Decoding the 10-step Korean beauty routine

The Korean way of doing beauty is the newest craze in town. There are 10 steps in the K-beauty routine, all which are geared at improving your skin in various way -- helping prevent breakouts, reducing hyperpigmentation, reducing the appearance of black spots, adding moisture to dry skin, and giving your skin a fresh glow.

Many people, celebrities included, swear by the Korean beauty regimen. Apparently, its results speak for themselves. If you have sensitive skin, have never-ending breakouts, or your skin looks dull and dry, you should definitely give the Korean beauty routine a try.

Step 1: Oil-based cleanser

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The first step in the process is to clean your face using an oil-based cleanser. The oil in the cleanser will help in cleaning oil based impurities from your skin such as sebum, SPF and makeup. Oil and water repel each other, so a simple water-based cleanser isn’t enough to remove these impurities from your skin. You can buy an oil-based cleanser or just use castor oil, olive oil, coconut oil, or any other natural oil and wipe your face with a warm towel afterwards.

Try: Coconut oil. It is a natural oil-based cleanser. Smooth it and gently rub it on your face and wipe it off with a warm cloth.

Step 2: Water-based cleanser

These are the gel or foam cleansers. To remove remaining impurities from your skin, especially water based ones such as sweat and dirt, follow up with a water-based cleanser. Go for low pH cleansers as they are less likely to irritate your skin.

Try: Micellar water, Simple Kind to Skin cleansing gel

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Step 3: Exfoliator

Slough off dead skin cells and clear your pores with a gentle exfoliator. Regular exfoliation helps skin absorb other products more efficiently. Unlike the other steps, exfoliation is once or twice a week. Look for products containing salicylic acid, lactic acid, or black sugar.

Step 4: Toner

Many people skip the toning step. However, toner can help balance your skin’s pH, which makes it less prone to breakouts and other problems. Toners also remove any remaining residue from the two cleansers and prepare your skin to effectively absorb moisturisers.

Step 5: Essence

Essence drenches your skin with hydration to keep your skin moisturised. Essence also contains healing, anti-aging and complexion-enhancing ingredients. Keep an eye out for formulations containing rice extract, birch juice, yeast and hyaluronic acid.

Try: Secret Key

Step 6: Treatments

This step comprises of serums, boosters and ampoules suited for your individual skin’s needs and preferences. This might be serums for correcting hyperpigmentation, treating scars, soothing breakouts or reducing fine lines. The rule of thumb is to apply the thinnest to the thickest in texture.

Step 7: Sheet masks

Sheet masks are an important part of the K-beauty routine. You’re required to stick the sheet mask to your face for several minutes to infuse it with concentrated essence. Sheet masks come in a variety of ingredients from rice extracts to hyaluronic acid.

Step 8: Eye-cream

Give the delicate skin around your eyes some TLC. Eye creams are specially formulated with ingredients to keep this delicate skin hydrated which prevents puffiness and dark circles and in the long run, keeps crow’s feet at bay.

Try: Dr. Rashel Vitamin C eye serum, L’OREAL PARIS Revitalift Anti-Wrinkle + Firming Eye Cream

Step 9: Moisturiser

Finally, you can apply a moisturiser to lock in all the good stuff. Look for a moisturiser suited to your skin type for the best results. For instance, gel moisturisers are great for oily skin while heavier oil-based moisturisers are great for dry skin.

Step 10: Sunscreen

To protect your skin from harmful UV rays, apply sunscreen with at least SPF 30. This will help prevent premature aging and skin cancer. This is the last step in the K-beauty routine.

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