What is the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine Really All About?

With 7 steps more than your average routine, the 10-step Korean skincare routine may seem excessive and impractical to most people but in Korea, it is hailed as a reason why so many Korean women boast flawless skin. Those who have adopted the 10-step routine sing its praises for transforming their skin and proving that a nightly routine can be as indulgent and effective. Here is a breakdown of each step in the Korean skincare routine that you should give it a try!

Step 1: Double Cleanse – Oil Cleanser​

An oil cleanse is the first step of the famous double cleanse that is so adored by Korean and Japanese women alike. The idea here is that with an oil cleanser, the oily gunk will be removed from your skin, thus effectively removing makeup and sunscreen. Use this at night as you massage it into your skin and feel the day’s stress and troubles melt away into a silky charcoal goo. Then rinse.​

Step 2: Double Cleanse – Foam Cleanser

The second step of the double cleanse involves a foam cleanser. After removing your makeup and sunscreen with an oil cleanser, use a foam cleanser for a deeper clean. Foaming cleanser brands like Elysyle Derma Hydra and Elysyle Essentiel Skincare can do the trick for you.

Step 3: Exfoliation

Whether you’re doing a physical or a chemical exfoliation, this step is one step you should not avoid. Sloughing away dead skin regularly helps to reveal brighter and younger cells that are central to the anti-ageing process. Stay on the safe side by exfoliating approximately 2-3 times a week.

Step 4: Skin Toner

In Korean skincare, the term skin toning is known as ‘refreshing’ of the face. Korean toners are gentler on your skin than the American brands and are designed to lovingly plump your skin with lots of hydration. Apply them using a cotton swab to refresh the skin after messaging and cleaning process.

Step 5: Essence

The essence in this Korean skincare method is neither a toner nor a serum but is great at capturing some of the properties of both. Applying an essence over the skin helps cell turnover and brightens the skin. Make the most of the product by tipping the essence into your pam and gently patting it into your skin.

Step 6: Serum

This step is especially focused for people with pigmentation and brown spots on the skin. Whether you’re trying to get rid of fine lines, acne or hyper-pigmentation, the serum comes packed with potent ingredients to increase blood circulation and help absorption.

Step 7: Mask

Mask is essential to apply, whether you choose a clay or sheet mask, as it helps to tighten the pores and restore the pores to their natural shape. Apply the mask between 2-7 times a week for lush skin. For those who are new to facial mask application, avoid leaving it on longer than the prescribed time as the mask will start to dry out and suck the moisture from your skin.

Step 8: Eye Cream:

Don’t forget about your eyes! Your eyes are surrounded by skin that is thinner and more delicate than the rest of your face, thus making it prone to fine lines. Koreans have always been devoted to looking youthful and have begun applying eye cream at a young age with their ring finger so they don’t pull on the skin. A vital ingredient in eye cream is snail filtrate as it is full of elastin, proteins and hyaluronic acid.

Step 9: Skin Moisturizer

Whether you are using a moisturising cream, gel or facial oil, this is the final step in your night-time routine. Apply the cream and gel moisturisers by using upward stroking motions to prevent jowls and improve skin elasticity. If you’re using an oil based moisturiser, a gentle pressing motion with your palm will warm your skin, open its pores and allow the nutrients to really sink in.

Step 10: SPF or Night Cream

If you are going to step outside, then SPF is MUST-HAVE! Total evasion of the sun is impossible so sunscreen is a necessity. Given the increasing concern around ageing caused by pollution, Korean sunscreens incorporate anti-pollution ingredients.

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