My partner always, and I mean always, gives me the side-eye whenever I embark on my 10-step skincare routine. However, his name-calling and mocking do not affect because my skin is thriving. While the 10-steps are quite the hassle, this style of routine is becoming everyone’s go-to for glass-like skin.
Before you dismiss this elaborate routine, hear me out. Each product has a reason for being part of the routine, and while yes, some products do multi-tasking, there’s something about going through the entire process that helps skincare become a habit. And that’s the secret to glowy, dewy skin all year long.
Korean Skincare Routine: Step-by-Step
The global phenomenon is based on Korea’s sometimes unhealthy obsession with healthy skin. The 10-steps are not a market gimmick to get people to use more products. But instead, it’s a set of products that are meant to be used together in the right order. If you want to try it, here’s what it involves.
Step 1: Oil Cleanser
Your oil cleanser doubles as your makeup remover to break down oil-based debris. Use it in the morning and at night. Look for ingredients like Macadamia, jojoba, or grapeseed oil.
Step 2: Water Cleanser
Move on to a water-based cleanser. Double cleansing is a common practice in skincare to make sure you take off all the debris and bacteria from the skin. This step helps remove impurities like dirt and sweat. Use it in the morning and night. Look for ingredients like rice, green tea, or pearl extract.
Step 3: Exfoliator
While not everyone should do this daily, an exfoliator helps clean the debris from your pores and get rid of dead cells. This step is only meant to be followed once or twice a week. Look for ingredients like lactic acid and black sugar.
Step 4: Toner
While some people love it, others believe it isn’t important. Toner helps balance pH levels on your skin. Use it every morning by pouring a bit on your palms and patting gently on the skin. Look for ingredients like aloe vera.
Step 5: Essence
Like the toner, an essence is packed with concentrated ingredients to hydrate and help cell turnover. Use it day or night like you use your toner. Look for ingredients like rice extract and hyaluronic acid.
Step 6: Treatments
Here is where you apply your serums or trouble-area treatments. Use them according to instructions, as some are night-only products. Look for ingredients like vitamin C and tea tree oil.
Step 7: Face Mask
The beloved face mask. If you’re following a Korean skincare routine, this should be a sheet mask. Use it once a week for over 15 minutes to treat your skin. Look for ingredients like rose and cucumbers.
Step 8: Eye Cream
Don’t forget the eye cream. You should start using this as early as your 20s. Eye cream helps hydrate and prevent dark circles, as well as fighting puffiness and fine lines. Use morning and night with gentle taps around the orbital bone. Look for ingredients like lily extract and honey.
Step 9: Moisturizer
Even if your skin is oily, you need to use a moisturizer. Once you agree with that, your skin will start looking better. Moisturizers help smooth the skin and seal in moisture. Use morning and night. Find ingredients like hyaluronic acid, Centella Asiatica or cica, and bamboo.
Step 10: SPF
Obviously, I wouldn’t follow this skincare routine if it didn’t include sunscreen. SPF protects our skin from damaging UV rays. Use it every morning and reapply throughout the day. Find one with ingredients like zinc oxide and titanium dioxide.