The 10 step Korean skincare routine might sound like a lot but most Korean women follow this skincare routine and you can see how beautiful their skin is. So I understand why you are looking into how to implement it into your routine as well. To be honest, it’s quite exhaustive and you need to spare some time compared to an average western skin care routine but your skin will definitely thank you. Here are the steps that you need to follow according to the 10 step Korean skincare routine:
1. Oil cleanser
Oil cleansers are part of the so called double cleansing process which is the base of Korean skincare. Gently massage your dry face with a cleansing oil which will perfectly remove all your make up even if it’s waterproof. In addition, oil cleansers remove pollution, SPF and sebum that you might have on your skin. Rinse your face with lukewarm water at the end.
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2. Water based cleanser
This is the second part of the double cleansing which process is recommended by dermatologists and aestheticians because it effectively cleanses the skin, prepares the skin for hydration and prevents from breakouts. While oil based cleansers remove oil based impurities, water based cleansers dissolve water based impurities, like dirt and sweat. Choose a cleanser appropriate for your skin type, apply to your skin with circular motion and rinse with lukewarm water.
This can be either physical or chemical and helps with cleaning clogged pores and removing dead skin cells. Regular exfoliation lets your other skincare products absorb and work better but don’t exfoliate too often because it easily dries out your skin. Most people only have to exfoliate once or twice a week, use gentle, circular motion, focusing on the T zone or any problematic areas and avoiding your eyes.
Korean and other Asian toners are generally more hydrating and have a thick, serum like consistency while western toners tend to contain alcohol or other ingredients that can dry your skin out. The purpose of toners is to balance the skin’s PH level and to prepare the skin to absorb moisturisers that follow by damping your skin beforehand. You can apply your toner with a cotton pad or simply patting gently into your skin by your hands.
Essences are highly concentrated with active ingredients and they are lightweight so your skin can easily absorb every drop of them. They hydrate your skin and also help with skin turnover. You only need to use 1-2 pumps and gently pat it on your face and neck.
6. Serums, treatments
This step includes serums, ampoules, boosters, acne spot treatments and so on. They are usually packed with powerhouse ingredients so you can personalise what skin problem you want to target. Follow the instructions of your chosen product focusing on the area that you want to target.
7. Sheet masks
Sheet masks are a must in the Korean skincare routine. Although many people don’t use them every day but if you feel like it, no harm comes from pampering your skin with a sheet mask daily. The secret of sheet masks is the sheet itself which helps the skin to fully absorb the nutrients and moisturising ingredients, not to mention the quiet, meditative, relaxing feeling it creates. To use them, place a sheet mask on your face and smooth it out with your fingers or a jade roller. Don’t forget about your neck, there is usually some leftover essence that you can apply generously there too.
8. Eye cream
The eye area is the most sensitive and thinnest skin on your face so you have to take good care of this area to prevent wrinkles. Always be gentle, don’t rub your skin only pat lightly with your ring or pinkie fingers. Most eye creams have concentrated ingredients and non-irritant to avoid your eyes.
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The purpose of moisturisers is to hydrate, plump your skin up and lock in moisture. They come in many forms: creams, lotions, gels, sleep masks and you can choose one which is most appropriate for your skin type. All you have to do is apply the moisturiser on your skin every morning and evening to keep your skin nice and hydrated.
You should always wear sunscreen, even if you are not planning to spend time in direct sunlight. The sun has many positive attributes but it’s also responsible for premature ageing, sun spots and skin cancer. Applying sunscreen should always be the last step of your skincare routine to shield your face. Try to find a sunscreen with SPF 30 or more which protects against both UVA and UVB. Don’t forget to apply it to your neck as well and re-apply if the weather is hot because we tend to sweat it off.