Have you ever been intrigued by the mysterious 10 step Korean skincare process? Wonder no more! Find out all the details about everything from essences to emulsions right here.
Korean skincare is quite famous for its intensive skincare process. Recently, the 10 step Korean skincare process has become all the rage. Everyone wants to understand why there are so many steps, and what each step does.
For a simple understanding, it can be said that the 10 different steps each have to do with different consistencies of products. By dividing them up into 10 steps, you can make sure the product is properly layered and absorbs into the skin. The intent is to give you deeply moisturized and cleaned skin.
Let’s get our glass skin on!
What this step is all about: The first step in Korean skincare is an oil cleanser. The purpose behind using oil is to ensure that oil based impurities on the skin are effectively cleansed. This step targets SPF, sebum, pollutants and other greasy that might have accumulated.
Before applying your oil cleanser, take a few minutes to prepare the skin by gently massaging it. This is meant to drain the lymphatic glands, reduce puffiness and make the skin more ready to absorb whatever is put on it.
Promising Amazon Review: “I have combination skin. I put it on, turn on the TV, and just massage my face very gently with my fingers in circles… after about 2 mins or so, I can feel tiny little sandy-gritty stuff start to appear under my fingers. I keep going for another few mins, very relaxing, very satisfying. And then I wash with water, and then with a foamy gentle facewash (I use CosRx). Works perfectly and my skin looks young, fresh, clean and translucently healthy afterwards.” – by Jenny Zhang
BANILA CO Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm Original
$17.05 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Oil based cleansers are good at removing many pollutants, but sweat and dirt are not among them. These have to be addressed with foam based cleansers. When buying a foam based cleanser, make sure you always check for the pH balance of the product.
If it’s overly foamy or makes your skin feel tight after use, it is probably low pH. A pH balanced cleanser will be on the scale between 4.2 and 5.6. This is a pH range that will ensure your skin does not get overly stripped or thrown off-balance.
Promising Amazon Review: “I just purchased my 3rd tube of this cleanser so I thought it was time to leave a glowing review. I’ve jumped from cleanser to cleanser for years, but no more. I will repurchase this forever. It foams without being drying and that hanbang smell is my favorite scent in the world. But mostly, it leaves my skin soft, not tight, not red, and with an amazing clean feeling. (I can’t speak to makeup removal because I cleanse with an oil cleanser first.) 1 tube lasts me about 3 months using twice a day. I like ordering from Amazon because it arrives much quicker than ordering thru Sulwhasoo.” – by lisakrez
Sulwhasoo Snowise Brightening Cleansing Foam
$30.98 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Korean toners, unlike the American versions, are meant to add moisture to the skin. They also balance the skin and prepare it to absorb the moisture of the following steps. Their botanical ingredients can help reactive skin become more stabilized. They can be applied with cotton balls or pads, but hands are ideal due to the reaction of the skin to the hand’s pressure and warmth.
Promising Amazon Review: “After having used this toner for about a month and a half now I can see how much better my skin looks. A bunch of my pores shrunk, I rarely get any blackheads and my vitamin c has never worked better. We had been working on softening my acne scars and prep them for a chemical peel using vitamin c but it just wasn’t working (mostly my fault because I forget to reapply sunscreen). My esthetician asked me what I had been using since the last time I saw her and I had just introduced this product maybe a week after my last appointment and now she wants to use this to try it out on herself because she says she noticed a really big difference.” – by Sally Appleton
MISSHA Time Revolution Clear Toner
$15.00 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Essence is the step that follows toner. While its primary job is to add moisture, it is also prepping the skin for the heavier hydrating products to come. It is a bit watery in texture and is meant to immediately sink deep into the skin. It also creates an ideal layer for the absorption of the products that follow this step.
Promising Amazon Review: “I LOVE this essence! Honestly it’s the first “essence” I have ever used and it has only been in my possession for a week or two, but it is so effective! I put a few drops into my hands and pat it gently over my face after cleansing/toning, and it felt instantly softer and bouncier…my skin looks brighter, too. One of my favorite parts of my current routine. It feels so pleasant! My cheeks tend to be dry and thirsty all the time, but my T-zone tends to be overly shiny… I’m hoping that this will help slow oil production with the help of the extra hydration.” – by Sarah Jean
Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence Intensive
$25.00 from Amazon
What this step is all about: An emulsion layer is again meant to get additional moisture deeper into the skin. If you have super oily skin, you can skip this step. However, those with drier skin usually like this step as it builds up hydration. These products are usually full of botanical, good-for-you ingredients, and if you have the time to invest in this step, its a definite plus!
Promising Amazon Review: “This stuff is absolutely amazing. I am new to the whole korean skin care routine but I’ve been slowly trying to work some of the products into my daily routine and this is one of my favorite additions. It is definitely a weird texture to get used to as it spreads more like a gel than a lotion but it dries quickly and feels amazing on my face after. I have psoriasis and chronic dry skin on my face but with my new regiment (which includes some mizon snail ointment) I never have problems with dry skin. It was life changing for me really.” – by Amanda
ETUDE HOUSE Moistfull Collagen Emulsion
$17.00 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Serums are where the skincare gets more intensive and heavier in nature. These will usually be thicker products with concentrated ingredients. They are meant to be applied in a small amount all over the face and neck and massaged until they have absorbed into the skin. Serums are a more common part of skincare regimes all around the world.
Promising Amazon Review:
Buy now: “I absolutely love this. This is the first and only ampuole I’ve ever used, and after a few months of semi-regular use, I can definitely tell the difference! My skin is so much smoother and feels “bouncier” and more resilient, not to mention even my super sensitive skin hasn’t had a reaction to this product. My skin also holds moisture better, which is great as I’ve struggled with dry skin for years. I use four drops for my entire face and pat it in, then let it absorb. It will feel sticky at first after applying, but once your skin fully absorbs the ampuole it immediately feels so much smoother and look great. Would definitely recommend if you’re hesitant about adding this step to your skin care routine.” – by Bunny
Mizon Original Skin Energy Hyaluronic Acid Serum
$14.98 from Amazon
What this step is all about: In order to stop the serums from leaking out and add more hydration to the skin, a sheet mask is then applied for 15 to 20 minutes. Sheet masks are some of the most popular skincare products. For best effects, chill your mask in the fridge for a few minutes before applying it to your face. The colder material will then reduce puffiness and tighten the skin while locking in hydration.
Always make sure to not waste the extra serum in the package! Apply it all over your hands, neck and chest to ensure you get as much hydration as possible.
Promising Amazon Review: “Absolutely amazing!!! I’ve tried several different types of masks, but not the snail jelly so I thought let’s give it a shot. I actually had to get a CPAP macine the same week with a full mouth and nose piece. Well it left me with a patch of dried gnarly skin. Two days of using these masks and it is completely gone. My skin is glowing and smooth. The texture of the mask is a little slimy, but I like that because to me and it means the mask won’t dry out in 20 minutes. I have had so many compliments and I quit wearing foundation and concelears. I would recommend this to anyone and everyone.” – by April
SKEDERM Snail Jelly Face Mask Sheet with Snail Secretion Filtrate
$19.49 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Eye cream is a more intensive cream meant to hydrate the dryer skin around your eyes. It will target specifically the crows feet and fine wrinkles that are common around the eyes.
Always remember to apply your eye cream with the help of your ring finger and not your pointer finger! Too much pressure is not good for the extremely delicate skin under your eye.
BLOSSOM JEJU Camellia Soombi Deep Repair Eye Cream
$40.00 from Amazon
What this step is all about: Moisturizer is like the heavy layer to push in all the moisturization that has gone on before. Always remember that if you have oily skin, or overly sensitive skin, you can skip this step or any other step in this line-up that feels like it’s too intense.
However, the intent behind this is to create a thick and plump barrier between the products applied previously and your skin, in order to ensure ideal absorption.
Promising Amazon Review: “I have extremely sensitive skin and eczema, so I was looking for something I could use everyday without the harshness of AHAs and BHAs (which I can only use once or twice a week, mixed with my moisturizer.) This cream helped to turn over my skin gently and did a great job helping to hydrate and exfoliate my skin overnight! Naturally, don’t forget to use this with an SPF and don’t use it as a daytime cream because it is an acid still, but my skin is glowier and less troublesome than it was before. Great cream and I will be repurchasing :)” – by Lauren
COSRX PHA Moisture Renewal Power Cream
$16.68 from Amazon
What this step is all about: If you’re doing your skincare in the morning, you’ll want to use sunscreen. However, Korean sunscreen is much more intense than US sunscreen. It’s rated on the PA scale, and protects the skin from UVA and UVB rays.
If you have sensitive skin, opt for a physical sunscreen but keep in mind that it can often leave you with a white cast. Other skin types might want to go for a chemical sunscreen, which sinks into the skin but can sometimes cause breakouts.
Remember to apply sunscreen after every 3 hours as a rule!
Promising Amazon Review: “I did a ton of research into non-greasy high spf sunscreens and stumbled upon MISSHA. I’ve been using it daily for 3 months and I wanted to report back on my experience. 5 stars, I have very fair skin & It’s always scary to put those daily facial sunscreens to the “day at the beach test” I hung out at the pool for about 4 hours – reapplied once after swimming and I had zero problems – no pinkness, nothing. I trust this stuff. I have combination skin and have battled with breakout causing sunscreen in the past. The sebum-free component leaves a matte-soft feeling and my skin has drastically cleared up since I ditched drugstore spf moisturizer.” – by Kathleen Brown
MISSHA All Around Safe Block Serum Zero Sun SPF
$13.96 from Amazon
What this step is all about: If you’re doing your skincare at night, you’ll want to use a sleeping mask. This is the most luxurious step of them all, and ensures that while your body is in resting and recovery mode, it is also able to soak up nutrients and hydration from a sleeping gel. The mask will ensure you wake up with the plumpest skin of your whole life!
Promising Amazon Review:
Buy now: “This is the best product for my super dry, sensitive skin. I use this product daily as part of my nighttime skincare routine and also apply it in the morning as a perfect moisturizer under my makeup. I have tried countless products, all of which either broke my face out or did nothing to combat the dryness. After just a few days of using this product, I noticed my skin looked radiant, redness around my T zone was greatly reduced, and my skin was getting the hydration it desperately needed. All I can say is this product healed my skin!” – by Amazon Customer
Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Treatment
$40.10 from Amazon
Check out our list of the 9 best drugstore foundations of 2019 right HERE!
We pay for videos too. Click here to upload yours.