Hello everyone! About a year ago now I have introduced into my daily life Korean skincare routine .
I always felt that I have high maintenance skin. There’s no way I could go to sleep with my makeup on and wake up without a few surprises on my face. Cleansing my face each day thoroughly was always a priority for me.
I never had bad acne but since I was about 15 years old I suffered from blackheads. I tried everything and twenty years later I still have them.
I know that skin care routine is super personal. It’s all about what works best for you. I have to use multiple steps to keep my skin in a decent condition.
I think we can all agree that Asia leads the way when it comes to multistep skincare routines.
In Korea, when it comes to skincare more is ….really more. Forget face wipes and 3-in-1 products. Your skin will never look good if it is not cleansed thoroughly daily.
In Korea, both men and women start taking care of their skin very early on in their lives. The result? Koreans are known for having great skin.
In Korean skincare routine layering is key, below I will describe all steps I take in my morning and evening skin care routine 🙂
The Korean 10 Step skincare Routine
I found out about multi-step Korean skin care routine from The Little Book of Skin Care by Charlotte Cho.
In Korea, healthy, glowing skin is the ideal form of beauty. Beauty begins with adopting a skin-first mentality. Skin care is something to be enjoyed not dreaded and neglected.
I always had some skin problems. I still have oily skin prone to blackheads and odd imperfections. I try to maintain it as best as I can but what made the most difference is the thorough evening cleanse.
My evening skincare routine usually takes me 15-30 minutes . If I exfoliate and put on a face mask or multiple face masks it might take me a bit longer. It sounds like a terrible chore but it is quite relaxing and enjoyable and your skin will thank you.
Step 1 Oil Based Cleanser / Makeup remover (PM only)
In order to start treating your skin right, you’ve got to get rid of makeup, dirt and more. A cotton pad with makeup remover or a cleansing wipe can do the trick to remove stubborn eye makeup and waterproof makeup. But is it really enough to cleanse your face in the evening?
Have you ever woken up with a mascara-streaked pillowcase even though you’ve washed your face? You won’t after using an oil-based cleanser! Massage it over your dry face and neck for at least a minute to break up makeup. Add a splash of lukewarm water to emulsify it (some oils do not emulsify), and massage again and rinse.
Step 2 Water Based Cleanser (AM & PM)
And now the ‘double’ portion of the double-cleanse.I use a gentle water-based cleanser to wash my face and remove any residue from my oil cleanse. If you have never tried double cleanse before, I think you will be impressed with the state of your skin. 😉 I am it really works for my oily skin!
Step 3 Exfoliator / Peeling
Exfoliating is crucial for a fresh healthy looking skin. Peeling makes it a lot easier for the rest of your skin care products to be absorbed by your skin. Everyone should exfoliate at least twice a week unless you have some skin issues. I sometimes use it three times a week, but my skin handles it really well.
I massage my face while exfoliating for an extra skin benefit. 🙂 For me the more I exfoliate, the better my skin looks. My skin basically screams for a bit of exfoliation every two days. 😉
Step 4 Toner / Skin Softener / Refresher (AM & PM)
Time to prep my skin with toner. I like spraying my toner directly to my skin. I sometimes dispense a little bit of toner onto a cotton pad and gently wipe all around my face working outwards.
Toner helps balance your skin’s pH levels and preps your skin to better absorb your following skin care treatments. Think about your skin like a sponge. It’s more difficult to rehydrate it when it’s dried up and hardened than when it’s already a bit damp.
Tip: make sure you apply next step on your face while the toner is not fully absorbed. Trust me it really does matter.
Step 5 Essence (AM & PM)
Essence is the heart of a Korean skin care routine or so I heard. It serves two purposes. It is a toner and serum hybrid made for hydrating and aiding skin repair and cell turnover.
You can apply essence directly to freshly toned skin with your hands and pat it in or you can use a cotton pad. I personally would not use a cotton pad as that way you waste a bit of product.
Step 6 Serum / Booster / Ampoules (AM & PM)
I use use different serums depending on my skin needs on the day.
Serums are designed to target specific skin issues. You can use a serum to tighten your pores, brighten your complexion. They are great aid for mature skin and skin with imperfection.
It is best to tap the product into your skin. Really you cannot massage your skin enough 🙂
Step 7 Face Mask / Face Masks (PM only)
This is my favourite step. I absolutely love face masks. I do see the difference in my skin every time I use face masks.
I have many face masks at home so I would use face masks every day but I would not use the same mask on two consecutive days. My favourite masks are clay based ones. I don’t really use sheet masks that often.
For me putting on a face mask is quiet meditative, skin-nourishing ritual. I usually leave masks on my face for about 15-20 minutes. There’s no such thing as overdoing sheet masks or any face masks!
Step 8 Eye Cream (AM & PM)
A lot of people tend to skip this step. I was always a fan of eye creams. Some people say that using a face cream is enough. In my opinion it never was enough. I have oily skin and often use mattifying products which without an eye cream would leave my eye area dry.
The skin around your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face and should be treated vert very very gently. Use your ring finger to very gently tap and never rub eye cream around the entire orbital bone. Avoid the water line. Do you skip this step?
Step 9 Moisturiser (AM & PM)
Hydration, hydration, hydration… Good moisturiser together with a good SPF cream, is your best weapon against premature ageing. It will most likely give you healthy dewy glowing skin.
Finding a moisturiser that works for your skin type is important and quite a difficult task. Moisturisers come in many different forms, like an emulsion, a lotion, gel or cream. You are bound to find something that will work for you.
Every morning and evening pat a moisturiser all over face and neck. It will keep your skin protected and hydrated. This way you are sealing in all the work from the previous steps. Once a week you can even use an overnight mask as an extra boost.
Step 10 Sun Protection
Sunscreen is the best thing you can do to prevent premature aging. Apply an SPF cream every, and I really mean every morning, reapplying throughout the day as needed. I skip reapplying, if I am working in the office all day. I would reapply it religiously , if I was out and about.
It’s important to use an SPF cream as the last step. That way it can shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays without being diluted by other products.
So this is my skincare routine. I follow it most days. Sometimes very, very rarely I get lazy so I might skip face mask or a serum, but I always double cleanse in the evening and make sure my make up is completely gone before I hit the hay.
What is your skincare routine? Is it as complicated as mine or a lot simpler? Let me know