Nobody does skincare like the Asians.

No wonder their skin looks so eternally youthful and always oh so glowing. Koreans especially have taken the beauty industry by a raging storm over the last few years and rightfully so. Their products are innovative and have somehow used almost every ingredient under the sun to make us more beautiful.

Their skincare routine is dauntingly long but so worth it in the long run. It’s a part of their culture and not just a way to fixing stuff only when it’s damaged like what we do it here in the West. That is one of the reasons why we are adapting the 11 step Korean Skincare routine from today and you should too. Here is what you need to apply and in what order to get on board the ever popular Korean skincare routine:

  1. Cleanse

Cleansing isn’t just washing your face off with a cleanser. The Korean way to do it is in three steps: first, remove your eye makeup, especially if you are wearing waterproof makeup, with a gentle remover like Bioderma – Sensibio H2O Make-up Removing Micelle Solution or Dermalogica – Soothing Eye Make-up Remover.

Next, remove your makeup and/or SPF by massaging a greasy, oil-based balm or cleansing oil. Both the cult-favorites EVE LOM – Cleanser and Dermalogica – PreCleanse are great options. Remove the balm or oil with a dampened washcloth to remove all traces of makeup and impurities.

Follow this makeup removing cleanse with another cleanse. While the first two cleanses work to remove makeup and grime off your face, the last cleanse essentially provides nourishment to your skin directly. Choose a nourishing cleanser like PETER THOMAS ROTH – Rose Stem Cell Bio-Repair Cleansing Gel for this step to offer your skin a lot more than just a basic cleanse.

  1. Exfoliate

Exfoliation helps slough off dead cells from the outermost layer of the skin to reveal fresh, new skin cells resulting in a gorgeous glow. So if your skin is feeling particularly dry, sallow and dull, remember your first step towards recovery should be exfoliation.

Do not use harsh grainy scrubs to exfoliate your skin. It will create micro tears on your skin and do more damage than good in the long run. Use an exfoliant like the *Dermalogica – Daily Microfoliant which contains rice enzymes and salicylic acid to help dissolve the excess surface cells.

  1. Acid Tone

The once believed to be unnecessary toner stage has now been converted to the essential acid toning stage to lower the pH of the skin and chemically exfoliate the skin. You can use either AHAs like Glycolic acids and Lactic acids or BHAs like Salicylic acids or both. Pixi – Glow Tonic is a good glycolic acid option since it contains Aloe Vera and Ginseng to soothe, hydrate and energize skin at the same time.

  1. Spray/Hydrate

The idea behind this step is to think of the skin like a sponge. To be able to better absorb the next steps products, the skin will need to be dampened and hydrated. Products containing glycerin and/or Hyaluronic acid are the best for this stage. A product like Bioderma – Photoderm Apres-Soleil SOS Intense Soothing Mist will do wonders to moisturize your skin instantly. Avoid products with alcohol in them at this step.

  1. Essence

This step essentially begins the treatment part of the Korean skincare.

Any essence that will help the skin at cellular level like speeding up cell turnover is recommended at this step. Marula Pure Beauty Oil – Facial Renewal Essence claims to help improve skin complexion within 60 days for a fresher, younger-looking appearance by enhancing skin’s natural cell renewal process.

  1. Water Based Serums

The next step is to treat the skin for targeted concerns like aging, dark spots, fine lines, wrinkles, acne and enlarged pores. The idea is to start with a fluid serum and follow up with serums thicker in consistency.

This means that the sixth step involves the use of water based serums like iS CLINICAL – Super Serum Advance Plus which help address specific skin issues from fine lines, wrinkles, to uneven pigmentation and *PETER THOMAS ROTH – Water Drench Hyaluronic Cloud Serum that helps smooth out the appearance of fine lines and a rough texture by attracting and retaining up to 1,000 times its weight in water from moisture in the air.

  1. Oil Based Serums

Follow up with oil based serums or a facial oil to further address your skin care issues. A couple of drops of a facial oil like Marula Pure Beauty Oil – Pure Marula Facial Oil to help provide immediate and long lasting hydration and improved skin elasticity and you are good to go.

  1. Sheet Masks

Finally, the Korean’s most favorite step of the skincare routine: sheet masks.

Sheet masks are super fun to use and deliver amazing skin care ingredients with minimal mess. A sheet mask like PETER THOMAS ROTH – Un-Wrinkle 24K Gold Intense Wrinkle Sheet Mask is perfect for the job since it does not need washing off.

All you need to do is expand a facial sheet mask and place it over the face until every region is covered. Leave on for 15 minutes. Remove the mask and pat the face gently until skin completely absorbs product. Do not rinse off; allow to dry. Depending on the kind of sheet mask you are using, it can be used every day or a few times a week only.

9. Eye Cream

Nearing the end of the skincare routine, you need to work around the sensitive areas around the eyes to help combat fine lines and wrinkles all the while treating dark circles and puffiness.

A cream like *Dermalogica – Intensive Eye Repair is perfect for this step since it does it all including repairing prematurely aging skin and smoothing dehydration lines, maintaining your skins elasticity and restoring suppleness and protecting skin against free radicals.

  1. Moisturizer

Acting as a seal for all that you have applied to your skin, moisturizer is the second last step of the routine. A moisturizer like *Philosophy – Renewed Hope in a Jar Refreshing and Refining Moisturizer acts as a sealant for all the products that you have just so painstakingly applied while providing a gorgeous glow and continuing hydration too.

  1. Night Cream OR Sleeping Mask OR Sunscreen

Depending on the time of the day, the last step varies from applying a night cream to applying sunscreen.

If you are just starting your day, end the skincare routine with an SPF like COOLA – SPF 30 Face Classic Moisturizing Sunscreen Cucumber to give yourself broad spectrum protection against UV rays.

If you are about to hit the pillow, end the routine with either a night time moisturizer – which is essentially more heavier than the previous step moisturizer or your day time moisturizer – or a sleeping mask. PETER THOMAS ROTH – Un-Wrinkle Night is a good option as a night moisturizer with its long list of beneficial ingredients like anti-aging peptides, vitamins and acids.

You can also swap the step 10 moisturizer with a night time cream and do a sleeping mask like *PETER THOMAS ROTH – Camu Camu Power C X 30 Vitamin C Brightening Sleeping Mask as a last step.

Phew! That was a long one but your skin will thank you when you hit 40 for all your hard work you are about to do today!

*Image Credits:,,,, and Courtesy Brands

Join the conversation! 2 Comments

  1. I thought this article was going to be about Korean products they use.

  2. We are looking for adding Korean brands. Do you have an recommendation?

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