Complete 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine for Morning and Night

Specialty: Integrative Dermatology

Dr. Veerula (Dr. V) is a diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology, a Fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology and American Society of Dermatologic Surgeons. She is an energetic, proactive, and compassionate medical practitioner w... more

There is no denying that we are obsessed with K-beauty. Even those who have perfect skin are fascinated with the idea of achieving a porcelain look. Most of us are aware of the 10-step Korean skin care routine, which is their key to flawless and radiant skin.

The Korean skin care routine is more focused on improving the health of your skin by keeping it hydrated and providing it with the right ingredients in the right way. It is all about making your skin look amazing even without makeup.

Are you wondering if you have to follow all the 10 steps every day? Well, you may if you wish, but it is not necessary. You may skip steps, but make sure that you are providing your skin with all the essential ingredients that it needs. Let’s take a look at the 10-step Korean morning and night care routine.

The 8-Step Korean Morning Care Routine

Note: The morning skin care ritual has 8 steps (without double cleansing steps). However, if you want, you can always use a mild cleanser to clean your face.

Step 1: Wash Your Face With Water

Use water to wash your face after you wake up. Do not use any cleanser. Water not only makes your skin feel refreshed, but it also removes impurities from your face that may have settled down on the skin during the night. It also keeps your skin hydrated.

Step 2: Apply Toner

After washing your face with water, apply toner. You may dab the toner on a cotton swab and apply it in a sweeping motion or pour the toner in your palms and pat it lightly all over your face. A toner helps to balance the pH level of your skin and ensures proper absorption of the next skin care products.

Step 3: Apply Essence

An essence is a blend of serum, toner, and moisturizer and is a crucial part of the 10-step Korean skin care regimen. It hydrates and primes your skin and nourishes the skin cells. It also prepares your skin for the next steps. Pour a bit of it on your palm and gently press it all over your face. Do not sweep your fingers.

Step 4: Apply Ampoule

These are similar to essences and serums. However, compared to both products, ampoules contain a higher concentration of active ingredients. Ampoules usually come in a glass bottle with droppers. Use the dropper to apply a few drops on your face. Use your fingers to tap and press it all over your face gently.

Step 5: Apply Serum

Use a serum that addresses your skin issues. Serums are best for anti-aging benefits and can reduce skin issues, such as dark spots, hyperpigmentation, dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Take a pea-sized amount of serum (or two pumps) and press it gently all over your face with your fingertips.

Step 6: Use An Eye Cream

The area around your eyes is super delicate, and your regular face cream and serums are not going to work. You need an eye cream to keep the area hydrated and protected throughout the day. Take a little amount of eye cream on your fingertips and apply it from the inner corner of your eyes to the outer corners.

Step 7: Apply Moisturizer

After you have applied eye cream, apply a layer of moisturizer on your face. A moisturizer keeps the skin hydrated, nourished, and radiant all day long. If you have oily skin, use a water-based moisturizer, and if you have dry skin, use a cream-based moisturizer. Massage the moisturizer gently all over your face and neck.

Step 8: Apply Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from UV rays is a must. Once you have completed all these steps, apply sunscreen. This prevents dark spots, tanning, sunburn, fine lines, and wrinkles. Use a product with at least SPF 30.

This was the elaborate 8-step Korean morning skin care routine. These products keep your skin hydrated and healthy throughout the day.

Once you are back home, it is time to let your skin breathe and prepare it for its night-time restoration process. A proper skin care routine makes sure that the skin heals and repairs itself properly.

Step 1: Clean Your Face With A Cleansing Oil

You have to take off the dirt, sebum, and impurities accumulated on your face. Using a cleansing oil binds the dirt with the oil and makes it easier for you to clean your skin thoroughly. Massage the oil thoroughly all over your face and neck. Wipe your face with a wet cotton wipe. You can see your make up and dirt coming off your skin.

Step 2: Double Cleanse With A Gentle Foaming Cleanser

Once you have oil-cleansed your face and removed all makeup and dirt, use a gentle foaming cleanser to clean your face. Pour some cleanser on your palm, add water, and rub your palms together to generate lather or foam. Apply it on your face and wash off.

Step 3: Exfoliate Your Skin

This step should not be repeated more than two times a week. Exfoliation helps in scraping the dead skin cells and impurities from your face. This evens out your skin tone and promotes cell regeneration. You may use a chemical or enzyme- based exfoliant or a physical exfoliator (scrub) on your skin.

Step 4: Apply Toner

This step is similar to the step mentioned in the morning skincare routine. Even at night, you will need a toner to maintain the pH levels of your facial skin.

Step 5: Apply Essence

The essence always follows the toner. Never miss this step as the essence is needed to keep your skin hydrated for the entire night.

Step 6: Apply Ampoule

Right after hydrating your face with the essence, apply an ampoule. The super ingredients and active agents in the product will help your skin regenerate and recharge itself throughout the night.

Step 7: Apply Serum

After you have applied the ampoule, apply serum on the specific areas of concern. For instance, if it is an anti-acne serum, apply it on the affected areas. However, you can apply the serum all over your face and neck. This depends on whether you are using a serum for specific skincare issues or overall nourishment.

Step 8: Apply Sheet Mask

This is an absolute favorite of K-beauty followers. The sheet masks are saturated with serum that contains essential active agents. These are suitable for all skin types. They provide deep hydration to your skin and also offer specific benefits, such as anti-aging, anti-acne, hydration, collagen-boosting effects, depending on your skin requirements.

Step 9: Use An Eye Cream

Once your skin has absorbed all the goodness of the sheet mask, it is time to take care of your eye area. Apply an eye cream to keep the delicate skin around your eyes hydrated and nourished.

Step 10: Apply Moisturizer

Finish off with a night moisturizer. Applying moisturizer at the end seals all the ingredients and helps your skin soak up everything throughout the night. You will wake up with soft and supple skin.

The Korean skincare routine is all about nourishing the skin and providing it with the right ingredients, both externally and internally. Here are a few additional tips that you may follow to keep your skin as healthy as the Koreans.

Korean Skin Care Routine: Additional Tips

1. Stay Hydrated

Keeping your body and skin hydrated is essential. Though topical ingredients will help your skin stay hydrated externally, you also need to provide internal hydration. Drink plenty of water in any form. You may drink flavored tea (mainly tisanes or herbal teas, minus the caffeine) or flavored water (naturally flavored with lime and cucumber slices).

2. Rest And Relax

Do not strain yourself. Give yourself a break and relax. When you are stressed, it reflects on your skin. The best way to relax is by sleeping. When you sleep, your body restores and repairs itself. This improves your overall health (both physical and mental) and also benefits your skin.

3. Eat Well

Consume a lot of fresh vegetables, grains, meat, dairy, and fish. Include fermented and pickled foods in your diet. Such foods contain essential vitamins and probiotics that are beneficial for both the skin and gut health. Fish and meat broth contain collagen, which keeps your skin youthful and healthy. If you love having a dessert after meals, pick any fruit instead of baked and sugary delights.

4. Exfoliate Your Skin

This is applicable for not just your facial skin but your entire body. Try to rid your skin of dead skin cells by exfoliating it at least once or twice a week.

5. Never Forget Sun Protection

Never forget this even if it is cloudy and raining outside. UV rays can damage your skin and speed up the aging process. Hence, carry your sunscreen along.

Good skin needs time, dedication, and patience. Although you might feel that there are too many steps and too many products involved in the Korean skin care regimen, the truth is, each serves a specific purpose. Each product has a specific consistency, benefits, and a purpose, and layering them properly is the key to product efficacy. Go ahead and try it out. And, of course, post your feedback in the comments section below.

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