#PressReset on the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

#PressReset on the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine

You might be familiar with the Korean 10-step routine that swept the nation back in 2011 and ultimately changed the way Americans (and the world) approach skincare. 

Traditionally, the 10-step routine is a combination of the following steps: 

  1. Oil-based cleanser
  2. Water-based cleanser
  3. Exfoliant
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum/ampoule
  7. Sheet mask
  8. Eye cream
  9. Moisturizer
  10. Thick night cream OR sunscreen

While not all parts of the routine are meant to be completed every single day, it’s still a LOT. Adding 10 products into your daily routine, especially if you weren’t using them previously, can really throw your skin out of whack. Think of it like this: if your skin was a plant and it started turning slightly yellow on the edges, you wouldn’t dump gallons of water on it, change the soil daily, and put it in direct sunlight, would you? Hopefully, you’d search the conditions and cut back on watering it or move it to the shade so it can heal itself. Just like that plant, your skin is smart! Pay close attention to what it’s asking for and try not to go overboard, because that will usually give you the opposite of what you’re trying to achieve (which we assume is clear, glowing skin). 

So, what to do? First, assess what your skin really needs. Like, really, really needs. If you’re being honest with yourself, your routine will look something like this: 

  1. Gentle cleanser
  2. Simple moisturizer 
  3. Sunscreen (for AM routine only) 

Voilà: your new 3-step routine! We can hear the sigh of relief through the screen. 

However, it can be beneficial (and fun!) to add in extra products and test what works for your skin, such as a gentle AHA exfoliant for dull skin or a retinol to help with premature signs of aging. That’s totally okay, just make sure you’re not doing it too often – if you’re trying a new product, stick to it for 3-4 weeks to let your skin readjust. And if you’re wondering where in your routine the new product should go, the traditional 10-step routine is a great reference. 

The takeaway: only give your skin what it needs; don’t follow a routine simply because other people have had success with it! The most important thing to do is become aware of your specific skin concerns and add/remove products when your skin is giving you a sign (dry, irritated skin? Skip the exfoliant). Your skin is smarter than you think, so not only is a complicated 10-step routine overwhelming for your mind and wallet, it’s also doing more harm than good for your skin itself.