Korean Skincare Products For Flawless Skin

The 10-step (11? 12? A million?) Korean skincare routine has been covered herehereherehere, and here. So if you know beauty, you’ve definitely heard about the elaborate Korean skincare routine. Some of the skincare products in this gift guide are cult-faves that all Koreans know about, some of these are personal favorites, and some of these have been featured on the insanely popular Korean TV show Get It Beauty. GET. EXCITED.

(Related: Skip Vs. Buy: Your Guide To Which Korean Beauty Products From Urban Outfitters To Try)

1. Cleansing Oil

Cleansing Oil
Nature Republic Forest Garden Chamomile Cleansing Oil

If you use makeup on a regular basis, chances are you’re not going to remove all of it using just a cleanser. That’s where oil cleansers come in. Oil cleansers literally make your makeup melt off your face without all that tugging of the skin. Of course, some Korean women will do a triple cleanse with makeup removing sheets at the first step, but I find that unnecessary.

2. Cleansing Foam

AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Cleansing Foam
AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Cleansing Foam

All you did with the oil cleanser is remove the makeup – in other words, you didn’t CLEAN your face. Foam cleansers thoroughly clean without drying out your skin. This is also a good time to massage your face to increase blood circulation.

3. Toner

Innisfree Green Tea Pure Skin Toner
Innisfree Green Tea Pure Skin Toner

Toners. Such a simple word, so much confusion. Think of toners as the last step of your cleansing process – it removes any residue left over from your cleanse. Different toners also target different things, and most importantly, they help prep your skin for the next steps.

4. Sheet Masks

Sheet Masks

Many Koreans will apply sheet masks 2 or 3 times a week. It’s a fun way to add variety to your routine without changing the core of it, which is great if you’ve got a skincare routine that works for you.

5. Essence/Serum

SU:M37 Secret Programming Essence

Essential, essential, essential. Essence speeds up your skin’s natural cell turnover rate, leaving you with glowing, revitalized skin. Just pat, pat, pat, and let the magic happen.

6. Ampoule

CNP Propolis Energy Ampule
CNP Propolis Energy Ampule

Ampoule has yet to be incorporated into mainstream Western beauty vocab. All that you have to know is that it’s a super-concentrated version of essence or serum. (If you were to list those three in order of highest to the lowest concentration of ingredients, it would be ampoule, then serum, then essence.) Since you’ve already applied the essence of the serum by this step, you can narrow down your focus to target specific skin problems, such as aging or unevenness.

7. Eye cream

Eye cream
SU:M37 Water-full Timeless Water Gel Eye Filler

Some of us might not have crow’s feet yet, but I’m sure we’ve all been victims of puffy eyes or dark circles. Just remember not to tug the skin around your eyes when applying eye cream.

8. Anti-aging cream

Anti-aging cream
Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

Koreans start using anti-aging products in their early twenties. (Think about how your skin might be affected by all that pollution and dietary/lifestyle habits!) You could forego an anti-aging cream for a night cream, but just make sure not to skip this extra moisturizing step. Night creams keep your face moisturized and dewy all night long.

Do you have a favorite Korean skincare product? Tell us in the comments!

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