1. The first step is all about double cleansing. Cho recommends starting with an oil-based cleanser to remove makeup and sunscreen. Then, follow with a water-based cleanser to cleanse the skin of any dirt and impurities that may be lingering. We love the Heimish All Clean Balm for the first step—it’s gentle enough for sensitive skin, but effective enough to break down even the most stubborn waterproof mascara.
2. Next, it’s time for exfoliation. This step is important in order to slough away dead skin cells and reveal brighter, more radiant skin. Cho recommends using a physical exfoliator (one with small beads or granules) two to three times a week, depending on your skin type. We like the Skin Food Black Sugar Scrub, which contains real black sugar granules that leave skin feeling soft and smooth.
3. The third step is all about hydration—and we’re not just talking H2O here. After cleansing and exfoliating, it’s important to replenish lost moisture by using a hydrating toner or essence. This will help prep the skin for the remaining steps in your routine, as well as provide an extra dose of hydration that your skin may be lacking. One of our favorite essences is the Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence, which contains over 80% fermented yeast extract—an ingredient that’s known for its ability to brighten and even out the complexion.
4. Now it’s time for serum! This step is key in order to target specific concerns such as fine lines, dark spots, or uneven texture. Gently pat a few drops of your chosen serum all over your face and neck until fully absorbed before moving on to the next step. For those concerned with dullness or uneven texture, we recommend using something like Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum—just make sure to follow up with sunscreen during the day since vitamin C can make your skin more susceptible to sun damage!
5.. Ampoules are very concentrated treatments that are typically used for a specific concern such as acne scars or fine lines and wrinkles.. If you choose to use one, apply it after your serum but before your moisturizer.. We like Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, an ampoule packed with 96% snail secretion filtrate that helps improve overall complexion by providing intense hydration..
6.. The sixth step is eye cream.. Gently tap a small amount of product under and around the eyes until fully absorbed.. We like Skinfood Royal Honey Eye Cream because it not only hydrates dry under-eyes but also contains royal jelly extract which brightens dark circles over time..
7.. Now it’s time for moisturizer! Apply a pea-sized amount evenly over your face and neck.. For those with oily or acne-prone skin, gel-based formulas are typically best while those with dry skin may prefer something creamier in consistency.. One of our current favorites is Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream because it’s intensely hydrating without feeling heavy or greasy on the skin..
8.. The eighth step is optional but highly recommended: sheet masks! Pop one on for 20-30 minutes while you relax (preferably lying down) and let the ingredients work their magic.. Sheet masks can be used daily or several times per week depending on your preference and what type of mask you’re using.. For example, if you’re using a brightening mask then you may want to use it less often since you don’t want to risk over-exfoliating delicate facial skin.. On the other hand, if you have dry skin then you may want to use a hydrating mask every day or every other day until your desired level of hydration is reached.. Some of our favorite sheet masks include: My Beauty Diary Apple Polyphenol Mask (brightening), Leaders Insolution Coconut Water Gel Mask (hydrating), and Mediheal N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask (moisturizing)
9. The final step is sunscreen! Even if you don’t plan on spending time outdoors, applying SPF is still important since UV rays can penetrate through glass windows causing damage that leads to premature aging signs such as fine lines and wrinkles.. Choose a sunscreen with at least SPF 30 that provides both UVA and UVB protection (look for ‘broad spectrum’ on the label) and apply liberally 15 minutes before sun exposure.. Reapply every two hours or more often if swimming or sweating excessively.. Some of our favorite sunscreens include: Coola Mineral Face SPF 30 Unscented Matte Tinted Sunscreen Lotion (for normal/oilyskin), EltaMD UV Daily Broad Spectrum SPF 40 Tinted Moisturizer (for normal/dryskin), Supergoop! Unseen Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 40 PA+++ (for allskin types)
10. And there you have it—the perfect Korean skincare routine for flawless looking skin!. Of course, everyone’s complexion is different so feel free to mix and match products until you find what works best for you but following these 10 steps religiously will definitely put you on track towards achieving enviable K-beauty standards!.