How to Build a Basic Skincare Routine
One of the most popular Korean beauty trends to have ever come about has to be none other than the 10 Step Korean Skincare Routine. This phrase 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 and unrealistic for many of us, and definitely confusing for beginners to skincare.
Not to worry, we are here to help.
In this blog, we're going to go through the 4 essential components of day and night skincare, and teach you how to create your own no-frills skincare routine.
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 can collect and accumulate 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, we can do with just a water-based cleanser, but for night, in order to remove oil-based products on our face like makeup and sunscreen, we should cleanse with an oil-based cleanser or a makeup remover before using our water-based one.
Tip: If you find your skin feeling too tight after cleansing, you are likely to be 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 and before the other steps of the routine, as it nourishes the skin and prepares it to absorb the other products that you will apply after.
Tip: Applying toner with clean hands is the most efficient. Pour a few drops into your palm, apply it on your skin and tap it in lightly, piano-style.
As cleansing removes our skin’s natural oils, we have to re-introduce moisture to our skin via a moisturiser. We cannot skip this step, especially not if we work and sleep with the air-conditioning on. 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 - it will be just as effective.
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, preventing certain skin cancers. Daily sunscreen use also helps to prevent fine lines and 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. Generally, aim to use a product daily over six weeks to notice a difference.