Korean Skin Care Routine

korean 10 step skin care regimen

Korean skin care regimens are best known for giving dewy, glowing, radiant, soft, even skin.  Who doesn’t want that?  This intriguing skin care regimen has captured the attention of American women.  And rightfully so!

As a skin care lover and always looking to improve my skin, I dove in head first into the world of K-Beauty skin care!  They have steps and products we have never heard of.  They are most known for their extensive 10 step skin care regimen.

The Regimen:  Korean skin care believes so strongly in prevention, it’s built into the culture to start a healthy skin care regimen at a very young age.  They understand that prevention is much easier than reversal.  Instead of just slapping products on, it’s very important what order and how the products are applied.  Thinner, more watery products go on first.  Then you work your way to the heavier products.  Every step is done is a gentle way, with absolutely no tugging or pulling.  While applying products always use upward motions, to never pull the skin down and create sagging.  Use circular massage motions and pressure points during application, to promote blood flow and tighten facial muscles.

Cleanse:  The regimen begins with a double cleanse.  First with an oil based cleanser then with a foam cleanser.  Using only your finger tips, massage the oil cleanser onto dry skin.  This will gently melt away makeup.  Thoroughly rinse.  Follow with the foam cleanser.  Again, gently massage over skin and rinse thoroughly.  My skin felt extremely clean yet not stripped.

Products Used: Erborain Solid Cleansing Oil + Too Cool for School Egg Mousse Facial Cleanser

Pore Packs / Mask:  Pore packs are extremely interesting.  K-Beauty believes that to extract impurities out of the pores you have to gently entice them out.  By vigorously exfoliating or squeezing, you will only push the impurities further down inside the pore.  Pore packs are a great way of clearing out blackheads and impurities and shrinking the size of the pore.  Upon application it heats up the skin, softens the pores and allows for the impurities to come out.  I don’t suffer with many blackheads but I wanted to give it a try.  On the first use I noticed many blackheads just sitting on the surface of my skin that I was able to wipe away.

Using a mask is a very common step in any skin care regimen.  I choose to use one for hydration and to plump up my skin.  This can be done once to several times a week as needed.

Products Used: Tony Moly Egg Pore Blackhead Steam Balm, Caolion Premium Hot & Cold Pore Pack Duo, Erborain Bamboo Waterlock Mask

Toner:  A toner is traditionally used after cleansing (or after a mask) to pH balance the skin and help with any skin care needs, such as hydration or oil control.

Essence:  This is a product category not common in the U.S. and one that I was most excited about.  If you have dry skin (like me) it is difficult for the skin to absorb product that you put on it.  Using an essence prepares the skin and makes it ready to accept what you are about to heap on top of it.  Making all the products you put on after much more effective.  This can be applied with fingers or with a cotton pad.

Products Used: Shiseido Eudermine Revitalizing Essence

Serum, Ampoules & Face Oils:  This is where each person has their own custom cocktail of serums, depending on what the skin needs.  You can apply 1 serum, or layer as many as needed.  Instead of using just 1 serum for all the skin needs.  You can apply 1 for hydration, another for tightening and another for wrinkle prevention.  Allow 30-60 seconds in between each application to allow the skin to absorb what has just been applied.

Products Used: Fresh Seaberry Oil

Sheet Mask:  This is one of the coolest steps!  A sheet mask, like a traditional mask, can be used for any skin issues.  This is applied after the serum step.  Leave it on for 10-20 minutes, remove and let all the goodness soak into the skin.  Think of it as a heavier serum.  This is a great way to give your skin whatever it is craving.  These are extremely potable as they are individually wrapped.  Use as often as every day, or at least once a week.

Products Used:  Too Cool for School Egg Cream Sheet Mask, Dr. Jart Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask

Eye Cream:  Eye cream is a step anyone over the age of 18 should never skip!  Fine lines and wrinkles show up first around the eye area.  Prevention is easier than reversal.  Apply gently using ring fingers in the under eye area.

Products Used: Murad Hydro-Dynamic Ultimate Moisture

Moisturizer / Sleep Mask:  The gel textured moisturizer seals all the amazing-ness you just applied onto the skin, allowing the skin to fully absorb everything and receive the full benefits.  At night, you can replace your moisturizer for a sleep mask.  Or you can layer the sleep mask over the moisturizer.  This is what I did for added hydration.

Products Used:  Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb (heavier, used at night), Boscia Sake Balm (lighter, using in the morning), Dr. Jart Water Fuse Water-Max Sleeping Mask

Mist:  To keep your dewy skin looking dewy all day long, you need to periodically mist.  You can spritz your skin between any step, after you are done and during the day.  I misted just before applying foundation.  I also sprayed my foundation brush to thin out my foundation a little and to give my skin more of a glowing, dewy look.  There really is no rule to when and how much mist to use.  I completely loved this step!  The bottle is the cutest thing ever and the mist feels so amazing on my skin.

Products Used:  Tony Moly Pocket Bunny Moist Mist

Sun Care / BB Cream:  And finally we need to protect our skin from the sun.  You can use your own spf then foundation.  Or use a foundation with spf in it.  The K-Beauty BB creams have the sunscreen in them, making it one easy step.

Products Used: Amore Pacific Color Control Cushion Compact

Overal Thoughts:  I have stuck to a strick Korean skin care regimen for the last 2 weeks.  After 5 days I started to notice my skin was more even and glowing.  Each day my skin just got better.  I found myself wanting to wear less makeup, or no makeup at all.  I didn’t want to cover up my skin.

At night I enjoyed all the steps.  I would begin the whole process very early in the evening, right after dinner.  I knew if I got to tired I would’t want to do it.  I loved the way my skin looked when I woke up in the morning.  I could see all the work and time spent paid off.  In the morning I made the routine a little shorter.  I just did the basics: cleanse (just with the foam cleanser, not double cleanse), essence, serum, moisturizer, mist.  It only took me a couple minutes to complete these steps.  Since it took about 10 minutes for everything to feel soaked in and ready for makeup, I would make my bed and pick out my clothes during this time.

The foaming cleanser was a big hit in my house.  I have already started my 7 year old daughter on a basic skin care routine.  She loved using this cleanser.  She found it really fun and it didn’t burn her eyes.  She has been asking me to wash her face, instead of me having to remind her.  Slam dunk!

My skin responded so positively to this routine.  I am going to continue doing most of the steps, adding back in a few steps of my own that I enjoy.  I think everyone would benefit from trying a Korean skin care routine.  It can be a lot switching over your entire routine all at once.  Try adding one step at a time.   You will love the results!

Thank you Sephora for collaborating with me on this post.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.


16 thoughts on “Korean Skin Care Routine

  1. I absolutely loved this post. My goal is to have dewy clear skin so I don’t have to wear make-up especially foundation. Quick question: Can all the products you mentioned be found at Sephora?

  2. I love this post! I am in the process of changing up my skincare routine so this helped a lot! I am curious as to what steps of your own you will be adding back into this routine.

    1. Thank you! I will be adding back my exfoliator and some of my masks. I will save the double cleanse for a couple nights a week. And do my regular cleanser with clarisonic the other times.

  3. Loooove this post! I’m 24 and trying all I can to prevent wrinkles and have very VERY dry skin ever since my first pregnancy. I cannot even express how excited I am that you wrote this, I’m gonna share it with my in-laws since my mother-in-law got me into skin care, she says so I can stay beautiful for her son haha. Thanks For the post Rachel!

  4. I have combo/oily skin and have a difficult time controlling my breakouts on my chin while also catering to the more dry areas of the face. I think this regimen will certainly benefit my more dry areas. Do you have any tips for controlling acne with this korean skincare system?

      1. I love the Tony Moly Egg Steambalm… But I can’t find it at Sephora anymore. Is the Caolion as good or even better?

  5. Thank you so much for this, I couldn’t purchase everything but i got the pore pack and a sample of the essence and I’m in love, I can’t wait to get the rest of the products

  6. Oh and I have dehydrated skin, it’s oily on my t-zone and dry on the cheeks… I did the pore pack yesterday and my skin was glowing all day

  7. I love this!! I can’t wait to try it out!! I was wondering though where it says pore pack instead of doing that could I do an exfoliate? Thank you so much!!

  8. The Caolion Pore Pack sounds amazing as I really struggle with major blackheads on my nose, cheeks, and forehead! I have very dry skin though and was wondering if this dry me out even more? Or did you find it to be clearing and hydrating?

    1. I use it as needed, maybe once a month or every 2 weeks (I’m dry too). I prefer the Caolion because it comes with a soothing mask to do after the pore pack mask. Which my skin loved because the pore pack mask can make my skin a little red.

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