The 10 step skin care routine

The 10-step Korean skincare routine has been gaining a lot of attention lately as an effective way to treat and prevent common skin issues such as dryness, breakouts, dullness, and wrinkles. 

Over the past few years, this approach has become increasingly popular, and for good reason. It is a multi-level process designed to deeply cleanse and nourish your skin while allowing it to truly thrive rather than simply functioning at its average level. 

Doing all 10 steps may seem overwhelming at first, but with patience and dedication you can achieve enviable glowing and smooth skin, if done correctly. So, today we’re going to reveal the real Korean skincare routine order to achieve the glass skin of your dreams. 

What’s the Korean skincare routine all about?

The Korean skincare routine is a holistic approach to skin care that emphasizes the importance of using high-quality products on your skin to achieve healthy, glowing results. It typically involves layering multiple products, usually in 10 different steps, such as toners, serums, exfoliants, masks, and moisturizers that work together to nourish and protect the skin. 

The routine includes a few extra steps in comparison to traditional skincare regimes, such as double cleansing with an oil-based cleanser, applying face masks, using essences, and popping an overnight mask every now and then. 

But why is this routine so important? Well, by following it consecutively every day, you're providing essential nutrients to your skin that help maintain its health and vibrancy. Plus, it's been proven to reduce wrinkles and keep skin looking young! 

The Buzzworthy 10 step skin Korean care routine

Step 1: Oil-based cleanser

First things first. Oil-based cleansers are the unsung heroes of every skin care routine. They help remove makeup, dirt, sunscreen, and oil-based impurities that may not come off with regular soap and water. 

An oil cleanser helps to balance your skin’s sebum production while keeping your skin moisturized. This balancing act makes oil cleansing a great option for all skin types, even oily and acne-prone skin.

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Step 2: Water-based cleanser

The main ingredient in water-based cleansers is water. A water-based cleanser removes H20-based impurities such as sweat. They can come in the form of foams, gels, and micellar waters.

Not only does this leave you with fresh, clean skin, but it'll allow your moisturizer to work its magic even better since your pores will be completely free of any bacteria or dirt.

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Step 3: Exfoliate

A very important step in the Korean skin care routine is exfoliation. Exfoliating your skin has become the latest essential for achieving a dewy, glowing complexion, and it's no surprise why. After all, dead skin cells don't just make your complexion dull; they can cause breakouts and clogged pores too. Not only is it excellently effective at improving skin tone and brightening the skin, but it is your best ally to remove dead skin cells. 

But be careful! Exfoliation is only needed 2-3 times a week, depending on your skin type.

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Step 4: Apply Toner

A toner is a magical solution that helps balance your skin's pH levels, lock in hydration, and remove any lingering impurities after cleansing. Basically, it makes your skin smooth like a silk kimono!

Depending on your skin type, there are actually different types of toners you can choose from. For those of us with dry skin, hydrating toners help to prevent moisture from leaving our skin. Oily skin types often benefit from exfoliating toners that clean and tighten pores. No matter what type of skin you have, there's always something out there for you to make sure that you look as good as possible. 

Step 5: Essence - The K-beauty exclusive

An essence is a lightweight, hydrating powerhouse that holds the key to unlocking that dewy, supple skin we all covet. This fabulous concoction is easily absorbed into your skin, allowing it to kickstart the ultimate hydration party. The result? A youthful glow that'll have people convinced you've discovered the fountain of youth or befriended a mythical creature (your choice which to claim).

This step was literally created by Koreans, so it’s an exclusive addition to their skincare routine. 

Step 6: Use your favorite Serum/Ampoule/Booster

Your K-beauty routine isn’t complete until you use your favorite Korean serum, ampoule or booster! These little powerhouses brighten up dull skin and keep you looking years younger. 

Not sure what every one of these does? Let us tell you the differences between each one.

Let’s start with serums. Serums contain a concentrated dose of nutrients that penetrate deeply into the skin to address specific issues like brightening dark spots, reducing wrinkles, or soothing the skin. Serums have a thick, gel-like consistency and usually come in a bottle that's much smaller than a toner or cleanser bottle with a dropper.

Now, let’s talk about ampoules. An ampoule is a supercharged serum that contains a higher concentration of various active ingredients formulated to be used for a finite amount of time as a booster or when you're having a skin crisis.

Boosters are targeted skincare products with a particular ingredient that's used at a higher concentration. Boosters treat skin concerns like enlarged pores, dehydration, dullness or loss of firmness.

Important: you don’t have to use them all! You could use a serum and a booster, or just a serum. It depends on your skincare goals. 

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Step 7: Oh Sheet *Mask*

If you want to be at the height of skin care trends, you better get yourself a sheet mask! Brought over from Korea as part of their legendary skincare routine, sheet masks are all the rage these days. What’s so great about sheet masks? Their convenience and their ability to target specific skin concerns. 

Sheet masks are made from an array of materials like sheet cloth, hydrogel, or bio-cellulose and typically have one main ingredient like green tea, Centella Asiatica, ginseng, hyaluronic acid, and tea tree, among others, that target various skin concerns. 

Sheet masks are the perfect solution for every skin type. For those who have sensitive skin, they provide deep and gentle hydration, resulting in a healthy and glowing complexion. If you've got dry skin, all the additional skincare goodness can be found in a sheet mask! Recognized all around the world as one of the most popular K Beauty methods for skin hydration, this type of mask is perfect for adding all that valuable moisture back into your complexion.

Just easy peasy – think of sheet masks as a power-packed smoothie menu for your face! If you’re going to sheet mask, do it right – keep in mind though not to slip into sheet mask addiction. Have fun with your sheet masking adventures!

Step 8: Eye Creams

Using an eye cream is a must if you want to nourish the delicate skin around your eyes. After all, Korean beauty industry insiders believe that eye creams are key to maintaining youthful-looking skin! Why? An eye cream can help smooth the fine lines or dark circles underneath your eyes, and hence make you look more rested even on those days when you don't get enough sleep. 

To apply it properly, gently massage the product in circular motions until it is completely absorbed into the skin. 

You may not see immediate drastic results, but with consistent use of eye cream, you'll definitely notice how refreshed and youthful your eyes will look over time!

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Step 9: Moisturizer

A healthy, smooth, and glowing skin is just a few taps away - literally! Moisturizing is one of the most important steps in healthy skin care.

Whether you have acne-prone, oily, combination, sensitive, or dry skin, applying a good moisturizer every day, two times a day, can make all the difference. Not only will it keep your skin healthy but also give it that gorgeous healthy glow that everyone wants. 

Extra tip: make sure you gently tap the moisturizer into your skin for maximum absorption and effectiveness.

Step 10: Apply Sunscreen

Last but not least in the Korean beauty regimen: don’t forget sun protection! 

We know wearing sunscreen is essential any time we spend in the sun, but why? Sun exposure can premature aging and cause skin cancer, so slathering up before leaving your house is even more important than you thought.

Thankfully, it's easier than ever to find a broad-spectrum sunscreen. Look for one that blocks UV rays to protect the skin and prevent premature aging. And don't forget the neck and chest area! So next time you're planning an outdoor excursion, make sure you grab a bottle of your favorite sunscreen — because protection from the sun matters!

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Morning skincare routine steps vs. night skincare routine steps

Did you know that there are different steps for morning and night? That's right, it's not a one-size-fits-all approach. 

In the morning, the focus is on hydration and protection from environmental stressors. This means starting with a gentle cleanser, followed by a toner, essence, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and sunscreen. 

At night, the goal is to nourish and repair the skin. This involves focusing on double cleansing, toner, essence, serum, eye cream, moisturizer, and finally, sleeping mask.

Essentially, the morning routine is all about defense, while the night routine is all about recovery. So, why not give your skin the best of both worlds with a comprehensive Korean skincare routine?

Korean skincare routines vs. Western skincare routines

Move over Western skincare, Korean skincare routines are taking the world by storm! When it comes to skincare, Koreans prioritize prevention over treatment. Their approach is multi-step, with an emphasis on nourishing the skin from within. The Korean routine involves cleansing, toning, treating, moisturizing and protecting. It's important to note that their products are loaded with natural ingredients such as green tea and rice extract, providing the ultimate pampering experience for the skin. 

On the other hand, Western skincare routines focus more on quick-fix solutions like acne spot treatments and anti-aging serums packed with harmful chemicals that do more harm than good. They're all about instant gratification rather than long-term benefits. 

So, it's time to ditch the quick-fix solutions and embrace the Korean way. Your skin will thank you for it!

Do I have to perform the 10 steps to get results?

Is there a shortcut to achieving your skincare goals? We totally get you, not everyone has the time to perform all 10 steps every day, two times a day. So, don’t worry, not all steps are mandatory and their inclusion in your routine depends on you.

For example: you don’t have to exfoliate your skin every day, just 2-3 times a week depending on your skin type. In the same way, face masks are not meant for everyday use. Additionally, there are extra steps that not everyone has to perform, like applying essences and serums. 

This, of course, doesn’t mean that these steps are useless. On the contrary, serums, essences, masks, and exfoliators will definitely make a difference in your skin once you include them. However, they are not mandatory. 

If you want to shorten your skincare routine, here are the must-do steps you need to include: 

Looking for products to build a proper skin care routine?

To wrap it all up, by following this 10-step Korean skin care routine you are ensuring the best results for your skin health.  Taking the time to nourish and hydrate your skin will produce glowing and healthy results that will boost your confidence and make you feel beautiful. 

If you’re stuck in terms of finding out what order is best for products or want to learn which ones are the best for your specific skin concerns, Asian Beauty Essentials is an awesome place to start. With all the amazing Korean beauty products available on our site, you’ll be able to find everything and anything for your personalized 10-step Korean skincare routine.

Let’s get glowing!

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Asian Beauty Essentials Team

Asian Beauty Essentials Team

Hi Jonita!

Yes. You can use a peeling solution as an exfoliator. Just make sure the exfoliator doesn’t contain any harsh ingredients like parabens or alcohol as that can irritate your skin.

Do you mind telling us your skin type? We can provide a recommendation for you. My personal favorite is the CNP gentle exfoliator. It’s a chemical exfoliator that suits all skin types and can be used daily. However, if you’re skincycling now or in a dryer or colder environment, you will probably only want to use the exfoliator (even when they say daily is ok) 2 – 3 times/ week MAX.




Can we use a peeling solution as an exfoliator? Does it work?



Proper skin care is important because our skin is the largest barrier against infection that we have. Since we’re into makeup, skincare is truly a must.
Great post! It was very informative and helpful!
You always offered fresh ideas to all readers like me. by am skincare routine.

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