss.

Serums are characterized by a silky, non-oily texture, and contain a powerful brew of active ingredients that can quickly and efficiently provide the skin with intense moisture-locking properties. Serums may contain vitamins A and C, snail mucin, fermented yeast concentrates, salmon eggs and more depending on the manufacturer.

As you might have noticed, serums are highly potent potions and a few drops should suffice. The ingredients used restore and replenish moisture to dry skin, whilst also getting rid of wrinkles, acne and fine lines. Step six of the 10 step Korean skin care routine leaves your skin shine-free, soft, and healthy.

How To Apply Serum

For best results, it is advisable to apply the serum to damp skin after essence and left to absorb for a few minutes before the next product.

Using a dropper, squirt two drops of serum onto the palm of your hand and gently apply it on your skin while patting delicately to aid absorption. Tapping the serum into the skin instead of massaging like you would a moisturizer helps the product absorb into the skin and not your fingers.

Most Korean serums are suitable for most skin types which depends on whether or not there are parabens, alcohol or artificial fragrances used in the formulation.

You would typically apply a Korean serum as part of your Korean skin care routine morning ritual. To sample the best Korean serums on the market, check out some reviews here.

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. 

7 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Sheet Mask / Face Mask

Dermal Korea Collagen Essence Full Face Facial Mask Sheet help to lock in the products you’ve used up

Source: Amazon

Korean face masks are the seventh of the 10 step Korean skin care routine treatments. A Korean face mask is a piece of cloth that is saturated with a host of potent ingredients that offer anti-aging, and hydrating properties amongst others. Korean face masks can be used on any skin type and can be worn as you get on with your chores or other household tasks.

Face masks are perhaps the most famous stage of the 10 step Korean skin care routine. These face masks give you a quiet, meditative, and skin-nourishing period that imparts the maximum benefits to your skin. Let it sit on your skin for the recommended time, usually 20-25 minutes

It is recommended to use a face mask at least once or twice a week. 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.

However, there is no rule to how many times you can use a Korean face mask. You can put on a Korean face mask every single day of the week if you please. Korean face masks are designed to adhere to your skin and infuse it with concentrated ingredients.

You can choose from a variety of powerful ingredients that range from vitamin C and A, rice extracts, fermented yeast extracts or hyaluronic acid. The 10 step Korean skin care routine has phenomenal results on the skin and face masks deliver an “a la carte” treatment that is unrivaled. To see the best Korean face masks on the market, click here.

8/ 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Eye Cream

Mizon All in One Snail Repair Cream provide gentle soothing care to the delicate skin beneath the eyes.

Source: Amazon

Korean Eye creams are specially formulated to provide gentle soothing care to the delicate skin beneath the eyes. The thin, delicate skin beneath the eyes is in most beauty treatments neglected or completely forgotten. The eighth step of the 10 step Korean skin care routine addresses problems specific to the under-eye region.

Korean eye creams typically have a creamy texture. Therefore, meant to be easily to absorb eliminating the need to rub it in, which can cause inflammation. Depending on the brand manufacturer, an eye cream may contain a variety of ingredients that can include macadamia oil, Ginseng infusions, Niacinamide, licorice root and more.

These components soften and hydrate the skin underneath the eye and brighten any dark circles, ease puffiness around the eyes and gets rid of fine lines and wrinkles.


What Not To Have In Your Korean Eye Cream

To be safe, ensure you get a Korean eye cream free of all fragrances, phthalates, parabens, alcohol, sulfates, and gluten. These substances can cause or further aggravate inflammation worsening fine lines and puffiness. It is advisable to put on Korean eye cream every night before you go to sleep for best results.

The product can also be applied during the day a couple of times if you want. Eye creams are great to wear under makeup as they don’t pose any risk of smearing your concealer.

Check out my best Korean eye creams of 2020 reviews

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.

9 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Moisturiser

MISSHA Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream moisturizer is designed to create a barrier for your skin

Source: Amazon

The ninth procedure of the 10 step Korean skin care routine involves a moisturizer. A Korean moisturizer is designed to create a barrier for your skin. Which, will not only lock in all the essential ingredients you’ve just applied bust also intensely moisturize it. Moisturizing is the key to keeping your skin looking youthful and radiant.

Korean moisturizers are formulated with ingredients whose molecules are too big to be absorbed into the skin. The unabsorbed layer of molecules creates a barrier on the skin which emulsifies the top layer of the skin; the dermis, sealing in products used in previous stages of the 10 step Korean skin care routine. There are numerous options offered as far as moisturizers go.

How To Use Moisturizer

To apply a Korean moisturizer, pour out some amount on the tips of your fingers. Then gently apply it all over your entire face and neck. A moisturizer can be used as part of your Korean skin care routine day and night or several times during the day preferably. A common ingredient used in many moisturizer brands is hyaluronic acid.

For dry skin, some moisturizer brands throw in a couple more ingredients such as rosehip oil, Argan oil and more to soothe then irritation-prone skin. Moisturizing is a vital component of the 10 step Korean skin care routine as you might have come to realize.

To see the best Korean moisturizers, check out my reviews here.

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.

10 / 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine: Sunscreen (SPF)

MISSHA ALL AROUND SAFE BLOCK ESSENCE SUN MILK protects your skin from the sun’s harmful UVAUVB rays

Source: Amazon

The last step of the 10 step Korean skin care routine entails protecting your skin from the sun’s harmful UVA/UVB rays. Dermatologists and skincare experts insist that you should not skip this final step for whatever reason. The 10 step Korean skin care routine typically calls for the use of sunscreen products that are at least SPF 40+.

You might, however, come across some Korean sunscreen brands that go as high as SPF 65+. Putting on Korean sunscreen is the biggest defensive move you can make to keep signs of premature aging and other adverse effects at bay. Simply pour out a small amount onto your palm and gently rub it into your skin. Sunblock should be a prominent part of your morning Korean skin care routine.

Repeat this essential procedure a couple of times throughout the day. You’d be surprised what the secret behind your favorite movie star’s youthful skin is, one word, sunscreen.

To see the best Korean sunscreen brands, check out my review here.

Sunscreen For Oily Skin

People with oily skin are advised to look for sunscreen products that contain Titanium Dioxide and Zinc Oxide. With the absence of oils, fragrances, or Para-Aminobenzoic Acid, all of which can cause serious breakouts and irritation. Especially in individuals with sensitive skin.

Summary Of The 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

While it may seem like a lot of steps, this routine has a lot of advantages. Both short term and long term benefits such as clear skin, radiance and good skin health. In conclusion, the 10 step Korean skin care routine could be exactly what you need to look and feel youthful.

The 10 step Korean skincare routine is assured to address any skin issues you might be dealing with. Whether its sun damage, acne, wrinkles and fine lines, puffiness or uneven skin tone. Name it, the Korean women have it all figured out. 

Don’t take my word for it, get your own 10 step Korean skin care kit and start your own Korean skin care routine and be amazed.