5-Step Korean Skin care: A Great Introduction to Korean Skincare Products

My story with Korean skin care goes back to high school when, like all teens, my skin was acne-prone and difficult to treat and I never found the right product that could help. I was not satisfied with the products I found on the European market, I wanted to find a solution as soon as I can. I’d love to have super healthy-looking skin as I get older and I know that in order to do that, taking care of my skin while I’m still young is super important! 

One day watching endless YouTube videos I found one with a Korean skin care routine and I realized this is what I need in my life to make my skin better. This routine I found really worked for me, and I thought it would also work for a lot of people.  It’s simple, affordable, and effective! Can you even ask for more?

So today, I will be sharing with you…

My easy night-time 5-step Korean skincare routine!

I chose to go with a Korean skincare routine because let’s be honest – Koreans are known to have amazing skin!

Korean beauty products, especially Korean skincare products, are highly regarded in the beauty industry to be both innovative and effective. So, why not use the best of the best?!

Step 1 and 2: Cleansing

Cleansing the skin of all the dirt and grime that have accumulated throughout the day should be the first step in any skin care routine.

I adopt the two-step cleansing method, starting first with an oil-based cleanser, followed by a water-based foam cleanser.

Step 1: Oil Cleanser

Why an oil cleanser?

I start with an oil-based cleanser to clean out oil-based impurities such as sebum, sunscreen and makeup.

It’s important to cleanse your face from these impurities as they have the potential to clog up your pores, which can lead to breakouts.

What product do I use?

I use the Banila Co. - Clean It Zero Original. This award-winning cleanser uses bamboo extract to soothe the skin and Vitamin C-rich acerola extract to help brighten up the skin.

When I was looking around for what oil-based cleanser to buy, everyone was raving about this product and it definitely does not disappoint!

What is the product like?

The product comes with a spatula, making it easy to scoop out the product. The product is kind of a solid, sherbert-like texture that melts into an oil type cleanser as you rub it into your skin.

How do I use it?

I usually scoop out about a dime-sized amount with the spatula and then put it onto my palm. Then I rub my palms together to melt the product before applying it to my face.

I gently massage the product all over my face, spending a bit of extra time on my nose and chin as these are the areas where I generally break-out.

I then add a little bit of warm water (warm so it is more gentle on the skin!) to emulsify the cleanser into a smooth foam and massage my face for about 30 seconds.

Then, I wash it off with warm water, and give my face a few dabs with a face towel to dry it off. Do NOT rub your face with the towel to dry it as this can irritate the skin.

Step 2: Water cleanser

The second step of the two-step cleanse is the water-based foam cleanser.

Why a water cleanser?

Just as the oil-based cleanser cleans out oil-based impurities, water-based cleansers cleans out water-based impurities such as sweat and dirt.

What products do I use?

I use the Banila Co. - Clean It Zero Foam Cleanser. Before using K-beauty products I used the Neutrogena Hydroboost Cleanser but I wasn't happy with it, because it made my skin really dry after I used. So after I found the Banila Co. Clean It Zero oil-cleanser I was confident when I tried out the little sister of the product.

Why I use this product?

Foam Cleanser transforms into a rich and moisturizing foam to deep clean, remove impurities, refresh and moisturize skin. Natural amino surfactant removes the impurities and maintains the protective barrier for a refreshing cleanse. The formula features a naturally-derived amino acid cleansing agent and the brand’s patented Zero Balance Technology, a blend that includes acerola, rooibos leaf, bamboo and angelica extracts, to soothe and support the skin’s moisture balance. 

How I use it:

I apply a pea-sized amount on my hand and lather with water. I gently massage over the face and rinse with lukewarm water.

With this product, I usually spend a bit of extra time too around my nose and chin area. Then I rinse off with warm water and use my face towel to dry my face by patting it down.

Step 2.5: Exfoliator

Why do I exfoliate?

I have quite a bit of blackheads on my nose and sometimes get breakouts on my cheeks and chin or on my forehead.

So, at least one a week, I’ll use an exfoliator to more aggressively penetrate the pores to clear them out.

What product do I use?

I use the Mamonde Pore Clean Clay Mask, which is a physical exfoliator.

Why I use this product?

First of all, the formula is vegan and free of mineral oil and synthetic colorants. And I think it is really important to use products like this more than one with synthetic elements.

Also, Heartleaf is known for its relieving properties. This clay mask with freshly harvested Heartleaf helps to remove excess sebum and impurities to minimize the appearance of pores. Plus, the formula contains natural chameleon plant leaves purify and cleans excess sebum and dead skin cells and helps achieve clean pores.

How I use it:

I take an appropriate amount and apply an even layer over your entire face, avoiding the eyes and lip area. Then I wash off with lukewarm water after 10-15 minutes.

Step 3: Toner

What does toner do?

The toner is used to help bring some hydration back into the skin and get its pH level back to its ideal level of 5.5.

What product do I use?

I use the Nature Republic Real Squeeze Aloe Vera Toner. This product contains Aloe Vera's core ingredients to maximize moisturizing, soothing and improving skin elasticity.

There is Polysaccharides in the product, which used in Parenchymal cells used for skin cell regeneration which benefits scars and blemishes.

How I use it:

After cleansing, I apply onto my face and neck with hands. I don't like to use cotton pads, because I feel like I would waste to much products.

Step 4: Essence

What we call an essence?

This is where the magic happens! The previous steps have been focused on cleansing the skin, whereas in this step, we add nutrients back into our skin to brighten and tighten things up!

What product I use?

 I use the Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence RXContains 95% of Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate delivers moisture to the skin and improves complexion. Extracts of Phyllanthus urinaria and rice extract are used to remove dead skin cells and provide transparent skin tone and skin texture. 

It fills the nourishment with only a small amount and make the moisturizing film well to make your skin glossy.

How I use it:

After cleansing and toning, I pour essence into my hands and pat onto my face and neck area until fully absorbed.

Step 5: Moisturizer:

Why you should always use moisturizer?

The last step of my routine is all about adding more moisture back into my skin.

What product I use?

I use the Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Combination Watery Cream. As I have combination skin I use a moisturizing cream with is good for combination skin, providing plenty of hydration and protecting skin. It is made from moisturizing ingredients extracted from seawater rich in minerals, including 30 different marine plants from the pure sea.

How I use it:

After cleansing, toning, and applying basically everything, I scoop a quarter-sized amount from the jar and gently apply all over my face in upwards motions. I pat my face lightly until all the cream is absorbed.

And that’s it for my night-time 5-step Korean skincare routine! I hope it helped you out in some way or form. Aren’t you dying to try some Korean skincare products now?!

I’ll definitely be adding more steps in the future as I find myself wanting to get into serums, eye creams and masks to really get my whole face looking and feeling healthy and hydrated.

XO, Alexandra