Step by Step Korean Skincare Routine

Step by Step Korean Skincare Routine

Known for its luminous, glass-skin complexion, Korean skincare has been around for centuries. It’s no wonder that people worldwide are embracing it, as it’s easy to understand and delivers lasting results.

The step-by-step routine is a tried-and-true method for improving skin and achieving that coveted glow. You can tailor it to suit your skin type and personal preferences.

1. Cleanse

Washing your face is one of the most important steps in a Korean skincare routine, as it removes all dirt and debris that build up on your skin throughout the day. Without cleansing, your skin would look and feel dull, dry, rough and aged.

In the Korean skincare regimen, this is done with an oil-based cleanser. It’s a gentle and effective way to remove makeup, excess sebum and sunscreen while maintaining the natural balance of your skin.

A follow-up to this step is a water-based cleanser that helps eliminate the impurities left behind by the oil cleanser. These can be foaming or waterproof, but are a bit drier and stripping than the oil-based ones due to their high pH and sulfate content.

2. Tone

Toning is an important step in any skin care routine — it can help restore the pH balance of your complexion, remove impurities, and prepare your skin for the rest of the products you’ll be applying.

A toner formulated for your particular skin type and concerns can have hydrating, astringent or calming effects. This step is also important for preparing your skin for essences and ampoules, which are formulated with a high concentration of ingredients to treat specific issues.

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Double cleansing, which is an important practice in Korean skincare, is a great way to get rid of excess oil and dirt on your face without disrupting the natural oils your skin produces. However, some people’s skin may be too sensitive to double cleanse.

3. Essence

A staple of Korean beauty, essence is a water-based skincare product that contains a variety of hydrating and nourishing ingredients to help your skin look and feel its best. It should be used before applying any other products, preferably after cleansing and toning.

According to Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho, “Essences are important for keeping your skin hydrated.” She adds that the formula is often lighter than other products in a K-beauty routine because it’s targeted to different skin types, which makes them perfect for even those with oily or acne-prone skin who are wary of heavier moisturizers.

This milky toner, formulated with mineral-rich Amazonian white clay and allantoin, re-balances your complexion while mattifying shine. It also reduces the appearance of enlarged pores to give your skin a healthy glow.

4. Ampoules

Ampoules are a K-beauty staple. These products are typically super-charged versions of serums that target specific concerns like hydration, brightening and anti-aging.

Ampoule formulas are used alongside toner and essence in a Korean skincare routine, and can be a great addition to your arsenal if you have skin issues that aren’t being addressed in your regimen yet.

They are usually packaged in a set of five or seven ampoules for a week-long intense treatment. They’re best used before you start using your serums, moisturizers and masks.

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5. Moisturize

Whether you have oily or dry skin, it’s crucial to hydrate your skin before applying any products. This will prevent your skin from becoming dry and flaky, and it will also help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.

Another step in a Korean skincare routine that’s often overlooked is exfoliation. This helps unclog pores, brighten skin, and remove dead skin cells for clearer and smoother complexions.

While Koreans typically exfoliate 2-3 times a week, you can do it daily if you wish! This step helps uncover the healthy skin barrier and allows your moisturizers to sink deeper into your skin.

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