Korean Skincare Routine Steps For Glowy Stunning Skin

Everybody is wondering what is the correct Korean skincare routine order, what is it, and what products to use. They are an example of how skin can be “perfect” with a few daily care steps.

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With that in mind, we will explain to you today what this routine is and its characteristics.

What Is The Korean Skincare Routine?

The Korean skincare routine is, as the name suggests, a tradition that comes from Asian countries with regard to facial care.

They do this in order to maintain flawless and, above all, youthful-looking skin.

Korean skincare routine

It is basically a set of daily steps (that you can do morning and evening) that focus on the products themselves but on completing each step. 

You can adapt and/or change the product you will use for each step; what matters is carrying them out.

But, first of all, remember: this routine will not necessarily be good for everyone. Therefore, it is essential to consult a dermatologist.

How Many Steps Does Korean Skincare Have?

Even though you can try different versions of Korean skincare routines, with as many steps as you want, the most common practice is the 10 steps skincare routine.

Korean skincare routine

They are:

  1. Cleaning with an oil-based product
  2. Cleaning with a water-based product
  3. Toner
  4. use an exfoliator
  5. Essence
  6. Using Serum
  7. Face masks
  8. eye cream
  9. Emulsion
  10. Moisturizer

There are some steps that are considered essential, but on the other hand, there are those that are mostly optional.

In the end, I will also share condensed minimal skincare routine steps so you can use them when you are in a rush.

10 Steps Korean Skin Care Routine


There are not necessarily many steps to make up your Korean skincare routine. But the 10 steps are quite popular. 

Check out what they are (they are presented in their order of application) and how they work:

1. oil-based cleaning

oil-based cleaning

The first step of the Korean skincare routine is double-cleansing. 

Firstly, use an oil cleanser to remove makeup and impurities from the skin. 

​​Facial cleansing oil (unlike water-based cleansing) breaks down oil-related debris such as pollution, sebum, and sunscreen. 

Facial cleansing oil is usually nourishing, hydrating, and very relaxing.

But be careful. It is a specific oil with emulsifying properties (which melts when in contact with water), leaving no traces.

Cleansing oil should be applied to dry skin, making circular movements and massaging the entire face for a few minutes. 

This is important because helps remove impurities from the pores and blackheads.

After that, just rinse, and the oil should come out completely from the skin (when it comes in contact with water, it becomes a milky liquid).

Not everybody does this step in the morning, considering that it is at night that the skin needs more cleaning to remove the day’s impurities (pollution, makeup, etc.). 

But if you want to do it in the morning, no problem.

2. Water-based cleaning

Face wash

It is called water-based because the product does not have oil in its composition. 

After all, oil dissolves oil, but you still need another product to clean all the impurities produced by water-based products.

Face wash Korean

At this stage, use a soap, cleansing gel, or foam to wash the face normally.

Thus, the so-called double cleansing is characterized when performing oil-based and water-based cleaning.


Facial toner is a fundamental step in the Korean skincare routine because, in addition to preparing the skin to receive the next steps, many have moisturizing properties. 

Another important function is to balance the skin’s pH.


When performing this Korean skincare routine, Asian women usually use their hands, depositing a little product and applying it with taps (with the fingers) on the face.

However, it is also possible to use the toner with a cotton (very damp), passing it lightly on the face.


You can exfoliate once a week using soaps or creams with exfoliating particles).

Or you can use a chemical type (creams that make dead cells come off).

Regardless of the type, the purpose of exfoliation is to renew the skin. 

In some cases, it can even help lighten small blemishes, as it stimulates collagen production and cell renewal.


Essences are miracle waters similar to tonics but with a texture similar to serums (however, less concentrated).


It moisturizes the skin very deeply, preparing it for the next steps of the Korean skincare routine.

They are rich in ingredients such as glycerin and hyaluronic acid (both have properties that hydrate and plump the skin).

To apply, place a little in the palm of your hands and press on your face.


Serums have a generally liquid or gel-like texture that is very light. 

This characteristic allows a fast and deep absorption by the skin.


Because of this, they fall into the category of skin nutrition (since they penetrate the deeper layers of the dermis).

Some examples of products that can be used at this stage are vitamin C, acids, anti-aging serums, etc.

Serums treat problems directly in specific areas or treat the entire face with active ingredients.

Facial Masks

Facial Mask

The face mask is an important step in any skin routine, but beware!

Anything in excess is bad. The ideal is to use the mask of your preference only once a week.

There are different types and purposes (illuminating, purifying, hydrating, mattifying, detoxifying, soothing, etc.).

So, just choose if you prefer cream-type masks, which need to be applied with a brush on the face, or cotton ones (dear by Asians) that just need to be positioned on the face and then discarded.

Regardless of the mask, always respect its action time (average 15-20min).

If it is a cotton mask that comes soaked in the product, wait for the skin to absorb all the rest of the product after removing it. In other words, do not rinse.

Eye cream

This is a step that many people forget and use the same face creams around the eyes.

However, it is important to note that eye creams need to have smaller molecules due to the thinner skin in the region.

This facilitates full absorption of the product and allows you to achieve the desired result: preventing wrinkles and dark circles.


This is generally the most popular step in facial care.

Just choose the cream of your choice (always observing if it is for day or night use) and apply a thin and even layer on the skin.

The only recommendation is to look for one that suits your skin type. 

For example, for skins that are more prone to oiliness, it is ideal to opt for creams with a gel texture (as they absorb quickly). 

On the other hand, people with dry skin can opt for more dense and potent creams.



To complete the Korean skincare routine, now it’s sunscreen’s turn. 

Sun damage is the main external cause of all skincare, from pigmentation and dehydration to premature aging.

You can choose between those with color, without color, for oily skin, moisturizers, etc.

The protector is an indispensable step in the Korean skincare routine. 

It also takes care of our health (considering that high exposure to light can cause diseases such as skin cancer).

Korean Skincare Routine Simplified (5 Steps)

Step 1: Double cleaning

Remember the first two steps of cleansing your skin, using an oil-based cleanser and a water-based cleanser?

It doesn’t matter if you don’t wear makeup or just use sunscreen. 

First, the skin needs to be clean and free from product residues.

Step 2: Exfoliation

Once again, exfoliate once or twice a week to remove dead cells which leave your skin opaque and block the action of the products.

Step 3: Essence


Think of your skin as a wet sponge that is able to absorb everything. The essence plays this role on your skin, allowing it to absorb the products’ nutrients.

Step 4: Serum

Now that your skin is clean, here’s the good part! 

Koreans take serums seriously, always ensuring that the skin has absorbed all the active ingredients in the product.

At this point, it is possible to mix different products or products that have the properties you need on your skin.

Step 5: Moisturizer with Sunscreen

SPF Protection

One of the ways to simplify your Korean skincare routine is to look for products that do two things at once. Moisturizers with sunscreen are one of them.

Even if it’s not the same as putting on one product and then another, for those looking for something quick for everyday use, a moisturizer with sunscreen can be a good idea.

Can I Do Korean Skincare Routine With Non-Korean Products?

Yes. Contrary to what many people imagine, the Korean routine does not necessarily have to be done with Asian products.

So, as the name suggests, the purpose of the Korean skincare routine is literally to create a daily care routine. 

Thus, the main point is to follow the steps, regardless of the product used.

Korean Skincare Routine With Natural Ingredients

Despite the huge range of cosmetics available and the apparent complexity of the Korean skincare routine, you can simplify this whole process.

Based on different reasons, many people choose to use natural products in their daily care. 

With that in mind, here you have some tips that you can apply to carry out this routine in a healthier, cheaper, and more sustainable way:

Use vegetable oils as a cleansing oil

As we have seen, the first step is oil-based cleansing.

So, you can apply vegetable oils for this; at the end, just remove the excess with cotton and wash with water and soap/gel;

Rice tonic 

You can prepare a rice tonic at home: soak the rice in water for several hours and become milky (this water will be used as a tonic).

For best results, keep the product in the fridge and its packaging;

Eye cream

just moisten two chamomile tea bags, leave in the fridge for 40 minutes, then place them on your closed eyes (leave for 15-20 minutes).


A good option is to use rosehip oil; it is a fine oil (which makes it possible to be used by people with different skin types) and has antioxidant and even lightening action;

Facial Mask

You can use natural clays. There are different types, so you can choose the one that best suits your skin and needs;


Some natural exfoliation options include using ingredients like coffee grounds or oatmeal powder. 

Just mix a little with coconut oil or honey and apply it to your face.

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