Korean Skin Care: What Is It?

After sending about a dozen rambling emails to my girlfriends trying to explain my newfound love of Korean skin care, I figure it’s time to get serious and start at square one: what is exactly is a Korean skinc care routine, how does it work, and why should you care?

What is it?

While in the US we add 1 or 2 specialized products to our skin care lineup (think night cream, eye cream, retinol serum for wrinkles), Korean women use 7-10+ products as part of both their morning and evening skin care routines. The idea is that if you perfect your skin with an array of high-quality, specialized products, you can waltz out the door every day with a beautiful dewy complexion, make-up free.

Full disclosure, the first time I read about this I thought it was ridiculous. But the more I investigated the ins and outs of how it works, researched products and read more and more success stories, I started to think the whole idea might hold some water.

How does it work? 

The evening regimen starts with a 2-step cleansing process in order to avoid stripping or over-drying your skin. From there, the “base routine” products are layered, and additional products like scrubs, sheet masks, and sleeping masks get added in 1-2 times per week. Here is the basic order of events:

  1. Oil cleanser
  2. Foaming cleanser
  3. Exfoliate
  4. Toner/booster
  5. Serum/essence
  6. Eye cream
  7. Oil
  8. Sheet Mask
  9. Cream
  10. Sleeping pack/mask

Everyone orders these products differently, but the basic rule of thumb to follow is to layer from thinnest/wateriest, to thickest/heaviest.

Why should you care? 

In my late twenties my skin – which has always been “troubled” – has become dull, uneven in tone, and extremely dry. So in December 2014 I tried to give this whole thing a shot and am now completely converted. My skin is more even, supple, and glowy, and the fine lines on my forehead and around my eyes are visibly reduced. FOR REAL.


The first question everyone asks is, “Doesn’t this take you hours?!” It does take longer than just wash-n-go, but you’d be surprised how quickly it goes. In the morning I just fit each layer in between all the other parts of my AM routine and it only adds about 5 minutes all told. In the evening I just take my time, because honestly it’s enjoyable!

And the best news is, Korean skin care products are accessible! They range in price from around $15 to $70 (with outliers on either end, of course), so you don’t have to drop a G to start integrating really high-quality, effective products into your routine.

SO with all that said, stay tuned to discover what ingredients can work to address your skin concerns, read reviews, and give yourself a pretty nice face.

Read more…

Where to Start With Korean Skin Care: Cleansers

Where to Start With Korean Skin Care: Essences

Where to Start With Korean Skin Care: Masks and Sheet Masks


2 thoughts on “Korean Skin Care: What Is It?

  1. Pingback: Where to Start With Korean Skincare: Masks and Sheet Masks | pretty nice face

  2. Pingback: My Korean Skin Care Regimen: Nighttime | pretty nice face

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