It’s officially winter and you know what that means - chunky scarves, hot chocolate and changing up your skincare routine. Yep, you heard us. Come winter time, your skin needs a little extra TLC. If it’s not being hit by freezing winds, it’s getting dried out by the heating or the change in humidity.
And boy have we got a routine for you, inspired by our favourite K-beauty products! You’ve probably heard about the 10 step Korean skin care routine before, but if you’re unsure where to start, we’re here to break it down and give you our top winter skin care tips.
Ready? Let’s get into it.
Korean skin care routine overview:
- Makeup remover/oil based cleanser
- Creamy/water based cleanser
- Sheet mask
- Eye cream
What is the 10 step Korean skin care routine?
If you use 3 skincare products on the daily (aka cleanser, exfoliator, moisturiser), and sometimes 4 when you’re feeling a little fancy, 10 steps probably seems ~intimidating~. But it’s actually a lot easier than you think, and it’s how so many Korean women boast flawless, glass skin!
And before you freak out, the 10 steps don’t have to be done every day - it’s actually a common misconception. Once you know the steps, understand how your skin works and have found your fave products, you can tailor the routine to you. This means you may do 10 steps one day, and only 4 or 5 on others!
So, want healthy, flawless skin this winter? Give K-beauty a go - it won’t disappoint. To get you started, we’ve gone through each step and recommended our fave products for the perfect Korean skin care routine this winter.
The 10 step Korean skin care routine broken down
1. Oil based cleanser
If you wear makeup or sunscreen during the day, you need to double cleanse - and if you don’t already, now’s the time to start. It’s essential during winter, because you want to ensure your skin is clean, prepped and ready to fully absorb all the hydrating serums you’re gonna put on it later.
To double cleanse and remove makeup, you can use an oil cleanser, cleansing balm or micellar water.
Our favourite cleansers for removing makeup:
Although not technically an oil based cleanser, this one is enriched with micellar water! This means it’s super good at cleaning your skin of dirt, makeup and impurities.
If you’ve never tried a cleansing cream or balm before, you’re in for a treat. This makeup-melting cleanser deeply cleanses your skin, while protecting your skin barrier.
2. Water based/cream cleanser
Whether you want to believe it or not, there’s still going to be some stuff on your face after one cleanse - which is why double cleansing is so important.
After you’ve removed your makeup or sunscreen, it’s time to go in with your regular cleanser. While foam cleansers are amazing, we recommend sticking to a water based or cream one during winter - hold onto those foam cleansers for summer.
Our favourite cleansers:
Enriched with a high concentration of snail mucin, this mild gel cleanser will not only cleanse your skin, but strengthen its barrier and keep it moisturised.
Gentle, non-irritating and with a pH similar to your skin’s, this cleanser will be your new best friend. It’ll cleanse your skin without stripping it of moisture - leaving you with fresh, gorgeous skin.
3. Chemical exfoliator
If you’ve never tried a chemical exfoliator before, your life is about to change - especially if you struggle with acne.
Unlike physical scrubs, you don’t have to manually slough off the dead skin cells. Instead, you just apply a chemical exfoliator, and its acids (aka AHA and BHA) will dissolve them for you. They’re non-abrasive, ideal for all skin types and help with clogged pores.
We have way too many favourites to go into detail, so we’ll just list them below.
Our favourite chemical exfoliators:
- By Wishtrend Mandelic Acid 5% Skin Prep Water
- Some By Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Serum
- By Wishtrend Acid-Duo Hibiscus 63 Cream
- Cosrx One Step Original Clear Pad
- Cosrx AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner (technically a toner, which makes this a multi-tasker!)
Next up in your the Korean skin care routine, is a toner. If you’re wondering, what does toner do for your skin? Good news! We’ve already written an entire blog about it, so if you want to learn more about this magical skincare product, give that a read.
In our list of favourite toners, you’ll find ones that are incredibly hydrating, ones that will restore the pH balance of your skin and others that’ll brighten your skin.
Our favourite toners:
- The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydro Toner
- Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
- The Face Shop White Seed Brightening Toner
This step is where the true power of K-beauty comes through, and it’s a step a lot of us have probably never heard of before. Essences are basically lightweight, concentrated skincare products that hydrate your skin and also help with cell turnover. They’re similar to serums in how they help with anti-ageing or hydration, but they have a more watery consistency.
Our favourite essences:
Okay before you freak out, yes this essence has snail secretion in it. But is it ~amazing~ for your skin and have we tried it and loved it? Also yes.
Technically this one isn’t labelled as an essence, but its watery consistency makes it very close. With just a few uses, you’ll have firmer, smoother and younger looking skin.
Got a skincare concern you want to treat, like acne, pigmentation, ageing or sensitivity? You’ll love this step. Packed with powerhouse ingredients, this step is all about products that directly treat your problem areas.
While we could go on and on about this part of the Korean skin care routine for ages, we’ll just list a few of our faves.
Our favourite treatments:
For pimples, pigmentation & scarring
- Cosrx Centella Blemish Cream
- Some By Mi Snail Truecica Miracle Repair Serum
- By Wishtrend Polyphenol In Propolis 15% Ampoule
For tired skin & improving your skin barrier
For sensitive skin
7. Sheet mask
If you haven’t guessed it yet, the 10 step Korean skin care routine is all about taking the time to indulge in some self-care and relaxation at the end of each day. And what better way to do that than with a sheet mask! Pop one of these bad boys on and you’ll feel an instant sense of zen.
Our favourite sheet masks:
- The Face Shop Real Nature Tea Tree Face Mask (great for acne)
- The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur Mild Derma Firming Mask
- The Face Shop Real Nature Green Tea Face Mask
8. Eye cream
Eye creams are one of those skincare products you didn’t know you needed, but now can’t live without.
During winter, our skin tends to look a bit duller, and fine lines, dark circles and puffiness only add to this. To combat it, turn to eye creams and serums! They’re magical, concentrated products with active ingredients that’ll transform your under eye area.
Our favourite eye cream:
Reduce dark circles and puffiness with this magical eye gel. It not only sits well under makeup, but it’s super hydrating and refreshing for your eyes!
What would a Korean skin care routine be without a super hydrating and nourishing moisturiser? And you’re in luck, because we’ve just introduced a bunch of them to the family!
With constant change from the cold outdoors to the warm indoors, a moisturiser is an absolute must in winter.
Our favourite moisturisers:
- The Face Shop Dr. Belmeur Clarifying Moisturizer
- The Face Shop Chia Seed Hydro Cream
- Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Cream
- I'm From Mugwort Cream
Before you even try to argue that sunscreen isn't essential during winter, I’m going to stop you right there. The sun is there, and you still need protection. And Korean sunscreens are totally ahead of the times, so it’s time to stock up on them and have them handy for summer too.
Our K-beauty sunscreens:
- Cosrx Aloe Soothing Sun Cream SPF50+
- Klairs Soft Airy UV Essence SPF50+
- The Face Shop Power Perfection BB Cream SPF37
Beat the winter blues this year with a Korean skin care routine
When the cold weather hits, you really need to switch up your skincare. What works during the summer, won’t necessarily be the best thing for you during the winter. This is why we can’t stop obsessing over the Korean skin care routine, because you can pick and choose which steps suit you!
Ready to try the Korean skin care routine this winter? Well, there’s no better time to start! If you want to say goodbye to dullness and hello to glowing, flawless skin - get shopping at Oz Hair & Beauty today. We’ve got everything you need for this 10-step routine right here, and you can shop with both Afterpay and Zippay.