There’s a secret behind the luminosity of Koreans and their porcelain skin, and it’s a complex 10-step system. This highly popularized Korean skincare regime is the norm for beauty fanatics, including myself in SoKo. I get asked all of the time about product recommendations and it’s taken a year to finally put together the perfect lineup for my skin type (dry/sensitive). Below is a better understanding of each step and brands I actually love/use to inspire your own Korean skincare quest.
STEP 1: Oil-based cleanser
NEOGEN Real Fresh Cleansing Stick Green Tea (Olive Young, ₩18,000)
First step is massaging a gentle cleanser all over the face. This one from NEOGEN is my favourite because it contains 13 natural oils that breakdown my makeup (including eye area) and green tea to help reduce inflammation. Bonus: It’s travel friendly since it’s a stick, not a liquid.
STEP 2: Exfoliation
Bamboo Charcoal Peeling Gel (Amazon, $27)
I use this chemical exfoliant from Aritaum twice a week and it literally lifts and rolls dead skin from my face, which is kinda gross, but also kinda satisfying.
STEP 3: Water-based cleanser
Tea Tree Soft Bubble Foam (SKINFOOD, ₩11,000)
This step is commonly known as the double cleanse and it gets rid of anything my cleanser or exfoliator left behind. I love this one from SKINFOOD because tea tree is an anti-bacterial ingredient, which means it will reduce irritation and acne.
STEP 4: Toner
Tea Tree Clearing Toner (SKINFOOD, ₩11,000)
I squirt three pumps on a cotton pad, gently swipe my entire face, and love the tingly feeling this toner leaves behind.
STEP 5: Essence
Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence (MISSHA, ₩49,000)
One of the most popular skincare products in South Korea, this miracle water revives my skin to make it brighter and clearer. I pour a few drops in my hand and gently pat all over my entire face and neck.
STEP 6: Face mask
I’m Real Aloe Mask Sheet (TONYMOLY, ₩1,000)
I do a sheetmask twice a week, and this one is my all-time favourite. I leave the sheetmask on my face for 20-30 minutes and my skin is supple and glowing for a solid 24 hours.
STEP 7: Eye cream
Orchid Eye Cream (Amazon, $20)
I take a pea size amount and apply the cream by gently padding my finger tips around my eye area like I’m playing the piano. Orchid is an ingredient that has been used in Asia for centuries to reduce fine lines, and this one from Innisfree has fancy shmacy orchid extracts from Jeju (an island in SoKo!).
STEP 8: Ampoule
Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Ampoule (MISSHA, ₩49,000)
Ampoule could be a foreign word to the average beauty lover, but it’s essentially a serum that is highly concentrated. There are a ton of powerful ingredients in this one from MISSHA such as Fermented Bifida, known for it’s skin healing powers.
STEP 9: Emulsion
CHIA SEED Hydrating Emulsion (The Face Shop, ₩25,000)
After all of the above steps I apply an emulsion, which is a tad lighter than a regular moisturizer, to lock in all the goodness.
STEP 10: SPF
Perfect Daily Sun Cream (YesStyle, $10)
The sun in the number-one cause of aging skin so a high SPF sun cream, like this one from Scinic, is your BFF. Pat it onto your face before applying makeup OR when purchasing BB creams or compact cushions, look for ones that have SPF included because coverage and skincare rolled into one is a win-win.
Have you tried any of these products? Do you have a Korean skincare staple? Let me know in the comments below or tweet me @Jessica_Moy.
This post was created for EPIK e-Press.
Great post! I just recently started investing in the 10-step Korean Skincare routine, and so far I don’t have the best lineup yet. I hope to find the perfect set of products for me after a year, after all, nothing worth it comes easy! Haha
You’ll find it! Besides, trying out new skincare all the time is always the best part!
Yes! Hahaha I have to control myself all the time because I always want to buy something new even though I don’t need a new one yet haha