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Of all skincare routines, the one that has been the most talked about is probably the 10-Step Korean skincare routine that is touted to be the routine that guarantees you glowing, supple skin.

But a 10-step routine sounds like a lot of work – is it really good and worth your effort?

My editor tasked me with the mission of finding out, and I spent the next seven days going through every step of the Korean 10-step routine faithfully to tell you how it’s like. Read on to see how it fared!

What is the Korean 10-step skincare routine?

You will need:

  1. Oil cleanser
  2. Water-based cleanser to double cleanse
  3. Exfoliation
  4. Toners
  5. Essence
  6. Serums or boosters or ampoules
  7. Sheet masks
  8. Eye cream
  9. Moisturiser
  10. Sun protection

You don’t necessarily have to use Korean products to do the routine.


  1. Cleanse your face with an oil cleanser to get rid of any oily residue on your face
  2. Using a water-based cleanser, gently massage your face with your middle and ring finger to get rid of any other impurities
  3. Exfoliate your skin and remove all dead skin cells
    DV Tip: if you’ve got sensitive skin, try using your ring finger and minimal pressure to exfoliate
  4. Prep your skin with a toner
  5. Apply essence for more hydration
  6. Use a serum based on your skin concerns – it could be for brightening, hydration or anti-ageing
  7. Carefully lay a sheet mask over your face and leave it on for 15 minutes
  8. Gently massage eye cream around eyes using your ring finger
  9. Lock in your skin’s moisture with a moisturiser
  10. Protect your skin from UV rays with sunscreen

Total time needed: around 23 minutes

Does the 10-Step Skincare Routine work?

My skin before I started the routine

I have combination to oily skin and a lot of sebum tends to accumulate around my T-zone (particularly on my nose). Also, my cheeks tend to get very dry when I’m travelling in colder countries and I have acne scars on my chin and blackheads on my nose. Moreover, I have massive eye bags and dark eye circles from lack of sleep and some freckles around the apples of my cheeks. More importantly, chin and cheeks are a bit more sensitive.


After the first day, I could already feel a huge difference in the suppleness of my skin. The sebum didn’t accumulate as much throughout the day and my skin was softer and healthier. Strangely, I felt as if I just came back from a facial! My scars and freckles were less visible. The feeling of cleaner pores and more radiant skin definitely made applying makeup much easier. With a smoother canvas to work with, my makeup looked more polished throughout the day. My eye bags and dark under-eye rings were also less visible such that I didn’t need to use concealer at all!


First, the biggest issue for me was time. On average, it took me at least 20 minutes to complete the entire routine because the sheet mask needed at least 15 minutes to rest. I carried out other errands like brushing my teeth during the 15 minutes so that I wouldn’t waste time or be late for my appointments. Second, my skin got a bit shiny after a long day and it felt a bit “heavy” with all the makeup and dirt accumulated. Third, I woke up on the fourth day of the 7-day regime with a huge pimple on my chin due, perhaps, to the sensitivity of my skin.

Overall Review of the 10-Step Skincare Routine

Generally speaking, the results of the 10-Step Skincare Routine was impressive. While the instructions were a little intimidating at first, it isn’t that tedious once you actually start doing it. In fact, the routine was almost therapeutic since I knew I was treating my skin!

With softer and smoother skin, I felt more confident to go about my day makeup free and without having to worry about sebum accumulation. The sheet mask really “woke” me up and gave me a fresh start to my day. Rewarding myself with a relaxing pamper-me routine in the morning was really a much-needed solace for my tired and dull skin. At first glance, however, the changes were not very obvious but my skin felt a lot healthier and hydrated.

My skin after the routine

On another note, the time factor was too big of an issue for me. Given that most mornings are often spent rushing through errands like making breakfast before work, etc., it would be difficult to commit to this routine for a long period of time. This routine is probably best done when you’re relaxed, but relaxing is nearly impossible if you have other responsibilities to upkeep within a short amount of time.

I would also recommend it if you’re travelling to somewhere with a cold and dry climate, or if you have combination to dry skin, because it can help lock in the moisture of your skin. But if you have oily skin type, you may find the routine too “heavy” for you.

Our verdict: It works! But… it’s time-consuming. So if you’re thinking of giving the Korean 10-Step skincare routine a try, be sure to plan in advance to avoid having to rush through your errands in the morning. Otherwise, consider doing it as a night routine, or just as a once-in-a-while treat to give your skin a boost.

Thinking of trying this routine? Check out some of our tips and tricks below:

  • Use your ring and middle fingers to massage the solutions into your skin to avoid over-scrubbing and tugging
  • While letting the sheet mask rest, you could continue with your morning routine to save time
  • Make sure to plan ahead to ensure you have enough time
  • If you have oily skin, don’t over-moisturise lest feeling like a grease-ball by the end of the day
  • Try using sheet masks that are not ultra creamy