Starting a Korean Skin Care Routine

by Donna Maurer 7 months ago in skincare

10 Tips for Success

Starting a Korean Skin Care Routine

If you have picked up any major fashion and beauty magazine lately, you’ve likely noticed that everyone is talking about K-beauty. Even Western beauty brands are getting inspired by Korean skincare, and beauty brands; some are developing entire product lines around Korean beauty philosophies.

With all this buzz about Korean skin care, you’ve probably picked up on the fact that there’s a lot more to the Korean skincare routine than the beauty routines you’re used to. In fact, the typical Korean skincare routine involves ten steps or more, and includes things that are relatively exclusive to K-beauty, like essences and ampoules.

The idea of completing so many steps every day probably sounds a little overwhelming, especially if your current routine only involves cleanser, toner, and moisturizer. If you’re ready to give a Korean skincare routine a try, here are ten tips to help you avoid making the same mistakes many people make when they’re just starting out.

Don’t skip the double cleanse.

Many women don’t realize just how important cleansing is. If you’re relying on a cleansing wipe to remove your makeup, and cleanse your skin at night, it’s simply not enough. Removing every trace of oil, makeup, and impurities from your skin is crucial for achieving that glass smooth skin Korean women are famous for. Korean women do a double cleanse as the first step in their routine to make sure their skin is spotless.

First, an oil-based cleanser is used to break down the oils your skin produces naturally throughout the day. It will also effectively break down your makeup and sunscreen. Then, a water-based cleanser is used to get rid of every last trace of sweat, dirt, or residue left behind by the oil cleanser. Don’t make the mistake of just using one or the other. Each product serves a purpose, and they both work together for the best results.

Learn what Korean skin care terms mean.

When you first start researching K-beauty, you’re probably going to hear some new terms that you’re not familiar with. If you want to get the best results from your products, it’s important to understand what those terms mean. Spend a little time learning about each term as it comes up so you can choose the best products for your skin type.

One example is the term, “whitening.” People often misunderstand this term. In Korean skin care, a product that is labeled as whitening does not necessarily have a bleaching effect on the skin, as most people believe. These types of products are actually made to brighten the skin, targeting hyperpigmentation, dark spots, and dullness. These products are great for anyone who’s looking for a brighter, more even complexion.

Apply your products correctly.

The way you apply your products can make a big difference over time. Always tap the products into your skin, never rub. The skin on your face is delicate! Unnecessary tugging or rubbing can result in premature sagging and fine lines. Be as gentle as possible whenever you apply a product to your face. When you tap the skin instead of rub, you’ll stimulate lymphatic drainage, too, which will help your face look less puffy.

Use the correct motion, too.

When you apply your skincare, start at the center of your face and work in an upward, outward motion. Start at your nose, and work your way up and out towards the temples. Then, start at the center of the forehead and again work toward your temples. Working in this way will also help with lymphatic drainage, and it could help fight gravity.

Introduce one new product at a time.

It’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying a bunch of new things at once. Even if you want to dive into the entire 10 step skin care regimen right away, that might not be a good idea. It’s better to replace your regular products one at a time with their Korean skincare equivalents. That way, you’ll have a better idea of what’s working and what isn’t, and if you have a reaction, you’ll know what’s causing it.


Use the products in the right order.

You can choose all the perfect products for your skin type, but if you don’t apply them in the right order, they won’t be as effective. The easiest way to decide which products come first is to start with the thinnest products, and work your way up to the thickest.

Focus on prevention, not treatment.

If you have great looking skin, you might be tempted to wait until those first fine lines appear to start treating them. But that’s not the philosophy behind Korean skincare! They prefer to prevent issues before they even start by being proactive with your skin care. One example is to start using SPF, and a good eye cream every day before your skin shows signs of damage.

Be consistent with your routine.

Just like anything else in life, you’re going to get the best results if you’re consistent with your skin care. No matter how hectic your day has been, or how late you’re running in the morning, you need to stick to your routine. Be consistent with the products you use, too. It may take a little time before you notice results, so don’t’ give up on a product too soon.

Don’t use the wrong ingredients together.

Certain skin care ingredients shouldn’t be used at the same time because they could interact and cause irritation, or they could cancel each other out. For example, never mix an alpha or beta hydroxy acid with Vitamin C because they could cause major irritation, or even peeling, when mixed.

Store your products correctly.

Don’t ever leave your Korean skin care products in the shower or on a shelf in the sunlight. They should always be stored in a cool, dark place. Extreme temperatures and sunlight can reduce the effectiveness of certain natural ingredients common in K-beauty. Ingredients like Vitamin C, retinol, and benzoyl peroxide are especially sensitive. Store your products in a dark cabinet or drawer for the best shelf life.

There’s no doubt that you can achieve your best skin ever with a Korean skincare routine. Just be sure to take the time to educate yourself about the products, so you get the best possible results for your time and money!

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Donna Maurer

Donna is a hustling freelance writer who spends her time writing about everything from the music industry to the latest beauty and wellness trends. She contributes to numerous blogs and enjoys sharing insights from her own life experiences.

See all posts by Donna Maurer