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Korean Morning and Nighttime Skincare Routines

Korean skincare is about prevention. Avoiding problems before the problem they show up. This 10-step Korean skincare routine is designed to create healthy skin from the start. A 10-step routine may sound exhausting, but remember that this routine does not depend on the number of products used, rather it's about using the right products in the right order. The general idea is that after cleansing, you want to go with the lightest formula and finish with the thickest. You can make some tweaks to it and you don't have to do every step daily. For example, exfoliation and masks are not recommended on a daily basis.

Korean women have steps for morning as well as evening routine. Here we've listed the 8-step morning skincare routine and the 10-step nighttime routine.

8-Step Morning Skincare Routine

  1. Wash your face with water only

    First thing in the morning, cleanse your skin with only water, not cleanser. Water removes the few impurities that settle on the face during the night, and keeps skin hydrated, too.

  2. Toner

    A toner helps to balance the pH level of your skin and ensures proper absorption of the next skin care products. You may dab the toner on a cotton swab and apply it in a sweeping motion or pour the toner in your palms and pat it lightly all over your face.

  3. Essence

    An essence is a water-based fusion of toner and serum. Essences are the secret behind the beauty of Korean skin and a lot of people aren't familiar with this type of product. It helps with moisturizing the skin and rejuvenating the cells.

  4. Ampoule

    Ampoules are stable, hygienic skincare treatments that promote skin collagen with skin restoration properties. Moreover, the higher number of active ingredients targets bad skin problems correcting those concerns to ensure the skin is radiant. These are similar to serum as well. 

  5. Serum

    Serums are best for anti-aging benefits and can reduce skin issues, such as dark spots, hyperpigmentation, dryness, fine lines, and wrinkles. Take a pea-sized amount of serum and press it gently all over your face with your fingertips.

  6. Eye cream

    Eye cream is designed to moisturize the ultra-thin skin around your eyes where crow’s feet and fine lines are bound to appear. However, if you use eye cream regularly before they show up, you’ll see a marked difference in how old you look.

  7. Moisturizer

    Hydrated skin is happy skin and a good moisturizer is the key to get there. Korean Beauty moisturizers are different in their texture and formulation. They tend to be lightweight and fast-absorbing.

  8. Sunscreen (SPF)

    The final step is to add an SPF. Only for the morning routine, an SPF will protect the skin from harmful UV rays and exposure. Everyone, regardless of skin tone, needs an SPF in their lives.


10-Step Nighttime Skincare Routine

nighttime skincare

  1. Oil-based Cleanser

    Applied to dry skin, an oil cleanser removes makeup and any other oil-based product debris like sunscreen and pollution particles.

  2. Water-based Cleanser

    After you use an oil-based cleanser, you will follow up with a water-based cleanser to clean your skin of water-based impurities like sweat and dirt.

  3. Exfoliator

    One of the best secrets to brighter skin is an exfoliator. Twice a week use a gentle enzyme or bead-based exfoliator to remove the dead skin cells that can make the complexion appear lack-lustre whilst blocking pores and preventing key product ingredient absorption.

  4. Toner

    Toner removes leftover residue from cleansers, repairs the skin's natural barrier, and helps prep the skin to better absorb the following moisturizers.

  5. Essence
  6. Ampoule
  7. Serum
  8. Sheet Mask

    The sheet mask is a Korean beauty favorite – a cloth saturated with skin loving ingredients. The purpose of your mask depends on what your skin needs. If dryness is your concern, choose a hydrating mask. Similarly, if you have dull skin, you can also choose a brightening mask packed with vitamin C. This is not an every-night step, you really only need to do it twice a week. A sheet mask can stay on your face for 10-20 minutes so the nutrients infused in the mask can soak into your skin.

  9. Eye Cream
  10. Moisturizer