What is the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine?

skincare routine

The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine has become something of a phenomenon. As the name suggests this routine originates from Korean skincare practices and requires ten different products and steps to achieve healthy skin.

Ten steps does sound a bit intimidating, so we’re here to get you started with all you need to know!

10 step korean skincare routine

10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

The exact order of the routine may change a little depending on the products you use, but a typical 10-Step routine would be as follows:

oil cleansers

1. Oil-Based Cleanser

The 10-step routine begins with double cleansing. For this, we start with an oil-based cleanser or balm, which helps to break down oil-based impurities, such as makeup, excess sebum and sunscreen.

They are great for removing makeup, and work in a gentler way to most makeup removers. Despite the name, oil cleansers won’t make your skin feel oilier and are totally safe for oily skin types to use. Oil-based cleansers keep your skin balanced and hydrated.

2. Water-Based Cleanser

The second step of the routine, and of the double cleanse, uses a water-based cleanser. This is used to remove sweat and dirt from your skin, as well as any residue left by the oil cleanser.

3. Exfoliator

Exfoliating helps to keep our skin smooth, clear and bright. We do it after cleansing as it sloughs away dead skin and any impurities left on your skin. If you exfoliated after a subsequent routine step, you’d just be stripping those products off without getting the benefit.

4. Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are the heart and soul of Korean skincare. These thin face masks are soaked in essence or serum and are placed on the face for around 20 minutes. The mask covers your skin with a hydrating product and prevents the essence from evaporating, so it sinks into your skin better!

There are thousands of different masks to choose from, each with different benefits to suit varying skin needs.

5. Toner

Toner is one of the most important steps of the 10-step routine – it ensures skin is clear, prepped and balanced for the rest of the steps. A toner will help to rehydrate skin, making it more receptive to further skincare products. You can either use a cotton pad to swipe toner across your face, or pat it in with your hands.

Beauty of Joseon Ginseng Essence Water

6. Essence

A Korean skincare routine is all about providing skin with proper hydration. Essence is here to flood your skin with hydration. Hydrated skin is less likely to become irritated and can diminish signs of ageing. Just sprinkle a little essence into your hands and gently pat it onto your skin.

7. Serum or Ampoule

Serums, ampoules or boosters are used as a treatment for your skin to target specific concerns for your skin. These can be used to directly treat problem areas, such as hyperpigmentation, or broader concerns like acne. Serums and ampoules tend to come in a dropper bottle, so you can apply a controlled amount without contaminating the product with your fingers!

ginseng eye cream

8. Eye Cream

Eye cream provides moisture to the delicate skin around your eyes. They typically contain active ingredients which can target issues such as dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles.

tocobo ceramide cream

9. Moisturiser

Throughout your ten step skincare routine, you’ve been packing your skin with hydration, and the moisturiser is here to lock all of that in. Moisturisers come in loads of different forms – cream, gel, lotion, emulsion, oils – so there’s something for everyone.

Beauty of Joseon Sunscreen

10. SPF or Sleeping Mask

In the morning, the last step of your skincare routine should be applying sun cream (yes, even in winter or when you’re sat inside!). You might not see the benefit now, but your future self will thank you. Using SPF is the most effective way of keeping skin looking youthful, and helps to prevent skin cancer.

In the evening, try applying a sleep mask to boost your hydration overnight. Sleep masks have different benefits – some add extra hydration, some clarify skin, while others make skin glowy. Some can be used daily, whereas others may be a once or twice a week product. Oily or sensitive skin types may want to use only a moisturiser OR a sleeping mask, to not overload skin.

Now you know how to do it, we hope you have fun putting together your ten step routine!

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