10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

I’ve been fascinated lately with the 10-step Korean skincare routine for some time now. Korean women have beautiful skin. I mean, how many Korean women have you seen with acne? Maybe there are, but I haven’t seen any. They take amazing care of their skin and are very diligent in doing so. I have been double cleansing for a while now, but as I researched, I may have been doing it wrong.

I first cleansed with an oil cleanser and followed that up with micellar water. As it turns out, I should’ve been using the micellar water first then use the oil cleanser. However, even that may be in dispute. The proper way to double cleanse is using an oil cleanser first followed up by a foam or water-based cleanser. The thought behind this is to remove your makeup first, then you’ll actually be cleansing your skin with the second cleanse.

I watched a tutorial about ELEMIS products and their way of double cleansing is to use a micellar water first and then an oil cleanser. The whole thing is very confusing. So, last night I tried the 10-step routine, and I followed the instructions on the Peach & Lily and SELF websites.

Step 1: 

OIL-BASED CLEANSER – Korean women typically use two cleansers, starting with an oil-based cleanser to remove oil-based makeup, SPF and other impurities (since water repels oil). This allows for effortless cleansing rather than tugging at your skin to remove that last bit of mascara.

Step 2: 

WATER-BASED CLEANSER – Following with a water-based cleanser removes any remaining residue and leaves skin supple. The key is to find a gentle formula that won’t strip or dry out your skin.

Instead of starting with the oil cleanser, I used Ulta micellar water to remove most of my makeup. I then followed up with Josie Maran Argan Oil Cleanser.

Step 3:

EXFOLIATOR – Exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores, but it also sloughs off dead skin cells. When you remove this dull layer of cells, brighter skin is revealed. This step is not recommended for daily use. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll only want to exfoliate once a week. If you have a tougher complexion, you can do it more regularly (about three times a week).

I used Josie Maran Argan Exfoliator which uses the fruit enzymes, not the shells.

Step 4:

TONERS – Korean beauty heritage is steeped in natural ingredients passed down from generation to generation. This tradition continues today with formulations that tend to shun harsh chemicals and draw from the Earth instead.

For this step, I used Fruida pomegranate toner that I picked up at CVS.

Step 5:

ESSENCES – Though formulated with varying viscosities, essences tend to be a bit more fluid and less concentrated than serums. Their main purpose is to moisturize the skin and make the most of the serums that follow. Think of your skin as a sponge: once it’s plumped up with water, everything else absorbs more easily.

Since I don’t have an essence yet, I used Josie Maran Argan Milk for this step. It’s not very concentrated, so I figured it would work.

Step 6:

SERUMS, BOOSTERS, & AMPOULES – These products are formulated with active ingredients that target specific needs by skin types, such as fine lines, loss of firmness, hyperpigmentation, and dehydration. You can customize your regimen here, adding or removing products as you see fit. You can use them in any order, but generally thicker, more viscous products go on later.

For this step, I applied my Serious Skincare Ultra Mare Marine-Infused Concentrated
Serum (dupe for La Mer) to address the issues stated above.
Step 7: 
MASKS – The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. Cho recommends a hydrating mask like Skinfood Hydro Fitting Snail Mask Sheet ($13, sokoglam.com). But you can also choose one for brightening that may be packed with vitamin C. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week. In fact, Cho explains that you can swap a sheet mask for a serum or essence to cut time off your routine. “The mask contains those treatment products already,” she explains.
I used Ariul Juice Cleanse Mask with pomegranate for anti-aging.
Step 8:
EYE CREAM – Depending on the eye cream you choose, this could focus on everything from fine lines to dark circles. Basically, if you have any undereye concerns, there’s a cream for it.
I used Josie Maran Argan Milk Devotion as my eye cream.
Step 9:
FACE CREAM – This step is simply to lock in skin’s moisture. And I’m telling you, next to daily SPF, skin hydration is key for supple, younger-looking skin at all ages.
For this step, I used Josie Maran Argan Oil Face Butter to lock everything in.
Step 10 is supposed to be your SPF, but since I completed this at night, Step 9 was my last.
Overall, it was a nice pampering experience, but I honestly can’t see doing this every night, let alone twice a day! From what I understand, you can skip the masks and exfoliation a few times a week.
I will say that my skin felt cleaner than ever before, and today it is buttery soft! Peach & Lily have entire skincare sets specifically formulated for this routine. It basically takes out the confusion of the exact products you should use.
Screenshot 2017-09-29 at 11
They are steep, but it is an entire skincare routine, so I guess it’s not too bad. I will continue to double cleanse as I think it helps to keep my breakouts at bay. I’d love to get an essence, and I’ve always used serums and moisturizers. But, the masks and exfoliation I will only do a few times a week.
Has anyone ever tried the Korean skincare routine? What do you think about it? Is it worth it? I’d love to hear your comments!
As always, stay beautiful!

18 Comments Add yours

  1. Everything about Korean beauty I love 😍 I do have lots of steps in my routine, but I don’t mind ☺️ I especially love trying out new Korean skincare

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Ooh this is awesome! Korean skincare is incredible, and I love how Korean makeup is all about fresh, dewy skin. Lots of work but worth it, I guess! xx

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Me too. I actually like to do the steps! But not morning AND night!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. llindaxxo says:

    That’s so many steps! I do about 5-6 steps day and night, but 10 steps is too many >_<

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Yeah I agree. Once in awhile, not everyday!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. ayrgalaxy says:

    the 10 step korean skincare routine has changed my skin for the better. I don’t do it every single night, but I do make sure that I’m doing it at least a few times per week and also doing masks and exfoliating.. That’s very important lol.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I completely agree! I’m a bit skincare obsessed!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Shridevi says:

    This looks so tempting! I am too lazy to follow 10 steps everyday. But I think I should at least start with following it once a week.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. I love Korean skincare products!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh me too! I’m a freak over them!


  9. Beauty by Maeva Tarelli says:

    Your article is great! It might seem like a lot of steps but all of them are essential!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! it is a lot of steps, but I actually enjoy them!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. yourquirkycanadian says:

    Korean beauty is really interesting! Love this post! ♡

    Liked by 1 person

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