A Korean Skincare Routine – What it is and why try it

Korean skincare

Every woman wants smooth, youthful skin! The question is, how do you get it? We’ve all heard that we should follow a skincare routine and be consistent, but it’s hard to know where to start. And, if you’ve ever walked down the skincare aisle at your local drug store, you’re all too aware of the overwhelming number of skincare products available. And, they’re not always cheap either! It’s hard to justify spending $50 on a face serum when you’re not even sure how to use it.

Korean skincare routines have become incredibly popular among celebrities and beauty bloggers over the past few years, and it’s easy to see why. Korean women are known throughout the world for their beautiful, seemingly ageless skin. If you’re looking for a skincare routine that produces real results, this one is definitely worth a try!

A skincare routine for k-beauty often involves 10 steps or more, which is probably a bit more than you’re used to. Although 10 steps sound like a lot, the routine can actually be customized to meet your individual needs. There’s no need to do every single step morning and night. Korean women add or take away steps as needed, depending on the way their skin feels and looks on any given day. And, many steps can be reserved for those days when you just want a little extra pampering.

Here’s your complete guide to establishing a Korean skincare routine, step-by-step!

Steps One and Two: The Double Cleanse

If you follow recent beauty trends, you’ve probably already heard about the amazing benefits of using an oil cleanser. Korean women love oil-based cleansers because they break down sunscreen, dirt, oil, and makeup on the skin without any tugging or scrubbing.

The Double Cleanse involves using an oil cleanser first and then following up with a gentle, water-based cleanser. This extra step ensures that any remaining residue is removed, but it doesn’t leave the skin stripped or dried out. Double cleansing is considered essential in a Korean skincare routine.

Step Three: Toner

Many American women think of toner as a harsh, drying, alcohol-based product that’s only good for oily skin, but Korean toners are nothing like that. Korean beauty brands create toners for all skin types, and they’re very gentle and natural. They often include beneficial active ingredients, like rosewater for providing moisture and reducing redness.

In a Korean skincare routine, toner is used to balance the skin’s pH after cleansing, add hydration, tighten pores, or sometimes even exfoliate. You should choose a toner based on your skincare goals and your skin type. They’re meant to be applied with your fingers or a cotton pad in the morning and evening after cleansing.

Step Four: Essence

Essences are pretty unique to k-beauty, and they’re designed to provide hydration and plump up the skin after cleansing and toning. This step will help your other treatment products absorb more easily. This is probably one of those steps you can skip if you’re pressed for time, but once you try it, you might be hooked! Essences are applied twice a day with your fingertips.

Step Five: Serums and Ampoules

This is one of those steps that really allows you to customize your routine according to your needs and goals. Many Korean women use one or more serum or ampoule, layering from the thinnest product to the thickest. These treatments contain highly concentrated active ingredients to target specific issues, such as firming the skin, adding moisture without oil, reducing hyperpigmentation, or softening fine lines. Treatments can be used twice a day before moisturizer, or you can skip them in the morning if you want to streamline your routine.

Step Six: Moisturizers

Korean beauty routines usually include an all-over moisturizer for the face and a separate eye cream. The skin around the eyes tends to be thin and delicate, so Korean eye creams are specially formulated to moisturize and protect the area. There are formulas available to target problems like dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines.

After the eye cream, an all-over facial moisturizer is applied to lock in all the beneficial ingredients from your treatments and form a protective barrier over the skin by keeping dirt and impurities out. Using a moisturizer gives you another opportunity to apply beneficial active ingredients to the face, so be sure to look for one that targets your specific needs and goals. You can even choose a lightweight formula for day and a heavier formula at night.

Step 7: Sunscreen

Sunscreen should never be skipped if you’re going to be outside, even in the winter. Choose an SPF of at least 15-30, depending on your sensitivity and sun exposure. If you want to streamline your routine. Look for a moisturizer, foundation, or BB cream that has sunscreen built-in.

Step 8: Exfoliators

Exfoliating doesn’t need to be done every day. In fact, just a couple of times a week is enough for most people. But, don’t be tempted to skip it altogether because it gives the skin amazing glow and smoothness! Exfoliating promotes cell turnover and unclogs the pores, which allows your other skincare products to be absorbed better. K-beauty routines often include gentle peels made from fruit and botanical extracts that remove dead skin without harsh and damaging scrubbing.

Step 9: Sheet Masks

Korean women love sheet masks for targeting specific needs. They can be used every day, once a week, or just when your skin needs some extra pampering. Sheet masks come in a multitude of different formulas for every skin type and goal. Consider keeping an assortment of them on hand so you can adjust your skincare routine based on your skin’s needs.

Step 10: Sleep Masks

We’ve all been told that the body heals when you rest, and the same is true for the skin. You can boost that natural healing power by using a sleep mask in place of your regular nighttime moisturizer two or three times a week.

Final Tips

The key to any successful skincare routine is choosing products that are formulated for your skin type and using them consistently. Following a Korean skincare regimen allows you to customize your routine based on your needs, rather than taking a one-size-fits-all approach. If your goal is to achieve youthful, smooth skin you will need to invest some time in your daily skincare routine, but the results will be worth it!