10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine
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So what is the secret to Koreans' seemingly ageless, glowing skin? Many Korean women, myself included, swear by a 10 step (more or less, depending on how much time you've got to spare) basic skincare routine to maintain healthy skin.
1. Oil-Based Cleanse
-No matter how tired I am, I am religious about removing makeup and washing my face before hitting the bed.
Oil-based cleansers, such as ones containing jojoba or macadamia oil, help gently remove makeup and oil-based impurities on your face. I tend to initially remove the makeup using either a cotton pad and makeup removing liquid or a makeup removing face tissue before washing my face.
2. Water-Based Cleanse
The double-cleanse is a key part of Korean skincare, so you'll need to wash your face with a water-based cleanser just after your oil-based cleanse. This is to flush out any residual water-based impurities (such as dirt and sweat) and do a more thorough cleanse to help prevent breakouts.
Use an exfoliating cream, gel or mask to remove all dead skin cells and promote smoother skin. I find charcoal or clay masks to be both soothing and cleansing. This step can be done once or twice a week and ultimately further purifies your pores and helps the skin better absorb products.
Applying a toner is key for preparing the skin for the rest of the 10-step routine. The toner repairs the skin's barrier, allowing it to better absorb the different products you'll be applying.
An essence is a lightweight, concentrated hydrating product that also has anti-aging and complexion-enhancing properties.
6. Serum, Ampoule, Other Treatments
Next, you can apply any treatments or skin perfectors, such as a serum, which contains a high concentration of ingredients targeting specific skin issues, from acne and pigmentation to wrinkles. An ampoule is a super concentrated serum.
7. Sheet Mask
A sheet mask—referred to as a "pack" in Korean—is a thin sheet drenched in ingredients offering different benefits, from hydration to a brighter complexion. They come in a variety of textures, from cloth to rubber.
8. Eye Cream
No matter how glowing the rest of your face may be, dark circles and other tired patches around the eyes can age you. So it's essential to target the delicate eye area with an eye cream containing gentle ingredients that moisturize and nourish the area.
The moisturizer is the thickest of all the layers applied in the 10-step regimen and therefore is meant to seal all the moisture into your face.
Wearing sunscreen—even when you are indoors—is one of the easiest ways to prevent premature ageing and is one of the key ways that Korean women maintain ageless skin—simply by wearing a SPF (sun protection factor) cream or avoiding the sun altogether as much as possible.
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