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The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

Korean skincare, renowned worldwide for its thorough and transformative approach, revolves around a meticulous 10-step routine. This routine, deeply rooted in Korean culture, emphasizes not just the cosmetic aspect of skincare but also the therapeutic, meditative process of caring for one’s skin.

The 10-step Korean skincare routine is designed to provide comprehensive skin health, focusing on hydration, nutrition, and deep cleansing to achieve that coveted glass-like complexion. In this blog, we will explore each step in detail and understand why it’s revered globally.

Understanding the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

1. Oil Cleanser

Purpose: The first step involves using an oil-based cleanser to remove oil-based impurities like makeup, SPF, and sebum. How to Use: Apply to dry skin, massage gently, and rinse off with lukewarm water. Benefits: Ensures a thorough cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

2. Water-Based Cleanser

Purpose: This step involves a water-based cleanser to remove water-based impurities like sweat and dirt. How to Use: After oil cleansing, apply a water-based cleanser, lather, and rinse. Benefits: Helps in deep cleaning the pores and refreshing the skin.

3. Exfoliator

Purpose: Exfoliation removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores. How to Use: Gently massage the exfoliator on the face and rinse off. Use 1-2 times a week. Benefits: Promotes cell turnover and makes the skin smooth and ready to absorb other products.

4. Toner

Purpose: Toners balance the skin’s pH levels and prep the skin for the next steps. How to Use: Apply a toner with a cotton pad or with your hands. Benefits: Hydrates and helps in better absorption of the subsequent products.

5. Essence

Purpose: Essence is a hybrid between a toner and a serum and is key in Korean skincare. How to Use: Pat onto the skin until absorbed. Benefits: Adds an extra layer of hydration and aids in skin repair and cell turnover.

6. Treatments (Serums, Ampoules)

Purpose: These products are concentrated formulas targeting specific skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, etc. How to Use: Apply and gently pat into the skin. Benefits: Delivers a high concentration of active ingredients directly into the skin.

7. Sheet Masks

Purpose: Sheet masks provide a surge of hydration or treatment. How to Use: Place the sheet mask on your face and relax for 15-20 minutes. Benefits: Offers deep hydration, soothing, and brightening effects depending on the mask.

8. Eye Cream

Purpose: Eye creams focus on the delicate area around the eyes. How to Use: Gently tap the eye cream around the orbital bone. Benefits: Targets eye-specific concerns like dark circles, puffiness, and crow’s feet.

9. Moisturizer

Purpose: Moisturizers seal in moisture and ensure that the preceding products are absorbed properly. How to Use: Apply evenly across the face and neck. Benefits: Hydrates and locks in all the beneficial ingredients used in previous steps.

10. Sun Protection

Purpose: Protects the skin from harmful UV rays which can cause premature aging and skin damage. How to Use: Apply generously as the last step in your morning routine. Benefits: Prevents sunburn, photoaging, and hyperpigmentation.

Customizing the Korean Skincare Routine

It’s important to remember that the 10-step Korean skincare routine is not a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on your skin type, concerns, and the time you can allocate, you can customize this routine:

Skin Type: Choose products that suit your skin type – oily, dry, combination, or sensitive.

Specific Concerns: Focus on products that address your specific skin concerns.

Simplifying the Routine: On busy days, you can simplify the routine to just cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection.

The Philosophy Behind the Routine

The Korean skincare routine is as much about the ritual of skincare as it is about the products. It’s about taking time for oneself, nurturing the skin, and enjoying the process of self-care. This holistic approach extends beyond mere appearance, fostering a sense of wellbeing and mindfulness.


The 10-step Korean skincare routine offers a comprehensive approach to skin health, emphasizing prevention over cure. While it might seem extensive, each step has a purpose, contributing to skin that is well-hydrated, balanced, and radiant.

Adopting even a few steps of this routine can make a significant difference in your skin’s health and appearance. As with any skincare regimen, consistency is key, as well as listening to your skin’s needs and adjusting accordingly. Embracing this routine can be a rewarding journey towards not just better skin, but also a more mindful and indulgent self-care practice.

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