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The Korean skincare routine seems to be trending lately, and with good reason! This skin regimen incorporates much of what, as an esthetician, I would consider to be logical skincare! It is good for your skin and involves a regimen that will help you have healthy, youthful, amazing skin.
You should do the Korean skincare routine both day and night for great results and very happy skin!
So what is the Korean skincare routine and what are the skincare products that are best? Well, while I am a trained Esthetician I will not be writing this in a professional capacity (after all, I cannot see your skin so I cannot advise you on specific products for your particular skin). However, I will be giving some general info on what I like and recommend and leave it to you to seek professional advice if needed for your skin.
Korean Skincare Routine
What Steps are in the Korean Skincare Routine?
- Oil Cleanse
- Foam Cleanse
- Sheet Mask
- Eye Cream
- Sun Screen/Sleep Mask
Our listing of recommended products, organized by step, can be found at the end of each section!
Step 1 – Oil Cleanse
You want to remove makeup and dirt so you want to cleanse with an oil-based cleanser. This may be scary for those of you with oily skin, but trust me! Nothing sends your oil glands into panic mode more than a lack of good, healthy oils.
When you only use drying products, your oil glands will think your skin is lacking oil and produce more! So good, healthy oil in small doses is not going to cause an oil slick on your skin! Drying it out too much might!
Step 2 – Foam Cleanse
After you oil cleanse you want to cleanse with a foam cleanser or a water-based cleanser. So why are we cleansing twice?
As an esthetician, we always cleanse twice with the first cleanse to loosen up and remove oil, leftover makeup, etc., and the second cleanse to really get your skin nice and clean.
If you are like me you shampoo twice. The first time never seems to get your hair completely clean. It is more to remove surface oils and dirt which then allows you to go in and get the scalp really clean. It is basically the same concept for your face.
You simply rub the foam onto your face with gentle, circular motions to remove any other dirt or impurities on your skin.
Step 3- Exfoliate
This step helps remove dead skin cells that can prevent needed moisture from getting through, drying out your skin. You can use a gentle exfoliant or a brush/sponge for this step.
Exfoliators come in multiple types. There are mechanical exfoliators, like the brush I mentioned. There are also chemical exfoliators such as those found in many skin care products. These would be alpha (AHA) hydroxy acids (like glycolic acid and citric acid), beta (BHA) hydroxy acids (like salicylic acid), Lipohydroxy Acid (LHA), polyhydroxy acids (PHA), plant-based enzymes, and retinols (which help keep those crazy free radicals from damaging your skin!).
You definitely want to keep your skin type in mind when choosing the best exfoliator and if you have hyper-sensitive skin, I would seek the advice of a professional Esthetician or Dermatologist.
Step 4 – Toner
Using a good toner will help restore your skin’s pH levels, hydrate your skin and prep it for the remaining steps. Apply with a cotton ball!
Step 5 – Essence
Essences are the heart of Korean skincare. They are light-weight, water-based products. Some people describe it as a serum but the reality is this product is more a booster and is meant to hydrate the skin and protect and repair it. It typically contains more water than a serum would.
Step 6 – Serum/Ampoule
Now THIS is where the serum or ampoule comes in. They help repair skin issues like acne, and can help minimize the appearance (and future) fine lines and wrinkles. If you have really oily skin or if you really don’t have any skin issues, you can just bypass this step.
Step 7 – Sheet Mask
Sheet masks have become extremely popular parts of a skin regimen these days and are easy to find and don’t cost a lot of money! In fact, my teen has been using them for a few years now! You can find them in pretty much any price range and they are quick and easy to use.
Their purpose is to increase hydration, which is really important as your skin ages! They are typically soaked in serum, so yes you are getting yet another layer of serum (as well as other excellent ingredients) on your skin and your skin will love you for it!
It is a one-time use product and you can get them to meet your specific skin-care needs and your skin type!
Step 8 – Eye Cream
No skin regimen would be complete without taking great care of the eyes.
The skin around your eyes is not the same as the skin on the remainder of your face. For one, it lacks the sebaceous glands (oil glands) that provide oil to the rest of your face.
Second, it is also much thinner and can be prone to lines and wrinkles.
The skin around your eyes is very sensitive, so be sure to never pull or tug on it.
When applying any cream to the area around your eyes, you want to use your ring finger and use it gently. Your ring finger is the weakest one so it applies the least amount of pressure.
Step 9 – Moisturizer
A cream moisturizer is a staple of the traditional Korean skincare routine and it forms what is known as an occlusive layer, sealing in all the ingredients you just applied and adding additional moisture to your skin.
Step 10 – Sunscreen (When Doing Routine in the Morning) or Sleep Mask (When Doing Routine in the Evening)
Protecting your skin is a key step to ANY skin regimen! This one is no different.
The sun can cause irreversible damage to your skin and can even affect your DNA and can cause your cell membranes to become distorted.
Korean sunscreens have, in many cases, both UVA and UVB protection which a lot of sunscreens in the US lack.
The sunscreens in your cosmetics is not enough to protect your skin fully! So use a separate sunscreen!
If you are doing the skincare routine at night, a sleep mask is an alternative since you obviously do not need sunscreen while you sleep!What is the Korean skincare routine and what are the products that are best? Click To Tweet