If you’re interested in beauty trends and hacks, you’ve likely heard all about Korean beauty (sometimes referred to as K-beauty).
By now we all are aware about Korean’s obsession with healthy and glowing skin. Achieving this is not a cakewalk and one has to follow to lot of regimes. We all grew up following the three steps of skin care- which are cleansing, toning and moisturising. But there is more to this which include essences, sheet masks and serums. We have explained the 10-step skin care routine followed by Koreans. Take note.
If Korean skin care is any proof, taking care of your skin before it needs it will pay off in the long run. Prevention is always better, because, once the damage is done, it can be hard to recover skin to its original state.
5, 7, 10, or 12 steps?
Even though 10 is the most common number of steps in Korean skin care routines, it’s a rough estimate.
In general, Korean beauty routines include multiple steps. But, overall, they focus on improving skin gently while achieving lasting results.
Ultimately, it’s not about following a certain number of steps, but tailoring a skin care routine to your skin’s needs. While many people begin with a 10-step routine, you can adjust up or down, depending on your needs or preference.
The traditional 10-step routine is the most widely used method of performing a Korean skin care routine. It usually goes as follows:
- Oil-based cleanser
Oil and water repel each other, which means that a water-based cleanser won’t effectively remove all the oil-based impurities on your skin.
SPF, makeup, and your body’s natural sebum are most effectively removed with an oil-based cleanser. This doesn’t strip the natural healthy oils from your face.
- Water-based cleanser
This is the type of cleanser most people likely think of when they hear the word “cleanser.” This is usually a foaming liquid (or bar) that removes the remaining impurities left behind by the oil cleanser, such as sweat and dirt.
Exfoliants are things like scrubs, peels, and pads. These products help remove dead skin cells and buildup. Start slow and do it sparingly (once or twice per week max).
Once you get to this step, your skin’s pH might be out of whack and need to be returned to its acidic state.
Toners help restore the balance and bring moisture back to the skin.
Unique to Korean skin care regimens, essences are formulated with fermented ingredients and are meant to hydrate and protect skin. Think of an essence as somewhere between a toner and a serum.
In Korean skin care, a treatment is anything that’s focused on aiding a specific problem — usually referred to as a serum. They contain highly concentrated ingredients meant to target specific issues, such as wrinkles or acne.
- Sheet mask
Sheet masks are sheets of serum-soaked paper that you lay on your face for about 20 minutes. Like exfoliants, sheet masks aren’t something that needs to be or should be done every day.
- Eye cream
Eye gels, creams, or oils are made to target the thin, sensitive skin around the eyes while helping with darkness, puffiness, and fine lines.
Moisturizer acts as a sealant to ensure everything soaks into your skin.
Lately, people seem to be acknowledging the effects of sun damage more and more. More products, like foundation and moisturizer, are being sold with built-in SPF.
Even if you will wear another product with SPF, it’s still very important to include this step.
This lighter version cuts the popular 10-step routine in half. Perfect for those on a budget or short on time, these five steps are the most important and basic to do every morning.
- oil-based cleanser
- water-based cleanser
- 7-step routine
- Compared to the 10-step routine, this one lacks an exfoliant, sheet masks, and an SPF.
A 7-step routine is best for the majority of evenings, given the lack of SPF and since you don’t need to exfoliate or use a mask every day.
- oil-based cleanser
- water-based cleanser
- eye cream
- 12-step routine
- Yes, there are still more steps. If you make it to 10 steps and feel like continuing, another common one is a 12-step routine.
Follow the 10-step routine first, and include these two additional steps:
If you’ve grown to love the dewiness that comes with that “glass skin” you’ve worked so hard for, misting periodically will help maintain and reactivate the products you use.
- Maintenance facials
A weekly facial, complete with massage, is not uncommon for Koreans and those who faithfully follow a Korean skin care routine.