Simplified: The 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again–I am a simple gal when it comes to skincare!

If you simple gals out there identify with me, you may have also been quick to weigh the pros and cons when you heard how amazing Korean skincare was–but that a full routine could near being a 10-step process?! NOPE.

Don’t worry, I was the exact same way! And honestly, I’m still the same way.

I was overwhelmed by the 10-steps, but too curious to just forget what great things I’ve seen Korean skincare do for others’ skin.

So I began to research what each step was for, to see if anything could be left out. And guess what?! Plenty of the steps can be omitted! Korean skincare is made to be customizable to your needs.

I’m going to break down each step, explain their purpose, and what you will actually need to start your Korean skincare journey off confidently!

We’re gonna get rid of any confusion you have about the process once and for all.

Image via Her Campus

Your New Perspective on Korean Skincare

Let’s set things straight : you do not need to do all 10 steps of the Korean skincare routine to see results.

Korean skincare is made to be customizable to your needs. So you can adapt the routine to suit what you need!

Have acne scarring? Use a snail mucus ampule! Want a better base for your makeup? Get yourself a toner! Need more moisture? Add in a hydrating essence!

Many of these steps are a breeze to apply, so even though there may be many products it doesn’t end up feeling like you’re laboriously applying a conveyor belt of products.

However, some of us don’t have the time to keep up with even just five products. But! If you make the right choices, a stellar combo of two or three great products could be absolutely fine, too!

The 10-Steps Broken Down

Learning exactly what the 10-steps of the Korean skincare routine even are, is the first step to making it work in your favor! This information is necessary to help you identify which products you’d like to start with based on your skincare needs. Let me break it down for you, step-by-step:

Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser

This step breaks down the dirt and makeup on your face and is usually the first of the two-step double cleansing process. An example of an oil-based cleanser would be Skinfood’s Black Sugar Cleansing Oil.

Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser

The second part of the double cleansing process! Washing your face with a water-based cleanser, such as a foaming or gel cleanser, rids your face of the remaining residue left from your oil cleanse.

Step 3: Exfoliator

Exfoliation is not a necessary daily step for everyone (especially those with sensitive skin!). It’s good to exfoliate at least twice a week to slough off any dead skin cells and to keep your skin rejuvenated and ready for the future effectiveness of products!

Step 4: Toner

Toning is a pretty quick step. They essentially balance out your skin’s pH levels, in addition to, hydrating and prepping the skin for the rest of your routine.

Step 5: Essence

This step is when I started to go, “… HUH??” during my personal research on the 10-step Korean skincare routine. It’s similar to ampoules/boosters/serums (I’ll explain those later), but more watery like a toner. It is meant to aid with skin repair and cell turnover.

Image via Barely There Beauty

Step 6: Serum, Booster, and/or Ampoule Treatments

Head’s up! These are all various names for concentrated products used to treat specific skin issues. Gently tap the product onto skin to combat anything from large pores to acne and hyper-pigmentation!

Step 7: Sheet Mask

A fun step you’ve probably already heard of! They’re not necessary for daily use (although you can use them daily); 2 times per week is fine. If you just really can’t be bothered, you could even swap sheet masks out for a serum and/or essence. They both can be used to treat particular skin ailments. But sheet masks are affordable, fun, and easy to use in my personal opinion! Just throw one on for 15-20 minutes and you’re Gucci.

Step 8: Eye Cream

Pick your poison! Eye creams can help anything from dark circles to dehydration. Choose an eye cream and gently tap it underneath the eye where your most delicate skin lies.

Step 9: Moisturizer

You’ve probably heard of moisturizers and probably have a pretty good guess what it’s for. You can choose any type of formula for a moisturizer– lotion, cream, gel,etc.! Use it to lock in moisture on the daily. And if you’re skin is feeling particularly dry? Switch out your moisturizer for a sleeping pack (a.k.a. a more moisturizing moisturizer).

Step 10: SPF

Any day you’re outside means you need to be protecting your skin from the sun! It protects your skin from premature wrinkles and, ya know, cancer.

Image via honeypop kisses

How to Simplify the 10-Steps for Your Lifestyle

Start small! Depending on whether you want to dive face-first into the 10-step routine or simply dip your toes (face?) in for just a few steps–try one product at a time!

If you try a whole slew of new products at once and have a bad reaction, how will you know which one caused the issue?!

If you really want to be cautious, do a patch test beforehand. Here’s a thorough guide with a few personal stories from Reddit.

However, there is nothing wrong with just testing one product at a time on your face.

Which of these steps are you adding to your routine first? Let us know in the comments!

Featured Image via In Gloss Mode

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Great post! I tried the whole 10-step thing. It works so well even if it’s time consuming.

    1. Cierra Mercier says:

      Thank you! I have yet to do all 10 steps simultaneously, but it wouldn’t surprise me at all that it would be really effective. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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