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What’s all the buzz? Less than a decade ago, western and the rest of the world become more aware of Korean skin care through K-pop and K-drama. If you ever watch those movies stars, you will notice how flawless and dewy their skin are even the male stars. So what’s their secrets? Some will say because of plastic surgery. Some will believe because of their 10 Korean skin care routine steps.
Korean cosmetic industry is quite more advanced than the western world. Because of high demand of better and faster result of their consumers, the industry has significantly progressed in more innovative skin care technology. They use some unknown or uncommon ingredients in their products which I will discuss in another article.
Today I want to discuss about the Korean 10 steps skin care system that most of you probably heard or aware of. This routine is not “none or all” rule. Not all of us have the time or need to do all these steps. I’m encouraging you to modify this dill to suit your needs.
The Traditional Korean 10 Steps Skin Care Routine
The whole idea is to make sure your skin is squeaky clean before putting anything on your face. Application order is to put watery stuff first then move toward more creamy stuff. It kinda a law of diffusion which means lighter materials get absorb faster than thicker materials. This is a nice way to remember which products to apply first and make the following steps make sense. Here is the details about 10 steps skin care routine:
1: Removing impurity
Getting rid of those dirts or makeup by using an oil based cleanser. It sounds kind of strange but actually the oil cleanser is very effective to extract and dissolve 98% of makeup and impurity. It is also quick and easy to clean off.
2: Cleansing round 2
After you get rid of those impurities, now you are ready to cleanse your skin with a water-based cleanser to wash away any remainingresidue for a squeaky cleaned skin.
3: Refreshing with exfoliator
This is not a daily routine but once or twice a week, you should exfoliate your skin. If you have sensitive skin, you would do this less often, maybe once a month. This is a way to give your skin a fresh and renew look by washing off your dead old skin. Be careful of over exfoliating. Always gentle
message your face with these types of products.
4: Rebalancing with Toner
Toner is rebalancing your skin moisture and pH level after all these cleansing. You can use cotton ball/pad to suck up the toner and then gently apply it all over your face. Let it absorb for a few seconds before going on to the next step.
5: Pampering with Essence
In this step and the next step is like one step. You can use just essence or serum or both. Essence is little lighter than serum. The texture is in between toner and serum which meant for fast absorption. Depending on the essence ingredients, it benefits your skin in different way.
6: Loading them up with serum
Similarly, serum is like a concentrated treatment. It can target specific skin concern. Generally, you would want to apply this serum and then gently tap it in your skin to aid penetration.
7: Rejuvenating with Masks
Commonly there are 3 categories of masks, wash-off mask, sheet mask, sleeping mask. In this step, it refers to sheet mask and sleeping mask. Wash-off mask would fit better into exfoliator step. This masking step just amplify your routine. You can check out this post here which dedicate to this
8: Making them look well rested with eye cream
This is a quick step to rejuvenate everything around your eye. You apply the cream above, side and under the eyes. Your eye area is very delicate so you want to be as gentle as possible. You would want to apply your cream by tapping with your middle finger since it has the less pressure.
9: Moisturizing up
Nothing bet a hydrated skin. This is step is critical to ensure your skin stays moist all-day long. Most moisturizers are thick so wait a few second before doing the next step.
10: Protecting with SPF
After all that work, you’re better protected it with sunscreen with SPF at least 20 or higher. Whether it’s summer or winter, using sunscreen will go a long way.
My Modified Skin Care Routine
Not all of these steps will apply to you. But for my lazy self, I only do a few essential steps that work well with my skin and schedule. Even the products, I change base on the season and the need of my skin.
Morning Routine- Quick and Easy
Usually, I’m running late but I have to get ready to hit the door running for work before the traffic jam starts. I want a fast routine so I do the minimum the basic of 5 steps which usually take me about 5 minutes to complete.
Currently, I use Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser which does pretty good job of gently cleaning and balancing my skin pH. I’m love with this Benton Snail Bee High Content Skin Toner. It effectively hydrates and nourish my skin. I like to use Cosrx Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence because it is light and fast absorption, then moisturize light texture Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream. My last step is a sunscreen. My Favorite is Klairs, Mid-Day Blue Sun Lotion with SPF 40. It does leave my skin a little whiter with a tint of blue but at the same time add glow and non-greasy look.
Evening Routine – Effectively Pamper
I usually exfoliate once or twice a week using Secret Key Lemon Sparking Peeling Gel. I do notice a white residue coming off the skin when using this gel, and my skin feel softer and smoother. Then following with Benton Toner and instead of essence, I use Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop serum to help with discoloration and even out my skin tone.
Sometime I would do mask especially when I have an event to attend on the weekends. Otherwise, I don’t usually do it. If I do a wash-off mask, I do it in between cleanser and toner but I do sheet mask between serum and eye cream. My go to wash-off mask is Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask and my sheet mask is Innisfree It’s Real Squeeze Mask. For sheet mask when I’m done I don’t wash it off. I gently tap the leftover serum and let my face dries a little before applying my eye cream.
I have tried many eye creams but my favorite one so far is this Innisfree Orchid Eye Cream. It has light scent and a boat load for the price. It helps keep my dark circle and wrinkle away.
I haven’t seen my face glow before. This is awesome! My skin now is more radiance, smoother, brighter, even skin tone, less noticeable discoloration. I couldn’t be happier.
I will let you be the judge of my before and after photo here. Both of them is a selfie without filter and with no-makeup except the eye area.
My skin is not perfect but I’m far better off now with this skin care regime. I truly believe in prevention before treatment. One thing I always do is to wear sunscreen like a mad woman. My skin is very sensitive to the sun so I wear sunscreen every day reapply twice a day even though I don’t go out in the sun. But even I’m in the sun, I always wear double layer of sunscreen and wear a hat. Those freckles will not go away nor getting worse so that good news.
Best Places to Buy These Korean Skin Care Products Online
If you have access to Amazon.com, it is the best place and sometimes best prices to get all your Korean skin care products.
Due the raising interest in Korean skin care industry globally, there have been so many new online places to get these products. Here is list of some but it is not an extensive list:
- Yesstyle.com They are Hong Kong based company. I do affiliate with them. They offer free shipping over $35 and they ship to most countries. For the first time customer, they offer $10 off. They also sale other Asian skin care products. Price sometime is comparable or cheaper than Amazon.com. The Best time to buy is to watch out for deal or sale.
- Sokoglam.com You can get 20% for your first purchase by using clicking here. Free shipping for order over $35 for US and they do ship internationally. Their price points tend to be little more expensive than other websites.
- Memebox.com They are US based company and offer free shipping for order over $40. They have exclusive brand for their products so you probably can find the best deal for these brands with them. They used to have a lot of other products but they changed their business model.
- PeachandLily.com They are another US based company that curated quality Korean products. They offer $10 off $50 order for first time customer. You can click here for that offer. You also get free US shipping for order over $50 with free samples. They have some unique brands. Their products tend to be little pricey.
- GlowRecipe.com They are another US based company that curated quality natural Korean products. They offer 10% off $50 order for first time customer. You also get free US shipping for order over $50 with free samples. They have some unique brands and products. Their products tend to be more expensive.
- Koreadepart.com They like Korean Department Store. They do ship internationally from Korea but charge a shipping fee. You need to account for that in your cost per item price. They have huge selection of Korean skin care products. You need to know what you want to ease of navigating.
- Beautytap.com They offer free shipping internationally for order over $60. They ship directly from Korea. They have a quite a bit of selection
The post got little longer than what I would usually write but hope you find this post useful. Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts or questions, experience with these products or online shops below. I would love to hear from you.
Cheers to beautiful skin!
Edit: from one of the comment from the reader, I would to address that the Amazon links that I provide with the products are authentic products made in Korea from legitimate sellers.