How to Build a Basic Skincare Routine
One of the most popular Korean beauty trends ever has to be none other than the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine. The trend gained popularity worldwide after Charlotte Cho (the founder of Soko Glam) coined it in an interview with Elle.
The original steps are as follows: (1) makeup remover, (2) cleanser, (3) exfoliator, (4) toner, (5) essence, (6) treatments, (7) sheet masks, (8) eye cream, (9) moisturiser and (10) sun protection.
These are a lot of steps, and to follow all of them regularly would be time-costly, unrealistic and definitely confusing for skincare rookies.
In this blog, we'll teach you how to craft an alternative no-frills skincare routine based on our 4 essential skincare components.
Washing the face is the most basic step of any skincare routine. Whether we are out and about or asleep, our skin constantly comes into contact with dust and dirt that accumulates on our faces. This can clog up our pores, leading to inflammation and acne. Furthermore, we need clean skin if we want it to absorb all the good products we’ll be putting on it later on in our routine.
In the morning, you can make do with just a water-based cleanser, but for night routines, you should use an oil-based cleanser or a makeup remover first, in order to remove oil-based products like makeup and sunscreen, before using a water-based one.
Tip: If your skin feels tight after cleansing, you are likely using a cleanser that is too harsh for your skin. Consider switching to a gentler cleanser, or one formulated for sensitive skin.
Toners should be applied after cleansing, as it prepares the skin to absorb the other products in your routine that you will apply after.
Tip: Applying toner with clean hands is the most efficient. Pour a few drops into your palm, spread it on your fingers and tap it onto your skin lightly, in piano-style.
As cleansing removes the skin’s natural oils, you have to re-introduce moisture to the skin via a moisturiser. You cannot skip this step, especially not if you spend long hours in an air-conditioned space. Regardless of our skin type, skin left unmoisturised after cleansing can become red, irritated and more sensitive to external irritants. Moisturisers hydrate and soften the skin, and prevent water loss through our moisture barrier.
Tip: Many skincare routines include an eye cream step, but if you don’t want to spend money on one yet, you can apply a moisturiser around the eyes instead.
Whether we are wearing face masks or remaining indoors for the day, we always end off our day-time routines with sunscreen, as this step protects the skin from the sun’s harmful UV rays and prevents certain skin cancers. Daily sunscreen use also helps to prevent fine lines, wrinkles and textured skin.
Tip: Experts recommend using sunscreens with an SPF of at least 30. Apply sunscreen half an hour before exposure, and reapply every two hours.
Morning: Water-based cleansing -> Toner -> Moisturiser -> Sunscreen
Night: Oil-based cleansing -> Water-based cleansing -> Toner -> Moisturiser
With any skin-care product, apply in order of consistency — from thinnest to thickest. For the purposes of today’s blog, this would be cleanser, toner, serum, then moisturiser.
At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as an instant fix in skincare. Instead of pinning your hopes on a miracle product, you are likely to see better results through consistently following a skincare routine. Aim to use a product daily over six weeks to notice a difference.