How To Do The Korean Skin Care Routine? Step by Step Guide

Korean beauty standards have become a well-known feature or Korean Culture. There is an idea that Korean women are so beautiful because Korean skin care products are amazing.

Well, that is one part of the truth. The other part is there skin care routine. So, what is this famous Korean skin care routine?

The trend first showed up in America a couple of years ago. It is a 10-step routine, and it is all about layering and which product comes after which.

With that in mind, here is the step by step guide.

10 Steps of Korean Skin Care Routine

Step 1 – Cleanse

The first step in the routine is to wash your face twice. The double cleanse includes washing once with oil, and once with a foaming cleanser.

According to the Korean culture, each type of cleanser gets a different type of crud off your face. And despite having oily skin, it can help. Washing with oil is effective against oil-based impurities.

Remember to massage your face while washing it. Facial massage is a huge part of Korean beauty.

Massage stimulates the surface of the skin and prepares for the products you are going to apply in the next steps. For your foamy cleanser, look for products that have low pH value.

Step 2 – Toner

Toners are perceived differently in Korea than in America. For example, toners in America are astringents and meant to wipe off everything off your face. In Korea, a toner is a thin layer of moisture meant to regulate your pH value and soften the skin.

Korean toners are available in different varieties, from thin to viscous. You can even select ones with active ingredients like AHAs and BHAs. Just remember to look for a toner with botanical ingredients that address similar concerns.

Step 3 – Essence

Some would say this is the most important step. It is the one that gives you that glowing and shiny skin. For the Korean skin care routine, you do not rely on one thick cream to do the work.

The essence is the second layer, and the product is often thinner in texture. Some would say it is even watery. Essence is meant to penetrate the skin at a deeper level and nourish it from there. Choose an essence for your skin type.

Step 4 – Emulsion

Yes, another level of moisture so that you get that glass skin effect. The emulsion layer is a bit more viscous than the previous layers. At this point, you start to build the richness you want to get in the final result.

Emulsion products are also packed with botanical extracts. Just remember, get the one for your skin type. People with oily skin should be careful, they do not want to feel greasy. Super dry skin requires even more moisture.

Know your skin, and if you do not need any more moisture, you can skip this step.

Step 5 – Serum or ampoule

If you feel your skin has had enough by this point, you can skip this step. Serums and ampoules are highly concentrated products. They are designed for specific skin issues.

They deliver intense moisture and more juicy nutrients to your skin. You can skip the step if your skin is overall healthy. But if you have skin issues, this step is where you will solve them.

And definitely, do not skip this step if you want to achieve the glowy Korean look.

Steep 6 – Sheet mask

The best-known product in the Korean skin care routine is the sheet mask. These masks have become so popular that you can them anywhere. You can even find sheet masks at the dollar store. But if you can afford it, pay a little more for a higher quality mask.

They take between 15 and 20 minutes. You can apply the sheet mask as often as you like. It is best to apply them before a special event, after a long day in the sun, or before taking a plane ride.

Soaked in serum, they are basically another layer to your skin. Being they are loaded with good ingredients, it would be a waste to skip it.

Step 7 – Eye cream

This is one of the hardest products to use on a consistent basis. Eye cream is more of a preventive product when you are under the age of 40.

Designed to moisturize ultra-thin skin around the eyes, and take care of fine lines that appear there. If you use eye cream consistently, you will look much younger.

The best way to apply eye cream is to use the ring finger to apply just the right amount of pressure. Do not use the pointer finger for applying eye cream.

Step 8 – Moisturizer

You are probably wondering, after so many layers of moisture, do I need more? Well, the traditional Korean beauty skin routine definitely has more moisture.

You can use a cream to seal in all the layers before it. Think of it as putting a lid on your cooking pot.

Step 9 – Sunscreen

We were taught as kids that we have to wear sunscreen when we went to the beach. But what we were not told is that sunscreen is for the whole day. UV rays can reach you anytime, and anywhere. Korean sunscreen products protect you against both UVA and UVB rays, something American products do not.

You have to decide which type of sunscreen is for you. Physical sunscreens are mineral-based and leave a white cast behind. Chemical sunscreens are absorbed into the skin, and suck up UV radiation.

Step 10 – Sleeping mask

Now that you have layered your face, it is time to apply the final touch. Your skin rejuvenates in the night, and that is why you need a sleeping mask. You can think of it as a night cream.

These sleeping masks, or night creams, are designed to stay on your skin for the whole night.

The Condensed Version

Being that 10 steps are too much, some women want to simplify the Korean skin care routine. We recommend you do this only after you’ve tried the full version.

After a while, you can understand better what your skin needs, and which steps you can skip. Then, you can start using the condensed version when you have a busy schedule.

Here is how to do it.

  • Start with the double cleanse, and wash your face only with water
  • Apply toner
  • Apply serum or ampoule
  • Now apply eye cream to prevent fine lines
  • Finish off with a moisturizer with an SPF factor

We showed you all of the 10 steps. However, it is up to you to choose the steps that align with your personal skin goals.

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