Korean skin care routine from 3 steps to 10 steps

Korelainen ihonhoitorutiini 3-vaiheisesta 10-vaiheiseen

Korean 10-step skincare routine

What Korean skincare routine actually means

For many, the first thing that comes to mind about a Korean skin care routine is the so-called 10-step routine, where the skin is pampered with various masks, ampoules, eye serums, lymphatic massage, and so on. In reality, all the steps are not usually performed at once, but rather the purpose is to utilize different products within a certain period of time, for example during a week.

What does a Korean 10-step skincare routine consist of?

So what do all these steps actually entail? 

  1. Makeup removal with an oil-based cleaning product 
  2. Skin cleansing vwith a pre-primed cleaning product
  3. Peeling
  4. Mask (from tube or sheet mask)
  5. Face wash
  6. Serum, ampoule and treatment liquid
  7. Eye cream
  8. Moisturizer
  9. Night masks and lip masks
  10. Sunscreen

As you can already see from the list above, not everything is meant to be used at once. It is not even necessary to use all the products on the list, but above all it is important to find high-quality products suitable for your skin and your needs.

How to start a Korean skincare routine? 

You can get off to a good start in skin care with a 3-step routine. The three main steps to glowing skin are:

  1. Double cleansing 
  2. Moisturization
  3. Sunscreen

1. Double cleansing and why it's worth it

Careful two-step cleansing of the skin is a way that South Korean women also genuinely use in their daily skin care routine. In the method, the skin is first cleaned of make-up, sunscreen and dirt accumulated during the day with an oil-based cleaning product. After that, the skin itself is cleaned with a water-based cleansing foam or gel.

Double cleansing is supposed to be done only in the evenings, in the mornings it is enough just to cleanse according to your skin type with a water-based cleaning product.

However, if you only want one product to clean your skin (or you have a very dry skin), choose then a cleansing oil or balm.

2. Skin hydration is important for every skin type

Every skin type, even oily and those prone to impurities, needs and benefits from the use of moisturizing products. For example, acne skin can often be sensitive and even dry, especially if various acne treatment products are used a lot. It is important to take care of moisturizing the skin so that the protective layer of the skin remains in good condition, because damaged skin is even more susceptible to infections and bacteria.

If you want a skin care routine as simple as possible, in addition to the oil cleanser mentioned above, choose two moisturizing products that are suitable for your skin type; a toner and a moisturizer (in addition we recommend sunscreen for everyone).


We definitely recommend a toner as the first step of moisturizing the skin. Facial toner is by no means intended for wiping off make-up residues, but it brings the first dose of hydration and caring ingredients to the face and prepares the skin for the following skin care steps. Toner also helps to balance the pH balance of the skin after washing, if necessary. 

Many of the Korean toners have an emulsion-like texture, and we recommend applying the moisturizing toners by patting them with your hands. Cotton pads can be saved for exfoliating toners.

At Yeppo, you can also find toner pads, which are popular in Korea, where the toner is already saturated on the pad. The pads can be spread on the face and left to act like a mini mask.

If you're ready to invest a little in your skin care routine, we recommend choosing a facial toner, serum and moisturizer suitable for your skin type. With this combination, you can already go a long way in the pursuit of glowing skin.

What is the 7-skin method?

You may have heard of the Korean method where toner is layered on the skin more than once. Even though the method talks about seven, it is not really intended to layer seven layers of toner on the skin. The idea is more that if your skin feels very dry, you can add two or three layers of face water, or if you want, of course, why not more.

Serum, essence and ampoule

After the toner, while skin is still moist, the next care product (a serum. ampoule or essence) is applied to the skin, according to what your skin's needs at that moment.

Serums, essences and ampoules contain active ingredients that are absorbed deep into the skin. The active ingredients are effective, but their combination requires a bit of planning. You can layer several different products, keeping in mind which active ingredients work together and which don't.

If you are unsure which products work together or which products would help solve your own personal skin concerns, we recommend stopping by one of Yeppo's stores.

What is essence? How essence differs from serum? And what is an ampoule?

The serum, essence and ampoule all aim to moisturize and care for the skin with different active ingredients. As a difference to the serum, essence is typically lightweight and has a more water-like consistency. It has active ingredients like a serum, but usually not in as high concentrations.

Even though essence is water-like in composition, it is not the same as toner either, because the essence has more moisturizing and active ingredients.

Essence is a water-based treatment product that is applied to the skin after the toner. Essence is applied to the face by patting it, just like the serum.

The ampoule, on the other hand, contains active ingredients in very high concentrations, which are intended to treat a specific skin problem, such as uneven skin tone or fine lines. The ampoules often only contain only one active ingredient, such as retinol or vitamin C, and in higher concentrations than, for example, in serum.


Moisturizer is an important last step in moisturizing the skin. Some skin types may do well even after the serum with just a very moisturizing sunscreen, such as South Korea's best-seller Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen.

Kosteuttava Round Lab aurinkovoide korealaisessa ihonhoitorutiinissa

3. Sunscreen - how much sunscreen should I apply? Do you need to use sunscreen in winter or indoors?

Sunscreen completes the skin care routine. Whatever you prefer chemical or physical protection, the most important thing is to use sunscreen regularly and sufficiently. 

For the face and neck, a rule of thumb is to apply sunscreen with a two-finger-lenghts when squeezed from a tube. The problem with this measuring method is, of course, that the cream comes out in different amounts from different tubes and we all have different sized hands. If you hesitate, then according to the instructions, you should apply 0.25-0.5 teaspoons of sunscreen on your face and same amount on your neck.

The official guidelines of different countries about the necessity of sunscreen in winter vary, but the sun's rays are proven to cause a large part of the signs of skin aging, so there is absolutely no harm in using it in winter too. As Korean women know, it is way better to prevent skin damage than to try reversing it afterwards.

Indoors, on the other hand, sunscreen is not needed, if you don't stay directly in front of the window in the sunlight for most of the day.

Why do skin care products have to be put in a certain order?

Various skin care products can be added according to one's taste, need and interest. If you want to layer several moisturizing products at once, you should remember a few rules of thumb.

Skincare products are always added starting with water-based products and oil-based products are added last.

In practice, this means that the products are added from the most runny to thicker compositions (face lotion, serum, moisturizer, oil and sunscreen). This is because the products are absorbed into the skin in different ways. Products with a water-based composition are absorbed deeper into the skin (such as a serum or an ampoule) and if a thick face cream were added before them, its stronger molecular structure would prevent thinner skin care products from being absorbed where they belong.

The best products for a Korean skin care routine for different skin types

We have listed below the products that our customers love, from which you can easily create a simple 3-step routine for yourself, consisting of double cleansing, facial toner, serum, moisturizer and sunscreen. The products have been selected from among our best-selling products to suit every skin type.

For all skin types

For acne-prone skin

For dry skin

For aging skin

 Korealainen aurinkovoide ikääntyvälle iholle



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