So I’ve been heavily addicted to Kdramas lately. My favorite so far has been Goblin (I’ve watched it over and over again omg I love it so much). My best friends don’t watch Kdramas though so I can’t watch it with them, which is a tragedy. They’re missing out lol.
But anyway, I was watching these amazing kdramas and noticed that all the stars have PERFECT skin. Obviously they’re rich and are wearing some makeup. But if you know anything about korean skincare… it’s literally the best in the world.
So when the Korean 10 step Skincare routine tells you to do 10 steps, you best bet imma be doing those 10 steps.
But my wallet doesn’t like the idea of that. Neither does my laziness.
Here’s what I’ll talk about today:
- All 10 Steps Explained (and Rated by Importance)
- 4-5 Step Skincare routine for Beginners
- Conclusion: Are All Ten Steps Needed?
All Ten Steps Explained
I’ll also be rating each step on a scale from 1-5, where 1 is not needed at all, and 5 is DON’T SKIP THIS STEP
1. Oil Based Cleanse- 4
An Oil Based Cleanser will help breakdown any makeup you’re wearing or any oil-based impurities on your skin, such as sweat and sebum. I must admit though, I skipped this step for years and felt fine.
But y’all deserve better than just ‘fine’! I recently started using Pond’s Cold Cream ($6 on Amazon) as an oil based cleanser and it works amazingly. I feel a lot more confident that I’m going to sleep with clean pores when I use it.
Oil-based cleaners are also more efficient in removing makeup than actual makeup-remover wipes, and are eco-friendlier too.
BTW you’re supposed to wash off the oil based cleanser, but plain water won’t work so you’re going to have to use a wet washcloth or stand over the sink for a long time trying to rinse off the oil, then move on to the next step in case you missed any oil.
2. Foam/Water Based Cleanse-5
This is a second cleasing step for the water-soluable impurities, such as dirt. It also removes any makeup residue/oil that may be left sitting on your skin.
Cleansing your skin is extremely important as your skin is exposed to multiple exterior aggressors throughout the day. Any buildup of dead skin cells, dirt, etc. can cause breakouts, unbalanced pH levels, unbalanced sebum production, dull skin, and aging.
And more. It just gets really bad.
I reccommend using CeraVe cleansers as they are simple and don’t over-cleanse the skin, therefore it will maintain your skin’s natural balance.
3. Exfoliate- 4
Exfoliating has amazing benefits of helping your skin rid of the dead skin cells during Desquamation, or cell turnover, so that the new cells underneath the dead ones are revealed. It helps improve dull skin and helps to unclog pores. With overtime use of exfoliation, you can see a reduction of sunspots, pigmentation, and fine lines/wrinkles.
You should only be exfoliating about 2 times a week, as is in the 10-step routine, because over-exfoliation can cause irritaition, dry skin, and more breakouts.
There are two types of exfoliation: physical and chemical.
Physical is just using tiny plastic beads to tear apart your skin and calling it exfoliation. :’) Don’t do it.
While there may be some physical exfoliation products out there that are good, I would recommend using chemical exfoliation, as long as you’re cautious, because:
A) It works deeper into the skin
B) You don’t have to vigorously tug your skin in circles while rubbing plastic beads on your face- less risk causing wrinkles and sagging of the skin
C) You aren’t causing micro-tears on your skin.
Learn more about chemical exfoliation: AHA vs BHA and Everything You Need To Know About Them.
4. Toner- 4.5
I currently don’t use a toner as the only toner I have in the house is Mario Badescu :’)) but I used to use a better one, and trust me, my skin was magnificient.
Toners may seem trivial for a skincare routine, but it is actually a step that is the extra mile to make your skin glow.
What toners do is reset your skin’s pH balance after washing it and/or exfoliating. (Although, I would reccommend waiting a couple of minutes after chemical exfoliation with AHA/BHA because the low pH benefits would be cancelled out).
But imagine one day you’re running late so you skip the toner, your skin is at an acidic state but then suddenly… you immediately use something of higher pH.
It would be like someone wanted you to pretend you were sitting on a chair without an actual chair (like a half air squat). But they didn’t know how to convey that to you, so they told you to stand, then sit, then stand, then sit again. You would be confused as hell and in a lot of pain. From low to high to low to high in pH levels… your skin will hate you and will be hecka confused about where you want it to be and everything will be haywire.
Other benifits of toners includes:
- reducing appearance of pores
- can hydrate skin
- evens out skintone
- prevents ingrown hairs
and more :))
5. Essence- 1
Okay, so this is definitely not needed. If you’re planning to do the basics: wash, toner, serum/oil, moisturizer, spf; you don’t need an essence because you will over hydrate your skin.
Basically, essences are serums. They go deep into the skin and work at a molecular level just like serums. Depending on the active ingredients in the essence, it will address different issues of your skin.
Originally, essenses used to be lighter than serums, and would be used as an extra hydrating layer packed with vitamins. Now though, the two terms are nothing but for marketing purposes.
But you don’t NEED a hydrating toner, a hydrating essence, a hydrating serum+oil, and a hydrating moisturizer. Overly hydrating your skin will throw off its balance (it seems so easy to throw the balance off) and your skin will become “lazy”, this means it will stop producing its essential nutrients on its own. Your skin will then have trouble absorbing all the products and your skin will lose its natural plumpness and glow.
Along with this, does anyone else have to deal with tiny bumps all over their face when they over-moisturize? Or is that just me? I think I’ll research that for another blog post.
So anyway, you need good balance, so you don’t have to hydrate your skin in every step.
6. Serums+Oils – 2
Serums and oils will help hydrate your skin and depending on ingredients/type of oil, you will recive different benefits. I personally don’t view this step as very important because a lot of moisturizers include the same active ingredients of serums. Plus, serums and oils are more luxury skincare items as they might improve your skin, but your skincare routine will still work without them.
Some oils can irritate fungal acne and/or clog pores so be cautious when using them :))
My favorite serum is The Ordinary’s Niacinimide 10% + Zinc 1% and my favorite oil is The Ordinary’s Rosehip Seed Oil.
Both are great for oily, acne prone skin!
7. Sheet Mask – 1
So sheet masks are really convenient… but when has convenient literally EVER been good for our skin?
In reality, sheet masks are great for adding hydration to your skin but definitely don’t need to be added to this already very hydrating skincare routine!! *sips tea* Besides, most sheet masks have alcohol and fragrance and only claim to be Korean, when in reality, they are not. *sips tea*
If you do use masks (of any kind), be sure to only use them 2-3 times a week, this is true for the 10-step routine as well, as they can be over-hydrating or over-stripping of natural oils.
8. Eye Cream – 1
Eye creams are honestly, just marketed as essential for the skin around our eyes, but they are actually just the exact same as normal moisturizers.
According to Hyram (beauty guru of youtube- y’all should check his channel out), moisturizers and eye creams include almost all the same ingredients, so you don’t really need an eye cream.
If you really want to, though, using the CeraVe Eye Repair Cream will help make you dark circles less prominent since it contains Niacinimide, an amazing ingredient for skin brightening (and a LOT more).
9. Moisturizer – 5
Moisturizer is the SECOND most important step of a skincare routine! It is to lock in ALL of the previous steps into your skin. The active ingredients of a moisturizer will also be absorbed into your skin.
There are moisturizers for all skin types since it is so important! Even if you have oily skin, moisturizing will help to balance your skin and prevent excess sebum production! For dry skin, it will balance out your lack of sebum.
For all skin types, you will get the benefits of taut, glowing skin. Without a moisturizer, your skin will be super dehydrated (even if you’ve done all 8 steps before this) because all the moisture will have escaped your skin without being locked in by the moisturizer. Dehydrated skin looks dull and promotes faster aging.
Moisturizing is just super duper important.
10. SPF – 10
Ever wonder how Koreans always look 20 years younger than they actually are? Or how their skin tone is so even?
It’s all because of the last step!
This is off the scale of 1-5 because SPF is extremely important. Whether or not you complete the previous 9 steps, your skincare routine will pretty much be useless if you don’t use SPF.
Studies estimate that 90% of aging is caused by the sun’s UV rays. UV rays also cause sun spots, pigmentation, and more. A couple of active ingredients can cause your skin to be more sensitive to the skin, so please wear sunscreen every day! Even when the sun is covered by clouds! Trust me, your skin will look amazing when you’re old.
The only problem is, what about the white cast? I, personally, went years without sunscreen because it felt sticky and somehow made my colored skin look pale!
Currently, I use SunBum. It doesn’t leave any white cast at all! It is lightweight and oil-free :))
4-5 Step Skincare routine for Beginners
Take into mind that, though not all 10 steps are needed, they are all included for a reason- they HAVE been proven to improve the skin overall for those who follow the regimen.
But a less intricate skincare routine can be equally as usefull for our skin and can save our wallets a little extra cash.
Here is a simplified skincare routine you can do instead:
- Cleanse (Both or just Water-Based)
- Exfoliate (only twice a week)
- Moisturizer/Night cream
- SPF (daytime)
That’s my routine and I’m loving it because it doesn’t take too much time, but it’s still enough time so that I can focus on myself before and after a long day. I’ve had great results in my skin with this routine too!
So… Do I Need All Ten Steps?
If you do choose to have all ten, good for you!
Whether or not you do all ten steps, I wish that all of you achieve your clear, glassy, extraodinary skin.
I hope this blog helped you all! Please hit the like button and comment anything about the post or what you’d like me to write about next ❤