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How to Incorporate Korean Skincare Into Your Routine

Korean skin care has taken the western world by storm and for good reason. Pioneers of the 10-step beauty routine, Korean beauty advocates are famed for their 'glass skin' - skin so clear and flawless, it looks like a pane of glass. Whilst a 10-step Korean skin care might seem excessive to those accustomed to the traditional cleanse, tone and moisturise, the routine reflects a holistic approach to skin care with indulgence at its heart. And the results speak for themselves.

In this blog, we take a closer look at how to take care of your skin like the Koreans.

What type of skin do I have?
Before you clear out your make-up bags on a Korean quest for perfect skin, it is essential to first understand your own skin type. Skin care tips should always be tailored to the individual to produce the best results. The most common skin types are:

Dry skin - can appear flaky or scaly and is rough to touch.
Oily skin - is visibly shiny or greasy.
Combination skin - a more complicated skin type which has dry parts, usually on the cheeks, as well as oily areas, usually across the forehead, nose or chin.
Sensitive skin - needs extra care and precaution when approaching skincare. May react with burning or stinging if aggressive products are used.
Normal skin - a neutral skin type that is balanced, clear and unlikely to be sensitive.

10 step Korean skin care routine

Step 1: Oil cleansers
Korean women are famous for cleansing their skin not once, but twice. Oil cleansers are the first part of the double-cleanse. Those with oily skin need not panic, as oil cleansers are applied to the skin to draw out impurities, then washed off. Simply massage the oil into your skin to gently remove makeup, then rinse.

Step 2: Water-based cleanser
The second stage of the two-part cleanse focuses on water-based impurities such as dirt and sweat that oils can't pick up. If you're prone to breakouts, then your skin will thank you for this second stage. Apply the water-based cleanser to your face and neck in a circular motion, then rinse.

Step 3: Exfoliator
Exfoliating helps lift dead skin cells and un-block pores. As this is a slightly more aggressive step in the routine, and may cause problems for sensitive skin, experts recommend only exfoliating one or twice a week. Focus on exfoliating areas where you're prone to breakouts and oil build up, such as your nose and any areas with visible pores.

Step 4: Toner
Toners balance PH levels and prep your complexion for the next stage, allowing your skin to absorb the next products you apply. Pat toner gently into your skin using your hands.

Step 5: Essence
Essence is the secret to Korean skincare. A hybrid between toner and serum, essence hydrates and aids cell turnover, resulting in a youthful complexion. Simply pat drops of essence gently onto the skin.

Step 6: Treatments
If you suffer from regular skin problems, then step six is when you can tailor your Korean skin care routine. Ampoules are often used at this stage - they're supercharged, intense serums designed to tackle more specific conditions, from acne to dryness. As they're stronger than your average serum, they're only to be used for a short space of time. Lighter serums can also be used specifically on problem areas.

Step 7: Sheet masks
Hydrating cloths oozing with skin-boosting ingredients, sheet masks offer nourishing, ant-aging treatments for all skin types. Sit back, relax and let the mask work its magic.

Step 8: Eye creams
The skin around the eyes is extremely delicate, so it needs special attention. Gently tap - never rub - eye-specific creams under your eyes to create a youthful appearance.

Step 9: Moisturiser
Seal in moisture with this essential step. Pat a night-time moisturiser into your skin and let it soak in overnight to discover plumper, smoother skin come sunrise.

Step 10: Sun cream
Over exposure to UV rays is the main cause of premature skin aging. So, sun cream is an effective way to prevent skin damage. For the final step in your skin care routine, apply SPF50 to the face and reapply every three hours.

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