It’s no secret that a Korean skincare routine is both bougie and extensive — but when it’s as effective as it is, who can argue with that?!
The K-beauty scene is packed with products that use cutting-edge technology and effective natural ingredients. Korean beauty brands have thought of everything you and your skin could need. Every step is thought out and there for a purpose.
Many K-beauty routines involve ten steps. While this may seem overkill to some, it’s necessary and effective to those who understand. This ten-step regimen is a lifestyle and worldwide phenomenon that helps Korean skincare-obsessed enthusiasts achieve flawless, healthy skin backed by decades of scientific advancements.
A Korean skincare regimen isn’t about having more beauty products than you can count. Instead, it’s all about having the necessary products that do the things you want them to do and using or applying them in the correct order. You don’t just splash water on your face, use a random cleanser, slap on a serum or two, and reach for the closest moisturizer and call it good. This routine takes time, effort, and care, and the results are well worth it!
Are you interested in creating your own 10-step K-beauty skincare routine? Continue reading to learn how.
Creating Your Own Korean Skincare Routine
STEP 1 — Remove Makeup
The first step of your Korean skincare routine should be to remove your makeup (or the day) with an oil cleanser. Oil cleansers are the base of K-beauty routines and the first part of the double cleanse. While this step is relaxing, it does more than just soothe. As you gently massage this cleanser in, it removes makeup and draws out and breaks down oil-based impurities, like SPF, pollution, and sebum.
Note that this step isn’t necessary for your morning skincare routine. Some people opt-out of this step in the morning since there isn’t any makeup to clean away, just the skincare products you applied the night before. Unless you forgot to wash the day or your makeup off the night before, you could skip this step in the mornings.
STEP 2 — Double Cleanse
Next is the double cleanse. Cleansing twice is not only an integral part of a K-beauty routine, but it is also recommended by dermatologists and aestheticians because it aids in thoroughly removing acne-causing impurities. A water-based cleanser will dissolve the water-based contaminants that your oil cleanser missed, such as dirt and sweat.
STEP 3 — Exfoliate
Keeping your pores clean and removing dead skin is essential if you want that Korean-style glossy, flawless skin. By physically and chemically exfoliating, you can do just that! Sloughing off dead skin cells and deep cleaning your pores regularly help you achieve many things, such as:
- Brighter skin tone
- Smoother complexion
- Increased product absorption and efficacy
You can exfoliate once or twice every week, depending on your skin tolerance. Give extra focus to your nose and anywhere on your face you have visible or enlarged pores, such as your cheeks or forehead.
STEP 4 — Toner
The ultimate way to prep your skin is with toner. Toners balance moisture and pH levels and work to remove leftover resumes from your water- and oil-based cleansers, repairing your skin’s barrier to effectively absorb the products that follow. Your skin is like a sponge; rehydrating is much more difficult when dried up and hardened than when it’s already a little damp.
You can apply toners in a variety of ways. Some come in a spray form, while others require you to use them by gently patting them in with the palms of your hands or a cotton pad to swipe across your face.
STEP 5 — Essence
Essences are lightweight and jam-packed with a concentrated blend of anti-aging, complexion-enhancing, and hydrating ingredients. Simply sprinkle or drop the product into your fingertips and lightly pat it into your face, neck, and décolleté.
STEP 6 — Treatments
Perfect your skin by adding treatments, such as ampoules, serums, and boosters. These products contain effective, powerhouse ingredients that target specific skin issues and concerns like finalizes, hyperpigmentation, and acne.
Gently tap your products into your face, neck, and chest, from thinnest to thickest consistency, focusing on problem areas.
STEP 7 — Sheet Mask
A K-beauty skincare routine would not be complete without sheet masks. With prolonged contact with your skin, the sheet allows your skin to absorb the moisture and nutrients in the products entirely. Moreover, they promote a quiet and meditative moment of relaxation.
On clean skin, apply your sheet mask, sit back, enjoy the relaxing mask for 15 to 20 minutes, and then pat in any excess product. There’s no need to wash away any essence.
STEP 8 — Eye Cream
The skin surrounding your eyes is unlike any other skin on your face. It is the thinnest and most delicate skin, and by regularly using an intensive eye cream, you can reduce puffiness, crow’s feet, and dark circles to a minimum. Eye creams are formulated to be exceptionally hydrating, gentle, and non-irritating and are concentrated with beneficial ingredients.
Use your fourth finger or pinkie to gently tap — not rub!! — the product into your entire orbital bone. Never apply eye cream to the waterlines of your eyes.
STEP 9 — Moisturize
Moisturizers come in many different forms, such as lotions, gels, creams, emulsions, and sleeping masks. Your skin type will determine the type of moisturizer you need. Moisturizers help seal in moisture to smooth fine lines and plump up the skin.
Pat a healthy amount of product into your face, neck and neck every morning and night.
Step 10 — Sun Protection
While the sun provides several benefits, such as vitamin D and increased release of serotonin, it can be incredibly harmful. Wearing sunscreen is the best and most effective way to avoid issues like skin cancer and premature aging.
Sunscreen should be the last step in your beauty routine but applied before makeup. Even if you plan to be inside most of the day, you should still apply sunscreen daily. Re-apply as necessary.
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