The Unbeatable Korean 10 Step Skin Care Routine For Healthy Skin

korean 10 step skin care

Korea is always in the news!! Whether it is their fascinating K-dramas and K-pop or their ever-beaming stars – from BTS to Song Hye Kyo! Recently, their newly devised skin secret – using snail mucin to reduce ageing has been making waves. That, they say, is the elixir to the ageless glory of Koreans. As good as it may be, nothing beats the traditional Korean 10 step skin care routine that has been making waves for the last couple of years. 

In this comprehensive article, you will get an insight into this skincare format, and the correct way to apply it for that everlasting beauty. Here’s looking into the secret that they claim is the one behind their ‘dewy skin’ look – 

What is the Korean 10 step skin care routine?

This scientifically-backed traditional Korean beauty hack includes – 

Step 1 – Start with oil-based cleanser 

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Image Credit: Lady Bonita

Would you believe it if somebody told you that an oil-based cleanser would help you remove the excess oil from your skin? That’s exactly how the Korean beauty regimen starts. Since it is a well-known fact that for most skin types, oil-based cleansers are less reactive than the normal ones (go for a patch test first), they remove the skin debris adequately. 

How to use – Take a pea-sized amount of this product and apply it on your face in circular motions. Keep doing this for 5 minutes minimum, and then wash off your face with lukewarm water.  

Step 2 – A second round with water or foam-based cleanser 

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The initial oil-based cleanser has removed the debris from your skin. But what about deep cleansing your skin? That’s why, as per the Korean 10-step skin care regimen, you need a foam-based cleanser for deeper cleaning. From dirt to grime, this removes it all! 

How to use – Take a copious amount of cleanser and gently massage your skin with it. Ensure that your chosen cleansing lotion has a pH value of 4.7-5.7 (as per your skin). 

Step 3 – Exfoliate your skin 

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In the third step of Korean 10 step skin care – you will have to bring back the tightness in your skin. For that, choose a facial scrub packed with either – glycolic acid, salicylic acid or lactic acid since they are essential nutrients for sensitive skin

How to use – Assuming your face is pat dry, take a little bit of scrub on your palm and roll it in a circular motion. Keep it for 2-3 minutes, and wash it with normal water. 

Step 4 – Apply the toner to your face 

korean skin treatment 4
Image Credit: Best Check

You must know already that the toner is used categorically to remove the leftover dirt after exfoliation and balance your skin’s pH levels. It also helps remove the remaining traces of oil on your skin and helps prep the face for the misty products coming up next. 

Rather than the alcohol-based ones, go for anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant types. Always do a patch test to check the suitability. 

How to use – Take a cotton ball and pour a few drops on it. Gently pat your face with it in a round motion for 2-3 minutes. 

Step 5 – Essence is the key to success 

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Image Credit: Best Check

When you critically follow this Korean 10 step skin care regimen, you will see that it starts with lighter base products and then goes into thicker products. The essence is that step towards transition. 

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Packed with nutrients, this helps repair your cells and enhances cell growth with regular usage. 

How to use – Add two drops on each side of your cheek, and apply it on your skin in circular motions for 5 minutes. 

Step 6 – Go in for an ampoule (even serum works)

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You must have heard of skin serums and their myriad benefits. Now it’s time you get introduced to an ampoule. A mineral-induced concentrated format of serum, this ‘pumped-up’ gel is just what your skin needs to activate the benefits of moisturizing lotion coming up next. If, any day, you intend to ditch the essence, keep the ampoule handy. 

How to use – Take a small amount of ampoule and apply it on your skin in a tapping manner so that it spreads all over the area. 

Step 7 – Time for the sheet mask 

korean skincare sheet mask
Image Credit: Autowork

This is the key to the popularity of Korean 10 step skin care regimen! Serum and herbal extracts infused, these masks, unlike the traditional format, are available in all-face-fit sheets. Packed with minerals and nutrients, they are supremely moistening, giving your skin the perfect cover. 

Even if not regularly, try to use it before a party/special occasion for that added glow.    

How to use – Once you are done adding the serum content to your face, it is time to place the sheet on your face. Keep it for 15-20 minutes, and tap the end of the mask, especially the areas around your mouth and face. 

Step 8 – Use the eye cream

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Did you know that the area around your eyes is the first one to show signs of ageing? That’s precisely why you need a specifically tailored eye cream that prevents the typical issues like under-eye wrinkles and dark circles. If not regularly, at least try to use it 3-4 times a week to keep your under-eye smooth. 

In case you don’t have a specific eye cream as of now, you can use the moisturizing cream instead. 

How to use – Take a small amount (pea-size) shape and tap it under your eyes. After the initial application, massage the area lightly and in circular motions. 

Step 9 – Your skin’s best friend – Moisturizer 

korean 10 step skincare 1
Image Credit: Nordstrom

Even on your worst day, if you just don’t want to apply anything to your skin, just go in for a moisturizer. A must in the Korean 10 step skin care format, this hydrates your skin and locks in the positives of the previous products, thereby shielding your skin from any harm. For those with oily skin, a lotion-based one is the best option. If you have normal to dry skin, use the cream-based moisturizer to lock in the pores. 

How to use – Rather than going in for a single shot, take a little bit of the lotion in your hand and apply it on your body. Massage the area for 5-7 minutes in circular motions, and then move on to the next area. 

Step 10 – Round it off with a Sunscreen  

korean skin treatment
Image Credit: iStock

A little bit of sun exposure surely boosts your Vitamin D levels, a must for healthy skin, but the UV rays are harmful in the long run. Hence, you need the perfect shield for your skin – the sunscreen! For those with normal to dry skin, choose a broad-based SPF that includes protection from both UVA and UVB rays. If you have oily skin – go in for mineral-based sunblocks that allow your skin’s pores to breathe. 

How to use – Take a copious amount of sunblock and pat it softly on your neck and jawline areas. 

For which time is this skincare best suited? 

Technically, this Korean 10 step skin care regimen can be followed at any time of the day, but you may drop a couple of products when you follow this at night. To explain it better, if you have had a tough schedule and intend to follow it at night, then you can skip the sunscreen (a must when you step out during the daytime), eye cream, and ampoules. The moisturizer is good enough to take care of your under-eyes, and you may use the ampoules two or three times a week for better results. 

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The key to this skin treatment pattern is not based on when you do it, or which products you use, but rather – the fact that you follow it ardently and choose the correct cosmetics for your skin. 

Why is it so buzzworthy? 

korean skincare routine
Image Credit: Swirlstir-NDTV

Because it delivers the results that it promises!! For the unversed, the secret of this Korean 10 step skin care strategy is its hydrating and nourishing features, which heal the skin from within. From improving collagen formation to setting up a barrier against the invasion of foreign particles, this is the perfect protection format for your skin. 

What precautions you must take? 

As good as this regimen might be, here are a couple of factors you must take care of – 

korean skin treatment precautions
Image Credit: Korean Beauty
  • If you use an oil-based cleanser for your skin, then do not keep it on your skin for more than 1 minute. It would do more than good in that case. 
  • Though exfoliation is a crucial part of the Korean 10 step skin care format, you may restrict it to thrice a week. Also, gently exfoliate your skin because too much force may unnecessarily increase your skin’s sebum production levels. 
  • Though there are multiple toners available in the market, you can pick one that suits your skin – but try to pick one that is infused with hydroxy acids as they reduce inflammation and help deal with sudden acne breakouts. 

These are some critical factors you must take care of while you follow this skincare format. 

Last thoughts 

The fundamentals around the famed Korean 10 step skin care routine are not the number of products you use but rather the products you use and how you use those. Initially, this might seem a bit taxing and you may wish to drop a product or two (that you may at times), however, the returns of this skincare regimen are simply brilliant. Call it Korea’s cultural obsession to have honey-like skin or their innovative idea to prep a pattern for skincare, there’s no way you are ignoring it. If you still have queries, we have it all answered. If you don’t have all the products, it’s time you go cosmetic shopping. In the meantime, forward this to your friends as we go and scout for more skincare regimens and beauty hacks to make your skin glow!


1. Does the Korean 10 step skin care really work? 

In the recent past, there have been ample shreds of evidence from fashion and beauty vloggers to prove the advantages of this skin regimen. The fact that this skincare routine follows a hydrating format and uses products that assist in retaining the skin’s water content and make it supple is the biggest plus point. Therefore, one may conclude that irrespective of your skin type, this skincare would work for you. However, do a patch test before you start using the products. 

2. Can you skip a step or two? 

At times, you can. If you are not in the mood for it or in a rush, you can drop the exfoliation, sheet mask, essence, and eye cream. However, never leave out the moisturizer and the SPF. They are essentials, and you must coat your skin with the same before you step out. 

3. Do you have to use Korean products exclusively? 

That is not necessary. Though Korean products have an ingredient or two more (that are native to the country) and are available globally at an affordable rate, you may use products that are suitable for your skin. It is the Korean 10-step skin care regimen that matters more than the 

4. Is it suitable for every skin type? 

As you have read earlier, most of these products suit almost every skin (alternatives are mentioned). Hence, assuredly, if you follow the regimen with the products that suit your skin, there should be no issue. However, skin experts always advise that you do a patch test of all the products before applying them to your skin. Also, you must wait for a minimum of 2-4 weeks before noticing any significant change. 


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