The Korean Skin Care Routine


Double cleansing is critical to an effective Korean skin care routine. Start with an oil-based cleanser like this one that quickly transforms into a gentle mist when combined with water, melting away makeup and dirt without disturbing your face’s natural oils.

Next, apply toner using either cotton swabs or pour some into your palms before gently patting over your face.

1. Cleanse

Cleansing is the cornerstone of the Korean skincare routine. This typically entails using a balm- or oil-based cleanser to break down sunscreen, makeup, and sebum on the face and neck before following with either a gel- or foaming cleanser to eliminate any remaining residues or residue. This step is especially essential for those with oily or acne-prone skin; it removes extra sebum and bacteria that clog up pores on the face.

Korean skincare regimes enlist toner as an integral step, helping to regulate pH levels and prepare the face for subsequent products that will be applied over time. Toners contain ingredients that target specific issues like blemishes, redness, dullness, and dryness – perfect for targeted application!

The final step in the Korean skincare routine involves exfoliation using either physical or chemical methods, often twice each week, to keep the skin looking its best. Popular exfoliants include acid exfoliators, scrubs, and peeling gels.

2. Tone

At a time when beauty gurus like Charlotte Cho are garnering widespread cult followings, and products are selling out at Sephora, one might assume that the innovative Korean skincare routine would become an inevitable trend. The 10-step system includes uniquely Korean products such as essences and ampoules and cornerstones of conventional skincare such as cleansers and moisturizers.

Cleansing should always start any skincare regimen, and Koreans tend to prefer oil-based cleansers that break down makeup and oils without irritating the skin. Consider Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil, which also removes waterproof eye makeup.

Once your pores have been unclogged, use a water-based cleanser to remove any remaining residue and prepare your skin for further hydration treatments.

After cleansing, apply a toner to balance your pH levels and prepare your skin for more efficient ingredient absorption. You can do this using cotton swabs, sweeping across your face, or pouring some into your palm and patting onto the skin – look for one with botanical ingredients such as allantoin, birch sap extract, or triple hyaluronic acid!

3. Essence

Toners should be an essential component of your 10-step Korean skincare routine as they hydrate the complexion and balance skin pH levels, helping prevent clogged pores while providing increased absorption of other skincare products you use.

Your toner should be alcohol-free and provide moisturizers (humectants) and barrier builders (emollients). We advise reaching for one rich in antioxidants, such as Missha mist essence with ferulic acid and olive-derived squalane, which will work wonders!

Essences are a favorite in K-beauty and make an ideal transition between your cleanser and serum. Like toner, essences contain thicker liquid formulas with skin-protective ingredients like niacinamide and adenosine for maximum benefit to the skin.

Prepping skin may seem unnecessary to non-K-beauty fans. Still, it improves absorption by reducing transepidermal water loss and allows you to dispense drops directly onto the skin rather than through cotton pads or cloth. We even offer weekly ampoule packs as an easy way to get quick results in no time!

4. Serum

One of the primary draws to K-beauty is its ability to quickly clear, refine, and smooth skin without irritation or redness. A serum is, therefore, an integral component of any Korean skincare routine; it penetrates deep into pores to deliver potency ingredients (think snail mucin, ginseng root extracts, galactomyces yeast strains, and fermented ingredients like lotus seed) directly.

Once your skin has been cleansed, it needs hydrating. That’s where an essence comes in; as an innovative combination of toner and serum, this liquid provides intensive moisture to your complexion while encouraging cell turnover for a younger-looking appearance. Plus, its soothing formula means it works great for all skin types!

5. Booster

K-beauty regimens have become the go-to skincare approach. Their 10-step Korean routine guarantees glowing porcelain-like skin – even though some steps might be more involved than what we’re used to, it is an effective way to achieve a smooth, radiant complexion free from impurities.

Step one of a Korean skincare routine starts with an oil-based cleanser to effectively dissolve any makeup, sunscreen, or sebum that clogs pores or can be challenging to wash off with regular water-based cleaners. Step two utilizes two water-based cleansers that provide comprehensive skin cleansing.

Next, toner can help restore balance to your skin’s pH levels and prepare it for further hydration in Step Two. Typically alcohol-free toners, they can be used alone or combined with face mist for extra hydration.

Introducing a serum with targeted treatment ingredients may be beneficial at this point. A targeted serum may target specific skin issues, while an all-over booster could boost your complexion overall.

6. Sheet Mask

Korean beauty has taken the world by storm with its skin-centric approach, but there is much more to the Korean skincare routine than just the 10-step regimen many associate with this culture.

Sheet masks have long been a mainstay in K-beauty, and they’re often used to address specific skin concerns. Some include brightening ingredients like arbutin, niacinamide, and glutathione to address discoloration over time, while others, such as this TONYMOLY mask with fermented green tea, provide soothing hydration.

Face masking offers many advantages: You can tailor it to your needs by adding or subtracting steps from your daily routine. Listen to your skin and only incorporate products that support it – if your sensitive skin can’t tolerate physical exfoliants such as scrubs, then perhaps clay or charcoal masks might be more suitable than scrubs; or if blemishes are an issue for you, then manual exfoliants or microdermabrasion would be better choices; for those dealing with dry skin consider hydrating, nourishing, and adding antioxidants into their routines if need be.

7. Eye-cream

An eye cream to nourish skin can help prevent dark circles, puffiness, and crow’s feet. Use one daily or sporadically according to the needs of your skin.

Next comes toner. Applying it regularly is an integral part of Korean skincare, as it balances your pH level and allows the rest of your products to go in more effectively. Look for an alcohol-free formula that won’t dry your face too much; our favorite is Rare Earth Pore Refining Toner with mineral-rich Amazonian white clay and allantoin to replenish moisture levels and mattify shiny areas such as the T-zone.

Essences are customized treatments explicitly tailored to your unique skin care needs, from anti-aging serums and acne fighters to hydrating masks and sleeping masks that seal in all those ingredients for overnight absorption by your skin. You can switch out serums throughout the week or choose one with multiple uses — from anti-aging, acne-fighting, hydrating, or soothing properties. Finally, seal all that in by applying thick night cream, face oil, or sleeping mask treatments, which ensure they absorb into the skin throughout an average nighttime!

8. Moisturizer

Step five is sealing all the beneficial ingredients with a moisturizer to leave your complexion hydrated and nourished. Korean beauty experts often opt for a cream over oil due to its deeper penetration of skin layers, so the beneficial ingredients can continue to absorb over the night.

Balm or oil cleansers provide an effective means of cleansing away makeup, sunscreen, and excess sebum while simultaneously hydrating your skin. Next, pat on some toner to restore balance to your pH levels and prepare your complexion for additional products like essences, ampoules, and serums that you plan on layering onto it (for instance, essences, ampoules, and serums).

An exfoliant should then be applied to remove dead skin cells through physical or chemical exfoliants, followed by a serum tailored to specific skincare issues (brightening, anti-aging, or whitening) and eye cream to safeguard the delicate eye area. A sheet mask provides deep moisturization before you finish off with rich cream for the nighttime.