I tested the multi-step Korean skincare regimen to see if it gives you the flawless skin that everybody talks about.
The Korean skincare regimen is one of the biggest things to happen in beauty since rainbow hair color. The multistep routine is often praised as the secret to flawless skin. For those who are new to the idea, they can often be intimidated by the amount of steps involved–approximately 10–and some of the unfamiliar products, such as essences and ampoules. I decided to try out the routine to see if the extra steps and products were worth it.
If you are still confused about what steps the Korean skincare routine entails, check out our guide here. We asked Angela Kim, the founder of popular Korean beauty site InsiderBeauty to break it down for us, and it is what I used as a guide for my own routine.
Here is a breakdown of my routine:
- Step 1: Oil Cleanser, Cleansing Oil Wash ($17.99, Skinfix)
- Step 2: Double Cleanse, Ultra Gentle Daily Cleanser Foaming Formula ($7.79, Neutrogena)
- Step 3: Exfoliate (Twice a week), Creamy Brightening Cleanser ($14.99, Mineral Fusion)
- Step 4: Toner, Alcohol-Free Toner ($7.99, Neutrogena)
- Step 5: Essence, Wonder Juice Sugar Juice ($29, Chosungah 22)
- Step 6: Masks (Two to three times a week), I’m Real Soothing Tea Tree Sheet Mask 2-Pack ($7.50, Tony Moly), I’m Real Clear Skin Rice Sheet Mask ($4, Tony Moly), and Cranberry Festive Fresh Face Mask ($8.95, LUSH)
- Step 7: Eye Cream, Repair Laser Focus Wrinkle Correcting Eye Cream ($45, Clinique)
- Step 8: Moisturizer, Dramatically Different Moisturizing Lotion+ ($5, Clinique)
- Step 9: Night Cream, Repairwear Uplifting Firming Cream ($63, Clinique)
Are you keeping up? Because it’s unwise for your skin (and wallet) to toss out all your old products and start using a bucket of new ones, I followed Angela’s advice and slowly added products to my existing routine. To customize the routine, I also added a clay mask and skipped the optional ampoule/serum step because I found I had enough with the night cream and essence. You can also add in any treatment products, such as those for acne.
I also made sure to follow Angelia’s technique tips, which included waiting for 10 to 20 seconds between each product application and ensuring that you use upward motions when applying the products.
My routine already consisted of the double cleanse, exfoliation, toner, moisturizer, night cream eye cream, and a mask application, so I didn’t have that many extra steps to add. I made my mask usage more regular as opposed to whenever I felt like it/found a new mask to try. Then I slowly added in the rest of the products.
The essence is what I noticed a big difference with. The Chosungah 22 Wonder Juice is described as a “multi essence” and states that it can act as a toner, essence, and lotion, but I decided to continue using the other products with it. It may not seem like it is doing a much when you first apply it, but I noticed how it helped with the absorption of all of the following steps.
I have been using the full routine for about a month. The difference between before I started the routine and after may not have dramatic before-and-after photos, but I have noticed a difference in the feel and texture of my skin. I have combination skin that is on the sensitive side, and I was worried that more products would irritate my face, but they didn’t. I also noticed less dry patches when using the Korean skincare regimen. My face felt very soft, considering I was just using a creamy mineral cleanser a couple times a week as my regular exfoliator.
If you are a one-product person, you may think that the Korean skincare regimen is excessive, but it is worth trying it out. I have previously experimented with a very minimal approach to skincare and realized that the Korean skincare regimen is definitely better for my skin. The multistep routine also helps you to focus on your face and the way you apply the products as opposed to just slapping them on. Plus, it’s all about prevention, so here’s hoping the routine will help keep other skincare concerns at bay.