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10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

31 Jan 2020
by S. Hachimi

K-Beauty – Korean Beauty – is more than just a trend blown over from South Korea. Real beauty gurus are already aware of the phenomenon. The Korean beauty ritual, which consists of 10 steps, ensures that your skin is deeply cleansed and glowing all day. Skin care is way more important than makeup. Korean beauty aesthetics is so different then what we are used to in Europe. Koreans are more focused on health, hydration and nourishing the skin, instead of covering it with all kinds of make up. We explain everything step by step, so that it is clear what each step does and how it can be implemented into your own routine.



Step 1: Cleansing oil

Cleansing oil is the first step of the Korean 10 Step skincare routine.

WHY? With an oil cleanser you can clean your skin from makeup, dirt and sebum. Oil cleaners contain ingredients that not only clean the skin surface, but also moisturize it immediately. The oils act as a type of solvent to which similar ingredients attach. For example oily ingredients in makeup and sebum, the cleansing oil absorbs and removes it from the skin. Since the oil cleanser is easy to rinse off with lukewarm water, it is the ideal way to remove makeup and products with an SPF from your skin.

HOW? Apply a small amount to the skin and massage it gently into the skin. Rinse well with lukewarm water and gently pat your face dry with a soft, dry and clean towel. Then use a water based cleanser as follow up. This method is also know as double cleansing.



Step 2: Water-based cleaner

A water based cleanser is an important part of the famous skincare routine, because it is the second step in your double cleansing routine.

WHY? A water-based cleanser or cleansing gel cleanses your skin even more deeply from impurities such as makeup, dead skin cells and tallow. Many cleansing gels use ingredients that address specific skin problems. In addition, the skin is hydrated, cared for and balanced.

Cleaning gels are suitable for normal to oily skin, but when you suffer from very dry skin, another type of cleanser is often more effective.

HOW? Apply the cleanser to your fingers and gently massage it over wet skin. Then rinse the foam with lukewarm water and then pat your face dry with a soft, dry and clean towel. After this you can apply a peeling or scrub as the next step.



Step 3: Exfoliate

When you notice that the skin starts to show dry spots, feels rough and needs skin care, it is good to do a peeling or scrub treatment. It is important to know that it is not wise to perform this step daily. So do not scrub or peel more often than twice a week.

WHY? You exfoliate by using scrubs or peels. These remove dead skin cells on the skin surface and ensure healthy, new skin. Exfoliating is a bit more intensive, which is why it is not recommended if you suffer from sensitive skin. Scrubbing not only removes dead skin cells, but also prevents pimples, blackheads and ingrown hairs.

HOW? Apply a desired amount to the skin. Massage with circular movements in the skin. Avoid the eyes and mouth. Then rinse with warm water.



Step 4: Toner/mist

A toner or mist is perfect to give the skin an extra hydration boost.

WHY? A toner or mist removes residual residues and moisturizes the skin, creating a dewy and shiny skin. In addition, these products ensure that other skin care products are better absorbed by the skin. They are also very suitable as a kind of primer, before you do your makeup. A mist can even set the makeup.

HOW? Apply a generous amount of toner to a cotton pad and wipe it over the skin to remove impurities and show the skin. Pat the product in the skin for extra absorption. You spray the mist over a distance of about 20 cm over the face and keep your eyes closed. Gently pat the mist into the skin until it is completely absorbed.



Step 5: Essence

This product is not very well known in the Netherlands. Essence is an essential part of your K-Beauty routine. You can see it as a serum, but a little more watery.

WHY? With an essence you give the skin a hydration boost. In addition, many essences have antioxidants and minerals that care for your skin. You can use this in both your morning and evening routine. You use it after showing so that all ingredients can be absorbed through the skin. This provides a nice, even and radiant foundation for cleaning, caring and applying your face.

HOW? Apply a desired amount to cleansed skin (after showing). Blot the product into the skin until it is completely absorbed.



Step 6: Treatment

There are various treatments that can be done in this step with, among other things, serums, spot treatments en ampoules.

WHY? Each treatment has its own function. Serums address specific skin problems such as dark spots or pimples. An ampoule is a concentrated serum that contains many active ingredients and is more intensive. This helps to replenish the lack of moisture, it also helps to catch free radicals, cell renewal and give the skin extra oxygen. Because an ampoule is more powerful than a regular serum, it is important that you do not use it too often, so once every two to three days.

HOW? Apply a desired amount to the skin and blot until the product is completely absorbed into the skin.



Step 7: Masker

There are different types of face masks, all with different treatments and treatments.


  • Sheet mask are the best known masks in the Korean beauty ritual. These masks have the shape of your face and are infused with essences and ampoules.
  • Sleeping mask are applied before going to sleep and take care of the skin while you sleep.
  • Peel off mask are intended to remove dead skin cells and blackheads at the critical points and ensure that clogged pores disappear like snow in the sun.
  • Wash off maskers care, soften, rejuvenate or hydrate the skin. After a wash off mask, your skin will feel wonderful and well cared for.



Sheet mask: remove the sheet mask from the bag and carefully open it. Place the mask on the face and leave it on for 15-20 minutes. Remove the mask and dab the remaining serum with your fingertips until it is completely absorbed.

Sleeping mask: apply it to dry, cleansed skin and massage it gently into the skin for extra absorption. Let it soak overnight and rinse it off in the morning with lukewarm water.

Peel off mask: apply an average amount to the entire face (or part of it) except around the eyes and lips. Let it dry completely for 20-30 minutes. Slowly pull it off the edges.

Wash off mask: apply it to dry, cleansed skin and leave it on for 15 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.



Step 8: Eye care

Because the skin around the eyes is often thin and sensitive, it requires special care.

WHY? The skin around your eyes contains fewer tag glands, causing the skin to dry out more quickly and become vulnerable. To relax and care for this, it is crucial to care for the skin around your eyes daily. This prevents various common skin problems, such as bags and crow's feet.

HOW? Apply a desired amount around the eyes in the morning and in the evening. Gently pat the product into the skin until it is completely absorbed.



Step 9: Facial cream

As a second to last step, use a face cream based on what your skin needs.

WHY? If one thing is important in your skin care routine, it is moisturizing. Moisturize the skin so that it feels wonderfully soft and well-cared for. This is possible with a face cream, face oil, face gel or emulsion. Dry skin can be treated well with a face oil. If you suffer from sensitive skin, it is best to opt for a face gel. These are free from greasy ingredients and moisturize sensitive skin. Face creams are great for normal skin. The creamy substances moisturize the skin and ensure that your skin feels satiny.

HOW? Apply a desired amount of cream or gel to cleansed skin and gently pat it into the skin until it fully absorbs.



Step 10: SPF

It is not only in the summer that it is important to protect your skin against the sun, but it is necessary to use the right sun protection throughout the year.

WHY? Asian sunburn is regulated differently from most American or European variants: they have the PA system. This system not only looks at UVB, but also at UVA radiation and the regular SPF does not. The UVA radiation does not cause skin burn (the UVB does), but causes the tanning of your skin. In addition, it also causes skin problems such as aging, pigmentation spots and skin diseases. Sunscreen is an effective way to prevent skin aging (and skin cancer). It protects your skin against the harmful rays of the sun, prevents you from burning and hydrates your skin.

HOW? Apply the sunscreen approximately 30 minutes before you go into the sun. Apply a layer on the skin as the last step of your (morning) care routine. Re-apply every 2 hours for continuous protection.


Most people are shocked after seeing all the steps. But once you have an image at all steps, you will find it more logical and it will be easier to apply to your own routine. The point is that you adapt your routine to your own lifestyle, skin type, skin problems, weather and the like. Ultimately, that is what the Korean skincare routine is all about: personalizing.


XXX - Siham


16 May 2020
If you do this routine at night would step 7 be the last step? I assume that nothing goes over the sleeping mask. At the same time, step 7 is skipped in the morning right?
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