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The Basics of a Korean Skin-Care Routine

The fascination for supple, clear, and youthful-looking skin has increased the demand for Korean beauty products in the market. The secrets of K-beauty have been revealed to the rest of the world, and the road to enlightenment starts with ten steps. (Yes, ten. Sometimes they can reach seventeen.)

The K-invasion doesn’t end with skin care, though. The K-pop invasion has started already, with singing groups (like BTS and Girls’ Generation) from South Korea performing in the States and appearing in talk shows. Korean fashion too is starting to make waves around the world, and if you enjoy seeing people dressed up like the actors from your favorite Korean drama, you can put together a look book and sell clothes online.

Read more after the jump:

Meanwhile, if you want to have skin so luminous that it shames the sun, follow the steps below. You may be put off by the sheer number of steps, but each procedure is fairly quick to perform. You only have to fight off the laziness, and like anything worth having, a healthy complexion can only be achieved if you work hard for it.

Makeup Remover

The first step in this routine is to remove the makeup with a makeup cleaner. Afterward, use an oil cleanser to slough off oil and dirt that have accumulated on your face over the course of the day. You may use a cotton pad or simply your bare hands to apply the oil cleanser. Wash off the cleanser with warm water. Remember not to pull too hard on your skin to avoid wrinkling.


Double cleansing doesn’t necessarily mean going overboard in the efforts to make your skin pure and bright. A water-based cleanser or a foam cleanser will get rid of deep-seated dirt or dirt that the oil cleanser wasn’t able to remove.


Peeling gels, pads with exfoliating solution, and even clay masks aid in removing dead skin cells and lessening blackheads. If you’re using a clay mask, follow the instructions indicated in the product’s packaging, but it usually takes ten minutes before you wash off the mask with warm water.

Be careful not to over exfoliate, though. The recommended use is one to two times a week only to prevent peeling off too many layers of skin.


Also called refiners or softeners, toners tighten pores and restore pH balance. Toners usually contain enzymes from plants and fruits, and they help rehydrate your skin. They also prepare your skin in absorbing the skin-care products you will put on next.

When using a toner, you may use a cotton pad. If you’re using your hands, just pat your face gently, working outward.


between a toner and a serum, and its main function is to repair your skin and to help in cell turnover, the process in which new skin cells replace the dead ones.

Using an essence will help make your skin elastic and firm.


Ampoules and serums contain address more specific issues of your skin, such as acne, pigmentation, and wrinkles. These products are more concentrated than essences are and contain more active ingredients than essences do. To use an ampoule or serum, tap it on your face gently.

Sheet Mask

If you’ve noticed mask selfies on your Instagram lately, the culprit is the sheet mask, an enzyme-containing product made of soft cloth. Sheet masks reinforce the hydration in your skin and are put on the face for fifteen to twenty minutes. You can use sheet masks twice or thrice a week, but some people prefer using them every day.

Eye Cream

The area around your eyes does not have sebaceous glands, so the eye cream provides the hydration instead. When using an eye cream, tap it on the skin around your orbital area. Work inward and then outward, tapping gently to avoid wrinkles and fine lines since the skin on your eye area is thin.

If you’ve been plagued by problems of puffiness and dark circles, an eye cream will do wonders for you.


This product is, well, the essence of the entire Korean skin-care regimen. An essence is a cross
It cannot be emphasized enough: hydration is at the heart of the K-beauty routine. The glasslike glow you see in Korean women’s faces is the result of diligent hydration. Creams, gels, emulsions, and lotions lock in moisture, as if sealing the work done by the products you used before it.

Apply moisturizer at day and at night on your face and your neck to make your skin dewy. You may use a sleeping pack instead if your skin needs overnight care.

Sun Protectant

The routine is not complete without sunscreen to prevent skin cancer and premature aging. Apply your sun protectant last so that its effects are not diluted by those of the other products you’ve used. On your night routine, you may use a night cream instead.

Patience Is Virtue

The effects of this intensive skin-care routine cannot be seen right away. You need to commit to this routine if you want to see actual results. Aside from that, eating healthy food, getting enough sleep, and staying fit through exercise are just as important in maintaining a youthful look.

Don’t forget too that skin types vary, so your skin needs will differ as well and you can also condense some of the steps. If you have any allergic or adverse reaction to any product, discontinue using it.

All images from BEAUTY SCENE EXCLUSIVE: Hanna Novak in Dots by Rocio Segura – see more from the shoot.

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