The Korean Skin Care Routine: Every Step Explained

We know - there are so many steps and products of the famous Korean skincare. It can get pretty intimidating when you are meeting with this regime for the first time. But you know what? This article will explain every step that you need to take to have a radiant glow and that porcelain skin tone for and all skin types


Consistency and dedication are the main things Koreans apply to their products as well. You shouldn’t only buy expensive skincare products. You need to practice a healthy lifestyle, drink a lot of water, and take ingestibles like collagen, or probiotics. 


Korean skin care routine has roughly 10 steps, but it can be more or less. Depending on your time, wishes, and of course - skin type. Ultimately, it is not about following the exact number of steps but creating the routine that suits you. 


Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser

Korean skin care is famous for the double-cleansing method. With this, you will, not only clean your skin but also your deepest pores. However, this cleaning method does it so gently, without using harsh chemicals. Meaning, your skin barrier won’t be damaged or your natural oils stripped off. Korean like to clean their skin thoroughly but also keep it hydrated at the same time. 


An oil-based cleanser is the first step in the Korean skin care routine. It is perfect for removing all oil-based impurities, like makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum. The good thing is that they do it without damaging your skin barrier. 


These cleansers remove even the hardest waterproof makeup from your face. It doesn’t only clean the face, though. It also hydrates it, making it look soft, and prepared for the next step. 


Step 2: Water-Based Cleansers 

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Step 2 is crucial since it represents the second step of double cleansing. Water-based, foam or liquid cleansers that have brightening power will remove anything that is left after the oil-based cleanser, as well as oily residues. 

These two cleaners combined will leave your skin perfectly clean. You can use foam as the single cleanser, but if you are bringing it into the Korean K- Beauty, then you should definitely try both. 


The key is to choose gentle and low pH water-based foam cleanser. Especially if your skin is extremely dry. 


Step 3: Exfoliator

Exfoliating skin is the process of eliminating dead skin cells, dissolves blackheads, residues, and build-up in pores and skin surfaces. After using an exfoliator, your skin will appear brighter and softer, without clogged pores, and with the less visible fine lines. 


Exfoliation is not a step that you should repeat daily. You can start slowly, by doing it once or twice a week. Choose the exfoliation products according to your skin type.

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Step 4: Toner

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Applying toners to your skin is a very important step of the Korean beauty regimen. The toners made in Korea are not heavy. On the contrary, they are made to hydrate the skin, prepare it for all next steps with mild ingredients. 


Consider toner as the last step of your cleansing routine. K-beauty toners are made of lightweight and moisturizing ingredients that hydrate and soothe the skin. They are not astrigen and alchol-laden. 


Ingredients such as glycolic acid, niacinamide, amino acid, and other calming agents in toners should maintain and balance the pH level on the skin. Toner should also help skincare ingredients sink deeper into your skin. It does that by drenching skin with hydration. 


If you use toner, you can be sure your skin is well prepared for all the next steps. 


Step 5: Essence

Essences have been a product that brought much confusion among women and skincare addicts. Why are we even using it? To all non-K-beauty followers, essence might seem like an unnecessary step. However, essence’s role is more than crucial. 


If you were wondering what does the K-Beauty essence does, the answer is - it prepares your skin for even better absorption than serum and gives instant radiance, natural glow and dewy skin. When you first prep skin by using a K-Beauty essence, you allow the essence to drench the skin hydration, and maximize the ability of absorption. 


The good essence will also protect your skin from moisture and from water loss. By using it, you make skin look smooth and plumper with its radiant brightening power up your complexion, protecting it from moisture and from drying out.

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Step 6: Serum or Ampoule

Serums are highly-concentrated skin lotions that have a more viscous texture than essences. They are a gold standard of all skin care routines, regardless of the skin type or texture you have. Serums are meant to target certain skin problems, such as acne, dark spots, wrinkles, and dullness. 

Ampoules are also serums, yet packed in single-use packaging. They are more concentrated versions of serums, so some use them as booster shots. They are not necessary for daily use. 


Step 7: Sheet Mask

Believe it or not, some women are placing sheet masks on their faces no matter what, every day, while doing their skin care routine. Sheet masks have a double effect on your skin. They will hydrate it, while other active ingredients will create a barrier over your skin. This is how all other ingredients can sink into your skin. 


These masks are usually drowned in essence, but this time because of the barrier their ingredients go deep into the skin. Sheet masks create a feeling of at-home-spa and that is mostly why women adore them. 


Step 8: Eye Cream

Eye creams have a different consistency than a moisturizer. Their main role is moisturizing and as well as sealing effect, including targeting certain concerns in the under-eye area. They serve to reduce the wrinkles, puffiness, and of course the dark circles under our eyes. 


You can apply eye cream before or after the moisturizer. When applying make sure to tap and smooth the cream and not to pull the under-eye area, since it is sensitive skin is delicate, smooth and thin.


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Step 9: Moisturizer

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We often make a mistake by thinking that the only purpose of the moisturizer is to moisturize, brighten and hydrate your skinHowever, it has an even more crucial role and that is creating a barrier against oily skin that prevents water from evaporating out of your skin. Moisturizers contain occlusives that create that kind of seal or hydrophob and improves your skin texture and skin feeling


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ic film that protects the skin from the environment. 


Step 10: SPF or Night Cream

SPF is a cornerstone of healthy skin and shouldn’t be skipped, no matter how long or short your skin care routine is. If you like to spend your time outside, you can pick between three sunscreen formulations - mineral, chemical, and hybrid. No matter which you choose, it is important to be waterproof and that it protects you from the pollutants as well. 


If you are doing this same routine before your bedtime, then you need to apply a night cream. They work while our skin and whole metabolism are sleeping, without any interruptions, pollutants, and makeup. 


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