The Secrets of Korean Skincare – the 10 Step Routine

Korean skincare is extremely complex. There are layers and layers and layers of cosmetics you can apply – each serving a different function. We want to tell you about the secrets of Korean Skincare. The most famous process is the 10-Step Process of Korean Skincare, which we will walk you through here. You can extend this process, or only pick out the steps you need for your skin. Skin types obviously vary from person to person, so you have to figure out what works best for you.

Following this routine will give you a noticable improvement – it definitely is a lot of work, but with a little bit of practice it should not take you longer than 15-20 minutes. And your skin will reward you for it 🙂

1. Makeup Remover

This is a universal step. You need to remove your makeup completely before you go ahead with the routine. Get rid of any makeup, impurities, dead skin and dirt you may still have on your face. Oil-based cleansers are very useful and do the job well – highly recommended! Scrub your face with the cleanser and a bit of warm water. Take your time to massage the cleanser into your pores, so that all unwanted substances are flushed out. Rinse your face well afterwards.

2. Cleanser

Didn’t we just have a cleanser? Yes we did! And now we have another one. This time, it is a water-based cleanser. It washes away any residue from the oil-based cleanser. Additional benefit – using the water-based cleanser makes sure any last impurities are washed away as well (cleansing twice is better than once!). As you’d expect, this step is tedious. Find out what works best for you.

In general, focus on the black head areas when using a cleanser – if you see dark spots where your pores normally are, you want to focus on those areas more than others.

3. Exfoliation

The exfoliator gives your dead skin a gentle reminder that it is no longer wanted. Use the exfoliator to get rid of dead skin, paving the way for the rich and valuable essences and lotions for your pores which are already waiting in the coming steps. Good news: you don’t (and even shouldn’t) do the exfoliation often. 2-4 times per month is enough.

Once you complete this step, your skin should feel super soft!

4. Toner

After the cleansing and exfoliating ordeal, your skin can use a bit of refreshing. Now you can use the toner. Sprinkle and apply directly, or use a pad. Gently rub the toner onto your skin. Its job is to prepare your skin for the wonderful essences that are about to come. Thanks to a bit of hydration and restoration of your skin’s pH level, your skin will be able to absorb the essences better.

5. Essence

Now to one of the most important parts – the essence. After removing your dead skin, you need your skin to recharge and restore itself. The essence spurs on your skin turnover – it helps create new and stronger skin cells, while boosting your current ones. Your skin will get stronger and smoother thanks to the essence you gently dab in.

6. Serums/Ampoules

While the essence is universal, ampoules are more personal. Ampoules are concentrated essence, used for a variety of things. From reducing sun-spots to brightening your skin or treating acne, it really depends on what you want and need most. Just like the essence, you dab in the serum onto your skin.

7. Sheet Masks

Our favorite step. Sheet masks are fun! The sheet masks are masks that have the shape of a face. They are made out of cotton or similar comforting material, and are drenched in essence full of nutrients. Different masks serve different purposes, so you can choose what you think your skin needs most.

Normally you should keep the masks on for about 20 minutes, but it depends on the mask you chose. This is another step you do not have to repeat every day. 1-3 times per week is enough, it also depends on how much essence is contained in the sheet mask (some have more, so you really don’t need to apply those three times a week).

Pro tip: keep the sheet masks in the refrigerator for an even better effect!

8. Eye Cream

Next up – the eye cream. What do people notice most about your face – the eyes. So they deserve the most attention. Be careful though, the skin around the eyes is extremely delicate. Never rub in eye cream, only gently tap the cream onto the skin.

9. Moisturizer

Almost done, don’t worry! Unless the sheet mask has absolutely saturated your skin, you should also put on a moisturizer. You can’t keep a silky smooth skin if your skin if you don’t apply moisturizer! Different moisturizers exist for different skins, so you really need to find one which suits you well. Luckily enough there are a lot of options out there, so you should be able to find something.

10. Night Cream/Sun screen

Depending on the time of day you normally go through this routine, you will need to choose from a night cream and a sun screen. The night cream keeps your skin moisturized throughout the night, and helps it regenerate after the routine. The sun screen shields your skin from the sun, which is one of the largest reasons your skin ages – and we don’t want that!


If you’ve come this far, give yourself a pat on the back. It can’t hurt to try the routine out, stick with the steps you feel suit you best. But as already mentioned, not all of these steps are mandatory every time you do the routine, so it’s not actually that bad. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us if we can answer any questions you might have, or about other secrets of Korean skincare you want to share/learn about 🙂

For additional tips, check out this blog post! A couple of great additional tips can be found there 🙂

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