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Korean skin care routine – 10 steps to an even complexion

When it comes to skincare, Korea is way ahead of the game. The 10-step skincare routine has its origins there and has meanwhile become known worldwide. This beauty programme promises an even complexion, fine pores and a light glow. We show you here what the 10 steps of the beauty routine are.

10 June 2024 • 3 min. reading time

What is so special about the Korean skincare routine?

At first glance, 10 individual steps for skincare seems like a lot. However, the Korean skincare routine is a well-thought-out skincare system: the steps build on one another and each product fulfils its own purpose. In addition, the sequence is designed in such a way that, after cleansing, only water-based products are applied at first. Only right at the end are oil-based products used to lock the actives into the skin. This ensures you get the greatest possible nourishing effect.

The 10 steps of Korean skincare

We explain the 10 steps of the Korean skincare routine and show you products that could fit into your routine.

Step 1: Oil cleanser

The first step of Korean skincare is the oil cleanser. Korean beauty experts swear by the oil-based formula as it is effective for removing dirt, make-up and sunscreen. In addition, this type of cleanser is especially nourishing and leaves the skin feeling silky with a light glow. Most oil cleansers are applied to dry skin. After the product has been well distributed, you can emulsify it with a little water and then remove it with a wet, warm towel.

Step 2: Wash gel

The second step of the Korean skincare routine is a wash gel, i.e. a water-based cleanser. This type of double-cleansing ensures that no traces of oil, dirt or make-up remain on the skin. This step is essential for the skincare that follows to absorb really well and be effective.

Step 3: Exfoliator

In this step, a chemical peel is used. This is a liquid that gently loosens dead skin flakes. Unlike a manual peel, no peel particles are contained in this product. The process is purely chemical and is therefore exceptionally thorough and gentle. This step has many benefits:

  • dead skin flakes are loosened
  • the complexion looks more even
  • blocked pores are freed
  • inflammation is reduced
  • impurities are prevented

Depending on the ingredients, chemical peels can have different properties. Learn about these in advance so you can find the right product for your skin. Liquid chemical peels are particularly suitable for the Korean skin care routine, as the next steps in the skincare routine can be layered well over them.

Step 4: Toner

A toner helps to regulate the pH value of the skin. The pH value can become unbalanced through cleansing and exfoliating. In addition, the toner is an important preparation for the following steps, which can work better after using it. Take care to choose a toner that is well-suited to your skin type. Simply put a little toner on a cotton pad and dab it lightly over the face.

Peelings & Toner

Step 5: Essence

Essences are a central component of Korean skincare: these are light, moisturising liquids, which can penetrate deep into the skin. They supply you with a moisture boost and important nutrients. This step can make a big difference to dehydrated skin in particular. Simply spray the product at a distance of approx. 20 cm from your face. If the essence does not come in a spray bottle, simply put the product in your hands and pat it gently into your skin.

Step 6: Serum

Serums are highly concentrated water-based skincare products. They are available for every skin type and every skin requirement: anti-ageing face serums often contain vitamin C or niacinamide, for example. A moisturising serum mostly nourishes through a high proportion of hyaluronic acid. Serums contain a high concentration of actives and can penetrate deep into the skin – this makes them extremely effective.

Essences & serums

Step 7: Cloth masks

Probably the most time-consuming step in the Korean skin care routine is the face masks. They are saturated in precious ingredients which can be used in a targeted manner for various skin requirements. The use of masks means the nourishing effect is particularly high, as the actives can stay on the skin for a long time – you should allow 10–20 minutes for this step.

After removing the cloth mask, you can massage the residue into your face. This ensures you get the greatest possible benefits from this step and don’t waste the potent ingredients.

Step 8: Eye cream

Eye creams are specially formulated for the delicate skin around the eyes. This area needs different skincare from the rest of the skin, as it is very fine and prone to developing wrinkles. It is therefore worth looking for the right product for your own requirements. A rich eye cream is possibly suitable for you only in the evening – in the daytime, you can switch to a lighter formula.

Step 9: Cream

In this step, the previously applied actives are locked into the skin with a face cream. Creams contain a small amount of oil, which the water-based products cannot penetrate. This step is essential because otherwise the skin can lose moisture and dehydrate over time. This would lead to a dull complexion and dehydration lines.

Step 10: Sunscreen

In the daytime, the last step of the 10-steps Korean skincare routine is sun protection. To avoid premature skin ageing, you should use a sunscreen for the face every day – even when it’s cloudy. Meanwhile there are sunscreens for the face that have quite light textures. This means they can be integrated into your daily skincare routine.

Creams & sun creams

Korean skincare routine for beginners

We’ve still got a lot to learn from the Korean beauty industry. Innovative actives and formulas enable an even skin tone and the best possible skincare experience. However, 10-step skincare seems like overkill – above all for a beauty newbie. Simply begin with the following steps if you would like to raise your skincare to the next level:

  • oil cleanser
  • cleansing gel
  • exfoliator
  • serum
  • cream
  • sunscreen

Thorough cleansing in the evening is important to cleanse the skin of all residues. To do this, you should use the double-cleansing method. In the morning, simple cleansing is sufficient. Exfoliation should also be part of your routine. This step can make a big difference to your skin, especially if you are prone to impurities. The serum is packed with good ingredients and moisturises the skin. To lock in moisture, a cream must be used to finish. If it has a mild formula, you can also use it around the eye area. In the daytime, sunscreen is essential if you want to prevent skin ageing and age spots in the long term.

It’s simple to use the Korean skincare for beginners: 5 steps in the morning and 5 steps in the evening. As a supplement, you can use a cloth mask once a week. This saves time and nevertheless provides your skin with the most important skincare products. It’s also not a problem to miss out a few steps – but you should not change the sequence under any circumstances!

Takeaway

It’s not without reason that Korean skincare has become known all over the world. The individual steps are perfectly coordinated and can therefore develop their full potential. However, if you want to save time or cannot buy all the products at once, you can also make your skin radiant with just a few steps. Simply always ensure that you cleanse your face well every day and supply it with sufficient moisture – then your skin can develop its own radiance too.

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