Korean Skincare Explained: Unique Ingredients And 10-Step Beauty Routine

Korean skincare face

Korean skincare continues to be one of the most popular beauty regimens, often recommended by beauty experts and skincare enthusiasts.

What’s so unique about it? It focuses on prevention: mainly from sings of aging and damages caused by sun exposure.

But what really makes K-Beauty to stand out is the 10-step skincare routine. It requires applying face products in a specific order to ensure maximum effects.

Below you can see how to do the full Korean beauty routine. For more detailed information and tips, see the article about 10-step Korean skincare on YouAreBeautie.com.

  1. Oil-based cleanser – 10-step Korean routine starts with a double cleansing. First part of cleansing is using oil-based cleanser that helps to remove makeup, sunscreen and oil-based impurities. Korean brands are very creative when it comes to cleansing oils. You can find them in liquid form, as cleansing balms or even sherbets.
  2. Water-based cleanser – Second part of double cleansing is washing face with a water-based cleanser. You can choose between foam, gel, jelly or milky cleansers. This way you’re making sure the excess of sebum and all residue (also from oil cleanser) is removed.
  3. Exfoliator – This is an optional step that you can perform 1-3 times per week, depending on your skin needs. The point of exfoliation is to remove dead skin cells and fight those annoying blackheads.
  4. Toner – After cleansing and exfoliating, it’s time to use toner to balance skin pH and prepare it for next products (and ensure they get well absorbed).
  5. Essence – Depending on the essence that you choose, it can help reduce wrinkles and fine lines, nourish your skin, and give it deep hydration.
  6. Serum / Treatment – Serums usually have thicker texture than essences. They are packed with powerful ingredients to address various skin concerns. Korean brands offer serums for each type of skin: niacinamide and vitamin C serums are great for pigmentation and uneven skin tone, while hyaluronic acid serums work well for mature skin.
  7. Sheet mask – Single-use masks are extremely important step in K-beauty regimen. They are soak in serums, filled with active ingredients that provide moisturizing, anti-aging, soothing or even anti-acne benefits.
  8. Eye cream – Korean skincare is all about prevention (especially signs of aging) and eye cream is a crucial step in the beauty routine. According to K-beauty, eye cream should be included in all skincare routines, not only for mature skin.
  9. Moisturizer – Now it’s time to lock in all that goodness from the products you’ve used. Thin layer of a good moisturizer will make a difference!
  10. Sunscreen – The AM skincare routine should be finished with sunscreen. Sun protection is particularly important if you’ve used products with acids or retinol during your beauty routine. Good cream with SPF will protect your skin from harmful UV rays, and help to prevent signs of early aging.

Performing all 10 steps definitely takes some time, but the consistency is the key to success.

Another thing that distinguishes K-beauty is the use of unique ingredients that are known for their beneficial properties for centuries. We can find serums with mugwort and Centella Asiatica, moisturizers with birch sap, toners with fermented rice water, eye creams with snail mucin, and of course face masks with green tea.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular K-beauty ingredients and what they can do for your face.

  • Centella Asiatica – this is one of the most popular ingredients that you can find in Korean face products. It’s often called “Cica”. One of its benefits is improving skin elasticity, as well as helping the wounds to heal. It also reduces inflammation. All of these features make Centella Asiatica a great choice for people with acne. What’s more, Cica also protects skin from UV damage and boosts collagen production (yes, that means anti-aging properties!).
  • Snail Mucin – this ingredients is extremely popular in Korean facial serums and eye creams. The reason behind it is that it has anti-aging benefits. It can help you fight fine lines and wrinkles (not only in eye area), as well as reduce appearance of scarring.
  • Birch Sap – it has anti-inflammatory benefits and moisturizes the skin. Studies show that it can reduce redness and tingling, and improve skin barrier. The best thing about it is its suitability for all skin types, including oily skin, acne-prone skin, and even sensitive skin.
  • Mugwort – thanks to antibacterial and calming effects it can reduce blemishes, fight acne, soothe itching and calm irritated skin. But it’s mostly known for its anti-aging benefits. It’s recommended for mature skin, as it helps to keep it radiant.

There’s one more thing that makes K-beauty unique and worth trying. Korean skincare brands use higher concentration of these active ingredients, which helps achieve quicker and better results.

The ultimate goal? Glass skin with healthy and radiant glow.