My 10 Step Korean Inspired Skincare Routine

Products L-R:

IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Cleansing Balm | Oskia Renaissance Cleansing Gel | BeautyPro Sheet Masks | Ren Hydro Boost Plumping Emulsion | Jurlique Activating Water Essence | Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel | Origins Make A Difference Moisturiser | Boots Botanics All Bright Cleasning Toner | Nude Skincare Firming Youth Oil | Sarah Chapman Skinesis Age Repair Serum | Origins Eye Doctor Eye Cream

When I first heard about the 10-step Korean skincare routine my thoughts were probs very similar to yours…who the hell has time for that?! Fast forward a year or so later and turns out, me, I have time for that and you know what? It’s totally worth it.

Skincare is something I’ve to an extent, always made a priority, from my first Oxy clear skin toner at the age of 12 to my beloved Body Shop Elderflower Eye Gel & Self Heating Clay mask, I’ve always made somewhat of an effort to look after my skin.

So before we get into the steps I must just stress this is not something I do every evening, it’s a 2-3 times a week if that type thing as steps like exfoliation and sheet masks don’t need to be done everyday. I also didn’t rush out and get all these products at the same time, they have just accumulated over the last year or so and I’ve now found myself at the point we are, a fully stocked 10-step skincare routine.

So how does it work and how the hell do I remember all the steps I ear you cry! I thought I’d break it all down here in one lovely blog post, complete with recommended products to make your, and my, life easier when trying to incorporate this into an indulgent Sunday evening pamper sesh.

Step 1

Oil Based Cleansing/Makeup Removal

The first step in the routine is to fully remove your makeup. I’m the first one to admit that sometimes in that hazy just get me to bed now mood I’m tempted to reach for a face wipe and be done with it, but if you make the time to fully remove your makeup your skin WILL thank you. My go to for this step has to be a balm cleanser, most notably the Emma Hardie Amzing Face Cleansing Balm but I’ve recently been trialling the IT Cosmetics Bye Bye Makeup Balm and you know what, it’s a pretty damn good substitute.

Step 2

Water Based Cleansing

This is a much more tailored step using a cleanser that is more suited to your skin type and concerns. Whether you prefer a gel, milk or foaming cleanser this is the time to use it. For about the last year I’ve been in a pretty serious relationship with my Oskia Renaissance cleanser (shout out to Cult Beauty for hooking me up with a supersize!) but when budget can’t allow for that, I’ve no problems going back to old faithful Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish.

Step 3

Exfoliating

Being an oily skinned, congested gaaaaal I love a good exfoliation and last year during my first ever trip to Sephora I discovered the world of powder exfoliators. A weird talc like product to which you add water and emulsify onto the face, I never see more instant results than when I do this step. I was recommended the Amore Pacific Treatment Enzyme Peel and I haven’t looked back.

Step 4

Toning

Now I know some people just do not get toning or see a reason as to why it exists but for some reason I’ve always used toner. Back in the day my Simple Skincare toner was a can’t live without, now I regularly reach for the Pixie Glow Tonic or my absolute fav the Elemis Balancing Lavander Toner. More recently I’ve been trialling the newly launched Boots Botanics All Bright Cleansing Toner but what ever your fancy, toning is the best way to rebalance the skin after cleansing and exfoliating.

Step 5

Essence

The step the Korean skincare routine is renowned for, the essence. A funny product to try and describe but it’s essentially an in between toner and serum hybrid type product. It freshens the skin and fully prepares it to absorb more targeted skincare to come. With the most renowned product in this category being the SK11 Facial Treatment Essence, I’ve been using the Jurlique Activating Water Essence for the last year or so and I love it. Is it completely necessary, who really knows but I love the feeling of this step and how clarified and glowing my skin looks.

Step 6

Treatments/Serum

One of my favourite steps is serum. More concentrated skincare to specifically target individual concerns, I have about five on rotation at the moment. Go to’s for me include the Sarah Chapman Skinesis Age Repair Serum and I’m obsessed with the Ren Hydro Boost Plumping Emulsion. For more specific concerns like pigmentation and uneven skintone I’ve also been using The Ordinary Advanced Retinod. Being 32, serums are an absolute must for me but if you haven’t yet discovered one I’d highly recommend delving into this more targeted world of skincare, especially if you’re mid twenties, it’s never too early to start thinking about the first signs of ageing and as I always say, prevention is better than cure!

Step 7

Sheet Mask

This is a funny step as I never really bought into the hype of sheet masks as they all seemed quite faddy to me, not to mention the obvious Leatherface connotations. I then trialled a couple of Sephora ones and I’m totally converted. My current favs have to be the BeautyPro range as they don’t tend to melt off your face like others. A great way to scare your unsuspecting boyf or housemates but what I really like about this step is how calming it is, leave it on for 15 mins or so, grab a glass of wine and just put your feet up.

Step 8

Eye Cream

This is a step I haven’t missed since I was 14. I can’t really explain why I was so concerned about my eye skin at this age I guess I was just aware that your skin and neck are the things to look after if you want to age well. The eye area is so much more delicate than any other skin area so specific care needs to be taken and it’s so worth it. I find concealer applies so much better with a well hydrated eye area. Favs include the Origins Eye Doctor and the Clinique All About Eyes.

Step 9

Moisturising

The last step in really sealing in that moisture and ensuring skin really soaks up all that goodness from the previous steps this is another step I rarely miss. At night I love a slightly richer cream in the form of the Origins Make a Difference or High Potency Night-a-Mins and for day I prefer a much lighter lotion or gel, shout out to the incredible Aesop Parsley Seed Anti Oxidant Hydrator, a recent discovery which I now can’t live without!

Step 10

Sun Protection/Facial Oils

We got there, the final step! This varies depending on whether this is a morning or night routine. For me. it’s always a night routine but if you do find yourself being extra AF one morning, make sure you don’t finish without an SPF, especially if you’ve been using retinoids or vitamin C serums. For me, it’s all about the facial oil, another step I never really got into as I found most way too greasy and heavy for my oily skin. That is until I discovered the Nude Skincare Firming Youth Oil. Again this is only a once or twice a week for me but I can’t tell you how much I love this product. It sinks in quickly, doesn’t leave a residue and makes my skin look and feel incredible, smooth as a baby’s bottom type deal.

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So there we go – check out my video over on my Youtube channel to see me putting these steps into action but is this something you could see yourself converting to? I know it seems a lot but honesty, this has transformed my skin, any issues are so much more manageable and the natural glow and clarity I get is unparalleled.


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