The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine has taken the beauty world by storm and has become one of the most talked-about skincare routines in recent years. Developed by Soko Glam, the Original 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine aims to give you the perfect, healthy, and glowing skin that everyone desires.

From double cleansing and toning to sheet masks and serums, this routine covers all aspects of skincare. In this blog post, we will walk you through the 10 steps of the Korean Skincare Routine, what each step entails, how to perform each step correctly, and the ingredients to love in each step.

So, whether you’re new to the world of skincare or a seasoned pro, read on to learn more about the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine and how it can benefit your skin.

Preparing for the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

Before diving into the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine, it’s important to prepare your skin and understand the basics of Korean skincare. Korean skincare emphasizes the importance of cleansing, hydration, and nourishment. It’s important to note that the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine doesn’t have to be done in a specific order, and you can tailor it to your skin’s needs.

  • To prepare for the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine, start by identifying your skin type, whether it’s dry, oily, combination, or sensitive. This will help you choose the right products for your skin. It’s also important to patch-test new products before using them to avoid any allergic reactions.
  • Another important factor to consider is the quality of the products you use. Look for products that contain natural and gentle ingredients such as hyaluronic acid, green tea, and aloe vera. Avoid products that contain harsh chemicals or alcohol, as these can dry out your skin and cause irritation.

Remember that consistency is key when it comes to skincare. Stick to the routine and be patient, as it can take some time to see results. Now that you’re prepared, let’s dive into the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine and explore each step in detail.

The 10 Steps – Korean Skincare Routine

Step 1: Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser

The first step in the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine is to remove your makeup and cleanse your face with an oil-based cleanser. Korean skincare emphasizes double cleansing, which involves using an oil-based cleanser to remove oil-based impurities such as makeup and sunscreen, followed by a water-based cleanser to remove water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt.

Makeup Remover

Before using an oil-based cleanser, it’s important to remove your makeup. Korean skincare recommends using a gentle makeup remover that doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils. Look for a makeup remover that’s formulated for your skin type and contains natural ingredients such as chamomile, lavender, or green tea extract.

Oil Cleanser

After removing your makeup, it’s time to cleanse your face with an oil-based cleanser. Oil-based cleansers are effective at removing impurities without stripping your skin of its natural oils. They’re also great for hydrating your skin and preparing it for the next steps in your skincare routine.

To use an oil-based cleanser, start by applying a small amount to your dry face and massaging it in circular motions. Focus on areas with heavy makeup or buildup. Then, add a small amount of water to emulsify the cleanser and continue massaging. Finally, rinse off with lukewarm water.

Ingredients to Love

Look for oil-based cleansers that contain natural and nourishing ingredients such as jojoba oil, coconut oil, or olive oil. These ingredients are great for hydrating and nourishing your skin while cleansing it. Look for cleansers that are free of harsh chemicals or synthetic fragrances that can irritate your skin.

Step 2: Water-Based Cleanser

After removing your makeup and any oil-based impurities, it’s time to cleanse your face with a water-based cleanser to get rid of any remaining dirt and sweat. This is an essential step in the Korean skincare routine as it ensures your skin is thoroughly cleansed and prepped for the following steps.

What it does

A water-based cleanser helps to remove water-based impurities, such as sweat and dirt, which can clog pores and cause breakouts. It also helps to balance the skin’s pH level, leaving it refreshed and clean.

How to use

Apply a small amount of water-based cleanser to your hands and lather it up with water. Then, gently massage it onto your face and neck, using circular motions. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel.

Ingredients to look for

Look for water-based cleansers that contain hydrating and soothing ingredients, such as aloe vera, green tea, and chamomile extract. These ingredients help to soothe and calm the skin while cleansing it. Some popular water-based cleansers in Korean skincare include the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser and the Klairs Rich Moist Foaming Cleanser.

Step 3: Exfoliator

Exfoliating is a crucial step in any skincare routine, and the Korean skincare regimen is no exception. This step involves the removal of dead skin cells, which can clog pores and make your skin look dull and tired. Exfoliation helps to promote cell turnover, revealing smoother, brighter, and more even-toned skin.

What it does

Exfoliators help to remove dead skin cells, which can clog pores and cause breakouts. They also help to improve skin texture and tone by promoting cell turnover. Exfoliating regularly can make your skin look brighter, more even-toned, and smooth.

How to use

Gently massage the exfoliator onto your face and neck, using circular motions. Be sure to avoid the eye area and any areas of your face with active breakouts. Rinse it off with lukewarm water and pat your skin dry with a clean towel. It’s essential not to over-exfoliate as it can damage your skin’s natural barrier and cause irritation.

Ingredients to love

When looking for an exfoliator, look for ingredients that are gentle on the skin, such as AHAs, BHAs, and PHAs. Some popular Korean exfoliators include the Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads and the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. These products contain gentle yet effective exfoliating ingredients that help to remove dead skin cells without causing irritation.

Step 4: Toner

After cleansing and exfoliating, it’s time to apply toner to your skin. Korean toners are not like traditional Western toners, which are often harsh and stripping. Instead, Korean toners are gentle and hydrating, helping to balance the skin’s pH level and prepare it for the next steps in the routine.

What it does

Toners help to remove any remaining impurities and residue from the skin while also replenishing moisture and improving skin texture. They can also help to minimize the appearance of pores and brighten the skin.

How to use

After cleansing and exfoliating, dispense a small amount of toner onto your palms or a cotton pad and gently pat it onto your face and neck. Allow it to fully absorb before moving on to the next step.

Ingredients to love

Some popular toner ingredients in Korean skincare include hyaluronic acid, glycolic acid, and green tea extract. Look for toners that also contain soothing and hydrating ingredients like aloe vera and rosewater. Some popular Korean toners include the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner, the Son & Park Beauty Water, and the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner.

Step 5: Essence

Essences are a unique step in the Korean skincare routine and are often described as a hybrid between a toner and a serum. They are lightweight and highly concentrated, helping to deliver potent ingredients deep into the skin.

What it does

Essences are designed to hydrate, brighten, and plump the skin while also improving overall skin texture and tone. They can also help to target specific skin concerns, such as fine lines and wrinkles or hyperpigmentation.

How to use

After applying toner, dispense a small amount of essence onto your palms or a cotton pad and gently pat it onto your face and neck. Allow it to fully absorb before moving on to the next step.

Ingredients to love

Many Korean essences contain a high percentage of skin-loving ingredients, such as niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and snail mucin extract. Look for essences that also contain antioxidant-rich ingredients like green tea extract and vitamin C to help protect the skin from environmental stressors. Some popular Korean essences include the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, and the Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence.

Step 6: Treatments

After applying essence, it’s time to move on to treatments. These can come in the form of serums, ampoules, and boosters. Treatments are designed to address specific concerns such as fine lines, dark spots, or hyperpigmentation.

Some ingredients to look out for in treatments are vitamin C, which brightens the skin and evens out skin tone, and retinol, which helps with fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide is also a popular ingredient as it helps with pore size, texture, and pigmentation.

When it comes to application, a little goes a long way. Apply a small amount onto your fingertips and gently pat the skin. Give it a few minutes to absorb before moving on to the next step.

Some popular treatments in the K-beauty world include the Peach & Lily Glass Skin Refining Serum, which contains 63% fermented ingredients to brighten and hydrate the skin, and Klair’s Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop, which contains 5% pure vitamin C to brighten and protect the skin from environmental stressors.

Step 7: Sheet Mask

After your skin has absorbed the essence, it’s time to use a sheet mask. Sheet masks are made of cotton, paper, or gel, and they are soaked in a serum that is loaded with beneficial ingredients for your skin. They come in different varieties to target different skin concerns, such as hydration, brightening, and anti-aging.

What it does

Sheet masks are an excellent way to boost hydration and nourishment for your skin. The sheet mask creates a barrier that helps the ingredients penetrate deeper into the skin, providing more intense hydration and nourishment.

How to use

Remove the sheet mask from its packaging and carefully unfold it. Place it onto your face, aligning the holes with your eyes, nose, and mouth. Smooth it out, making sure there are no air bubbles. Leave it on for 15-20 minutes, then remove the sheet mask and discard it. Gently pat any remaining serum into your skin until it is fully absorbed.

Ingredients to love

Look for sheet masks that contain hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, and collagen for hydration, brightening, and anti-aging benefits. Some popular sheet masks include the Dr. Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution, the Mediheal N.M.F. Aquaring Ampoule Mask, and the TonyMoly I’m Real Sheet Mask in Tea Tree for acne-prone skin.

Step 8: Eye Cream

The skin around the eyes is delicate and thin, which is why it’s important to use a dedicated eye cream to keep the area hydrated and bright. Korean eye creams are specifically formulated to address concerns like dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines.

What it does

Eye creams provide intense hydration and nourishment to the delicate skin around the eyes. They also help to brighten the under-eye area, reduce the appearance of dark circles, and prevent fine lines and wrinkles from forming.

How to

After applying your essence or serum, take a small amount of eye cream and gently pat it around the eye area using your ring finger. Be careful not to tug or pull on the skin. Use morning and night for best results.

Ingredients to love

Look for eye creams with ingredients like hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, caffeine, and peptides. These ingredients help to hydrate, brighten, and firm the delicate skin around the eyes. Some popular Korean eye creams include the Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel and the Missha Misa Geum Sul Vitalizing Eye Cream.

Step 9: Moisturizer

After completing the previous steps, it’s time to lock in all of that moisture with a good moisturizer. The right moisturizer for you will depend on your skin type and personal preferences, but in general, it’s best to choose one that’s lightweight, non-greasy and provides ample hydration.

How It Works

Moisturizers create a barrier on your skin that helps prevent moisture loss, which is essential for maintaining healthy, hydrated skin. They can also help protect your skin from environmental damage and improve its overall texture and appearance.

How To Use

After applying your essence and any treatments, use a dime-sized amount of moisturizer and apply it all over your face, neck, and chest area. Be sure to massage it gently, using upward and outward strokes, until it’s fully absorbed.

Ingredients to love

Look for moisturizers that contain ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, ceramides, and niacinamide, which are all known for their hydrating and skin-protecting properties. Some popular Korean moisturizers include Laneige Water Sleeping Mask and Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb.

Step 10 Sunscreen

The last and most crucial step of the Korean skincare routine is sunscreen. Sunscreen should be applied generously to the face and neck, and it should be broad-spectrum, which means that it protects against both UVA and UVB rays.

What it does

Sunscreen protects your skin from harmful UV rays that can cause premature aging, sunburn, and even skin cancer.

How to use

Apply sunscreen as the final step of your morning skincare routine, at least 15 minutes before going outside. Use a quarter-sized amount for the face and neck, and reapply every two hours if you’re outdoors for an extended period.

Ingredients to love

Some of the key ingredients in sunscreens include zinc oxide, titanium dioxide, and avobenzone. These ingredients protect against both UVA and UVB rays, and they are generally safe for sensitive skin. It’s also essential to look for a sunscreen that’s free of harmful chemicals like oxybenzone, octinoxate, and homosalate. Try Etude House Sunprise Mild Airy Sunscreen with SPF 50.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some frequently asked questions about the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine:

Do I have to use Korean brands only?

No, you don’t have to use Korean brands only. The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine is about the order in which you apply your products, not the brands themselves. However, Korean brands are often preferred because they are designed to work well together and provide the best results.

Who won’t benefit from the routine, and what are the risks?

People with highly sensitive skin or certain skin conditions should be careful when trying new products and consult with a dermatologist first. Additionally, those who prefer a minimalistic approach to skincare may find the routine too time-consuming or expensive.

Do I have to use all 10 steps morning and night?

No, you can adjust the routine to fit your needs and preferences. For example, you might choose to use all 10 steps at night but only a few steps in the morning.

Will the 10-Step routine help me achieve glass/honey/dewy skin?

The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine is designed to improve overall skin health and address specific concerns, such as acne or aging. However, achieving glass/honey/dewy skin depends on various factors, including genetics and lifestyle habits.

What results should I expect, and how long will it take?

Results vary depending on individual skin type and concerns. You may see improvements in skin texture, brightness, and hydration within a few weeks of consistent use.

Remember, skincare is a journey, not a destination. Stick to a routine that works for you and be patient with the process.


The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine may seem daunting at first, but the benefits of this routine are well worth it. By following each step, you can achieve healthy, glowing, and beautiful skin. Remember, consistency is key, so make sure to follow the routine every day, morning and night. Also, do not forget to listen to your skin and adjust the routine based on its needs. With patience and dedication, you can achieve the glass-like complexion that K-Beauty is known for. Give it a try and see the difference in your skin!

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