HOW TO: The Korean 12-Step Skin Care Regimen

I believe one of the reasons why a lot of people are so into Korean stars (or anything Korean for that matter) right now is because they have enviable, petal- soft skin that's so otherworldly. Admittedly, I, too, admire the look and texture of their skin-even if I'm just staring at them in glossies, on TV, or on billboards, I could  already 'feel' how nice their skin is!

Not in the photo: Shiseido White Lucent Brightening Serum

What's their secret? Well, it's not really a secret-it's hydration, the core of Korean skin care regimens-this has just reinforced the fact that Hydration is the key to nicer, healthier- looking skin! Aside from that, they have long, meticulous skin care routines too. To give you an idea, the most basic is the 10- step regimen which is comprised of 10 skin care products and the extreme one is the 14- step regimen, which is comprised of 14 skin care products-the skin care routine alone can last for 45 minutes to an hour!

The one I'm showing to you guys today is the 12- step regimen. How do they do it, really? What products do they often use? You'll find out after the break!

1. CLEANSING ONE: Makeup removal using Cleansing Oil or Cleansing Water. For dry skin, there's the oil cleanser, while for oily skin, there's the water cleanser.

2. CLEANSING TWO: A facial cleanser takes away the first cleanser along with impurities such as oil, makeup, and dirt.

3. EXFOLIATION: To allow better absorption of the succeeding skin care products, it is important to exfoliate. As we all know, exfoliation removes old skin that creates a barrier between new skin and topical skin care solutions.

4. TONING: Toning is the final part of the cleansing process-it removes deep- seated dirt and refreshes skin to boot.

5. ESSENCE: In essence, an essence is simply a toner with an emulsion- like texture, although other people may argue that it's entirely different than the former. Unlike toner that mattifies the skin, an essence keeps it moist and soft, which is very favorable for dry skin. Other essences contain a concentrated amount of nourishing mineral extracts so we could assume that it's like 'liquid vitamins' for the skin, if it ain't really a toner.

6. EYE CARE: Of course, this product keeps the eye area hydrated while treating it at the same time too.  

7. TREATMENT 1: Different people address different skin concerns so we may need at least one or two targeted skin care treatments. In my case, the first treatment I use is for brightening and I specifically apply it on the areas with hyper pigmentation.

8. TREATMENT 2: The next treatment I use is a regenerating serum, which mainly addresses dull, tired, and unhealthy- looking skin.

9. MOISTURIZATION: A moisturizer is needed to seal the previous skin care products and prevent it from evaporating right before they enter the pores. Personally, I use Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Lotion-I use this instead of cream moisturizers because consistency is perfect for oily skin.

10. SHEET MASK: A sheet mask contains a generous amount of serum. Use it if you want to fortify your skin further, but I use it primarily for relaxation. 

11. NIGHT CREAM- This is now the 'Mother Sealant' because it has a richer texture and consistency than regular moisturizer.

12. SLEEPING PACK- For the final step, they use Sleeping Pack to prevent every single thing that they have put on their face from evaporating, not to mention this product delivers overnight hydration to the skin too.

TOTAL TIME: 30 Minutes

So there! That's the Korean Skin Care Regimen for y'all! It may seem taxing, but some of the products featured like the Sleeping Pack, Exfoliator, and Sheet Mask, the Koreans (well most of them) only use once or twice a week-basically, it's just like my full- blown weekly skin care routine. Also, if you're going to look at all the products I have used, they more or less deliver hydration, the key component in a Korean skin care routine so it doesn't matter if you're using various brands as long as the products suit your specific skin type and needs!

So do you dig the Korean Skin Care Regimen? Have you tried? Are you willing to do it? Let's talk about it in the comments section below. :)

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18 Lovely Thoughts

  1. Wow that's pretty intense! I probably have 5 steps at most. I learned that I can still use a sheet mask after some of the steps. I always thought that the sheet mask replaces the moisturizer and sleeping pack since it's also quite packed with product.

  2. Wow... that's a lot of work. I can do at least 4 steps from this list. I'd like to do this someday... when I'm ready to invest. Well, if you want it, you can achieve it.

  3. Hi Martha! Love this! Reminds me, I should also do an updated skincare routine post.

    Anyway, I've got a question. I also use Hada Labo products. If I'm not mistaken, the Lotion is also essentially an essence (copied your pun, hihi!) too right? So it seems reduntant with step 5. Maybe a waterbased moisturizer would be a better alternative for oily skin types?

  4. They really need hydration since it's cold in their country. That's a tedious way, I am lazy pa naman. It would be nice if someone would do that for me.. XD as if me.

    I wonder if it's safe to exfoliate everyday...

    I like this post you made... promise.

    Oh my gosh... that's too many...

  5. They really need hydration since it's cold in their country. That's a tedious way, I am lazy pa naman. It would be nice if someone would do that for me.. XD as if me.

    I wonder if it's safe to exfoliate everyday...

    I like this post you made... promise.

    Oh my gosh... that's too many...

  6. Extremely helpful! I only remove makeup, cleanse, tone (sometimes not), eye cream, and moisturize everyday. Then sometimes, I use facial mask or mud mask and exfoliate.

    I agree that doing all these will result to beautiful skin!

  7. That's a lot for a routine! I only do at most 6 products in the morning and 8 products in the evening. I don't have much time for that in the morning as I have to put make-up pa, which is again will take more time. :) But that's the reason why Korean have soft, smooth and silky skin. It might be time consuming but it really paid off. I don't exfoliate everyday, I do it once or twice a week. As well as the mask. I use Tony Moly masks because it really makes me feel calm. :)

  8. Gah! So many products. :o The funny thing is that I have enough here to create that same 12-step program. Didn't realize how fully stocked my vanity it. Haha. I've never thought of using everything together though. They're not all from the same brand/line, so I'm afraid they might counteract each other. If I get to complete a line in the future, I'd try it though. --Matromao

  9. step 4 pa lang napagod na ko! haha. I'm super lazy pa naman, so I doubt I can do this 12-step...

    BTW, is that your nightly skin care routine??

  10. Your skin is so lucky to have a pampering session like that! hihihi. Well, girls are girls. ^-^ I love the Burst Bee cleanser there, that compliments my skin more than any product. This is so helpful, ako kasi kapag mag-tatry ako ng new product I don't know when to use even it has its instruction at the back, hahaha. Thanks for this! More power and Godbless. xoxo


  11. Becomingsleek: It actually replaces serum. :)

    Anne22: Nope! Mine's 6-step only and on weekends, it becomes 8. :)

    Darlene: Thanks dear! :D Glad you liked this post. :)

    Foodworldme: A chemist told me that you can use varying brands of beauty products in one go as long as they're all targeted to one skin type and concern. For example, 8 brands, but they're all meant for oily, acne- prone skin. It's like all brands have standard formulations per product line-up, but they only vary in a few ways. :)

    Arya: To me, it's more of a moisturizer-it's too thick to be a toner. Hada Labo has a toner and it's more watery than this one.

    Juvy: Actually, you can only do 8 out of the 12 and you're good to go!

    Abegaill: I only use two skin care products during daytime: toner and moisturizer because I'm always on the go. :)

    Teri: Yup, Korea's climate has something to do with the Korean's skin care routine. :) It's best to limit exfoliation to two to three times per week with one to two days interval in between. :)

    Joyce: Yup, I think the Japanese call such products as Lotion and the Koreans call 'em Essence. Regarding your question, I use Hada Labo as a moisturizer because I find that it can pass off as one, but yes, you can use any type of moisturizer you prefer. :)

    Daisy: Thanks for visiting! It's always best to start early in skin care!

  12. i'm too lazy for this... 5 steps would probably be my max... :D

  13. Koreans have one of the best regimens and the products specially the make up doesn't just focus in covering imperfections, rather, in covering while treating them. Love this how to post!

  14. I didn't thought of putting that much product in my face, though i think it will result to super moisturize skin.. i only had like tomato soap, moisturizer and toner max.

  15. Wow thanks, this was super helpful now I know what to do and buy.

  16. The best way to avoid the tackiness is to apply this on damp skin. click

  17. Well done and nice job excellent work on Skin Care Regimen and useful information about the Opportunity it's nice job.


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