5 Step K Beauty Routine

STEP 1: OIL CLEANSER

Double-cleansing is often credited as being the cornerstone of the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine, and whether or not you choose to adopt all the steps below, the benefits of double-cleansing are undisputed.

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The first part is, of course, the oil cleanser. It dissolves oil-based products (like certain foundations, sunscreens, etc.) as well as excess oil and sebum produced by your skin during the day, and clears these from your skin without stripping it of moisture.

For someone with oily skin, this may seem counterintuitive, but it is a far more effective and gentle way to get rid of excess oil than harsh cleansers (which usually just encourage your skin to produce more oil anyway).

For those of you who are still unconvinced, you can rest assured that any excess cleansing oil left on your skin will be removed with the next step

STEP 2: FOAM CLEANSER

You may be tempted to think that Korean foaming cleansers do not differ much to Western ones, but they almost always offer added benefits over and above cleaning your skin.

For one, they are often formulated with ingredients beneficial to your skin – think snail mucin, rice water, and Hyaluronic Acid. Another feature usually not found in Western cleansers is a lower pH — keeping your skin closer to its natural state. You can read more about the benefits of a lower pH in Step 4 below.

STEP 3: TONER

(sometimes also referred to as Skin, Mist, Fresher, or Softener)

Toners are usually used to prep the skin for the moisturising steps of the routine. They work by lowering the skin’s pH (closer to its natural state of 4.5–5.5), which allows it to absorb other products more effectively.

Toners with a very liquid consistency, or those that also have a mild cleaning or exfoliating effect, are best used on a cotton pad. Others toners, especially those with a thicker consistency can be applied directly to the skin with your fingertips.

STEP 4: ESSENCE

Even as one of the more famous steps in the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine, for those new to K-beauty essences are still a bit of a mystery. This is in part due them having no Western skincare equivalent, at least until recently.

Essences contain active ingredients that penetrate deep into your skin to nourish, repair, and hydrate it.

Many essences contain fermented ingredients which are just as good for your skin as they are for your body!

Tip: You can decant very liquid essences (and toners too!) into a spray bottle. Mist all over your face and press or pat in until fully absorbed. You can also carry this with you to refresh your skin during the day — a lifesaver in dry winter or air-conditioned environments!

STEP 5: MOISTURISER

Moisturiser is an essential step which locks in all the goodness you’ve applied up until now.

Korean moisturisers are available for every skin type and concern and come in various forms — lotions, emulsions, gels, and creams. Particularly popular are moisturisers containing ingredients such as Snail Mucin and Hyaluronic Acid.

Emulsions are usually lighters versions of moisturisers that absorb more quickly into the skin. They can be layered under your moisturiser if needed, or used instead.

NOT JUST A THEORY

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