26 Mar 2019

A Guide To The World Of Korean Beauty


Korean beauty seems to have taken the world by storm.

A strong emphasis on nurturing the skin with multi-step routines has paved the way for a different kind of care; one that improves complexions from the inside out.

K-Beauty promotes a ten-step routine of products in the correct order to help our faces reach their true potential.

The steps are more than just a routine; it’s an entire lifestyle founded in Korea’s cultural interest with clear skin and backed by decades of research.

What Makes Korean Skincare Different?

Due to years of scientific advancement, K-Beauty is able to use both traditional and innovative ingredients specially chosen to avoid skin pollution from harsh chemicals.

Even right down to the packaging, the entire product range along with its formula have been carefully selected to ensure maximum impact and easy application.

Because of the high competition, which is seen as a positive thing in Korea, companies are more obliged to keep prices down but maintain the value.

What Is The Ten-Step Routine?

The ten-step routine focuses on four main areas; cleanse, prep, nourish and protect and according to their philosophy using products in this order will ensure our skin is getting the care it needs

By working out what type of complexion we have, whether it’s normal, combination, dry or oily, we can begin our own routine journey and adapt the ten steps to however many we have time for.

Sounds familiar enough.

What Are The Steps?

Makeup Remover + Oil Cleanser

Oil Cleansers are the first step of the double cleanse and also the base of the Korean skincare routine. They not only remove makeup but also draw out and break down impurities and debris.

Use morning and night.

Water Based Cleanser

This is the second half of the double cleanse. A water-based cleanser dissolves dirt and sweat which an oil cleanser otherwise cannot.

Use morning and night too.


Exfoliating can help to clean pores and get rid of any dead skin cells for brighter and smoother skin.

Exfoliate one or two times a week to help other products absorb and work more efficiently.


Toners are the prepping part of the routine. They remove any leftover residue from cleansers and get skin ready for the moisturising steps.

Apply with a cotton pad or pat gently onto the face with hands.


Essences are an overlooked but essential part of the routine. They’re packed with hydrating ingredients to boost and brighten skin.

Pat lightly onto the face every evening.


Serums and boosters are vital when it comes to perfecting the skin. Depending on the ingredients, they can target specific skin concerns such as fine lines and hyperpigmentation.

Tap gently onto the skin and focus on the areas of concern.

Sheet Mask

As well as promoting the ritual of relaxation, sheet masks pump lots of moisture and nutrients into the skin.

Leave on for fifteen to twenty minutes and pat in the excess essence.

Eye Cream

As noted in our Beauty Resolutions, this year we said we’d pay more attention to the eyes so this is a step we won’t be missing.

The skin around our eyes is particularly thin and delicate so using an eye cream will not only hydrate but prevent dark circles and fine lines.

Tap gently around the eye, avoiding the water line.


Perhaps one of the most important parts of the routine, moisturisers will deeply hydrate to plump and smooth skin.

Use every day, morning and night.


SPF should be worn every day, even on days spent in the home, and is the last step of the routine. They protect our faces from damaging UV rays and delay fine lines.

Use every morning and re-apply throughout the day.

Korean beauty is innovative, well-researched and effective. With the steps explained, it all starts to make a little more sense.

Have you used Koren skincare products?

The World of Korean Beauty

we have heard these products are the ones to try

sulwhasoo cleansing oil  ||  sulwhasoo cleansing foam  ||  amorepacific enzyme peel  ||  too cool for school toner

whal myung skin elixir  ||  sulwhasoo activating serum  ||  saturday skin brightening mask  ||  saturday skin brightening eye cream

sulwhasoo vitalizing cream  ||  3lab perfect spf 50 sunscreen

this feature contains affiliate links 


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Hi Vicki – I’ve used K-brand products for years. I prefer Missha brand, just as effective at half the price of Sulwhasoo or SK II brand. The products I use and love are: cleanser – either Tatcha Camellia Cleansing Oil (J-brand skincare) or Missha Time Revolution Brightening Care Oil Cleansing Balm. I follow with Missha The First Treatment Essence Intensive lotion, ideally you should use this when your skin is still damp from washing, fermented yeast extract is in many Korean and Japanese skin care lines because it’s high in niacinamide an effective skin-restoring ingredient that offers multiple benefits for aging skin including the ability to visibly improve the appearance of enlarged pores, uneven skin tone, fine lines, dullness. Then I apply Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule. If it’s my AM routine, my last step is Safe Block Essence Sun Milk SPF 50/PA +++ and then Missha M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42/PA +++
For my PM routine is the same as above but I use retin-A.


Thank you Liz,
I don’t know Missha but will definitely have a search for it.. it sounds excellent.:)


I really like their sunscreen and BB cream, both are light weight but have great moisturizing properties. The BB cream is so natural-looking one can’t tell you have anything on. I’m 52, and my skin now has that youthful beautiful glow back, I don’t know how they do it!


I absolutely love Missha First Treatment Essence. It’s as good or better than SK-II and at a much better price point. It’s one step in my skincare routine that I never miss.


The Korean sunscreen I prefer is eco Natural Sun SPF 40 by The Face Shop. It is intended to be hydrating but doesn’t clog the pores. Equally preferred is the Japanese sunscreen, Biore UV face milk SPF 50+. For face masks I would use any Korean brand collagen face mask. Every one I tried I liked!


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