10 step Korean skincare routine

C.T.M has been the Holy Grail for skincare routine. However, it is getting an update. As a matter of fact, the 3 step routine of cleansing, toning and moisturizing is now a 10 step routine.

You see, the Vietnamese gave us the rice water toner while the Bulgarian gave us rose treatment. From the Mediterranean, Spanish women showed us how to use a sea-salt scrub. How could we not mention the English who gave us hot towel cleansing?

Drrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrum-roll,please! And the Koreans blessed us with their 10 step skincare routine. In the last couple of years, it has become the gold standard for skincare routine. It is the ultimate TLC for the skin.

This routine has done miracles for women skin. Not only is it gentle on the skin, but also nourishes the skin intensely.
This article will explain step by step how to do a 10 K. Also, why it is important. Let’s get started:

1) Oil Cleansing
The 10 step Korean routine swears by a double cleansing. Oil cleansing is the first step. Oil is used to remove makeup, excess sebum (natural skin oil), dirt and sunscreen. Initially, it may seem counterintuitive, but it works. It is based on the law of attraction; like attracts like. Therefore, oil dissolves oil.

For this step, any natural oil can be used. Coconut oil is a favorite for many. However, there are other oils like olive oil and jojoba oil which can also be used.

To clean, pour a quartz size of oil in your palm. Warm it and apply on the face and neck. Then use deep pressure massages to work the oil into the skin. Additionally, pay more attention to the T-Zone (forehead, nose, and chin). This area is most prone to blackheads. Leave the oil for 1-2 minutes. However, to deep clean, the pores, wait for  10 minutes

Once you are done, run a clean washcloth under the hot water faucet. Ring it out and place it on the face. Let it steam for about 1 minute. This step is very important because it unclogs the pores.

When used over time, it will dissolve the blackheads.
After steaming, use the cloth to wipe off the oil using  circular motion. Rinse the cloth severally until you have removed all the dirt.

2) Water-based cleansing
This is the second step of the double cleansing. It removes all the dirt that the oil cleanser missed. While shopping for a water-based cleanser (foam cleanser) get one with a low pH (5-5.5). It will be gentle on your skin and will not strip away all the oil.

Moreover, the good microbes on the skin are protected.
A harsh cleanser will dry out the skin and leave it with the “squeaky clean” feeling. In this step, begin by wetting the face. Next, apply the water-based cleanser in a circular motion. After a good cleanse rinse with warm water and pat the skin dry.

3) Exfoliating
Dead skin makes the face appear dull. Additionally, products do not penetrate as deep into the skin. Hence, they are not as effective. With this in mind, use a black sugar scrub to exfoliate. It will remove the damaged skin and rejuvenate it. Since exfoliating makes the skin sensitive, it is best to limit this to twice a week.

4) Toning
This is a subtle but very powerful step. Firstly, toners restore the natural pH of the skin. Did you know that the skin is acidic?  It has a pH of 5.5.

Usually, after cleansing, the skin will be slightly alkaline. Using a toner with a pH of 5.5 will restore the skin to its natural acidic state.

Secondly, toners are humectants. They help bind moisture to the skin. Consequently, a toner will hydrate the skin. Furthermore, toners tighten the pores and make the skin smoother and brighter.

Lastly, use a toner which is alcohol-free. Undistilled witch hazel extract or raw organic apple cider vinegar are good options. Dilute with distilled water using a 1:1 ratio. Dab on the face using cotton balls and remember, you do not rinse off the toner.

5) Essence
This is where the magic happens. An essence is a hybrid between a toner and a serum. It is the premoisturizer before the moisturizer. It adds a layer of hydration before applying the serum. The essence also repairs skin damage.

Apply after toning the skin and let it sink in. The consistency of essence is usually watery, therefore very lightweight.

6) Treatment
And now, you can take your meds. Stage 6 involves healing the skin. A serum or ampoule is used. Wrinkles, fine lines, age spots, pigmentation, dullness or any other troubles you may have is handled in this stage.

Serums are heavier than essence. They are rich in antioxidants, peptides, retinol, growth factors, alpha and beta hydroxyl acids, omega 3,6,9 and unique botanical extracts. Different serums have different uses.

For example, an antioxidant serum (vitamin C) is used to improve skin tone and reduce wrinkles. Peptides serums boost collagen production and firm up the skin. For a retinol serum, it will regenerate skin cells and brighten the skin, while those rich in botanical extracts help to heal the skin.

On the other hand, an ampoule is usually added to give skin an instant “gwang” (glow in Korean). It is used alone or mixed with foundation. When used in applying makeup, it prevents a cakey look.

An ampoule  also helps even out skin tone, give a smooth texture, improve dullness, and revitalize complexion. Most ampoules are suitable for all skin types. Get your glow on!

7) Sheet mask
Unlike facial masks that are rinsed off after use, sheet masks are peeled off. It is used after cleansing and toning. Put on a sheet mask and let it hydrate the skin.

The sheet mask is soaked with concentrated serum.Leave it for at least 15 minutes for the nutrients to penetrate deep into the skin. But do not exceed the set time. It will instead dry out the skin.

A sheet mask is used daily or as desired. It is a good trick to use to hydrate very dry skin. Use a gentle sheet mask that has no alcohol and fragrance.

8) Eye cream
The skin around the eye is the thinnest on the face. Therefore, it loses moisture much more quickly than the rest of the face. Unfortunately, it wrinkles fast as well. Commonly, called crow’s feet.
Luckily, there are eye creams from k-beauty brands to help. The main ingredient in these eye creams is snail elastin. Combined with proteins and hyaluronic acid, this stuff is potent.

It not only prevents the appearance of fine lines around the eye but also reverses them. The results are usually very satisfactory.

9) Moisturizing
Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize! It is  the clarion call made by all beauty evangelists. Moisturizing  hydrates the skin and creates a protective layer that prevents moisture loss.

The choice of moisturizers will depend on the skin type. For dry skin, use a heavier cream with an oil blend. While a gel-based moisturizer is best suited for oily skin.

Moisturizers containing hyaluronic acid works for most skin types. It can be used on its own or mixed with creams for heavier application.

Ultimately, strive to keep your skin  moisturized. Dry skin  is a killer. It will cause premature aging and is very susceptible to skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis.

10) Sun protection
Sun rays ages the skin faster than chronological aging. It goes without saying that only sunscreen can protect against photoaging. A sunscreen with SPF 35 will give good protection. To gain maximum benefits it is important to re-apply after every 2 hours.

The sunscreen is applied last so as not to dilute it with the other products.

A 10 K skincare routine can come across as being extra, perhaps even crazy.But the results are totally worth it. While starting out it may seem daunting. Too many steps to follow. Too many products to use. But once you get the hang of it, it is as easy as pie.
Finally, be persistent and patient to gain results. You go K!

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