All You Need to Know About the K-Beauty 10 Steps Skincare Routine


You might be thinking that the Korean 10 Steps Skincare Routine is ridiculous, it is absolutely ridiculous. If you're here to read about the pro's and cons of the routine, I've got you covered. But first, let's take a look at what the 10 steps are all about.

1. Pre-cleanse


Usually for makeup users, the first step involves removing the makeup, especially for your eye and lips area. Recommended product: Banila Co Clean It Zero.

2. Facial wash


This is the usual face cleansing that we do regularly. Recommended product: Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser.

3. Exfoliating


In a layman term, it is called scrub. This step ensures that your skin is thoroughly clean by removing the dead skins, sebum and clear the clogged pores. Recommended product: Neogen Bio Peel

4. Toner


The toner function is to balance the pH level of your skin. Generally the facial wash are mostly alkaline, hence you need a toner to neutralized the pH level so that it doesn't activate the microflora activities on your skin. Recommended product: Mamonde Rose Water Toner


5. Essence


The essence contains nutrients that our skin needs to renew itself. This step often gets mistaken with toner, they are different products and have a different function. Recommended product: Missha First Treatment Essence

6. Serum/Ampoule 


Serum or ampoule are the booster for your skin renewal process. It has targeted problem to tackle such as brightening serum for black spot, youth activating serum for mature skin, etc. Recommended product: Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule

7. Facial Oil


Facial oil works to seal up all the goodness that you have applied prior to this step. Facial oil can be a general application or target specific problem (e.g. tea tree oil is very good to overcome acne problems). Recommended product: Innisfree Green Tea Seed Oil

8. Eye Cream


9. Moisturizer/Cream


10. Mask (for night) / SPF (for day)

The last 3 steps are pretty much self-explanatory, I don't think I need to elaborate further on what the products do. And now lets drill down to whether it is really useful.


Pros:

  • As a skincare beginner, the 10 step routine is a great reference. Also, if you don't understand your skin type, condition and what you need to treat your skin problems, this routine ensures that you don't miss anything out. 
  • The routine has been followed by a lot of Korean celebrities and proven works, especially to achieve the "glass skin". 
  • The 10 Steps do not mean that you have to apply 10 products at once. It can be spread through morning and night, which sounds more reasonable.

Cons:

  • This can be seen as a marketing gimmick to create more market base for beauty products. The beauty industry in Korea is becoming very cluttered and manufacturers need to find ways to sell more of their products - hence the 10 steps skincare routine came about. 
  • Some steps are repetitive and not necessarily needed for everyone. The step such as pre-cleanse might not be applicable for those who do not apply makeup, but brands are saying you need to do a pre-cleanse before cleaning your face despite no makeup on. And this goes back to the first argument of it being a marketing gimmick. 
  • Putting too much beauty products can be confusing your skin. The skin can only absorb that many nutrients at once, even if you keep feeding it. 
  • If used wrongly, the skin might be irritated or you might develop sensitive skin, due to too many active ingredients in your products.

My advice is for you to study the skincare and its ingredients, then evaluate thoroughly if you actually need the 10 steps skincare routine. There is no right or wrong answer here due to the different skincare practices that we follow. I hope you can differentiate the marketing gimmick from the actual needs of having this 10 step skincare routine. 

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