THE FULL KOREAN 10-STEP SKIN CARE ROUTINE
SkinTalks with the KS Team
For those new to Korean Skincare, the famous 10-Step Routine can seem daunting and intimidating. But fear not! The KS Team is here to walk you through every step.
1. Oil Cleanser
The K-Beauty double cleanse serves as a foundation of the Korean skin care routine. These cleansers help dissolve impurities, especially oil-based ones from make-up, sunscreen, and excess sebum. An oil cleanser hydrates and softens the skin where other traditional make-up removers often dry out or irritate the skin. An oil-based cleanser helps keep your skin healthy and balanced.
Oil Cleansers typically come in two forms: oil cleansers and cleansing balms. Many people have a preference one way or another, but overall, both are great to use. It's great to try both and see which you prefer!
2. Water Based Cleanser
It takes a second cleanser to completely remove all impurities from the face - which leads us to our Step 2 - the Water Based Cleanser! Water based cleansers remove any residue that your oil cleanser did not remove as well as help remove any remaining residue from the oil cleanser. They typically come in gel and foam textures.
While many traditional cleansers have a reputation in being drying, that's not always the case! We focus on water based cleansers that are hydrating and balancing. To help maintain and balance the skin's pH, we recommend water based cleansers that have a low pH, such as 5.5.
Exfoliators, whether chemical or physical, aid in cleaning pores and removing dead skin cells, resulting in brighter and smoother skin. Depending on the strength of the exfoliator, it is typically recommended that you only use it once a week. Certain chemical exfoliants are diluted enough to be used daily. However, it's always important to start once a week, and if need be, build up slowly.
Especially when using chemical exfoliants, it's particularly important to remember to use sunscreen! Chemical exfoliants, such as BHA/PHA/AHA, make the skin more sensitive to sunlight.
Toners help remove any remaining residue while also repairing your skin's barrier and balancing its pH level. Toners also help the skin absorb the products that come after it more effectively.
Unlike traditional Western skincare toners, Korean skincare toners are not astringent or contain drying alcohol contents. Korean toners are generally more hydrating and less irritating to the skin. They are typically applied by cotton pad and/or patting into the skin.
One of the Korean Skincare routine's defining qualities. Essences are water-based treatments that are lightweight and packed with moisturizing, protecting, and anti-aging ingredients. They help keep skin hydrated, healthy, and balanced. In combination with cleansing and toning, they help enhance the effectiveness of the treatment products applied afterwards.
When skin is healthy and sufficiently hydrated, it is less susceptible to irritation and dullness and more capable of effectively absorbing nutrients.
Serums contain potent ingredients that address specific skin issues such as fine lines, dark circles, hyperpigmentation, and acne. They are more concentrated in active ingredients and typically more viscous than essences.
Another product that can also be used as Step 6 is an ampoule. Ampoules are even more concentrated and potent than serums. While serums can be used daily, most ampoules should only be used once a week or if you need big results for an event.
7. Face Mask
Masks are the heart of your Korean skincare routine. Sheet masks are a semi-weekly ritual that replenishes your skin's nutrients and moisture. Wash-off masks help remove deeply rooted impurities in the skin while helping exfoliate. Sleep masks help add an extra layer of moisture while you sleep.
Adding face masks to your routine help give your skin that extra boost while also being very relaxing and rejuvenating to use.
8. Eye Care
Eye creams and eye patches care for the most sensitive and delicate skin areas while targeting concerns such as dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. All of our eye care products are specifically formulated with extra-gentle ingredients.
We recommend you to use your eye cream daily, both morning and night. For eye patches, they can be used daily or as desired throughout the week.
Moisturizers come in various forms, including creams, gels, lotions, and oils. Some even contain sun protection.
Moisturizers come as a last step to help lock in all the super hydrating products used before it. While it does help introduce more hydration, its main job is to prevent moisture from leaving the skin (transepidermal water loss).
Many people like to use a different moisturizer in the morning than they do at night. It's common to use a lighter, gel moisturizer during the day and a heavier, more emollient moisturizer at night. What's most important is to use a moisturizer that best suits your skin type.
10. Sun Protection
During your morning routine, you should always wear sunscreen on top of a moisturizer. Look for sunscreens that contain broadband protection, meaning they have both SPF (UVB protection) and PA (UVA protection).
Sunscreens typically are categorized as chemical or mineral based on their active ingredients. Chemical sunscreens use chemicals to filter out the sun's damaging UV rays. Mineral sunscreens use active ingredients that reflect the sun's rays. While both are effective as sun protection, we typically recommend mineral sunscreens for those who are pregnant or have more sensitive skin.
Old sunscreens can have a bad reputation for leaving white-casts or having a strong, chemical smell. However, newer, Korean Skincare brands' sunscreens have improved significantly. Many blend into the skin without leaving white-casts and also have more pleasant smells (or are fragrance-free). Furthermore, most sunscreens nowadays contain skin beneficial ingredients and are very hydrating.
Most importantly!! Always remember to re-apply sunscreen throughout the day for full coverage protection.
Skin Care Tips & Notes
About the KS Team
Dedicated to helping you find the best K-Beauty products that fit your skin type, lifestyle, and price range.
The KS Team is all about showing your skin you care! We write these blogs in hopes that they help you find what you're looking for and maybe learn something new and fun along the way! Thank you for allowing us to join you on this wonderful skincare journey.
Follow us on Instagram! @koreanskincare_official