I’ve been really excited to write this post because I love sharing my skincare routine. Skincare, to me, is the most important thing you can do for your face. By taking care of your skin, you are giving life back to it and preventing premature aging. Of course, nothing can really prevent aging but you can prolong it by taking care of your skin and using quality products for your face.
Now, the Korean skincare routine, I admit, looks incredibly intimidating. I mean, just look at all those products above! And yes, you do use all of them. HOWEVER, once you get it down, it will only take you about 10-12 minutes to do it all. I’ll walk you through the entire routine and give some facts and tips I’ve learned along the way.
I buy all my Korean skincare products from Sokoglam and if you click on that link, you’ll get 20% off your entire purchase! Additionally, Korean skincare is very non-same-brand. They mix and match brands all the time. I know American skincare is very “one-line will have everything you need and want” so just wanted to give that heads up.
Let me just say that I’m no expert in skincare. I’m also not claiming to be! Everyone’s skin is different so your results will vary. I didn’t break out with any of these products. This is simply my own personal experience with Korean skincare and of course I can try to answer your questions but please know that I’m not trying to endorse anything. I’m simply sharing my experience and you can choose to try or not! Either way, I feel that this will be a knowledgable read :)
Biggest takeaway from Korean skincare routine: mostly all the steps is helping you to moisturize and hydrate your face. When you do that, it makes your face more supple and helps the lines and wrinkles fade because you’re essentially giving your skin a drink. It’s like a sponge — when a sponge is dry, it’s shriveled up and wrinkly; when it’s soaked in water (moisture), it plumps up!
The first step (and the most important step) in the Korean skincare routine is the double-cleanse. What is the double-cleanse? Well, you first wash your face with an oil-based cleanser. This will remove makeup and general impurities and dirt from your face. The oil-based cleanser is interesting because you massage it all your face and then you use a bit of water on your fingertips and start rubbing it off. It emulsifies the oil (it will turn it milky white) until you have most of it off. Then you use a water-based cleanser and what this does is washes away the remaining oil-based cleanser and additional impurities from your face. This cleansing step is so so important because it gives your face a clean base to start layering products. Nothing is more gross than layering on products on a dirty face, essentially trapping all the yuckiness.
Oh, I should mention you could do this day AND night but I started only doing it at night to rinse off all the junk my face has accumulated throughout the day. In the mornings, I typically just go straight to toner even though others will tell you otherwise. Why do you have to clean your face if you just cleaned it the night before? And I also read on some Asian skincare forums that people only do it at night, too.
At first, I was like…man, double-cleansing is going to take f-o-r-e-v-e-r and I’m not going to want to do this when I’m really tired at night but I can’t tell you how much I have enjoyed it. I feel so much cleaner after washing my face and it really doesn’t even take that long.
I bought the Belief cleansing oil from Sephora a couple months ago and it’s still going strong! It’s a subtle melon scent to me and I love the idea of the pump. The foaming face wash (water-based cleanser) is one of my favorites. It has actual green tea leaves in it and the smell is invigorating. I appreciate Korean skincare products because all the scents are super subtle and definitely not overpowering at all. The pink jar is another cleansing oil I got but I haven’t opened it yet because I’m trying to finish up my Belief one first.
Second (or I guess third) step is one of my favorite steps, too, because I love toners. It is so refreshing and essentially perks up my face. Toning is important because it helps to balance your skin’s pH level again after you’ve washed it and it helps rehydrate it.
I love Son & Park’s beauty water (I know, it sound pretentious) but its got willow bark and papaya extracts in it to help lift away dead skin cells revealing brighter and smoother skin and then its got lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract to give it hydration. It smells so good (very subtle) and so refreshing!
The next step is an essence. They call this the “heart of the Korean skincare routine” and I will be honest with you, I don’t really know why. I mean, I’m sure it’s doing something to my skin but I’m not really caught on with this step yet. I do it but I always question why. Apparently the essence serves as a dual-purpose because it is “kind of toner and serum hybrid made for hydrating and aiding skin repair and cell turnover.”
It does hydrate my face even more and it’s pretty refreshing but I think this is one of those things you do and not really see it working but it is…if that makes sense? I’m sure they wouldn’t call this “the heart of the Korean skincare routine” if it truly weren’t. It’s probably just all under the skin and I’m getting benefits but I don’t truly see it since I see my face everyday, lol
Koreans are very much into serums/ampoules. At night I use the one on the left and in the mornings I use the Vitamin C serum. My skin does seem lighter and brighter after I incorporated the Vitamin C serum. The main purpose of serums/ampoules is that they’re concentrated essences and so more is packed into a drop/squirt than standard creams.
Like I mentioned above, I have come to realize that as a whole, the Korean skincare routine is focused on moisture. Bringing moisture to your skin to curb the aging effects.
After I put on my serum/ampoule, I let it absorb for about 30-45 seconds then I put on my eye cream. I love this one. It’s thick and very moisturizing for my delicate eye area. You want to put a tiny bit on your ring finger and tap it around your eyes.
Then, depending on morning or night, I will use the corresponding moisturizer. I use the one on the left (Goodal anti-wrinkle sleep cream) at night and omg I love it. It’s very thick, as well, and it’s kind of like glue consistency (not as sticky but stringy). It makes my skin so super moisturized and dewy. I love it!
I haven’t bought a Korean day moisturizer yet because I am still trying to finish up my Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve face cream. I got samples of this KLAIRS moisturizer cream that I will try after I finish up my Fresh jar and then figure out which day moisturizer I’ll commit to!
We’ve heard this for years and I’m sure I wasn’t helping my skin at all when I wanted to tan all the time in college and to look like I had been to the beach year-round.
I put on sun protection on my face every day now with this SPF 50 from Neogen. This is my last step in the morning!
Okay, exfoliating. You should really do this once or twice a week and it comes after the double-cleanse and before you tone. I LOVE this black sugar strawberry one. It literally smells like fresh strawberries — your face smells ridiculously awesome afterwards AND it’s filled with real strawberry seeds that help exfoliate the dead skin off. It’s also got moisturizing contents in it so after I exfoliate, my skin isn’t tight and dry. It’s actually very well moisturized.
Look at the strawberry seeds!!!
Another step in the Korean skincare routine is sheet masks. They say that if the essence is the heart of the Korean skincare routine then the sheet masks is its soul. I haven’t dived into sheet masks yet (they seem so messy) but apparently it packs your face with moisturizing and hydrating ingredients for 15-20 minutes.
Anyway! That’s it! Hopefully it was informative and if you have any questions, feel free to ask below! I’ll try to answer the best I can :) happy skin-caring!