What Goes Into the Famous 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine?
Korean beauty is famous for its innovations and advances in skin care. It’s also infamous for being complicated. K-beauty fans don’t just cleanse, moisturize, and start the day; they follow a ten-step skin care routine that explains why the rest of the world is looking to their beautiful complexions (and product advances) for inspiration. Here are the ten steps spelled out so you can amp up your skin care routine, or pick and choose what works best for your regimen.
Korean beauty aficionados don’t cleanse just once. The K-beauty “double cleanse” means you’ll need two cleansers, starting with an oil-based. It may seem counterintuitive to wash your face with oil, but oil cleansers work to dissolve the impurities on your face. Instead of drying out your skin, a formula with jojoba and macadamia nut helps nourish it without causing irritation.
K-beauty fans believe it takes a second cleanse to truly clear the face of all impurities. A foam cleanser helps remove the natural buildup that occurs throughout the day, like sweat and dirt, from the skin.
Slough off dead skin cells and make room for brighter skin by exfoliating. Make sure to exfoliate at least once a week with a scrub or use a gentle daily product like Garnier SkinActive Clean+ Balancing Daily Exfoliator.
A water-based toner can help balance your skin’s pH, making your complexion more even. Toner also helps prep the skin for the moisturizers to come in the follow steps.
One of the most uniquely Korean steps in the routine, essence is a water-based treatment similar to a serum. Essence is typically formulated with an antioxidant to protect, moisturize, and/or soothe the skin.
A thicker version of an essence, your serum is the next-heaviest step in the moisturizing ritual. This product likely also contains skin-boosting and moisturizing antioxidants.
Meant as a semi-weekly ritual, your sheet mask provides an extra dose of serum to be absorbed in about fifteen minutes via a porous fiber sheet. These often contain moisturizing and plumping ingredients like hyaluronic acid, and you can also find masks tailored to your skin type, such as green tea-formulated masks to mattify oily skin.
A daily eye cream helps plump the delicate skin around the eye area and can fight crow’s feet, fine lines, dark circles, and the appearance of aging.
When doing your routine in the evenings, your skin can benefit from a heavier moisturizer before bed, especially in the dry winter months. This allows your skin to take advantage of the extra hours to soak in healing antioxidants and nourishing moisture, and to help you wake up with refreshed skin.
The last and possibly most important step in any skin care routine, SPF protects against the sun’s harmful UVA and UVB rays. Even if you’re not planning to spend time outside, you should be applying a broad spectrum sunscreen like Garnier Clearly Brighter Brightening & Smoothing Daily Moisturizer SPF 15 daily for a base level of protection.