It’s no secret that South Korea plays a role in creating various beauty trends. One of its most well-known contributions is the infamous 10-step skin care routine which cleanses and nourishes the skin from the inside out.

Compared to western skin care routines which usually have three or four steps, the Korean skincare routine emphasizes on prevention so people who have relatively healthy skin can still enjoy their radiant appearance for years to come.

If you’re interested in learning how to adapt this process into your daily routine, here are the key steps you need to be familiar with:


  1. Makeup remover and oil cleanser

Makeup removers or oil cleansers are considered the first step in starting the Korean skincare routine. Throughout the day, certain bacteria and pollutants creates buildup on the skin which can result to breakouts. To prevent this from happening, oil cleansers help loosen the bonds these bacteria have on the skin’s surface while also removing deep-seated dirt that gets trapped between the pores.


  1. Water-based cleanser

After applying an oil-based cleanser, users should follow up with a water-based cleanser to remove other dirt and bacteria that have yet to come off. Using both oil-based and water-based cleansers is often referred to as “double cleansing” which serves to remove dirt while also ensuring soft and supple skin.


  1. Exfoliator

The skin undergoes a cycle where new skin cells are formed during certain periods. Exfoliator help this cycle by sloughing off dead skin cells to reveal younger and radiant looking skin while also preventing old skin cells from getting trapped between the pores. However, since certain exfoliator may contain micro abrasions, users are expected to follow this step only once a week to prevent micro scarring.


  1. Toner

After patting your skin dry with a towel. Users should next soak a cotton pad with toner which serves as the first step towards hydration. Toners are essential because they help rebalance the skin’s pH levels while also removing any final traces of dirt left on the surface. Toners also help create a base on the skin which enhances the effects of the following products applied after.


  1. Essences

Essences are lightweight substances that contain key active ingredients that hydrate the skin from the inside out. Many of which are specifically formulated to make it relatively easy for the skin to absorb. The end result would be that it gives the skin an added boost of hydrating, anti-ageing, and beauty-enhancing elements.


  1. Treatments

These include serums, ampoules, and special patches that target specific skin problems like acne, fine lines, and hyperpigmentation. Many of these treatments are packed with concentrated ingredients that only need to be applied on specific areas of the skin since higher amounts may be harmful for the skin.


  1. Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are considered the soul of Korean skin care due to the fact that they are considered one of the key steps in hydration. Many of which include vitamins and nutrients that nourish and replenish the skin’s hydration levels. Similar to exfoliating, sheet masks should only be applied once a week as an added boost to your daily regimen.


  1. Eye cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner compared to other areas of the face, making them prone to puffiness and dark lines which can make you look tired. To provide protection while also treating these areas, apply a thin layer of eye cream which helps lock in moisture and brightens your complexion.


  1. Moisturizer

Moisturizers help lock in all the different hydrating elements of the skin while also ensuring that your skin stays soft and supple. If you have dry skin, opt for moisturizers with a creamy consistency while oily skin types should stick to gel-like and watery textures.


  1. Sun Protection

The sun is the number one source of ageing due to the fact that it emits harmful UV rays that can affect our skin’s appearance. Before heading out, it is important that we provide an added layer of protection to our skin such as SPF products to help combat fine lines, wrinkles, and sun spots. This step can be substituted by sleeping masks at night time.


While the 10-step Korean skin care routine may seem overwhelming at first, each step actually serves its own unique purpose and can be applied to any skin type. The secret to following this routine is to first select products with key ingredients that works best for you. However, if you have sensitive skin, it may be best that you see a dermatologist first before trying out any new products.


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