Korean Skincare Routine

20170102_105944.jpgKorean skincare has become mainstream. Target carries Korean and other Asian skincare products now. Many of us have incorporated products into our routines already. I have read a lot about Korean beauty routines and have decided to use all k-beauty products for a month to see how it works for me. I have a monthly subscription to Beauty Beyond Borders which is an Asian beauty products subscription. You can see what you could expect to get in this subscription herehere, and here. I was able to put together an a.m. and p.m. routine from products I got in my bags.

Korean skincare routines have multiple steps. A 10 step routine seems to be the accepted way to go. The day and night routines are very similar. There are more optional steps in the p.m. routine. The steps in the Korean routine are:

The nighttime routine starts with an  Oil Cleanser or Makeup Remover. Removing every trace of makeup is key for all the products you apply after to be effective. You can even use it on your eyes to remove all your eye makeup. Once you have massaged it into your face and eyes you add a bit of water to emulsify it and then you rinse it off. An oil cleanser will not make oily skin oilier. Oil attracts oil and helps remove excess oil from your skin. the other type of cleanser is a balm that melts away makeup.

The first step in your a.m. routine and the next step in your p.m. skincare is a Water Based or Gentle Foaming Cleanser. In the morning this washes away all the residue of the products applied before bed. At night it washes away any leftover oils or makeup left on your face to get it spotlessly clean.

Exfoliation is the next step but this is not an everyday step. You only need to exfoliate about twice a week. This helps remove all the dead skin cells and reveal the fresh, new skin underneath.

Toner follows and may also be called a Refresher or Skin Softener. This step balances pH levels and gets your skin ready for the other products in the routine. An Essence is applied after the toner.Essences provide extra hydration.

The next step can have multiple products and they may be mixed together. This is the treatment step that addresses your skin’s individual problems. Serums, Booster, and Ampoules address a variety of skin issues – hyperpigmentation, anti-aging, brightening, anti-acne, hydration, oil control – whatever you want to make better. Sheet Masks come after this step when you are using them  Twice a week is the minimum recommended. I like to mask three times a week.

After this apply Eye Cream and Moisturizer. These may be the last steps in your p.m. routine but there is still 1 more step in the a.m. routine. The final step in the morning is the most important, Sunscreen. This is the single most important thing you can do to reduce/prevent photo-aging.

After you have completed your nighttime routine you can add a Sleeping Mask. This can add extra hydration or can be used in place of your moisturizer.

This skincare approach can be time-consuming. It does use a lot of different products. It is backed up by some pretty thorough research, though. Asians take skin care seriously and utilize natural ingredients. Asian women do have lovely, glowing skin.

I am curious to see how my skin reacts to this routine for the next month.I am also curious to see how this routine will work with Retin A. I have been using Tretinoin, generic for Retin A,  for several months now.  Tretinoin (Retin A) will give you general information and you can also check out Tretinoin / Retin-A Cheat Sheet.

Have you tried Asian skincare products? Do you use the entire routine or just specific products? What have your experiences been?

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6 thoughts on “Korean Skincare Routine

  1. I’ve been using Korean skincare products for a few months and I use the products I love and incorporate them into my routine (which is what you’ve described, both am and pm). I love Innisfree and Laneige for their sleeping masks.


      1. I love it but as with any skincare routine needs 4 weeks minimum to see a difference because of cell turnover. I didn’t notice anything immediately either but I notice when I forget a day.

        Having said that too, the brands may not be suited to you either. I’ve tried so many in the years that some people love but just don’t work for me.

        Good luck with finding what works for you 😊

        Liked by 1 person

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