For Beginners

K BEAUTY ROUTINE BASICS

You might be a bit overwhelmed by all the talk of the 10 step Korean skincare. Don't worry - I've definitely felt the same way! It's actually not that tricky. There's a core routine that's good for most people (provided that you pick the products for your specific skin needs), and then there are countless supplemental products that can be added on an as-needed basis. On this page, I will talk about the basic routines that are easy for beginners.

The Morning Routine

QUICK AND EASY

  1. Cleanser - either foaming, cream, or gel. Water and/or a konjak sponge may work for some people

  2. Toner (sometimes labeled as "Skin") - balances the pH and helps the other steps absorb better. Korean toners are not like Western toners - they are not typically astringent.

  3. Serum - thicker than toner, rich in active ingredients

  4. Lotion (some Korean brands call this Emulsion) - to lock in the moisture and goodness of the serum

  5. Eye cream or gel

  6. Cream (optional) - those with oily or combo skin might be OK with just lotion

  7. Sun protection - a MUST. SPF is a separate product in K beauty, which lets you really customize it to your specific skin needs

Sound like a lot? It really isn't. Wait 10-20 seconds between "layers" to let them absorb. Feel free to brush your teeth/do your hair/get dressed in between.

The Evening Routine

A BIT LONGER BUT STILL EASY

  1. Cleansing oil - this removes all the makeup and SPF that might clog pores

  2. Cleanser - either foaming, cream, or gel. Removes the rest of the cleansing oil. There are also 2-in-1 products that combine the first two steps.

  3. Toner (sometimes labeled as "Skin") - balances the pH and helps the other steps absorb better. Korean toners are not like Western toners - they are not typically astringent.

  4. Serum - thicker than toner, rich in active ingredients.

  5. Ampoule - even more active ingredients. Might be applied before the serum, check your specific product directions.

  6. Lotion (some Korean brands call this Emulsion) - to lock in the moisture and goodness of the serum.

  7. Eye cream or gel.

  8. Cream or sleeping mask (sometimes called night pack).


There are many other products - neck creams, eye masks, sheet masks, peeling masks, peeling gels, lip masks - but to me, they are "nice to have" but not absolutely essential daily.

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