From essences to sheet face masks, Korean beauty products and cleansing trends have been taking over the market. Everyone is especially raving about the 10-step Korean skincare routine so I finally decided to give in to my curiosity and put it to the test myself.
I’ll start by asking you to not let the 10-step part scare you away. A Korean skincare routine doesn’t necessarily mean 10 steps every day, you can lower to even five but I have been doing 7 to 10 steps a day because I wanted to really indulge in the experience.
I really wanted to try and get the best products for my skin, so I really took my time reviewing and comparing products. Below are the 10 steps along with the products I have been using.
STEP 1: OIL CLEANSER
Oil cleansers are the base of the Korean skincare routine and the first step of the double cleaning. Applied to dry skin, the oil cleansers remove dirt, makeup and other oil-based impurities such as pollution and sunscreen.
Sounds bizarre to clean your face with oil if you have oily skin but oil cleansers have the power to dissolve oil unlike any other cleanser ingredient. I went with Banila Clean It Zero which not only has a soft and pleasant scent but also feels super smooth on the skin.
STEP 2: FOAM CLEANSER
Believe it or not but most beauty experts agree that after one cleanse you will still have dirt left over. This water-based cleanser will remove the rest of the dirt and sweat leaving you with a completely clean face to work on. Noegen Green Tea foam left my face feeling smooth and clean without feeling dry which I loved!
STEP 3: EXFOLIATION
Exfoliation not only cleans out clogged pores but it also gets rid of dead skin cells which allows for brighter skin. This step isn’t recommended for daily use. Once a week is enough if you have sensitive skin. If you have a tougher complexion, you can do it up to three times a week.
I went with two times a week using Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine which is not only a much easier way to exfoliate than with scrubs. Double sided, the gauze side is bumpy allowing you to really get rid of any gunk clogging your pores while the quilted side gives you a gentle finish. Not only is using pads to exfoliate much easier and minus the mess of scrubs, it also smells delicious and left my skin feeling so smooth!
STEP 4: TONER
After cleaning so many times, your skin is fragile which is why using a toner is essential to balance moisture and pH levels. I had always thought of toners as an additional cleansing step but it’s actually more of a step to prep your skin to absorb the following products. I’ve been using NACIFIC Phyto Niacin Whitening Toner with is infused with Aloe Vera.
STEP 5: ESSENCE
The essence is really the heart of Korean skin care, a step that is credited to their culture. Watery in consistence, just a few sprays of Seoul Ceutical’s Mineral Plump and Glow Essence is enough before you gently pat it into face and neck.
STEP 6: BOOSTERS, SERUMS AND AMPOULES
This is where you pick a product to directly treat problem areas such as acne, fine lines and hyperpigmentation. I wanted to add Vitamin C to fight off fine lines so I went with Nature Republic Vitapair C Gel Cream. A little goes a long way and just 2 drops is enough for my entire face.
STEP 7: SHEET FACE MASKS
The purpose of your masks depends on what your skin needs. I’ve been using Dermal Collagen Mask Sheets which have slightly different purposes and I’ve actually even gotten hubby to join in sometimes. This is another step that you don’t do daily. Twice a week is more than enough to have your face feeling moisturized and plump.
STEP 8: EYE CREAM
Whether it’s fine lines, dark circles or puffiness there are eye creams for all concerns so picking the best one for yourself is based on your specific needs.
Luckily I don’t really have puffiness or dark circle issues so I went with Mizon Eye Cream which has 80% natural snail extract. Before you make a face, know that snail extract is another Korean beauty staple due to its benefits in maintaining youthful skin.
STEP 9: MOISTURIZER
I didn’t want to stop the snail extract benefits at my eyes so every night I actually look forward to applying Seoul Ceuticals Multi-Function Snail Repair Cream. Made of snail serum and infused with Vitamin E, Vitamin B5 and Organic Green Tea I am obsessed with how smooth and healthy my skin feels without feeling sticky or greasy.
STEP 10: SUN PROTECTION
By now you should know how important SPF is every day. For this one I stuck with Tonymoly UV Master Perfecting Sun Block SPF 50+ which I have been using for a couple of years and love how lightweight it is.
Note: Your skin is not the same as mine, so use products that will work for your skin type. These steps above are just for reference only.