10-Step Korean Skincare Routine??

Is this an on-going trend in Korea? If you ask me my answer would be No. The total steps will eventually be 10, however it’s the ideal way but not essential for everyday use. Also there is no such rule for Korean’s daily skincare routine.

I have mentioned a couple of times in my previous blog (‘Try less products and same brands if possible‘) without proving, and I found this video on youtube and thought it’s time to add my opinion to Liah Yoo’s (one of powerful blogger/content creator) advice for those who have just stepped into Korean Cosmetics (K-Beauty) or already addicted to K-beauty products.

Before watching this video, I just want to say “The 10-step Skincare Routine” is not popular in Korea, however “Cosmetics Diet” for skincare & makeup is a real Boom/Trend at the moment and I think it will go on for a long time. Additionally ‘The Minimalism in Ingredients‘ is another hot keyword currently. ETUDE HOUSE SoonJung Line, Laneige Calming Line, The Face Shop Belmeur Line(which is not new) and MISSHA Near Skin Line etc,. (These popular brands) are already launching their new ranges and have removed the harmful/irritable ingredients. Customers are really responding to this too.

My question is will those beat the natural cosmetic brands (Sidmool, Swanicoco, ISOI & Manyo Factory etc,.) which have been worked on for years? Well at least this will be a new development (stage) for good, healthy and glowing skin.^^

After watching you probably have some ideas about your skincare routine. I am not saying you should reduce cosmetics down to 3~5, just hope you will consider what your skin currently needs before purchasing. I am a big shopper and consider anything that is trending, and New products are very tempting especially when having skin issues such as hormonal changes (breakout)/dry/ flaky when weather changes. Then it may be the time to clean-up the makeup table and start fresh.

< Skin Care Diet: Big 3-step >
You can simplify these toning & moisturizing steps, as the product names are quite confusing, so I will start and focus with this.

1. Cleanser
As Double-Cleansing is a very effective method, so I wouldn’t change this however like to add some tips:
The ideal skin pH is close to pH5.5 and there are lots of products to keep the pH balance in cleansings. Most effective deep cleansing (‘squicky clean’) products are High pH(8~9) which can cause breakouts so you may consider what types of cleanser to use (I may post about this part and an instore product guideline later on)

It is hard to judge which is the ‘real deal’ product – that’s why we are having more options in cleansing collecions compared to other stores^^;;. One thing I can shout, as a morning cleanser you need to use a gentle foam or soap only, rather than removing all skin’s natural essential oils (means don’t do a double cleanse in the morning).

2. Toner
There are many names for a toner – skin toner, astringent, clarifying lotion, freshener, booster, first essence etc,. These watery type products are all for a refining effect and most of toners are formulated with Hydrophile Property which means it doesn’t penerate deep into skin and doesn’t contain active ingredients to improve skin concerns.
There are some exceptions though such as MISSHA Treatment Essence, The Therapy First Serum & SU:M Secret Essence – they have anti-aging properties and can be replaced with toner so I put them in the toning step. Also some soothing toners are effective for calming redness and irritation so please keep in mind some exceptions.

*Tip – Watery texture (lightweight) is more suitable for oily skin, Gel-type or oil-type (viscous) toner is for dry to normal, and Non-alcohol toner is recommended to use for trouble skin.

3. Moisturizer
Lotion, Serum, Ampoule, Essence and Cream all belong to this category. Active ingredients are more in serum/ampoule(s) so I wouldn’t recommend to skip this item (step), however we can compromise this step.
You can alternate with mask sheet, oil, sleeping pack instead of serum or add more than one product in this step as our skin gets multiple concerns at the same time.
Keep in mind to use light consistency first if you use both essence and serum. (It’s okay to layer the targeted-solution product as needed, such as spot treatment serum/cream, wrinkle treatment gel and eye cream)

Don’t over use as our skin can only absorb what it is capable of, especially mornings, and it actually disturbs the makeup application – you may have experienced your foundation doesn’t absorb and is sitting on the skin’s surface.

*Special Treatment:
Eye Treatment, Boosting Essence, Facial Masks & Sleeping Mask – These products are optional for your personal skincare concerns – the results are very strong and positive so it’s all up to you^^.



Here are the steps you may need for your daily skincare routine. These are not my rules, as I’ve only summarized what most Korean’s use or at least what I have seen and learned from others. Skin concerns are very complicated so you may need an additional product with focused ingredients which can improve your specific skin concern.

Exfoliating the skin is very important to achieve a clean, bright complexion. Removing dead skin cells visibly improves skin texture, signs of aging and helps minimize breakouts. The product types vary so you may need to try different types of products:
1. NEOGEN Peeling Gauze & Most brands of Peeling Gel – recommend to use 2~3 times a week.
2. (SU:M37, IOPE & CNP)Peeling Essence – These essence type of exfoliants are gentle formulas so you can use in daily.

Cleansing, Toning & Moisturizing are the only steps you need in your daily skincare routine. Try to be simple especially if your skin is not responding and apply the lightest most liquid texture first, and then follow with a more creamy texture.

I hope this article is helpful and you find the best way that works for you.

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