10 Step Korean Skincare Routine Explained

I actually did wake up like this… We can’t avoid environmental toxins or radically change our lifestyle- but we CAN curate a skincare routine to protect from environmental aggressors like sun damage and pollution.




Prevention can stop premature ageing, keeping your skin healthy, protected and glowing. Don’t hide under makeup, great skin shouldn’t double cleanse off.

When it comes to the ultimate preventative skincare regimen nowhere stands out more than South Korea. Self-care is a vital part of Korean culture and the core principles of the multi-step skincare routine is prevention.

An 8 to 10 step beauty routine is pretty standard for South Korean women (and men too, judging by the equally flawless complexions). Here we give you a step by step product diary which may seem wildly optimistic but bear with… the passion for all things skincare is a true inspiration. If prevention is key, we can definitely get on board with a lot of this.



When working through a routine of this variety of textures is that generally the thinnest consistency is applied first (like a toner) allowing each step to absorb with the thickest ingredients (typically your moisturiser or sun protection) going last.


Step one is double cleansing. No work of art begins without a perfectly blank canvas. Korean women typically use oil-based cleansers when removing makeup followed by a water-based cleanser to remove any remaining residue. A 1-step cleanse is fine in the morning. 


Step 2 in the Korean Beauty routine is a toner to refine pores followed by a treatment essence or lotion.


Step 3 may be new to some but its purpose is purely to add additional moisture and aid the absorption of the more targeted ingredients that follow.


Step 4 is when a serum is applied. It should be targeted and include an active ingredient for your specific concerns such as pigmentation, fine lines, firming etc.


Step 5 is eye time. Specific eye products are best for this area as the skin is thinner and more easily dehydrated. If you suffer from puffy eyes, a cooling under eye mask (if you have the time) will boost circulation in the area.


Step 6 is specific day (or night) moisturiser which should be chosen for your skin type (oily, dry, normal, combination). This will lock in all of the ingredients you have just applied.


Step 7 is a facial oil. Just a few drops patted onto the skin will control shine while giving a dewy complexion, adding additional moisture and active ingredients.


Step 8 is Sun Protection. Come hail or shine this is the most important step in your routine in the morning time. In the evening, this would often be replaced by a sleep mask. The purpose of a sleep mask is to make the most of the regenerating process that happens overnight. Additional steps before all of this are face masks (after cleansing), beauty tools such as micro-needling, toning and collagen stimulation devices. Add in a weekly chemical peel or exfoliation treatment and its practically a full- time job.



There are definitely key takeaways here which every skin enthusiast can get on board with. We’ve been following this routine for years now. Yes, it is a lot of product and takes time to build up to. It does become addictive and only takes 5 minutes out of your day.  Not only will your skin be glowing; you are actively taking steps in preventing skin concerns like breakouts, pigmentation & fine lines.



  1. Double Cleanse every evening … for life.
  2. Spend money on your serum, eye product and sun protection.
  3. Facial oils are incredible at giving a glowing complexion, controlling shine and a little goes a long way so it is worth the investment.
  4. Over exfoliation can cause surface skin damage. Once a week is enough. Give your skin time to recover and heal by investing in a face mask suited to you.
  5. The better-quality ingredients in your skincare the sooner you will see results. If you have sensitive skin add to your routine gradually allowing your skin to get used to the active ingredients. In some case’s this could take up to 4 weeks.

Shop Morning Skin Routines

Shop Evening Skin Routines