The Golden 10 Steps to your Korean Skin Care Routine!

Close ups of K-pop idols and K-drama actors and actresses will have you questioning – just how is it possible that their skin is ever so luminous? Well, you may have heard that you need to follow the Korean 10 step skin care routine, and here’s a word of warning, you cannot be lazy with this. After all, you skin is very important, so you should take care of it! Here is what you need to know about the Korean 10 step skin care routine to achieve luminous skin too!

1. Oil Based Cleanser

For a makeup wearer, it is essential that you remove the makeup completely. From waterproof mascara and eyeliner to liquid lipstick; and oil cleanser breaks down all the makeup without leaving your skin feeling dry. Take a pump of your favorite oil remover on a wet face. Start massaging and breaking down all the makeup. Wash thoroughly until there are no visible reminisce of makeup. The most popular ones in Korea are Banila Co’s Oil Balm Cleanser and Etude House Oil Cleanser.

2. Water Based Cleanser

The second cleaning with a water based cleanser will remove any remnants of makeup and residue from the oil cleanser. We are currently using the Nature Republic Cleanser.

© Skin Food Pineapple Peeling Gel, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

3. Exfoliant

Between chemical and physical, there are many types of exfoliants out there. Chemical exfoliators remove the dead skin using enzymes whilst a physical exfoliant physically removed the skin through the cleaning motion. Here are a few of our favourites. Use no more than twice a week. We like the VDL Naked Facial Exfoliant, NEOGEN Peel Gauze and Skin Food’s Pineapple Peeling Gel


© Etude House Pink Vital Water, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

4. Toner

Toner is the next step. It helps balance the skin’s ph. after all the cleansing and introducing moisture back into the skin whilst preparing it for the next steps of the routine. You can pour some in your palm and pat it onto the skin or use a cotton round and gently swipe across the face. We currently use the Etude House Toner.

5. Essence

Next step is essence. This kind of product is a combination of serum and toner. It is very popular in southeast Asian countries including Korea. We’ve been using a variety of essences, including Nature Republic’s Snail Solution essence and COSRX Snail 96 Mucin Essence.

6. Serum

It’s time for some targeted treatments. Serums are a way to target your problem areas, from wrinkles to brightening and pore refining. Serums are packed with concentrated ingredients to target your specific skin needs. Take a small amount and pat pat pat. A popular serum is the It’s Skin Q10 Serum! They have a wide range of them for different benefits too.

© Sheet Masks, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

7. Sheet Mask

The holy grail of Korean skincare, sheet masks. Sheet masks come and all shapes, sizes, scents…etc. these come in many varieties such a brightening, moisturising and firming. Chill for 15-20 minutes whilst the mask works its magic. Pat the leftover essence on your face and neck. Use two to three times a week or as necessary. We love Holika and Holika, Innisfree and Etude House masks!

© Innisfree Super Volcanic Mask, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

If you have a bit more time, you might want to try a mud mask instead. One of our favourites is the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mud Mask, helps with reducing the size of pores and deep cleansing to draw out all the gunk! Also the mud is from Jeju island!

8. Eye Cream

It’s never too early to start using eye cream. The skin around the eye area is very delicate and it requires extra care. Take your favorite eye cream and use a small amount on your ring finger and pat under the eye. For extra moisture and care use gel eye pads for 10 – 15 minutes. We’ve been using A’PIEU Eye Cream.

© Laneige Water Sleeping Mask, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

9. Moisturiser

Finding the right moisturiser is essential. From a gel or cream to emulsion and lotion, they come in various forms. Use both morning and night, it helps lock in all the moisture and nutrients you applied from the previous steps. Remember to use a face pack occasionally for some extra moisture. If you’re not afraid of the snail ingredient, we would recommend you give it a try as the snail mucin is great for repairing and moisturising. Our favourite is by Nature Republic (Snail solution cream). For the evening, you can even go with a sleeping mask instead of a moisturiser! One of the most popular ones in Korea is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.

© Innisfree Sun Screen, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

10. Sun Protection

Preventing premature ageing is the key. Getting a good sunscreen is very important to make sure all your hard work pays off. In the day, make sure to use a minimum of SPF 20 daily. SPF makes sure to protect your skin against the harmful UV rays. UV protection goes last to make sure it doesn’t get diluted by other skincare steps. Using skincare products with added SPF is also recommended. We like the Innisfree Extreme Safety Sun Gel as it isn’t sticky at all, or the Nature Republic SPF.

© Whamisa Olive Mist, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

Extra Steps

Facial mist adds a bit of moisture throughout the day. Apply throughout the day as much as needed. There is no such thing as overdoing it when it comes to facial mists! One of our all time favourites is the Whamisa Olive Leaf Mist!

© Etude House Lip Mask, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

Don’t forget your lip balm. Your lips need some care too. We’ve been obsessing over Innisfree Honey Lip Balm! If you have more time, we’d recommend you try a lip gel patch, it’s like a mask but for your lips! There are so many, but we really like the Etude House ones.


© COSRX Pimple Clear Pad, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

Acne Treatments

For acne, prone skin here are some extra treatments you can add to your routine. Acne pads can be used daily after toning your skin. They are an easy way to combat and prevent acne. Swipe across the skin or leave on the skin for 10-15 minutes to target a specific area. These are very popular for acne prone skin: COSRX Acne Pads

SPOT Solution

©AC Clean Up, InspireMeKorea, 22.01.2018,

Acne Solution

This solution is best for overnight use. Don’t shake the bottle before use. Dip a cotton swab in the solution all the way to the bottom to pick up the powered. Apply a generous amount straight onto spots and leave overnight. We like the Etude House Pink Powder Spot, a great dupe for the Mario Badescu Drying Lotion.

Featured image: © K-Beauty, InspireMeKorea, 26.01.2018,



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