Adapting The 10-step Korean Skincare Routine

Adapting the 10-step Korean skincare to suit your skin & lifestyle

Korean skincare seems to be coming up more and more in beauty magazines, blogs and youtube videos, and I thought it would be a good time to update my current skincare routine and see what I can incorporate from the 10-step Korean skincare routine.

Now I am definitely no skin expert…in fact, I only really recently stopped only using makeup wipes to remove my makeup and maybe slathered on whatever moisturiser I could find in the cupboard. And I guess this is because for most of my life my skin has been relatively problem free.

But as my face reluctantly crawls towards the dreaded 30, I have definitely noticed some serious changes. And while I still don’t suffer from acne, I have noticed a number of different problems including; redness, broken capillaries around the nose, bumps/texture on my forehead as well as increased sensitivity to skin care products.

And honestly, I’ve been fighting a losing battle trying to return it to normality.

So I’ve decided to take more of an interest in looking after my skin, and chase that glowy, radiant, flawless complexion that I seem to see everywhere. I mean I won’t be embracing the ‘No-Makeup Makeup’ look anytime soon unless I have that ‘Glowy’ healthy skin to make the most of first.

So in an effort to ditch the extremely high coverage foundations, I’ve turned to the Korean philosophy and principles on achieving beautiful skin.

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The Korean 10-step skincare routine

So after reading various posts and watching some youtube clips on this, the basics I have found out is that is a rather lengthy skincare routine (and a philosophy on skin) that is focused on making sure the skin is fully cleansed and then very hydrated. The Cleanse, Tone and Moisturise routine is just the basis for this routine, with many many steps under each of those.

I really loved this blog post by which explains each step in more detail and gives a good reason for why each step is so important.

But essentially these are the steps:

10-step Korean skincare routine

Although I believe the Exfoliating and the Mask don’t need to be done daily, I still find this would be a very extensive routine to include (especially if like me you previously only had 3-steps!). Safiya Nygaard does a great youtube video on trying this routine for a month, and you can definitely see how moisturised and glowy her skin looks after…but also how long this routine takes!

So here is how I’ve decided to adopt this routine for my own skin which ranges from oily to dry but is also sensitive to adding too many crazy products. I found that swapping a few of the steps according to how my skin feels that day (and also how much time I have) means that I am still following the basic principles, but it is better tailored to my skin.

Adapting the 10-step Korean skincare routine – to a 5-step simplified routine!

The 5-step skincare routine

Cleansing/Removing makeup:

I see this step as removing the top layer of whatever is on your face. Makeup, dirt, oil. Initially, I used Micellar Water to remove makeup, or even just excess oils when I wake-up in the morning, and I feel this works nicely for my skin.

I still use Micellar Water, but I do try and swap this for my Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish which is a cream cleanser. I also use it with the hot cloth, which acts as a gentle exfoliator as well as cleanses.

Cleanse again/Exfoliate/Deep-cleansing mask

This step is to really thoroughly clean the skin and lift any dirt or makeup out of the pores. I have definitely already seen some benefits in doing a ‘double-cleanse’, and it means I’m not using millions of pads of micellar water and still wondering why there is still makeup coming off!

This is where the foam cleansers come into play, and I have recently purchased the Soap and Glory Foam Cleanser for this step.  Also a few times a week I use either this little Silicone exfoliator pad or a Konjac Charcoal sponge with this cleanser to act as the exfoliating step and really massage the cleanser on the skin.

But once a week I like to use a Charcoal deep cleansing mask, or my Mario Badescu Flower and Tonic Mask to really lift the dirt out of the pores (yum!).


I believe this step really preps the skin for the next steps and helps the essences, serums etc. to be more effective.

But initially, my sensitive skin was not particularly happy with this step and tended to sting or react a little using a stronger toner. Since switching to the Mario Badescu Seaweed Lotion (it is a toner, not a lotion how I pictured), my skin is loving this step and it just feels clean and tighter after.

Essence/Sheet mask/Serum

This is 3 separate steps in the Korean routine, but I really feel like these can be combined to save time – and possibly over moisturising! But essentially this is where you can use serums or masks to target any specific skin concerns you have.

I have the Body shop Vitamin E essence which is currently a little strong for my sensitive skin, so I only occasionally use this. But I am assuming this may be pregnancy hormones as it never used to cause any irritation.

I really want to give the Ordinary serums a try soon, but the ones I seem to be after always seem to be out of stock at the moment. But Sheet masks are already filled with serums so if I have time to stew under a mask for 15 minutes, then this is a nicer alternative.


Always an important step and seen as my skin can get dry, this was one I was already doing anyway. Although I would include an eye cream under this step, I have to admit I have been lazy with this in the past. But I recently got the new Pep Start Eye cream from Clinique and I am giving this a try.

The SPF/Sunscreen step is definitely important to prevent early signs of ageing and skin damage, but I wouldn’t have a separate step for this – just include a moisturiser or even foundation that already has a good SPF in it already!

5-step skincare routine for glowing & healthy skin

So there you have it! My 5-step skincare routine. You’ll see that all I’ve done is grouped a couple of the steps and I will just choose the one to suit my routine or skin on that day.

Of course, you can adapt it however you like, but this one suits my skin and also my lifestyle (aka I haven’t the time or the patience for 10 whole steps every day and night ha!). Also if I try to include too many products it would irritate my sensitive skin. This way I am thoroughly cleaning my skin and still ensuring I am making sure it is well hydrated, without over complicating it.

Fingers crossed for that glowy, baby-soft skin! (I’ll keep you updated on how it goes).

Although I’ve already mentioned a few of them, I plan to do a more detailed post about the actual products I use in this routine and how I get on with them. Let me know if you have any recommendations or if there any that have made a difference to your skincare routine?

Later lovelies…I’m off to go get that glow…


Adapting the 10-step Korean skincare to suit your skin & lifestyle |

1 Comment

  1. May 5, 2018 / 7:54 pm

    Also approaching 30 I found this team my helpful as I’m noticing changes in my face! So depressing lol.. Will be trying this. Thanks Hun! X

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