Daily Vanity Logo

If you think that your five-step skincare routine is too much, think again. The Koreans are known for having a comprehensive multi-step regimes that can go as far as 10 steps.  

We’re pretty sure that shock is the first reaction that you have upon learning about this skincare habit from Korea. Think about it: 10 steps is all it takes to getting that dewy complexion that Sandara Park has. Pretty worth it, huh?


If you’re curious about what goes into the 10-step routine and whether you may be able to go through it, we’re here to break it down for you! Keep scrolling to learn what this Korean skincare routine encompasses.

Step 1: Remove all makeup

A cleansing oil is a easy and gentle way to remove sebum and other impurities. But you can also opt for a cleansing towelette if you prefer convenience. With just a simple wipe across the face, you would keep those excess oil at bay. Remember to be gentle on the eyelids and under eye as the skin there is the thinnest. 

Try: Neutrogena Makeup Removing Cleansing Towelettes

These cleansing towelettes are available in drugstores. Its gentle formula and inexpensive price tag is the very reason that won the crowd’s heart.

Try: Burt’s Bees Facial Cleansing Towelettes with white tea extract

Packed with white tea extract, cucumber and aloe, your face will feel clean and yet nourished. These natural ingredients are known as “good-for-your-skin”, which can also be found in almost every Korean makeup brand these days. Find Burt’s Bees products here.

Step 2: Cleanse your skin


You gotta ensure that all that dirt is out! Remnants of your makeup and other impurities may still remain on your skin after the makeup removal step, o cleanse your skin with a gentle formula to ensure your face is really clean. Foam cleansers are crowd-favourites, especially for people with oily skin. Instead of just leaving the formula on your face for that mere seconds (Yes ladies, we know that many of you are guilty of doing that), massage the cleanser into your skin in a circular motion for about a minute or so. This helps to boost circulation and aids in thorough cleansing. Cream or oil-based cleansers are recommended if you have dry skin.

Try: Kiehl’s Rare Earth Deep Pore Daily Cleanser

This cleanser is a crowd-pleaser, especially if you suffer from oily skin. Known to de-grease, purify and soften your skin, this solution helps in minimising pores and reducing blackheads as well. With a just a small amount, your skin is sure to feel much healthier after a season. It helps in gentle exfoliation too!

Step 3: Exfoliate regularly

Removing of dead skin eases the process of skin absorption from your products. So if you want to get the most out of your products, start exfoliating!

Consider a physical scrub (those with rough particles in them) if you have oily skin, and a gel exfoliant (or acidic peel) if you have dry skin. This step is important to help remove dead skin to bring back that healthy shine to your skin. Focus on areas like your cheeks and nose to remove clogging in enlarged pores. Exfoliate at least once a week for healthy skin.

Try: Winter Organics Cacao Facial Scrub

This exfoliant gets right down to business! It is suitable for all skin types and contains only natural ingredients, and you can count on it to remove those debris on your skin.

Step 4. Use a toner

The key thing is to find a toner that does not leave your skin feeling tight. Cleansers, especially the soap-based ones, tend to be more alkaline. This will cause your skin’s pH level to be imbalance and strip your face of its surface oils. Toners will then come into play here as it helps to balance your skin’s pH level. You can tap it directly onto your skin or dispense onto a facial wipe before gently swiping around your face outwards.

Try: Shu Uemura Depsea Water Facial Mist

Doubling up as a facial mist, this toner is gentle yet effective. It brings back the hydration to the skin without any stinging sensation. No need to fear of any alcohol-like scent as its light fragrance does not last. So hey, it won’t clash with the scent of your perfume!

Step 5. Apply essence

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

Let us clear a misconception that many have: Essences are not an one-size-fit-all solution. From moisturising to clarifying, there are different types of essence that serve different purposes. This thin and hydrating liquid helps in prepping your skin for any additional treatment you would like to apply. Did we mention that it helps in skin repair? Apply it directly to freshly toned skin and pat it gently. You are another step closer to achieving better skin health.

Did you know?

Your skin functions just like a sponge; it becomes more absorbent when it is wet. Essences help to drench the skin with moisture to allow better absorption of subsequent products.

Try: La Mer The Brightening Essence

You want something that tackle the signs of ageing? You got it! Packed with chock full of brighteners, this formulation softens and hydrates the skin to bring back that youthful glow to your skin.

Try: Belif Hydra Sebum Control Essence 

Light in texture but powerful in keeping those excess oil under control. Eliminate shine with this citrus scented formula as its ingredients, green clay and tangerine peel, will soften your skin by the day. No more greasy-looking skin at the end of the day.

Try: SK-II Facial Treatment Essence

This has a hydrating formula that also delivers anti-ageing benefits. It promises to prep your skin such that the efficacies of other products you apply later are enhanced.

Step 6: Apply serum

Serums contain more potent formulas that help to address skin concerns and build up on skin elasticity. From brightening to pore-refining, serums are there to tackle these stubborn issues. You want to perfect your skin? This is the step not to miss!

Try: Clinique Acne Solution (Acne & Line Correcting Serum)

When fine lines and zits start knocking on your front door, this serum is the way to go. This oil-free solution softens wrinkles and fight dark spots.

Try: Estee Lauder Advanced Night Repair

This serum works together with your skin’s natural repair mechanism as you sleep to help skin look more firm and taut, and promises to reverse signs of ageing.

Try: Vichy Aqualia Thermal Serum

If your skin is dehydrated, this will be the serum to go for. It is enriched with Vichy Thermal Water that helps balance skin’s pH and hydrates skin deeply.

Step 7: Mask it up

It is time to lock in those nutrients! Applying masks is a vital step in this skincare routine but do be sure not to overdo it (two or three times a week). If you’re wondering on the type of masks to select, a regular brightening or revitalising mask will do the job. Do not neglect sensitive areas, like your eyes and lips. Apply an eye or lip mask on one of those days to give these areas just the amount of hydration it needs too!

Try: For Beloved One Melasleep Whitening Bio-Cellulose Mask

Compared to sheet masks, bio-cellulose masks are able to keep the serum from the mask for longer on skin. This particular mask is great for giving your skin a radiant glow. Use it as a regular maintenance or as an SOS before important events.

For an anti-ageing solution, consider this mask, which is formulated with real rose petals, which are known for their hydrating and toning functions. This leave-on mask also smells great, making your masking step a sensorial one.

Step 8: Apply eye cream

Be sure not to neglect your eyes! The skin around your eyes is the most delicate so it deserves extra helpings of hydration. Pat some eye cream onto this area, around the orbital bone, with your ring finger. This will keep those unwanted wrinkles and puffy eyes at bay.

Try: Shiseido Future Solution LX Eye and Lip Contour Regenerating Cream

Eliminate dark eye rings and achieve moisturised eyes with this product. Even though the price is slightly towards the higher side, it is worth the money spent. Look forward to more dazzling eyes with this highly sought after product.

Step 9: Moisturise your skin

The Koreans use an emulsion, which usually has a gel-like texture to help boost hydration level in skin. This helps skin feel more supple and reduce the visibility of fine lines.

Try: Laneige Balancing Emulsion

This is a great option especially for those with dry skin because it is able to replenish moisture to skin effectively. It also helps to refine skin so it looks and feels smoother.

Step 10: Use a sleeping mask

The best time for your skin to heal is when you’re snoozing. During your sleep, your skin rejuvenates and tries to restore lost nutrients due to environmental reasons. A sleeping mask is like a overnight treatment that ensures that your skin’s repair mechanism works even harder for you. You can look forward to hydrated, smooth, and radiant skin when you wake up!

Try: Lancome Energie de Vie Nuit Sleeping Mask

Designed to energise your skin to make it look fresher, this sleeping mask has a velvety texture that sits comfortably on your skin. You’ll also love the pleasant scent that will help you to doze off easily.

Want more tips to help you achieve radiant skin? Visit Daily Vanity‘s Radiant Skin Guide for more recommendations.