Skip to main content

How To Actually Follow The 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

* 10 steps may seem like a lot but your skin will thank you
* This method has been tested and proven to work
* K-Beauty aficionados get ready

Korean beauty and skin care have turned into a global phenomenon; one that pulls up endless videos on YouTube when searched and one that might have you buying numerous products you don’t really need or know what to do with.

While the much talked-about and followed 10-step routine may seem extreme and time-consuming, the ultimate goal is to help you understand the way each product is formulated and how it works, so that you can select and choose the ones (or all) that work for you, your skin type and lifestyle.

We have taken the 10-steps, broken them down in order and given you some great product recs so that you can make an informed decision on the best way to incorporate this trend into your ultimate, skin care routine.

Step 1: Oil Cleanser

Do not be afraid of facial oils in any form. They do not clog pores and leave your face feeling like an oil slick. In fact, they are one of the best ways to remove all traces of stubborn makeup quickly and gently. The goal here is to remove all your makeup thoroughly and Kose Softymo’s Speedy Cleansing Oil is up to the task. While cleansing oil is ideally used with dry hands and face, this product can be effective with wet hands as well.

Related Stories


Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser

As double cleansing is key in this routine, and your next step cleansing step would be to use a water-based cleanser to remove any remaining dirt and residue from your oil cleanse. One great option is the Skinfood Egg White Pore Foam which is a deep cleaning cleanser that deeply penetrates pores and removes pore-clogging oil and dead skin cells along with blackheads. The use of egg whites in this cleanser also stimulates the growth of collagen cells, thus improving the skin’s elasticity and resilience.


Step 3: Exfoliate

Next up is exfoliation. Exfoliating frequently is the key to clearer, smoother and tighter skin. Neogen Dermalogy’s Gauze Peeling Wine may sound like a mouthful but it is a unique exfoliating product that uses single-use exfoliating pads to provide gentle yet effective removal of dead skin cells. Skin cells are sloughed off the surface with the 3-layer pad technology using lactic acid and the powerful anti-oxidant, Resveratrol. Simply swipe the pad across your face 2-3 times per week for or as needed.


Step 4: Toner

Toners have seen a resurgence as of late and are the next crucial step in this skin care routine. Etude House’s Wonder Pore Freshener is a 7-in-1 total pore solution for intensive pore care. The formula effectively cleans inside and outside of pores, tightens up your pores and balances pH levels to help with hydration and prep for it for the next step.


Step 5: Essence

Essence is up next and is a toner/serum hybrid made strictly for hydrating and aiding skin repair and cell turnover. Meant to be applied to freshly toned skin, Missha’s Time Revolution Moist Treatment Essence is a highly-rated essence that improves texture and tone while improving skin’s moisture and density levels. Simply pat in gently with your fingers until fully absorbed.


Step 6: Treatments/Serums

Treatments and/or serums are up next and are meant to target specific areas of concern. One great option is Mizon’s Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule which is a multi-care formula that will improve many troubling skin imperfections you may have. Snail Mucus or Mucin is said to aid human skin by hydrating, preventing aging and improving wrinkles and scars. This formula contains 80 percent snail mucin which will give you all benefits listed above in a concentrated formula.


Step 7: Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are a great way to stop and relax for 15-20 minutes while enjoying the deep restorative benefits of a mask. The Elixir Golden Face Mask is meant to be applied after your serum and will give you multiple benefits in one session. Detox, minimize pores, brighten and moisturize with this sheet mask that uses the antibacterial properties of gold to detox and purify your skin.


Step 8: Moisturize

The whole point of doing the 10-step routine is to achieve more youthful, healthy-looking, dewy skin. With that said, moisturizer is the key, and finding one that works for your skin type will help. Nature Republic’s Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream is suitable for most skin types and forms a protective film on the skin to keep in moisture. With Polynesia Lagoon Water and 30 kinds of marine plant extracts, this cream will give you 24-hour lasting moisture to plump up and nourish your skin.

</p> <p style="text-align:center;">[caption width="346" id="122455"]<img decoding="async" class=" wp-image-122455" src="" alt="Watery Cream Nature Republic" width="346" height="346" srcset=" 522w,,150 150w,,300 300w,,113 113w,,90 90w" sizes="(min-width: 87.5rem) 1000px, (min-width: 78.75rem) 681px, (min-width: 48rem) 450px, (max-width: 48rem) 250px" />[/caption]</p> <p style="text-align:center;">


Step 9: Eye Cream

As the skin around your eyes is thinner than the rest of your face, a targeted cream for this area might be beneficial and is the next step in your regimen. Our recommendation is the Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream that will gently lift and tighten the skin around the delicate eye area while promoting skin regeneration, elasticity and boosting collagen. Once your moisturizer has sunk in, apply a small amount of this product around the eye area and gently tap, tap, tap until absorbed.


Step 10: SPF

SPF must be used in every skin regimen to prevent premature aging and is also the final step of our 10-step routine. The Mykonos Mild Perfector Sun Cream is a water-based, SPF 50 sunscreen with UVA/UVB protection. This formula is not only an SPF, but can function as moisturizing cream and makeup base as well. This non-greasy formula is suitable for all skin tones and textures and should be used daily, no ifs, ands or butts about it.