Want to learn more about the infamous 10-step Korean skin care routine that’s been popping up in many internet beauty conversations?
The 10-step skin care routine may seem like another chore after a long and arduous day, but you’ll fall in love with the effects of it, almost immediately! If you’re ready to take the leap towards achieving healthy skin, here are the steps you’ll want to remember:
Step 1: Wash Away the Day
In beauty (and everything in life), preparation is key! Remove all the makeup and residue on your face with makeup wipes or a moist towelette. After you’ve removed most of the makeup, use an oil-based cleanser to draw out all the bacteria and sebum. Oil-based cleansers are great for melting oil-based debris that might be trapped in your skin, even after cleaning your face with a wipe. If you regularly use sunblock (we hope you do!) or oil-based makeup, the oil-based cleanser will help you thoroughly remove these substances without disrupting your skin.
Favorite products: Nooni Snowflake Cleanser ($13), I’M MEME I’m Cleansing Oil ($14)
Step 2: Double Cleanse The Right Way
Now that you’ve washed the day away from your face, it’s time to rewind and do it all over again! It may sound repetitive, but you’ll never think twice about it after you achieve that dewy, healthy and clean skin. The purpose of the first cleanse was to remove all the dirt and oil from your skin. The purpose of the second cleanse is the remove all the trapped debris, including what was potentially left behind from your makeup remover from the first cleanse. This is also a key step to prime your skin so it can absorb as much essence as possible (we’ll talk more about that later). For the second cleanse, use your favorite gentle cleanser and remember to use soft circular motions. For an extra pampering effect, press a warm and moist face cloth to your face.
Favorite products: Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser ($10), Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Foam ($10)
Step 3: Exfoliate Minimally
It’s great to exfoliate your skin once in a while, but don’t overdo it! We like to add this to our routine about 2-4 times a month, depending on the skin type. When exfoliating, focus on the T-zone area or where you see the most blackheads. If you’re using a peeling product, gently massage it all over the face until residue forms on your skin and after 5 minutes, rinse off with lukewarm water.
Favorite products: Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel ($9), BHA Blackhead Power Liquid ($19)
Step 4: Apply Toner
Now that you’ve removed all the dirt, oil and debris, it’s time for you to start applying the golden stuff! Toner is especially important, as it will help your skin prepare for all the essence you’ll apply later on. Most toners contain antioxidants and other additives that also help restore your pH balance. To apply toner, use a cotton pad or two and moisten the pads with the toner of your choice. Gently pat it all over the face until absorbed. Focus on your nose, cheeks and hairline, but avoid sensitive areas like your eyes! After the first layer is absorbed, massage and blend another layer of toner onto the skin using your palms to make sure that the skin’s hidden spots are filled. Lastly, wrap your face using your palms to maximize absorption.
Favorite product: Nooni Seed Toner (for dry skin – $18), Nooni Sprout Toner (for oily skin – $17)
Step 5: Absorb the Essence
This is my favorite step, because this liquid concentrate is the strong, little soldier, helping you win your ongoing battle against aging! There are so many benefits of essence and although each essence has a different set of ingredients, most of them enhance the skin’s cellular renewal process, which helps increase skin’s elasticity and firmness. They offer additional benefits, such as brightening skin complexion, evening our skin tones, targeting wrinkles, and regenerating the skin at a cellular level. So basically, it’s youth in a bottle! If your essence is more watery than creamy, spritz it directly on your face using a spritz bottle. Next, tap your face gently to increase absorption onto your face. If the essence is more creamy or has a gel-like consistency, dab a small amount of essence onto the back of your hand and with your finger, apply a tiny bit of it onto your face using gentle tapping motions.
Favorite product: Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence ($11), Innisfree Jeju Sparkling Mineral Essence ($24)
Step 6: Relax With a Face Mask
One of the more rejuvenating beauty steps you’ve probably seen on your Instagram feed these days is the ever-so-popular face mask! I love these face masks for many reasons. First of all, they force you to relax and sit still, which is a rare occurrence for many of us! Second, they add extra essence to your skin and depending on the type of face mask you’re using, they can help hydrate, firm or brighten the skin. There are many different types of face masks on the market, but just keep in mind that the cheaper the face mask, the less essence it typically contains.
Favorite product: Bon Vivant Aloe/Rose/Mint & Tea Tree ($15), Innisfree Mask Bundle Set ($8)
Step 7: Soothe Your Eyes
Don’t skip out on applying eye cream, especially if you experience constant puffiness or dark circles around your eyes. Eye creams typically contain ingredients that will help prevent fine lines around your eyes and help keep a youthful appearance. When applying eye cream, tap it liberally around the eye and avoid pulling or tugging the skin.
Favorite product: Scinic Vita Ade Eye Cream ($15), Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream ($22)
Step 8: Moisturize With Emulsion
Emulsion is really just another fancy word for facial moisturizer and as we all know, moisturizer helps rejuvenate the skin by keeping it hydrated. During the winter, I find myself applying emulsion more liberally to avoid dehydrated skin. To apply, dispense a few drops of the emulsion into your palms and gently rub your palms together to warm the emulsion up. Lightly pat the warm emulsion on your face until fully absorbed.
Favorite product: Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion ($19), Primera Wild Peach Pore Emulsion ($33)
Step 9: Before You Sleep, Apply a Sleeping Pack
It took me a while to get used to the feeling of applying a sleeping pack every night, but after seeing immediate results, I don’t even think twice about it! A sleeping pack will help lock in moisture throughout the night. Yes, your face will be glistening and dewy from the rich cream, but rest assured, you’ll be reaping the benefits! Tap a liberal amount of the sleeping pack onto your face as your last step of your skin care routine.
Favorite product: Botanic Farm Black Soybean Milk Pudding Sleeping Pack ($25), Primera Watery Cream ($35)
Step 10: Address Fine Lines
Earn some “extra credit” by applying an intensive care repair cream. I particularly love repair creams because they help improve damaged or rough skin while tightening large pores. Apply as you would a sleeping pack and add a drop of facial oil to the cream for extra moisture.
Favorite products: Nooni Advanced Repair Therapy Cream
Special thanks to our friends at Memebox! Memebox is the best way to discover and shop for the newest Korean beauty skincare and makeup. Follow Memebox on Facebook and Instagram for up-to-date information on all the latest k-beauty trends!