English, Skin Care

Korean Skin Care Basics – the essential steps + recommendations

Hello there!

I wouldn’t have started this blog to recommend and share experiences on different Korean products with you if there’s no explaining about Korean Skin Care as a whole at first.

I never really cared for a skin care “routine” until 2-3 years ago. I just washed my face with water in the morning, applied a cream and put just a little make-up on. In the evening I then used to wash my face with water again, used some make-up-cleanser and that was the whole story.

Now which “cream” am I talking about? I just went to the drug store nearby, got some Nivea moisturizing cream and didn’t think about other alternatives. You will read and hopefully learn a lot about the variety of “creams” out there while you’re keeping up to date with this blog.

Since I gained interest in Korean cosmetics and Skin care products I really got obsessed with it. Maybe you’ll see why and what’s the reason for this.

In Korea, girls (and boys – sometimes – as well!) do not jut apply one cream on their face in the morning. Let me briefly tell you what the Skin care routine in Korea is about in the next 8 essential steps:

  • No. 1: Cleansing your face off. In the morning and in the evening, you wash your dry face with a Cleansing Oil. This helps your skin to absorb the following products and gets washed off the rawest of your applied make-up (in the evening). Rinse it off with water then. I tend to use it only in the evening when cleansing make-up off.     Products I have used and recommend for this step:



Shiseido Generic Skincare Perfect Cleansing Oil   29,95€ at ParfumDreams.de
  • No. 2: Cleansing your face off even more. Use a Cleansing Foam, Cleansing Gel or Make-up Remover to wash your face again and to get everything off it. I prefer to use a Cleansing Milk if my skin is irritated a lot or is in a dry condition. Rinse again with water. Products I have used and recommend for this step:
MAC Gently Off Eye and Lip Makeup Remover, 22$ at maccosmetics.com
Daiso Japan Natural Face Charcoal Cleansing Foam, ca. 7$ at Amazon.com
Rituals Mild Eye make-up Remover 10,50€ at eu.rituals.com
Rituals Mild Facial Cleansing Milk, 10,50€ at eu.rituals.com
  • No. 3: Refreshing your skin! After the first 2 steps you’ll get to refresh your skin with a Toner. This one becomes a bit complicated because you can consider a Toner as the same as a “Skin”, “Facial Water” or “Mist”. Some brands even developed very light Lotions which can also be considered as a Toner. It’s just important that it looks as light as water and has a very light consistency. Don’t be afraid of buying the wrong product for this step if you’re just keeping this in mind. I know there are a lot of different opinions on how to differentiate the products mentioned but this is just my view on how to choose the products which might be necessary for you. I do this step in the morning and evening as well. Products I have used and recommend for this:
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Facial Toner 17,95€ at LoveMyCosmetic.de
La Roche-Posay Thermal Spring Water, ca. 12€ at Amazon.de
Etude House White Moistfull Toner, sadly sold out 😦
  • No. 4: Applying the first light portion of moisture. Use an Essence to get a light moisture on your face before the next steps. An Essence can also be named a light “Lotion” or “Emulsion” as some brands do it. I will explain this with an example when I’ll introduce some products to you later on my blog. Just remind to use a watery product in step 3 and a liiiiittle bit more creamy one on this here. This step is very essential to get your skin hydrated. Since I’m using it, my skin literally got spoiled and I love it (why wouldn’t you want your skin to be happy? :)). I always use it with the Toner in the step before. Products I have used and recommend:
Sensai Cellular Performance Emulsion II (Moist), 107€ at Douglas.de
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Emulsion, ca. 16$ at EtudeHouse.com
  • No. 5: Preparing your skin for the following creme products. Apply a Serum to your skin. This is the maximum favor you can do for your skin in my opinion. Your skin will feel very smoothly when you consider this step and it helps to absorb the products during the next steps. You can choose between a huge variety of serums out there. It should match to your skin type – whether you have dry, oily or sensitive skin. I apply it mostly in the morning but you can do that in the evening, too, of course!
Etude House Ever Dew Boosting Oil ca. 16$ at Amazon.com
Biotherm Aquasource Deep Serum, ca. 52€ at Douglas.de
  • No. 6: Caring about your Eyes. After using a Serum and before you’re putting on any heavy cream on your face, you should apply an Eye Cream first. Apply just a little bit under your eyes. This product was considered to be just made for anti-aging for a long time but also for young people it’s an essential product. In this area our skin is very sensitive and a lot more thinner, so it should be moisturized and hydrated as well. Remember that applying make-up dries out the skin to a remarkable level, so consider this step as a primer for your skin in any way. I used these creams to avoid circles and to moisturize my skin around the eyes:
Benefit It’s Potent! Eye Cream, 34€ at benefitcosmetics.com
Restylane Eye Serum, ca. 76€ at koesmetik.de, sold out
  • No. 7: Moisturizing your face with a creme. Now this step got a little complicated as well nowadays. You can choose between the classical Nivea-creme or use a Water Creme, Gel Creme, Day Cream, Moisturizing Cream, Balm or whatever it’s called. There are no rules, really. Just find the cream that goes along with your skin type. I used a lot of different creams and I recommend using a Day Cream actually. But that might change in the future again, if I find a better product for me ;). Anyways, the cream should give hydration to your face the whole day until the evening. In any case, try to make sure that the Cream you’re getting or using contains a sunscreen (remarked as SPF on the packaging). Your skin will thank you later for remembering this. I promise!
Nature Republic Shea Butter Steam Cream (Moist) ca. 20$ at en.koreadepart.com
Shiseido Ibuki Refining Moisturizer Enriched, ca. 56€ at Douglas.de
Restylane Day Cream SPF15, 52€ at Amazon.de
  • No. 8: Restoring during the night. In the evening you should at first repeat most of the steps described above. Clean your face as mentioned before, use a Toner, Lotion and Serum (if you like) and also an Eye Cream just if you want to be sure (I usually skip the Eye Cream in the evening). You can skip step #7 because now you’ll be applying a Night Creme. This one helps your skin to restore and revitalize while you’re sleeping. When you lay down in bed your skin is able to absorb a lot of product actually. I just apply a thin layer on my face before going to bed and it really softens our skin on the long term. I’d recommend after using them:


Restylane Night Cream, 47€ at Amazon.de
Lancôme Visionnaire Nuit Beauty Sleep Perfector, 90€ at Douglas.de


These were the most important 8 steps. I didn’t mention that you should also use a mask pack/mask sheet and a peeling once a week. But this topic will be worth another blog entry 😉 I hope you enjoyed it so far and if you really do the Korean Skin Care routine within the next time you will be a K-Beauty-pro in no time! Make sure that you won’t do every single step if you have only applied one or two products so far. Add one product each time.

Until next time!


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