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The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine for Pristine Skin

Long live the 10-step Korean Skincare Routine – you won’t need anything else. South Korean skincare products still dominate the market, with Korean brands sitting right beside the Western cosmetic behemoths in beauty retailers like Watsons and Guardian. Tropika Club explores the famed skincare routine to show you why you won’t need anything else.

No Time to Read? Here’s a Snappy Summary of This Article

  • Double Cleansing: The Korean skincare routine begins with double cleansing, which involves using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser to thoroughly remove dirt, oil, and makeup from the skin.
  • Exfoliation: Regular exfoliation helps to remove dead skin cells and promote cell turnover, resulting in a smoother and brighter complexion. Koreans often use gentle chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs.
  • Toner: Toner is an essential step in the Korean skincare routine as it helps to balance the skin’s pH level, hydrate, and prepare the skin for better absorption of subsequent products.
  • Essence: Essence is a lightweight, hydrating product that delivers essential nutrients and promotes skin renewal. It is usually applied after toner and helps to improve skin texture and elasticity.
  • Serums and Ampoules: These concentrated treatments target specific skin concerns like brightening, anti-aging, or hydration. They contain potent ingredients and are applied before moisturizer to address specific issues.
  • Sheet Masks: Sheet masks are soaked in a serum-like solution and are packed with beneficial ingredients. They provide intense hydration and nourishment to the skin and are typically used once or twice a week.
  • Eye Cream: Koreans prioritize the delicate eye area and use eye cream to hydrate and prevent signs of aging like wrinkles and dark circles.
  • Moisturizer: Moisturizing is crucial to maintain the skin’s hydration levels and protect it from external factors. Koreans use lightweight, hydrating moisturizers suitable for their skin type.
  • Sunscreen: Sun protection is a vital step in the Korean skincare routine. Sunscreen with a high SPF is applied daily to shield the skin from harmful UV rays and prevent premature aging.
  • Night Cream/Sleeping Pack: Before bed, Koreans often use a night cream or sleeping pack, which is a rich, nourishing product that deeply hydrates the skin overnight, promoting repair and rejuvenation.

The 10-Step Korean Skincare for Pristine Skin

1. The First Cleanse  

You start by washing your face with an oil-based cleanser. If you have oily skin, you might be wondering if the oil-based cleanser is a good idea. Well, the oil-based cleanser is actually effective clearing oil-based impurities, such as sebum, some pollutants, and SPF.

2. The Second Cleanse 

The second cleanse clears the rest of the sweat and dirt on your face. Try and use products with lower pH levels. Your face pH level is probably 5.5. This means that you have to use products that aren’t too acidic or alkaline. Otherwise, you may get acne, irritation, and blotches on your face.  

To make sure you don’t damage your sensitive skin when you’re done, splash your cleansers off with lukewarm water rather instead of drying it with a towel. 

3. The Toner  

Toners prepare for the preceding steps by providing a thin layer of moisture to maintain the pH balance on your face, softening your skin in the meantime as well. The moisture helps your skin absorb the products in the next few steps as well.  For this step, you can use toners that contain AHAs and/or BHAs as well. Most Korean skincare toners have bonus botanical ingredients to freshen your skin too. You can apply the toner directly on your skin with your hands, a cotton ball, or a pad. 

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4. The Essence 

Essences are typically a blend of a toner and a serum. This also keeps the moisture on your face, allowing the better absorption of the other products. This is how you get your glow. By layering a variety of products, some Korean beauty experts think that it doesn’t clog your pores and allows your skin to breathe. 

5. The Emulsion 

Customary to the modern Korean skincare routine, this packs another dose of moisture for your skin, so you can achieve the ‘glass skin’ look that so many covet. The emulsion is especially effective for oily skin, allowing the skin to get hydrated without using heavier products. 

6. The Serum 

In the halfway mark, you’re supposed to apply more concentrated products. But you have the space to make your own decision on what’s best for your skin needs. You can try on other products like ampoules or essences in this step as well.

7. The Sheet Mask

It’s so ubiquitous even BTS has its own line of it with Mediheal. You can use most brands, but if you can afford it, it’s best to use sheet masks with better ingredients. After all, you have to put it on your face for around 15 to 20 minutes.

The 10-Step Korean Skincare for Pristine Skin

8. The Eye Cream 

The skin around your eyes are especially thin and delicate, so a little extra care will go a long way. Though you need to apply just the right amount; try to apply the eye cream with your ring finger so you get just the right amount of pressure. 

9. The Moisturiser 

The skin around your eyes is especially thin and delicate, so a little extra care will go a long way. Though you need to apply just the right amount. Try to apply the eye cream with your ring finger, so you get just the right amount of pressure. 

10. The Sunscreen/The Sleeping Mask 

If you’re doing this routine in the morning; you can’t miss putting on sunscreen. You’ve probably heard the drill before – you have to wear sunscreen every day, even you if are indoors for most of the time. If you’re doing this routine before you sleep, just end the routine off with a sleeping mask.

The 10-step Korean skincare routine sounds like a lot, especially if you’re leading a busy life. You can always be flexible about the steps, and even take some of them out if you feel like you don’t need it.


First up, we have double cleansing. This means using an oil-based cleanser to remove all the dirt, oil, and makeup, followed by a water-based cleanser to ensure your skin is squeaky clean.

Next, exfoliation is key. By gently scrubbing away those dead skin cells, you’re giving your skin a chance to breathe and renew itself. Look for gentle chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs for a smoother, brighter complexion.

After cleansing and exfoliating, it’s time for toner. This magical liquid helps to balance your skin’s pH level, hydrate it, and prep it for better absorption of the products that follow. Now, let’s talk about essence. This lightweight, hydrating product delivers essential nutrients to your skin, promoting cell renewal and improving its texture and elasticity. Apply it after toner.

In conclusion, following the Korean skincare routine can truly transform your skin. By prioritizing thorough cleansing, hydration, and targeted treatments, you’ll be on your way to achieving that radiant complexion you’ve always dreamed of. So why not give it a try and see the difference it makes for yourself? Your skin will thank you!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: Is the 10-step Korean skincare routine suitable for all skin types?

A: Yes, the 10-step Korean skincare routine can be tailored to suit different skin types. Whether you have oily, dry, combination, or sensitive skin, you can adjust the products and steps to meet your specific needs. It’s important to understand your skin type and choose products accordingly to ensure the best results.

Q: Can I skip certain steps in the Korean skincare routine?

A: While the 10-step routine is comprehensive, you can customize it to fit your lifestyle and preferences. If you’re short on time or find certain steps unnecessary, feel free to skip them. However, it’s recommended not to skip the basics like double cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection, as these are fundamental for healthy skin.

Q: How often should I exfoliate my skin?

A: Exfoliation frequency depends on your skin type and the type of exfoliator you’re using. Generally, it’s recommended to exfoliate 1-2 times a week using gentle chemical exfoliants like AHAs or BHAs. However, if you have sensitive skin, it’s best to exfoliate less frequently or choose milder exfoliation methods.

Q: Can men follow the Korean skincare routine?

A: Absolutely! The Korean skincare routine is not limited to any gender. Men can benefit from the same steps and products to achieve healthier, clearer skin. Adjusting the products to suit their skin type and concerns will help them attain the desired results.

Q: Can I use Korean skincare products with my existing skincare routine?

A: Yes, you can incorporate Korean skincare products into your existing routine. Start by introducing one or two products at a time and observe how your skin reacts. Gradually build your routine and replace or supplement your current products with Korean ones. Remember to choose products that address your specific skin concerns.

Q: Where can I purchase Korean skincare products in Singapore?

A: You can find a wide range of Korean skincare products in various beauty stores, department stores, and online platforms in Singapore. Some popular shopping destinations for Korean skincare products include K-beauty specialty stores, local beauty retailers, and online marketplaces. Tropika Club also features a curated list of beauty salons and stores where you can find these products.

Q: How long does it take to see results from the Korean skincare routine?

A: The timeframe to see visible results may vary depending on individual skin types and concerns. Some people may notice improvements in their skin’s texture and appearance within a few weeks, while others may take longer. Consistency and patience are key when following the Korean skincare routine.

Q: Can teenagers follow the 10-step Korean skincare routine?

A: Yes, teenagers can benefit from the 10-step Korean skincare routine. However, it’s important to choose products suitable for their age and skin type. Gentle and non-irritating formulations are recommended, and it’s best to consult with a dermatologist or skincare professional to ensure the routine is appropriate for their specific needs.

Q: Can I wear makeup after following the Korean skincare routine?

A: Absolutely! The Korean skincare routine provides a solid foundation for makeup application. By properly cleansing, hydrating, and nourishing your skin, you’ll create a smooth canvas for makeup. Just make sure to use makeup products that are compatible with your skincare routine and cleanse your skin thoroughly at the end of the day to maintain its health.

Q: How can I personalize the Korean skincare routine for my specific needs?

A: Personalizing the Korean skincare routine involves identifying

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Terence is the deputy editor for Tropika Club Magazine. He is an analytical individual who enjoys learning about animals and different cultures. He has a curious mind and is always seeking knowledge and understanding. Terence is also a friendly and approachable person who enjoys making connections with others. He is passionate about his work in the publishing industry and takes pride in his collaborations with authors and editors.

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