The Korean Skincare Routine

The path to good skin can seem complicated, but we’ve put together a basic list to walk you through the journey. You don’t have to follow each step, but it’s good to get into an everyday routine that feels right for you. 


Step 1. Cleansers

Use an oil-based cleanser to wash off oil-based makeup, sunscreen and sebum. Then, try a water-based cleanser to remove any leftover makeup or dirt. Rinse your face several times. 

Step 2. Toners

Balance the pH of your face and clean up any residue — a crucial step that will allow a follow-up product to be properly absorbed. Apply using cotton balls or pads.

Step 3. Treatments

This is the time to apply essences, serums and ampules to improve the condition of your skin and tackle issues like sunspots, wrinkles, elasticity and nutrition. Essences tend to be thicker than toners but thinner than serums. Serums are more concentrated and intensive. Ampules have the highest concentration, providing fast effects within a short amount of time. It’s not necessary to apply all three, so find a combination that suits you. For best results, try to apply different products for morning and night, or apply products in order from thinnest to thickest.

Step 4. Moisturizers

Build a barrier around your face that prevents nutrients from evaporating and keeps your skin soft. Moisturizers can come in the form of lotions, oils or creams, so pick one that matches your skin type. We recommend using a separate cream specifically for the fragile area around the eyes to address fine wrinkles and puffiness.

Step 5. Sunscreens

You’ve heard it before, but we’ll say it again. Sunscreen is not an option. It is a necessity. It prevents not only wrinkles, but blemishes and acts as a shield from skin cancer. Apply every few hours. 



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Although not for everyday use, exfoliators used two to three times a week create a smooth surface for product absorption, slough off dead cells and improve skin tone.

Sheet Masks

The most iconic K-Beauty product, these should be worn for about 15-20 minutes to allow the serums to transfer and be absorbed. Easier to use than traditional face masks, they can be used in the treatment phase and lead to quick results. Some are for everyday use, while others are recommended for a few times a week.
Keep in mind, the key to the Korean skincare regimen is layering. Make sure the products you choose fit your skin type, and allow yourself room to adjust to any changing needs. 
For optimal results, build a routine you can do every day. 

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