The Korean Skin Care Routine for Glowing and Youthful Skin


Korean women and men are famous for their glowing, flawless skin. It is also a common thing to see an actress who is in her 30s but no sign of aging is seen on her skin. Have you ever wondered why and how they obtain that beautiful skin?

Koreans tend to view caring for their complexion as the ultimate investment, worthy of not only their money, even more so their time. It is also the reason behind the many Korean skin care brands offering extensive products to support any skin care regime.

Their beautiful skin is achieved through a unique regimen. Many people say that the best Korean skin care routine is the 10-steps routine, but it does not mean that you also need 10 different products to have glowing skin like them. You can use different variety of products depending on your skin concerns and skin type.

Here we break down the typical Korean skin care regime that you can customize to fit your needs.

Ps: the products shown is only for illustration. Remember to always use products that suit your skin’s needs.

Step 1: Cleansers

The rule of thumb is, if you’re going to spend 30 minutes putting on your face, you should spend the same amount of care when cleaning it off. Use oil-based cleanser to remove makeup, sunscreen, and other impurities. Water-based cleanser is used to remove any remaining residue and leaves skin supple. Make sure you have that one ultimate cleanser that won’t strip or dry out your skin! (It doesn’t have to be a Korean skin care brand).

Step 2: Toners

After cleansing, your skin is in a fragile state. Toners help to hydrate your skin, restore the pH level and prepare it for the next step. Korean’s toner variations are not marketed as tightening, full-of-alcohol toner but as a hydrating and clarifying instead.

Step 3: Essences

The name is essences, and it is indeed essential. It is often regarded as the utmost essential part of any Korean skincare regimen. Essence is a nourishing liquid concentrate that effectively enhances skin’s cellular renewal process, leading to an increase in elasticity and firmness, as well as a brighter complexion.

Step 4: Ampoule & Serum

Ampoules are formulated with high number of active ingredients to target specific skin are concerns. They’re used as a booster when your skin badly needs the extra help.

Serum, in the other hand, is concentrated formulas with high amount of active ingredients. They target specific skin concerns like wrinkles, dark spots, and dehydration.

Step 5: Eye cream & moisturizers

The skin around our eyes and brows are the thinnest. It’s important to hydrate them with special hydrating formula in eye cream. Smooth a light eye cream across both the brow and socket bone moving from the inner to outer corner of the eye.

Then you can proceed with soothing moisturizer in a light layer across the skin to provide all-day hydration (this is also the product behind Koreans’ healthy, glowing skin).

Step 6: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is a must to protect your day from the bad effect of UV rays (so it’s not only for summer!). Every morning, finish off your skincare regimen with either a dedicated sunscreen or a BB cream or cushion compact that includes SPF.

Additional routine

Other than the daily skincare regime, Koreans also occasionally use other products to keep their skin healthy and beautiful. It does not have to be used every day, but can be done a few times a week or whenever you need an extra skincare boost.

Sleeping mask

Do you know that skin regeneration occurs while you sleep at night? Sleep mask will boost the skin regeneration with its high water concentration. These masks don’t need to be rinsed; they feel like creams and stay on your skin all night. You will wake up with soft, hydrated, and radiant skin in the next morning.

Sheet masks

Sheet masks are your to-go product when you want to a quick moisturizing and glowing effect. Single-use sheet masks are formulated with the same active ingredients as serums, but it is like an “a la carte” version that you can use as necessary.


Once in a while (ideally 2-3 times a week), use a gentle, non-irritating exfoliator to promote cell turnover, unclog pores, allow for better product absorption and keep your skin glowing and youthful. Konjac sponge is one of the most common tools to exfoliate your skin; but you can also buy exfoliator products in the market.