Korean Skincare Routine - The lower part of a woman's face and her décolletage

Korean Skincare Routine – The Ultimate Guide

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The Korean skincare routine seems to be trending lately, and with good reason! This skin regimen incorporates much of what, as an esthetician, I would consider to be logical skincare! It is good for you skin and involves a skin regimen that will help you have healthy, youthful, amazing skin.


You should do the Korean skincare routine day and night for great results and very happy skin!


So what is the Korean skincare routine and what are the Korean skincare products that are best?

Korean Skincare Routine - The lower part of a woman's face and her décolletage


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Korean Skincare Routine

What Steps are in the Korean Skincare Routine?

  1. Oil Cleanse
  2. Foam Cleanse
  3. Exfoliate
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum/Ampoule
  7. Sheet Mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Moisturizer
  10. Sun Screen



Our listing of recommended products, organized by step, can be found at the end of the article!

Step 1 – Oil Cleanse

You want to remove makeup and dirt so you want to cleanse with an oil-based cleanser. This may be scary for those of you with oily skin, but trust me! Nothing sends your oil glands into panic mode more than a lack of good, healthy oils. 


Your skin will think it is lacking oil and produce more! So good, healthy oil in small doses is not going to cause an oil slick on your skin! Drying it out too much might!


Step 2 – Foam Cleanse

After you oil cleanse you want to cleanse with a foam cleanser or a water-based cleanser. You simply rub the foam onto your face with gentle, circular motions to remove any other dirt or impurities on your skin.


Step 3 – Exfoliate

This step helps remove dead skin cells that can prevent needed moisture from getting through, drying out your skin. You can use a gentle exfoliant or a brush/sponge for this step.


Step 4 – Toner

Using a good toner will help restore your skin’s pH levels, hydrate your skin and prep it for the remaining steps. Apply with a cotton ball!


Step 5 – Essence

Essences are the heart of Korean skincare. They are light-weight, water-based products. Some people describe it as a serum but the reality is this product is more a booster and is meant to hydrate the skin and protect and repair it. It typically contains more water than a serum would.  



Step 6 – Serum/Ampoule

Now THIS is where the serum or ampoule comes in. They help repair skin issues like acne, and can help minimize the appearance (and future) fine lines and wrinkles. If you have really oily skin or if you really don’t have any skin issues, you can just bypass this step.


Step 7 – Sheet Mask

Sheet masks have become extremely popular parts of a skin regimen these days and are easy to find! In fact, my teen has been using them for a few years now! You can find them in pretty much any price range and they are quick and easy to use.


Their purpose is to increase hydration, which is really important as your skin ages! They are typically soaked in serum, so yes you are getting yet another layer of serum (as well as other excellent ingredients) on your skin and your skin will love you for it!


It is a one-time use product and you can get them to meet your specific skin-care needs and your skin type! 


Step 8 – Eye Cream

No skin regimen would be complete without taking great care of the eyes.


The skin around your eyes is not the same as the skin on the remainder of your face. For one, it lacks the sebaceous glands (oil glands) that provide oil to the rest of your face. 


Second, it is also much thinner and can be prone to lines and wrinkles


The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, so be sure to never pull or tug on it.


When applying any cream to the area around your eyes, you want to use your ring finger and use it gently. Your ring finger is the weakest one so it applies the least amount of pressure.


Step 9 – Moisturizer

A cream moisturizer is a staple of the traditional Korean skincare routine and it forms what is known as an occlusive layer, sealing in all the ingredients you just applied and adding additional moisture to your skin.


Step 10 – Sunscreen (When Doing Routine in the Morning) or Sleep Mask (When Doing Routine in the Evening)

Protecting your skin is a key step to ANY skin regimen! This one is no different.


The sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin and can even affect your DNA and can cause your cell membranes to become distorted.


Korean sunscreens have, in many cases, both UVA and UVB protection which a lot of sunscreens in the US lack.


The sunscreens in your cosmetics is not enough to protect your skin fully! So use a separate sunscreen!


If you are doing the skincare routine at night, a sleep mask is an alternative since you obviously do not need sunscreen while you sleep!


Be sure to check out our recommended products for the Korean Skin Regimen, organized by step, below!


What is the Korean skincare routine and what are the products that are best? Click To Tweet

Korean Skincare Products for a Great Skin Regimen




Korean Skin Regimen - Cleansing

Korean Skin Regimen - Exfoliate & Tone

Korean Skin Regimen - Essence

Korean Skin Regimen - Serum/Ampoule

Korean Skin Regimen - Sheet Masks

Korean Skin Regimen - Eye Cream

Korean Skin Regimen - Moisturizer

Korean Skin Regimen - Sunscreen

Some other posts like ‘Korean Skin Regimen’ you might enjoy:

Dewy Skin for Mature Women

Beauty Over 40



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