Let’s be honest- you’re here because you want to know how to follow the Korean skincare routine. You probably have committed the biggest no-no when it comes to skincare. I’m sure you have gone to bed with your make-up still on (I’m guilty too). Or, just splashed a little water on your face and then slapped on a little moisturizer. We all have one time or another. Just so your know, our face requires a little more attention if you want to see results.
Years ago, I looked in the mirror and my reflection terrified me. Dry patchy skin. Fine lines. Hyperpigmentation. Oh my! So, I hopped on this Korean skincare routine day and night bandwagon and I haven’t looked back since.
Don’t get intimidated by the steps! However, to be honest, buying all the products does add up quickly getting started.
But, cut down on costs and invest your money in the products targeting your more problematic skincare concerns. Honestly, not all the products I use are from Korean brands. Despite not using all K-beauty products I have still seen a transformation in my skin.
Okay, shall we begin with how to follow the Korean skincare routine morning and night. Let’s get on our journey for flawless and glowing skin.
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How To Follow The Korean Skincare Routine Day & Night
The Koreans are known for doing a double cleanse, which consists of applying an oil-based cleanser before cleansing with a soap-based face wash. Makeup is oil-based and oil removes oil, so this is an important step to make sure all your makeup is removed so it will get properly cleaned.
I’ve tried many oil-based cleansers, but my favorite is Biossance’s cleansing oil. This brand is very gentle on the skin and eyes, others in the past have caused me a lot of eye irritation. Also, you only need to do this step at night, so skip it in the morning.
After you remove your makeup with the oil cleanser, apply a soap-based face wash. It’s very important to use a cleanser for your skin type. For dry skin, creamy-based cleansers work best and gel-based if you have oily or combination skin like me.
If your skin ever feels dry after washing then you’re not using the right cleanser and need to look for a new one. Your face should always feel hydrated, and NEVER dry after cleansing.
Kale + Green Tea Spinach Vitamins, by Youth to the People is a cleanser I have been using for a while. After the first week of cleaning my face with it, quickly became my favorite. This cleanser smells so fresh and gives my skin a wonderful glow. Also, if you love natural ingredients like me, this is a winner!
To really make sure my face is squeaky clean I use my facial cleansing brush during washing. Just one face wash using the FOREO LUNA Mini and I promise you will never use your hands or washcloth again!
At least one to two times a week, follow with an exfoliator. This is an important step when following the Korean skincare routine after cleansing your face.
Exfoliating removes dead skin cells and unclogs pores along with other benefits such as evening out skin tone, acne prevention, and increasing cell turnover. Also, your products will be able to penetrate deeper into your skin. If you’re spending a lot of money on products for the Korean skincare routine you might as well get the most for your buck.
One product I love using for this Korean skincare routine step is the AmorePacific Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder. This enzyme cleaner is great for removing dull skin cells and is gentle enough to be used every day. Also, it smells so delicious.
You can check out some of my other favorite exfoliating masks I use weekly here.
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Toner is the next step in the Korean skincare routine after exfoliating. Also, toner reduces pollutants and other toxins to get into the skin, adds moisture, and balances your skin’s pH system.
After toner, gently pat essence over your face and neck. Some people have wondered if this step is even necessary…yes it is!
Essence acts as a steroid to your serum (which is the next step), it gives whatever serum you have for your skincare concern an extra boost. Basically, if you have a serum for brightening, it will intensify those brightening effects.
Fresh Black Tea Kombucha has been a staple and favorite of mine for years now. I have gone through so many bottles and keep myself fully stocked because it works! My skin has never looked so radiant since adding it to my daily skincare routine.
Essence is applied both morning and night.
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Finding a serum can be pretty intimidating since there are so many to target every skincare problem. Due to my uneven skin, typically I am drawn toward serums that brighten my skin tone. Find a serum that addresses your skincare concerns.
For any serum you are thinking of purchasing, make sure to read the label carefully. Some serums cause increased sensitivity with sun exposure, like Retinoids or Lactic Acid, and are typically used at night, so you will need to purchase an additional one for daytime use.
One of my favorites from Youth to the People 15% Vitamin C +Clean Caffeine Energy Serum. It is great for the Korean skincare routine morning and night applications. This serum is the holy grail for dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, and dullness.
Sheet masks are highly adored by Koreans and are one of my favorite steps in the Korean skincare routine. They are overly serum-saturated fabrics and great for giving your skin an extra boost of hydration and an instant glow.
You can get a mask for whatever problem area you wanna target. I usually go with masks for brightening, firming, and hydration.
They feel super delicious on the skin, so I typically stock up and buy a large supply since I use them frequently. My absolute favorites are from Andalou, they have rose, coconut, and vitamin C masks to target all my skincare issues.
Generally, sheet masks are done 1-2 times weekly, but you can do them more if you prefer. They don’t require any work, just slap on a sheet mask and catch up on a tv show.
After 10-20 minutes are up, massage your face with the serum left over on your face. Hang in there, we’re almost done with all these Korean skincare routine steps.
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After you remove your sheet mask, apply eye cream. Just gently tap under your eyes and lids (if in the directions).
One eye cream that I quickly became obsessed with is Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Eye Cream. This 2020 Allure Best of Beauty Award Winner targets fine lines, wrinkles, dryness, and loss of elasticity. So basically, if you happen to not get too much sleep this eye cream will make you look refreshed.
After letting your eye cream penetrate into your skin for a few minutes, massage your favorite moisturizer gently on your face.
Invest in a good-quality moisturizer to provide maximum hydration for your skin. Properly hydrating your face is key to keeping your skin healthy and avoiding nasty breakouts. Belif The True Cream-Aqua bomb has been my holy grail to moisturize my skin. It’s super lightweight and doesn’t feel heavy or greasy after application.
Facial oil on my face, oh no! Most people think applying facial oil promotes breakouts, even more so with oily skin types, but it’s a myth.
Facial oil gives you a healthy glow. I have combination skin that is more on the oily side and since adding this step to my beauty routine my skin has never looked so smooth and hydrated.
There are many oils to choose from that have amazing benefits, but Lord Jones Royal oil has been a staple of mine for a couple of years! It has 1000 mg of Hemp-Derived CBD, which is a restorative plant to soothe the skin. It’s also another clean product!
You can skip this step in the mornings, at least I found it difficult for my makeup to stay in place when I applied it before application.
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Apply a sleeping mask at least 1-2 times a week. When you wake up in the morning and your skin will look so hydrated.
What is so rad about sleeping masks is they prevent new wrinkles from forming. Glow Recipe Sleeping Mask is a favorite of mine and will last you a very long time! This sleeping mask is great to nourish and soothe the skin.
Tada! You made it to the final step! Sunscreen is applied in the mornings after makeup application unless your sunscreen is a cream or your foundation.
Spray bottles are the best and easiest to apply after makeup. One that I personally use and that is easy to apply is from Supergoop. It is great for protecting your face from the sun, indoor lighting, and computer screen which are all the things that cause premature aging.
Korean Skincare Routine Conclusion
How to follow the Korean Skincare morning routine
- Wash your face with a water-based cleanser.
- Eye Cream
- Sunscreen (after makeup application)
How to follow the Korean Skincare Routine at night
- Massage an oil-based cleanser onto your face then rinse
- Cleanse your face with a water-based cleanser
- Exfoliate (1-2 times per week)
- Sheet Mask (1-2 times per week)
- Eye Cream
- Facial Oil
- Sleeping mask (1-2 times per week)
Now It Is Your Turn To Give The Korean Skincare Routine A Go!
Call all your friends over, open a bottle of wine, order a pizza, and try this 12-step Korean skincare routine together. I hope this guide helps you feel more confident and to do the Korean skincare method on your own. After a week or two, you will have all these steps memorized and it will become easy peasy.
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