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Skin Care

The Rise Of Korean Skincare: What We Can Learn From Their 10 Step Routine

The world of skincare has been revolutionized by the rise of Korean beauty, also known as K-beauty. Korean women and men have long been known for their flawless, radiant skin, and their rigorous 10-step skincare routine is largely responsible for this enviable glow. But what is this mysterious routine, and what can we learn from it?

Let’s dive in and uncover the secrets to Korean skincare success.

Oil Cleanser

This step is essential for removing makeup, sunscreen, and other impurities that accumulate on the skin throughout the day. An oil-based cleanser is used because oil dissolves oil, making it an effective way to remove makeup and dirt without stripping the skin’s natural oils.

Always double cleanse, especially if you wear makeup or sunscreen during the day.

Water-based Cleanser

This involves using a gentle, water-based cleanser to remove any residual impurities. Look for a pH-balanced cleanser that won’t strip your skin of its natural oils.

Using a gentle, water-based cleanser is essential for maintaining the skin’s natural pH balance and avoiding dryness or irritation.


Exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and unclog pores, revealing a smoother, brighter complexion.

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Korean skincare routines typically favour chemical exfoliants like AHAs and BHAs, which are gentler on the skin than physical scrubs.

Regular exfoliation can help to improve skin texture, prevent breakouts, and enhance the absorption of other skincare products. However, over-exfoliation can irritate the skin, so be sure to use exfoliating products sparingly.


This step involves using a toner to balance the skin’s pH and prepare it for subsequent skincare products. Korean toners are typically more hydrating and nourishing than Western toners, which can be quite drying.

Using a hydrating toner can help to soothe and calm the skin after cleansing, and can provide an extra layer of moisture and nourishment.

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This step involves using an essence, which is similar to a serum but has a thinner, more watery consistency. Essences are designed to deeply hydrate and nourish the skin, preparing it for subsequent skincare products.

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Using an essence can provide an extra layer of hydration, helping to plump up the skin and improve its overall texture and appearance. This step is particularly beneficial for those with dehydrated skin.

Korean Serum

This step involves using a serum to address specific skincare concerns, such as acne, fine lines, or hyperpigmentation. Korean serums often contain potent, active ingredients like retinol, vitamin C, or niacinamide.

Korean Skincare
The Rise Of Korean Skincare: What We Can Learn From Their 10 Step Routine

Using a targeted serum can help to improve the overall appearance and health of the skin by addressing specific issues. However, be sure to choose a serum that is appropriate for your skin type and concerns.

Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are a staple of the Korean skincare routine, and for good reason. They provide intense hydration and nourishment to the skin, helping to improve elasticity, reduce fine lines, and even out skin tone.

Sheet masks can be a fun and relaxing way to treat your skin to some extra hydration and nourishment. However, they should not be used every day, as overuse can lead to irritation or breakouts. Instead, try using a sheet mask once or twice a week for best results.

Eye Cream

This step involves using an eye cream to hydrate and nourish the delicate skin around the eyes. Korean eye creams often contain peptides, vitamin C, and retinol to help reduce the appearance of dark circles, fine lines, and puffiness.

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The Rise Of Korean Skincare: What We Can Learn From Their 10 Step Routine

The skin around the eyes is thinner and more delicate than the rest of the face, so it’s important to use a gentle, hydrating eye cream to maintain its elasticity and appearance.


This involves using a moisturizer to seal in the hydration and nutrients from previous steps, and to prevent transepidermal water loss (TEWL). Korean moisturizers regularly contain ingredients like snail mucin, aloe vera, and hyaluronic acid to provide intense hydration.

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Moisturizing is an essential step in any skincare routine, as it helps to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier and maintain its hydration levels.

Sunscreen (daytime only)

Sunscreen is essential for protecting the skin from UV damage, which can cause premature aging and skin cancer. Korean sunscreens are often more cosmetically elegant than Western sunscreens, with lightweight formulas that are easy to apply and wear under makeup.

Wearing sunscreen every day, even on cloudy days, is essential for protecting your skin from sun damage and keeping it looking youthful and healthy. Korean sunscreens can be a great option if you are looking for a lightweight, cosmetically elegant formula.

In conclusion, the Korean 10-step skincare routine is a comprehensive approach to caring for your skin, and there is much we can learn from it. By focusing on hydration, nourishment, and targeted treatment, you can achieve a more youthful, radiant complexion.

Photo Credit: GETTY

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