Do you have a skincare routine? Or are you lost with all the different types of products out there, and words like...cleansing balm, treatment essence, ampoules and spot oils are foreign to you?


Rest assured, we've outlined the steps of the infamous "Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine" below so you can understand the basics to refine your skincare routine.


Please remember that everyone's skin is different. A product that works for others might not work for you, so experiment with different products to create the personalized routine that works for you and your skin. The 10-Step routine serves as a guide only and is customizable depending on what your unique needs are!


When introducing new products into your skincare routine, remember to always perform a small patch test and review the ingredients list prior to a full application of the product(s). Please consult a healthcare professional for any skin reactions and/or irritations that do not resolve after discontinued use.


The Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine


Step 1: Oil-Based Cleanser (Cleansing Creams, Balms, Oils)

The first step to your skincare routine should always be cleansing. Cleansing your skin removes dirt, oil and residue that may clog your pores and cause your products to be ineffective. Oil-based cleansers help to dissolve stubborn makeup and sunscreen and should be rinsed thoroughly before heading to the next step. Oil-based cleansers should be used in your evening routine.


Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser (Cleansing Foams and Gels)

A water based cleanser can be a gel, or foam that gently removes any leftover dirt and oil on your skin. They also help to balance the pH levels on your skin so that it can perform in its best condition. Use a water-based cleanser in your morning and evening routine.


Step 3: Exfoliation (Peeling Gels, Creams or Scrubs)

Exfoliating helps to remove any lingering dead skin cells on the skin. This process will not only help your skin feel smooth and bright, it will also allow your products to better absorb into the skin and work more effectively. Use this step in your routine 1-2x a week, ideally in your evening routine.


Step 4: Toner

Toner softens and hydrates your skin after cleansing. It also preps your skin for your next skincare step by helping to rebalance your skin's pH levels. Depending on the ingredients of your toner, it can also serve as mild (chemical) exfoliation. Use a toner in your morning and evening routine, after cleansing.


Step 5: Essence

Essence helps to provide added hydration to the skin and aids in treating your targeted concerns. Essences are usually lighter in concentration and texture than serums. Apply this in your morning and evening routine after toning.


Step 6: Serum & Ampoule

Serums and ampoules are the worker bees of your skincare routine. Its smaller molecules allow it to penetrate deeper into the skin layers to target your specific skin concerns. Serums are packed with powerful ingredients and nutrients to target acne, fine lines, large pores, name it, there's probably a serum for it! Use a serum/ampoule in your morning and evening routine.


Step 7: Sheet Mask

Sheet masks are packed with highly concentrated serums and are applied to the skin for 10-30 minutes for that instant brightening and glowing effect. Perfect as a pick-me up for your skin! There are large varieties of sheet masks, from cotton to rubber types with each targeting different concerns. Sheet masks are ideally used 2-3x a week in your morning or evening routine.


Step 8: Eye Care

The skin around the eyes is a lot thinner and more delicate than other parts of your face. This is the reason why we often see early signs of aging, usually around the eye area. Using eye serums, creams, and patches can help to reduce dark circles, fine lines and deliver the right hydration level to your eye area. We recommend using eye creams first, as part of your morning and evening routine and then adding on eye serums and/or eye patches afterwards once you are ready for a more extensive routine.


Step 9: Moisturizer & Sleeping Mask

One of the most crucial steps in your skincare routine is your moisturizer. Moisturizers act as a humectant to lock and retain moisture levels in the skin and acts as a sealing agent for the products that you've applied. Moisturizers can come in a variety of textures from gels, emulsions, lotions, creams, and even oils to suit your skin needs. Use a moisturizer in your morning and evening routine. 

Sleeping masks are a hybrid of your sheet masks and moisturizers. They work to target specific skin concerns to give you that 'pick-me-up' effect, but they are left on overnight. Sleeping masks can be used in place of your moisturizers in your evening routine 2-3x a week. 


Step 10: Sun Protection

Sunscreen is a MUST for protection of your skin. Sun damage is responsible for majority of skin concerns such as sun spots, wrinkles, moles, sunburns, sensitivity and irritation in the skin just to name a few. Protect yourself from the UV rays by applying sunscreen rain or shine (yes, there are still harmful UV rays on a cloudy day).


Some extra steps:


Wash Off Masks

Wash-off masks such as clay, bubble or jelly masks deliver an instant effect on the skin such as pore tightening, hydrating and brightening. These masks should be used after cleansing, ideally in your evening routine 1-3x a week.


Spot Treatments

Spot treatments target specific concerns on your face and are applied to the targeted area only (rather than all over the face). Use a spot treatment for your specific concern in your morning or evening routine depending on the product.