My Korean Skincare Routine: Korean Skincare 101


Chester played a huge role in my picture taking today.  By that I mean he just stuck his face or body in nearly every picture.  He has such a funny personality and he ALWAYS has to be the center of attention!  I love that about him the most.  

This post is going to be geared toward the female audience, but by no means is limited to women!  Men, please know that this can be for you too 🙂 I will just be speaking from my own experience and opinions.

Have you ever heard of the “famous” 5 to 10 step Korean skincare regimens?  If you haven’t, go ahead and Google that now, then come back and read this post 🙂

The important thing to keep in mind is that not everyone’s skincare regimen will be the same, which is why there are SO many awesome products out there for difference skin types and personalities.  I almost have a completely Korean-based regimen, but have incorporated a few US products as well.  So, here’s my regimen. I’ve broken it down into what I think are the most important points.

1. Cleanse


In my opinion, this is the most important step of the process. Without this step, you are not paving the way for proper moisturizing.  Koreans often use two types of cleansers: an oil cleanser and a foaming cleanser.  The oil cleanser I am using right now is Julep’s Bare Face Cleansing Oil $28.  I’ve also heard many great things about the Face Shop’s Rice Water Cleansing OI ~$9. I really love this part of cleansing because the dry oil cleanser dissolves and removes makeup. I follow this with an eye makeup remover. I’m currently using Estee Lauder Gentle Eye Makeup Remover. Finally, I cleanse with a foaming cleanser and currently I’m using The Face Shop Chia Seed Fresh Cleansing Foam ~$10. I like this cleanser, but I would like to try the Face Shop’s Rice Water foaming cleanser.

2. Special 

During this step, I either use a clay mask to remove impurities from my pores, nose strips to do the same, or an essence sheet mask. I LOVE sheet masks. My favorite are the ones by The Face Shop.  They help me to relax so well and they make my face like a baby’s. Oh and these pore strips are way better than Biore. I have never had such success with nose strips before using these from The Face Shop ~$7. You can really customize this step to fit your skincare needs.


3. Exfoliate

I exfoliate up to three times a week after I cleanse with the foaming cleanser.  I’m currently using St. Ives Apricot Scrub (Fresh) ~$4.00 and have been satisfied with it so far. It’s inexpensive, but effective. I don’t use it often because my skin would be irritated. Exfoliating helps remove dead skin that can build up throughout the week.  I’ve heard that the SkinFood Black Sugar mask is a good scrub as well.


4. Tone

Toning helps to tighten pores and prep skin for moisturizing.  I’m currently using a toner that I bought from Etsy, but I don’t like it because it’s too strong for my face, so I recently purchased a toner made by Etude House Malgum Toner, a lovely Korean brand. I’m really excited to receive it!  Most Korean toners are alcohol free and non-irritating, which is what I’m really looking for in a toner and is almost impossible to find among US brands.


5. Serum or Ampoule: What is Ampoule? 

Sometimes before using serum, some Koreans use an essence, which is slightly less thick than serum.  After which they will add serum if desired.  Serums can have different uses for targeting specific issues (e.g. wrinkles, acne, redness).  I am currently using Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule $12.99 (which is a really thick-type serum).  It sounds weird, but snail secretion is supposed to help heal and nourish skin like it does the snail when it crawls around and scratches it’s body.  I find this to be an amazing product. I love the consistency and have noticed a difference in acne marks and dark spots on my face.


6. Daytime Moisture or Emulsion: Emulsion is a fancy word for moisturizer! 

Moisturizing is different for day and night.  Day lotions should have some spf in them. I use Avon’s Elements Moisture Boost day lotion $8.99 and top that off with Innisfree Eco Safety Aqua Sun lotion $10. I have actually been really satisfied with the Avon day lotion! I really like the gentle smell and how smoothly it applies and it comes in a large bottle. They are also having a promotion on it right now! Click on that link to check it out. That’s my sister’s Avon site.  The Innisfree sunscreen is gentle and contains natural ingredients.


7. Nighttime Moisture

At nighttime, I always use eye cream. I dab it all around my eyes with my pinky! Dab/tap, do not rub.  The skin around your eye is delicate!  Right now I’m using Hanskin’s Intense Eye Cream $14.99 and I really like it. The bottle contains a lot of cream and it’s non-irritating and gentle.


I also use a night cream as well.  Currently I’ve been switching between the Avon Elements Moisture Boost Night Cream, which I really love for the coolness and hydration it provides and it’s very inexpensive at just $8.99, and the Face Shop Chia Seed Water $21.98, which is incredibly good. It’s so delicate and hydrates my skin so well.  Neither of these cause a great deal of irritation.


8. The Korean Sleep Pack

A sleep pack is probably a new concept for most Americans. You apply it after your night cream to give you an extra boost of moisture.  I am currently using the Etude House Collagen Moistfull Sleeping Pack $12.98.  I love this line of skincare!  The smell is awesome and it does add a huge amount of moisture to my face. After using a sleep pack, my face is like a baby’s in the morning.


If you are thinking about Korean skincare products, I highly recommend I love this site. They give you free shipping and tons of samples with every order and they have a great selection!  I haven’t been unsatisfied with anything I’ve used yet and my skin is the brightest and clearest it’s ever been.  Let me know if you have any questions 🙂



Additional Links:

Asian Skincare 101


41 thoughts on “My Korean Skincare Routine: Korean Skincare 101

  1. Taking care of your skin when you are young is essential to maintaining great skin as you age. All of my life I have tried to take care of my skin and protect it from the sun, I think it’s paid off. I see women who were sun worshippers in school and now they are wrinkly, but they were warned about sun damage and now they are seeing first hand the damage uv rays really cause. Good post honey.

  2. Wow that is a lot of creamies. What would you charge for a beauty treatment.
    Only joking of course. But as a guy I do not use much.but agree that good care is important.

    Hope you are still smiling and enjoying your new home?
    Keep on smiling Megan.

    1. There are a lot and it takes me about 30 minutes to go through everything! I kind of like taking the time for my skin though.

      I am still enjoying the new house 🙂 Loving it very much, thank you 🙂 hope you’re well.

  3. Good Lord, you officially use more products that I do! Is this an every single night procedure for you or do you occasionally skip a few steps? My dermatologist recommends I skip moisturizer a few nights a week to let my skin really breathe, and I cannot exfoliate daily like I used to, it’s no longer a must for my skin.

    I like Josie Maran’s Cleansing Oil. I hated it the first time I used it, but now I love it. It smells incredible and leaves my skin really soft, thus eliminating a lot of extra steps.

    1. I do like Innisfree 🙂 I use the sunscreen and spray deodorant from them right now and I’ve used sheet masks and toner from Innisfree in the past. I’ve never tried Iope yet, but I’ve heard good things about them.

      1. My boyfriend’s mother uses the IOPE Air Cushion 🙂 I saw it when she visited here. I’ve heard good things about the cushions. I need to get one 😛

    1. I’m loving the serum! It is lightweight, unscented, and very gentle. I’ve noticed a difference in fine lines and dark spots as well. 🙂 I would love to try the recovery gel. what do you think of it?

  4. Hi there! I stumbled across your post because I am trying to build my own Korean skincare routine. I just wanted to share with you a very important piece of info regarding Korean toners: “they don’t contain alcohol” is an incorrect statement. In fact, most, if not all, do contain alcohol. The problem is that most ingredient lists are in Korean and therefore it is difficult to ascertain what ingredients they do use and many websites that sell Korean products like to list just active ingredients and not all of the ingredients. However, deeper searches will bring about the truth. I have personally been looking for an alcohol -free toner and have yet to find one. Out of the more than 10 I have researched (from different brands, such as Nature Republic, Innisfree, Etude House and even this one you mention here) they ALL contain alcohol and moreover, it is one of the very first ingredients on their list. Many natural lines opt for butylene glycol which is a “natural” alcohol. Regardless be safe when using alcohol, as it can, in the long run, lead to dry skin!

    1. By alcohol I meant denatured alcohol, which often causes irritation to sensitive skin. The current toner (freshener) that I’m using from Etude House does not contain denatured alcohol and does contain butylene glycol, and even then it is not far up on the list of ingredients.

  5. Thats one hell of a skincare routine … I do love a lot of the Korean beauty products, they’re so much fun and MADLY into everything ‘beauty’ aren’t they, its great !

    1. Thank you! I look at skincare as sort of one of my hobbies. I really enjoy taking time out each night to go through my routine. I have noticed a tremendous difference in the health and brightness of my complexion. I do love Korean products best, for sure.

  6. Thank you for following our blog and liking our posts. It means a lot. And I like Chester! Your skin is beautiful. If my skin wasn’t so fussy about products…I would definitely follow your advice. If you ever come across a product without chemicals that helps or hides dark spots under the eyes, please let me know!

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad to meet you and to have found your blog. Thank you for your kind words 🙂 I’m always on the look for potent, natural products, so I’ll definitely keep you updated 🙂

    1. Thank you 😀 He’s quite a character for a cat. It’s a very mild serum and great for sensitive skin. I just finished it :*( I need to get more when my current serum runs out.

      1. AND FOOD 🙂 xxxxx and just the whole vibe xxxxx I lived in Hong kong when i was really little for 3 years – so ever since then – I have been obsessed xx

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