10 Steps to Glowy Skin: Korean Skincare 101

Do you want to learn more about skincare? Maybe you’ve heard of the 10-step Korean beauty routine or have seen the glowing, seemingly poreless skin of Korean pop stars. Korean skincare routines may seem complicated, but I’m here to break them down into bite-sized pieces for you! 

The classic K-beauty routine usually consists of ten steps, but you can mix, match, or skip steps to fit your own needs. Let’s get started!

  1. Oil cleanser: This is an oil-based face wash. It’s the first step in cleansing, and it’s good at breaking down oily substances, sunscreen, makeup, etc. 

  2. Water-based or foaming cleanser: This is the classic face wash. It breaks down leftover makeup products and water-based residue (like sweat!) on your face. It’s a double-cleansing-whammy!

  3. Exfoliator: Think sugar scrub masks, exfoliating stick, etc. They help scrub away dead skin cells, clean your pores, and more! Only exfoliate 2-3 times a week, at most – if you over-exfoliate, it can irritate or cause micro-tears in your skin. 

  4. Toner: I think of a toner as a “final cleansing step” that cleans up anything your cleansers might have missed. It also helps reset the pH and maintain the moisture balance of your skin.

  5. Essence: These hydrate and plump your skin. I think of them as lightweight, more-easily-absorbed versions of moisturizers. It’s very similar to the liquid left in a sheet mask package!

  6. Face mask: This is the classic sheet mask. Different masks have different ingredients to target different things, so make sure you choose the right mask for you!

  7. Treatments and serums: Think tea tree oil, vitamin C serums, etc. They target specific skin problems, like acne, hyperpigmentation, scarring, and more.

  8. Eye cream: This is a special moisturizer for the skin around your eyes. This skin is more sensitive and hydration-needy than that of the rest of your face, so eye creams are a must. They help with eye bags (an everyday accessory for me, as a college student!), crow’s feet, puffiness, etc.

  9. Moisturizer: It is super important to hydrate your skin! Even if you have oily skin, moisturizing is crucial to avoid the overproduction of sebum and oil.

  10. Sunscreen: Don’t forget to apply a light sunscreen in the morning and throughout the day – even if you’re inside all day, you’re still susceptible to the sun’s rays! Many moisturizers and makeup products now have SPF.

Now that you’ve gotten a crash course in the 10-steps routine, go out there and explore the world of Korean skincare! If you’re interested in learning more, I’ll be writing articles dedicated to each step in the routine. I’ll also be doing some product reviews and recommendations, so keep an eye out for those!