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South Korea is known for its media, cuisine, and so much more. However, what I love most about South Korea is its obsession with skin care. You may have heard of it before, as Youtube channels like Safiya Nygaard, As/Is, and Rachel Nguyen have done videos on their experiences with the infamous “10-step Korean skin care.”

You may be thinking, “Ten steps?!” And my answer is… Yes. It may seem like a lot, and, trust me, it is. BUT, once you see how bouncy, clear, and smooth your skin is, you’ll realize how worth it it is.

If you’re unfamiliar with the 10 steps, just do the following:


Use an oil-based cleanser to remove your makeup. Most of the time, makeup wipes don’t really pick up all of the product off of your skin, and oil-based cleansers really break down your makeup to leave you with a fresh and clean face. For this, I use Neutrogena’s Ultra Light Cleansing Oil for $8.49.


Use a water-based cleanser to remove the excess oil-cleanser off your face, especially if your oil cleanser doesn’t emulsify. A double cleanse may seem a lot, and I honestly do not know the science behind it, but it works, I promise. For water cleansing, I use The Body Shop’s Tea Tree Skin Clearing Facial Wash for $14.00.


Exfoliating should not be a part of your daily skin care routine—exfoliating everyday will dry out your skin and weaken it as well. Exfoliate every 2-3 days to get rid of all of the dead skin on your face. To exfoliate, I like to switch in between products every once in awhile, but my all-time favorite is The Body Shop’s Himalayan Charcoal Purifying Glow Mask for $28.00.


A toner is a lightly alcoholic product that removes any last bit debris that was left on your face after the double cleanse and exfoliating. Some toners also have extra benefits, like evening out your skin tone, skin brightening, etc. To tone, I love The Body Shop’s Aloe Calming Toner for $16.00. Whenever I run low on toner, I like to make my own!


Essence is a serum that you can apply on your face to aide with hydration and skin repair! I don’t have an actual essence, so instead, I spritz some of Mario Badescu’s Facial Spray with Aloe, Herbs, and Rosewater for $14.00.


If you have eczema or any other skin conditions, or if you just feel like your skin needs some work on any areas, such as dryness, dullness, etc., this is where you would apply any treatments that target those areas. I use The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Concentrate for $38.00.


Sheet masks are the ultimate staple in American slumber party culture. Different sheet masks target different trouble areas, and some can be super fun and wacky. They can help moisturize, vitalize, brighten, clear your skin and more. My favorite brand of facemasks are TONYOLY’s I’m Real Sheet Masks at $10 for 4 at Urban Outfitters.


When the skin of your under eyes age, your whole face ages. That’s why it’s super important to keep them healthy and strong. To do this, you’ll need some eye cream to hydrate and protect it. I personally do not use an eye cream, not because I don’t need it, but because college and the rest of these products have completely drained my wallet.


Of course, the queen of them all: moisturize. Moisturizing is the most important part of every skin routine because dry skin is die skin. Dry skin can lead to flaking, breaking out, sensitivity, and sometimes even infections. So quench that skin! My favorite products for moisturizing are The Body Shop’s Drops of Youth Youth Cream for the day time (at $34.00), and their Drops of Youth Youth Bouncy Sleeping Mask for the night time (at $32.00).


Of course, you don’t need to use sunscreen at night, but this is more for your morning routine. Sun damage is a major cause of wrinkles and sunspots, making your skin age faster. Apply some sunscreen before you leave for the day, and you won’t have to worry about wrinkles! My favorite sunscreen is The Body Shop’s Seaweed Oil-Control Gel Cream (at $12.00), which isn’t exactly a sunscreen, but it has an SPF of 15, which is nice. You can always combine steps 9 and 10 by using a moisturizer with SPF in it.


Of course, you can’t rely on these steps alone to be your way to youthful, healthy, and clear skin. The skincare routine should always be a complement to a healthy and clean diet, as well as drinking lots of water in your day.

Some products may work for you and some may not. Don’t be discouraged if you have trouble finding your go-to products at first; it always takes a bit of time to experiment to find your perfect combination of creams.

It may seem tedious, but as time goes by, it becomes fun, and the amount of product on your face by the end of the night gives you some serious highlight on those cheekbones. Enjoy and happy applying!

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