November 18, 2014 Diana Crisan TIPS & TUTORIALS

The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

Perfect skin. We all want it, dream of it, wish upon a star for it — but is your routine all geared up for a flawless complexion or are you a wash and go kinda gal? Whatever the cleansing case may be, we highly suggest integrating some Korean skincare rituals into your routine. Our go-to esthetician, Allison O’Connor agrees! While their multi-step regimen may seem intimidating to the Western world, you (and your skin) will thank us for introducing you to the ever-popular beauty method! Go ahead; give it a try!

korean skincare
1. The Pre-Cleanse:
Before reaching for your face wash, it’s important to remove any traces of facial and eye makeup with a purifying cleansing cloth such as L’Oréal Ideal Clean All Skin Types Makeup Removing Towelettes in order to prepare for the second part in your “double cleanse.”

2. Cleansing Oil:
Cleansing with an oil product is perfect for removing any impurities, sebum and bacteria without having to strip your skin of its natural moisture,” says O’Connor Try Garnier Clean + Nourishing Cleansing Oil or the well-known Rice Water Bright Cleansing Light Oil by The Face Shop. Be sure to gently massage skin in a circular motion, as Koreans believe that this will improve circulation and brightness!

3. Exfoliating:
Korean women and Team MDC are firm believers in regular exfoliation! Using a natural scrub or blackhead removing treatment, buff away dead skin cells that collect on the surface and gently concentrate on your T-zone 2-3 times a month.  Try The Body Shop Tea Tree Squeaky-Clean Scrub or Caolion Blackhead Steam Pore Pack for soft, smooth skin!

4. Toner Time:
Restore your skin’s pH levels with a soothing (non astringent!) tightening and clarifying toner like Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Alcohol-Free Toner or Vichy Pureté Thermale Refreshing Toner. Korean type toners are much less harsh and drying than the one’s we’re used to, which is why they’re referred to as “refreshers.”

5. Essential Essence:
We’re big fans of facial mists and as it turns out, one of the most essential steps in Korean skincare is a light spritz of liquid essence! Brighteners like Laneige Water Bank Essence and Urban Decay B6 Vitamin-Infused Complexion Prep Spray not only pump skin up with nourishing vitamins, but they increase elasticity and promote rejuvenation.

6. Concentrated Ampoule:
Also known as serums, these bad boys pack a powerful skincare punch. “Loaded with a concentrated blend of oils, they can promote brightening, banish fine lines, reduce sunspots and deliver intense hydration. Layer them to target several concerns,” says O’Connor. Boosters are known to sink deep down into skin and deliver the most change due to their texture and ability to penetrate the dermis easily. Try using Lancôme Advanced Génifique or Decléor Aromessence Serum.

7. Sheet Masks:
These magical masks essentially force all of the beneficial ingredients to be absorbed into your skin (we’re not fighting that)!  Used twice a week, these single-use, soaking wet treatments come in a variety of interesting packages with benefits ranging from clarifying to collagen producing. We recommend Garnier Fructis Skin Renew Dark Spot Treatment Mask and SK-II Facial Treatment Mask.

8. Eye Cream:
Prevent wrinkles before they happen and treat issues like dark circles and puffiness by gently tapping a hydrating cream like La Roche-Posay Redermic [C] Eyes around the entire eye area.

9. Emulsion Moisturizer:
We’re almost at the finish line! Commence moisturizing part one. Replenish your already fully loaded skin by using a lightweight, water-based moisturizer on your face and neck. In circular motions, lightly massage Biotherm Aquasource hydrating gel into your skin.

10. Night Cream:
At last! The key to a Korean night cream? Fermented Ingredients. O’Connor explains that active ingredients provide your skin with a protection barrier overnight, so that you can wake up each morning with a healthy glow. Products with bamboo sap and fruit water like SUM37 Timeless Moisturizing Cream are known to hydrate dry skin and provide brightening effects with regular use. Morning time? Skip this step and opt in for plenty of SPF and a light BB Cream!

What do you think of this Korean skincare routine and are you going to give it a try? Let us know in the comments below! 

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    About the Author: Diana creates on-trend beauty content for Makeup.com readers. She stays up-to-date on the latest beauty news and product launches and tests every makeup item that comes through the door. As an employee of L’Oréal, Diana writes stories about beauty products across the entire brand portfolio.