Ever seen Korean women and wonder how flawless their skin is? Korean women have perfect skin. Like any other good thing, a flawless skin takes work. Korean women treat their skin very well to maintain it. Their beauty secrets are famous the world over. Their sheet masks are now available everywhere. The recent claim to fame is, however, their 10 step skin care program. While most of us are lazy to even do the three necessary steps of cleansing, toning, and moisturing, Korean women have a 10 step beauty regimen.

Koreans have impeccable skin. They are groomed from birth by mothers, aunts and maternal figures on how to eat, wash, and care skin. It’s part of Korean beauty culture, which gives great importance to skin-preserving methods.  South Korea has the highest rate of cosmetic surgeries in the whole world.  Korean beauty ideals include a small, V-shaped face, slimness, and double eyelids. These things exemplify innocence. Emphasis is also placed on a spotless skin that is bright and white

10 Step Skin Care Routine

korean regimen
10 step skin care regimen-worth it or too much?


Get rid of all the blockages, i.e. makeup, dirt and common environmental dirtiness and pollution. A cotton round with makeup remover or a cleansing wipe can remove eye makeup and waterproof makeup. Oil-based cleansers are a good idea! Massage it over your face to break up makeup, add some water to emulsify. Massage again. Rinse with lukewarm water. Removing makeup is a very important step and you must never skip it. If you sleep with makeup on, it will clog your pores very badly, and you might even wake up with pimples. On the nights you get lazy, keep a bottle of micellar water on your bed side table. Wipe away your makeup by putting it on cotton swabs and swiping on your face. This is only for occasional nights, when you are genuinely tired. On other nights, make sure you cleanse your skin thoroughly, and follow all the other steps as well. Good skin requires commitment, not a miracle. If it was that easy, Koreans wouldnt have gone to the length of creating a 10 step regimen!

WATER-BASED CLEANSERwater based cleanser

This is the second step of the double-cleanse. Use a water-based cleanser for your face. Wash away remaining residue from oil cleanse and the other impurities with it.


Exfoliating is vital for a polished complexion. Sloughing off dead skin cells is very important to make way for new ones. It also clears away all the debris and make your skin squeaky clean. Use a exfoliator twice or thrice a week. Exfoliation can also help with acne, as it cleans the impurities deep down and get rid of blockages. It also get rids of sebum and dead cells, that are the primary components of acne. But be sure to not go overboard it. Over exfoliating can make skin condition worse. Excess exfoliation will make your skin produce more oil. Go for natural, gentle exfoliators. You can also try homemade scrubs. For example, you can use almond flakes, or brown sugar and honey.


Prep your skin with toner. It can be sprinkled into your hands for tapping directly onto skin or it can be dispensed on a cotton swab to gently swipe away. Toner helps to balance skin’s pH levels. It preps skin with a hydration to better absorb following skin care treatments. You can also make a toner at home with ingredients like apple cider vinegar, honey, cucumber, and water. Just be careful with the proportion of different ingredients. There are plenty of recipes online, choose the one that is best for your skin type and addresses your skin issues.


Essence is the heart of a Korean skin care routine. It is dual purpose, a cross between toner and serum. It is made for hydrating and helping skin repair and cell turnover. Apply it after toning with your hands.


Boosters, serums and ampoules are like concentrated essence. Apply it with a tapping motion. These products can help with issues like brightening, pore-refining, pigmentation, acne, wrinkles etc.


Sheet mask is the soul of Korean skin care. It should be kept on for 15-20 minutes. Use it once or twice a week. Sheet masks are very convenient to use. You can also take them with you when going on vacations. They not only cleanse the skin, but are also very calming and soothing.

sheet mask
Korean sheet face masks are famous the world over


The skin around eyes is very delicate should be treated carefully. Aim for hydration and protection. Use the ring finger to very gently tap eye. Never rub the area around eyes. Most of us tend to skip this step. Eye creams are an integral part of the anti aging regimen. They can also fight dark circles and bags. Tired eyes can make you look older than you are. You can also try eye roll ons to depuff your eyes.


Hydration is important for a dewy, glowing skin. Find a moisturizer that matches your skin type. They can be like an emulsion, a gel, lotion or cream. Use it twice a day to seal all the work from prior steps. Some people do not apply moisturizers because they think their skin is already oily, and they do not need one. This isn’t true as oily skin is basically skin that is dry from inside. It produces oil to hydrate itself. If you moisturize it with a good quality moisturizer, created for your skin type, it will not feel the need to produce more oil. You can also try water based moisturizers if traditional ones do not suit you. It is a good idea to invest in different moisturizers for day and night. Day moisturizers are usually lighter, while night ones are heavier. Night moisturizers will hydrate and rejuvenate your skin through out the night, so that you wake up with a brighter, softer, and luminous skin.

Also Read: Facial Oils You Need In Your Life!


Sunscreen is prevents premature aging. Apply every morning, reapply throughout the day. It’s important because it can shield your skin from the harmful effects of sun. You should also apply sunscreen if it is cloudy. UV rays are still present whether it is sunny or not. Find the one that will match your skin type. Even if you are wearing products with spf, like foundation and primer, sunscreen is still very important and must be worn along.

Product Recommendation By Skin Type


BANILA CO. Clean It Zero Classic (cleanser)
NEOGEN Cranberry Real Fresh Foaming Cleanser (cleanser)
NEOGEN Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine (exfoliator)
MANEFIT Bling Bling Hydro Gel Mask – Whitening Platinum (sheet)
SON & PARK Beauty Water (toner)
SKINFOOD Premium Lettuce Cucumber Watery Essence (essence)
MISSHA Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule (serum)
MISSHA MIsa Co Bo Yang Eye Cream (eye cream)
BENTON Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel (moisturizer)
NEOGEN Day-Light Protection Sun Screen (sun screen)


BANILA CO. Clean It Zero Purity (cleanser)
NEOGEN Green Tea Real Fresh Foaming Cleanser (cleanser)
GOODAL Deep Clean Pore Glacial Clay (pore mask)
MANEFIT Beauty Planner Mugwort Sheet Mask (sheet)
RE:P Organic Cotton Treatment Toning Pad (toner)
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence  (essence)
KLAIRS Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum (serum)
MISSHA Misa Cho Bo Yang Eye Cream (eye cream)
BENTON Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel (moisturizer)
MISSHA Mild Essence Sun Milk (sun screen)

Other Hacks

Steam massage in the shower

Skin clinics are in every block in South Korea, where you can get a facial massage easily. It is affordable too. It is recommended not only using circular motions with fingers, but also tapping in rotating motions. Begin with the forehead, then go to the cheekbones, cheeks, and then go to the jawbone. Massaging increases blood circulation and creates a dewy complexion. Use an oil cleanser for more hydration.

Charcoal sheet face maskcharcoal mask

Buying sheet masks is common in South Korea. And all the Charcoal is a great ingredient. It detoxifies and exfoliates skin. Charcoal has recently gain a lot of fan following from beauty gurus. It cuts down all the dirt and grime to reveal a beautiful skin underneath.

Exfoliate with a washcloth drenched in hot water

Use a washcloth to massage face every day. Use upward circular strokes. Warm water open up blocked pores and unclog them.

Also Read: Home remedies for acne

Try Blurring to create perfect skin

Try the Korean blurring trick, which means using smart coverage products with a makeup brush to wipe out and blur imperfections. This is similar to using a concealer, which is used to hide dark circles, acne marks, son spots, and other imperfections.

Bring out the natural color of your lips

By enhancing your natural lip color, your complexion will look younger and vibrant. Use a color enhancing lip balm for this. Exfoliting lips regularly also make them soft and plump and bring out their natural color. Try a honey, sugar, and lemon scrub to slough away the dead skin cells of your lips. If done regularly, this can make your lips pink naturally, and eliminate the need for lipsticks!

Use a lip tint or oil for lips

Lip oil treatments give you a pop of color without stickiness. You can use natural oils like almond oil and avocado oil for nourishment and hydration.lip tintDrink barley Tea

Barley tea is given to Korean babies from birth to fortify skin and overall health. Barley tea is full of anti-oxidants. Drinking it can improve blood circulation. Some It can also contribute to weight loss.

barley tea
barley tea can be bought from stores, though home made is always better!

Criticism of Beauty Standards

Korea has very rigid, and often unattainable beauty standards. All women are expected to be small, slim, with a white, spotless face. Those who are fat or dark are looked down up. It is very difficult for a dark skinned women to find makeup that matches her skin tone in Korea. Same is the case with women have a bigger built, or are overweight. Women who do not fit beauty standards are advised to go for plastic surgery. It is extremely common in Korea. Surgery is also done to attain double eyelids, another beauty criteria. It is called  blepharoplasty. It is done to create a crease in the eyelid when you don’t have one. It has been estimated that around one-fifth or one-third of women in Seoul, Korea have had plastic surgery. A poll  by the BBC shows the figure at 50 percent for women in their 20s. Women who are already small starve themselves to be smaller. Inner beauty is a concept that does not exist. If you are not physically beautiful, you are not considered worthy of anything. Any girl who does not fit beauty standards is told away that she needs to diet, get her skin bleached, or get a plastic surgery. No attention is played to the mental stress girls go through to attain unrealistic beauty features. Expectations of unrealistic beauty features is prevalent in Asia. Expecting girls to have a white skin in environment with plenty of sun is almost idiotic. It is natural for people to tan in sunnier environments. Moreover, color does not determine beauty. Beauty is much more than that. Every complexion has its own charm. Western world spends a fortune to get tanned skin. Apparently, we as humans are never satisfied with what we get. Beauty is skin deep, and it is much more about your manners and etiquette than your exterior features. If young girls are told from the beginning that their only reason for existence is looking good, we are setting low expectations from them. We are also objectifying them by telling them they must look good for the pleasure of others. This is a very low way to think, and it is appaling that such thinking exits in 2017. korean unrealistic beauty

What are your thoughts on Korean beauty regimen, hacks, and standars? Is the 10 step regimen worth adopting or takes too much time? Are the beauty standards barbaric? What are the beauty standards in your country? Have you ever tried any Korean beauty product? Let us know by commenting below.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.