Remember the story of my dry dehydrated skin? Well, the good news is I might have found a solution to it: the 10 step Korean Skincare Routine.
I can’t pinpoint exactly when I fully embraced the 10 step Korean Skincare Routine but I think the journey began when I was looking for a hydrating toner. I was tired and done with all the toners I was using and I desperately needed a change. So, before I left Nigeria, I bought a sample size of the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner and it was a game changer. Literally. I swore that I was gonna buy the regular size and stick to it.
That was about a year ago.
At the beginning of 2019, I posted a video on my IGTV literally bashing the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine. In my words;
Who has that time?
Ladies and gentlemen, it is May 2019 and I am proud to say I have all the time in the world for a 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine. Even if I didn’t have the time, I would lose some sleep and make time. This routine is in the process of changing my life as I know it.
Let’s talk briefly about the history of the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine.
Asian skincare has generally been well accepted because they prioritize prevention over correction. Instead of spending so much money correcting all the never-ending skincare problems like they do in the US and the West by extension, they have been brought up to prevent them from an early age. This is why you can see both male and female with near flawless skin because they don’t joke with their cleansers, moisturizers and sunscreens.
In recent times, the Korean Skincare Routine has become incredibly popular all over the world thanks to social media particularly YouTube. Korean YouTubers have also added to this popularity so there’s really no excuse of not knowing how to achieve a hydrated skin anymore.
My Experience with the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine so far…
Like I mentioned earlier, I stumbled on this routine by accident. The plan was to stock up my routine with Deciem’s The Ordinary. But that hasn’t been going well. I started replacing by my Klairs Toner and before I knew it I was buying an Essence and a batch of sheet masks. The rest they say is history.
The truth is, as effective as this routine is, a lot of people are still sceptical because they can’t imagine doing a 10 step Korean Skincare Routine for any reason. Already there’s not enough time to do their full face of makeup. Imagine adding a ten-step routine to it. Anyway, I barely wear makeup anymore because I am dedicated to fixing my skin so it’s not really a problem for me.
But what people don’t realize is that you don’t really have to do the actual ten step routine every day and night.
The trick is to split the routine between your AM routine and your PM routine.
This way you’re not overwhelmed by the number of steps you have to do daily.
The best way to explain this is to use my routine but before that let’s get familiar with the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine;
- Oil Cleansing: this involves using oil/balm/milk to remove your makeup.
- Water Cleansing: after taking off your makeup, more often than not, there’s always leftover dirt that still needs to be cleansed. Your Gel or Foam cleanser fixes that.
- Exfoliate: as the the name implies you need to exfoliate to take out the dead skin cells.
- Toner: after cleansing and exfoliating, toning is important to restore your skin’s PH back to normal and prepare it to be layered with other products.
- Essence: this is literally a game changer especially if you are dealing with dehydration. Think of it as a moisture booster.
- Serum: while essences are mostly targeted towards hydration, serums are specifically for treatments. So, if you are dealing with acne or hyperpigmentation, this is where you use a serum that would treat it.
- Sheet Masks: regardless of what the package says, sheet masks do only one thing: hydrate.
- Eye Cream: your eyes also need to be cared for to prevent wrinkles and treat dark circles.
- Moisturizer: after layering all these yumminess, they all need to be sealed using a moisturizer.
- Sunscreen: without a sunscreen to end your routine, you have just wasted your time doing nine steps.
Now that we understand how the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine works, I’ll share my routine and products I use to give you a better of understanding. I’ve noticed that this method has helped me to be consistent so much that I always look forward to doing my routine every day.
My Korean Skincare Routine (May 2019)
- Oil Cleansing: Simple Kind to Skin Hydrating Cleansing Oil – I occasionally use it in the morning and use it at night to take off my makeup when I wear makeup.
- Water Cleansing: Neutrogena Hydroboost Water Gel Cleanser – I prefer to use a gel cleanser over a foaming cleanser for the second step of double cleansing because of my dry skin. I’ve found out that a gel cleanser leaves my skin soft and hydrated as opposed to a foam cleanser.
- Toner: Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner – this has become a staple moisturizing toner for me because it does the job.
- Essence: Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Muclin Power Essence – this essence is the best product I’ve ever bought. It is also currently responsible for my glowing forehead.
- Moisturizer: The Ordinary Natural Moisturizing Factors + HA – I seal up all the hydrating goodness with my moisturizer.
- Sunscreen: Missha Essence Sun Milk SPF 50+ PA+++ – This is such an amazing lightweight sunscreen that doesn’t leave a whitecast but blends nicely into my skin and stays well under makeup.
- Water Cleanser: Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water – I work from home most days so i don’t really do heavy cleansing. Micellar Water works just fine.
- Exfoliate/Toner: The Ordinary 7% Glycolic Acid Toning Solution – I honestly bought this because of the size and the integrity of the brand but I love how it has literally been purging my skin. I use this three times a week only at night. Full review coming soon.
- Toner: On the days I don’t exfoliate, I use a basic Simple Kind to Skin Soothing Facial Toner to prepare my skin for my serum.
- Serum: My Signature C Source Vitamin C Serum – This is my latest addition to my skincare stash and I can’t wait for my skin to literally start glowing. I use this four times a week only at night.
- Sheet Masks: Twice every week, I indulge my skin in some hydrating goodness.
- Moisturizer: Olay Whip Regenerist Moisturizer – As always, I use a moisturizer to seal up all the goodness.
- Facial Oil: Naissance Organic Rosehip Oil – Rosehip oil has always been a standard in my routine. Absolutely love to finish up my routine with it. It literallly leaves my skin glowing.
See how I’ve been able to split the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine between my AM and PM routine? This, my friends, is the trick.
Now, here are some tips on how to maneuver your way around the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine as well as the products.
- Understand your skin type and issues. This is the most important thing you need to do. You need to understand the foundation before building on it to prevent a crash. For instance, I understand that my skin is dry and dehydrated so I won’t be buying a product for acne prone or sensitive skin. So take out some time to understand your skin type.
- Choose products that work for your skin type. With Korean skincare, the products are affordable and endless. You’ll be continuously tempted to buy and buy. But when you know what you’re looking for, it helps you manage the temptation better.
- Be careful about mixing/layering products, you don’t want to damage your skin. Be careful about mixing your exfoliating acids with serums like Retinol and Vitamin C. Find out how each works individually and collectively before using them. For instance, I can’t use my Glycolic Acid Toner with my Vitamin C Serum on the same day.
- Priotize your essences, serums and sunscreens. You can decide to spurge on them and use cheap cleansers and moisturizers.
- Use SPF 50. This is actually non debatable. Your sunscreen should be a board spectrum(UAV/UAB) of minimum of SPF 30 and a maximum of SPF 50. Any other thing is useless. No, the SPF in your foundation or moisturizer doesn’t count. Thankfully, K-beauty have amazing sunscreens.
I really hope this guide has helped someone make the right skincare decision today. Forget about the fact that it is currently popular or trendy. Instead, think about each step and what they mean to you and your skin. You would realize that you have been doing your skincare a great disservice before now.
Some credible resources to help you in your Korean Skincare Journey
Resources/Articles: The Klog