The (Surprisingly Easy) 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine

Monday 28 November 2016

A few years ago, French skincare was huge. More and more stores and websites were selling cult favourites that we all had to have and try. French skincare was all about simple and effortless products and micellar water suddenly was in every girls skincare cabinet. 

Fast forward to today and it's all about Korean beauty products (otherwise known as K-Beauty). More and more brands are becoming more accessible to us and suddenly it's a new skincare world! 

I've been wanting to get into K Beauty products but as someone who doesn't speak or read Korean, finding out about products and brands isn't easy. Last weekend, I was in Sydney at a Korean store and nothing was in English. I ended up purchasing some face masks, but was hesitant to buy anything else as I wasn't quite sure what it was or how to use it. 

Lucky there are more websites that are around to help the clueless (ie ME!!) to have access to amazing Korean products without needing to learn a new language. Seoul2U (apart from having an awesome name) has also done all of the work for me. Denise who runs the website has picked some of the best brands and products so I don't have to do a lot of research on my own. 

She kindly sent me some amazing products so I could incorporate them into a 10 step routine. The 10 step skincare routine is at the heart of every K Beauty fan and brand. 

While it might sound overwhelming to incorporate 10 steps into your routine, I actually found that I was doing most of them already. And also it's not 10 steps everyday twice a day, so don't think that it's too much to incorporate into your morning and night. 

Here is the surprisingly easy way to apply the 10 step routine into your day...

Step 1... Remove your make up

Oil cleansers are big in the beauty world and are at the heart of K Beauty. Your skin won't look good if you sleep in your make up and you definitely will waste your money on all of your other products if you don't take care of your skin and remove your make up properly. Even if you don't wear make up, you still need to double cleanse because you should wear a sunscreen daily!

It doesn't matter if you use a cleansing balm, a cleansing oil or even a cleansing stick! I've been using the SU:M37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick* as my first cleanse to help remove my make up. It's a really interesting product to use when you're used to oils and balms. It's perfect for travelling and if you love the scent of rose, you'll adore this scent! 

This is a bit thicker so I'd recommend it more for drier skin. It has the consistency of a balm, so make sure you use a wash cloth to remove it.

Step 2... Cleanse again

This is something that I already do, and most likely you do too! Use a cleanser that helps to not only clean your face but also helps your skin if you suffer from dry or oily skin. A cream cleanser is great for dry skin, while a gel based cleanser is good for combination to oily skin. 

Step 3... Exfoliate

As I said before, you won't do every step twice a day and this is a step that you might only do 1-3 times a week depending on your age and your skin type. Cream exfoliators are great for drier skin. Exfoliating pads are great for lazy girls or for those who don't like the feeling of rough granules on their face. 

I've been loving using the NEOGEN Bio Peel Gauze Peeling Wine Pads* as you get both a chemical and soft physical exfoliant. They're great for when I'm in a hurry as they're so easy to use and also very quick. 

These have a different texture on each side. I've found that these are a lot thicker and easier to use than other exfoliating pads that I've previously used. 

These are also fantastic if you suffer from "chicken skin" (Keratosis pilaris). The pads softly and gently help break down a build up of excess keratin and can help to reduce KP. 

Step 4... Toner

As a child of the 90s, we were told to cleanse, tone and moisturise for beautiful skin. It's a step that I adore and do everyday so I was so glad to see it as a K Beauty step.

Back in the 90s it was used to help restore the PH balance of your skin after cleansing as well as removing any remaining cleanser. While beauty has come a long way and cleansers aren't as abrasive and disruptive to our PH as they used to be, using a toner is both relaxing and can help the rest of your skincare work harder. 

Always make sure that you pat the toner into your skin, not rub.

Step 5... Essence

If there's only 2 things you know about K Beauty, most likely it would have to be essences and sheet masks!

An essence is almost like a hybrid of a toner and serum. It isn't as active as a serum but is much more than a classic toner. They can do anything from giving your skin extra hydration to enhancing a brighter skin tone. 

One of the most famous essences is from SK II which has a watery liquid. The COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence* is slightly thicker. It's not quite a water consistency but not quite a gel. If you love the idea of a essence but find that most of it slips through your fingers as you go to apply it, then I can't recommend this enough. It's amazing!!! It's also quite affordable at only $29. 

I've also heard some amazing things about the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence and it's on my wishlist for when I finish my bottle of the COSRX essence. 

If I'm feeling particularly lazy I normally will skip a toner and a serum and just use an essence so I can get to bed 25 seconds quicker! 

Step 6... Serum/Ampule/Booster

No matter your skin type, a serum is a fantastic investment to having and maintaining good skin. A serum is a powerhouse product that helps to reduce or remove any skincare issues you have. Depending on your skin type, a serum can help give hydration to dry skin, brighten dull or uneven skin or help to balance oily skin. 

Step 7... Sheet/Hydrogel Mask

This is another step that isn't a daily step. Once or twice a week, use a mask that helps to reduce or remove your skin issues. The best thing about K Beauty is that they literally have a mask for ANY and EVERY skin issue!! 

There are 2 types of sheet masks... cotton type material or a gel (hydrogel). Hydrogel sheet masks are water soluble, so it's perfect for adding extra hydration into your skin. Some sheet masks will tell you to rub any excess gel onto your skin, while others require you to wash it off. 

The store I went to in Sydney had 3 walls of sheet masks!! They had so many different types available. One of the most popular and odd sounding masks are the ones that contain snail mucin. 

The Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack* is a great mask because it contains snail slime filtrate and bee venom. It's a cotton mask that's alcohol free. 

If snail slime isn't your thing then aloe vera and honey are other popular ingredients in masks. 

The great thing about sheet masks is that they're affordable so it's worth buying a few to find what ones work for your skin.

Step 8... Eye Cream

I'm going to be honest and say that I suck at this step!!! I wish that I had started it earlier in my skincare life so it would be a habit, but sadly I'm either too lazy or forgetful when it comes to this step.

The skin around your eyes is thinner than the skin on the rest of your body, so it's important to be gentle when apply an eye cream. Gently pat it into your skin instead of rubbing it in. Applying it with your pinky finger will make sure that you're not applying too much pressure around the eye area. 

Also eye cream moves, so make sure you don't put it too close to your eyes as it will end up creeping into your waterline and sting!! Also make sure your hands are clean!!

Step 9... Day Or Night Moisturiser

While it might seem expensive at first, buying a separate moisturiser for day and night is really important especially if you want beautiful skin.

A day moisturiser is lighter and sometimes it contains SPF. Because it's lighter it helps to sit better under your sunscreen or make up.

A night moisturiser is normally thicker and has more active ingredients. A good night moisturiser will also help to reduce any skin issues you have like dry, oily or uneven skin. 

I've ADORED the COSRX Ultimate Moisturising Honey Overnight Mask.* It's one of the best night time moisturisers that I've every tried!!! It looks exactly like honey and the first time that I used it I was expecting it to feel sticky... But it's just a very cool gel moisturiser. 

Whenever I use this my skin feels so hydrated and radiant the next morning. I use it 2-3 times a week depending on how my skin is feeling. If you only try one K Beauty product then it NEEDS to be this!!

Step 10...Sunscreen

Sunscreen is THE most important skincare step. There's no point in using all of these amazing products if you don't protect your skin, especially if you're using products to whiten and brighten your skintone. 

So as you can see, it seems like a lot but you're probably doing most of these things already. If you're on a budget then investing in a essence and sheet mask will honestly make a world of difference. Slowly incorporate more Korean brands into your routine when you've finished up what you're currently using. 

While researching what brands and products were K Beauty must haves, I found a lot of people recommend products from COSRX, Missha, Innisfree, Etude House, Tony Moly, Laneige, Dr Jart and Banila Co. 

If you're in Australia, I can't recommend Seoul2U enough. They have a great selection of products and they've got free shipping on orders $35 or more. I'm interested in ordering the Banila Co Clean It Zero Cleansing Cream and the Son & Park Beauty Water as these are the products that I kept seeing recommended on youTube as peoples must haves. 

Seoul2U also have a blog on their website which has more information on the 10 step routine as well as other great articles.

Are you interested in the KBeauty 10 Step routine? Do you currently use any KBeauty products?
Amy, XO

*I was kindly sent this for consideration. All thoughts and views are completely my own, and are always 100% honest. See my disclosure policy here.

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  1. Ahhh I recently started using some Korean skincare products and they are beautiful! I'm particularly interested in the wine pads. I'm so intrigued! Awesome post that's given me even more temptation into K-beauty!

  2. I need to try Korean skincare. Looks so interesting 👌

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  4. Thank you so much for including Seoul2U in your wonderful write up. The ten steps skincare routine is in deed less complicated as it sounds. We wish more and more ladies(and men) out there can get to know high quality yet affordable Korean skincare products.


  5. Love your post! Very in depth :) it's interesting to see how Korean skincare routine is so different from western ones.


  6. To be honest I never really knew much about Korean skincare but this post is great! Would actually love to try it! :) x

    Jessica |

  7. I looove Korean products! I have IOPE, eSpoir, Tony Moly, and Elizavecca. Their beauty products work well for me, too!