Beauty, Skincare

10-Step Korean Skincare Regimen

As an over 40 woman I know the importance of good skincare.  And I must say, unless you have been living under a rock you have to have heard of K (Korean)-Beauty.  It’s been big for a while now.  Korea is at the forefront of technological innovations in skincare and beauty.  A reason for that is because Korean women are very demanding and OBSESSED with their skin and looking their best.  The K-beauty industry is extremely competitive and only the best products which have proven benefits make it to the masses.  Also, the Korean beauty industry tends to use more natural ingredients and less harsh chemicals than US brands.

Not everyone has access to a full K-Beauty regimen. Unless you live in a big city K-beauty brands are hard to find and expensive.  Amorepacific, The History of Whoo and LaNeige are some of the best. One of the ways you can experience K-skincare is to make the Korean Skincare Regimen your skincare regime.  What is a Korean skincare regime?  Isn’t cleanser and moisturizer enough?  That’s a firm NO!  Unless you want to look your age or older.

Here’s my 10-step K-beauty regimen with easy to find products:

1. Remove Makeup – Obviously on the days you don’t wear makeup you can skip this step.  But on those other days you will want to use an oil based cleanser.   Apply it to dry skin and bask in the knowledge that the oil cleanser is removing all your make up (even long wearing heavy foundations and powders) and any other oil based products like Sunscreen or pollution.

I use The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil   The Body Shop Camomile Cleansing Oil

2. Wash your face – Cleanliness is next to Godliness so if you want the skin of a Goddess, cleanse.   With a foamy water based cleanser.  This is applied to wet skin and removes impurities like sweat, any residual cleansing oil and poor deep dirt and makeup. After double cleansing not a hint of grime will be left to hinder your skin’s health.

I also use the Clarisonic when I cleanse my face.  I give it my full endorsement.  Now I no longer have any black heads around my nostrils and I rarely get zits.  Any that do surface are also much smaller and barely noticeable.  Beware of knock offs!  Clarisonic uses sonic technology to better clean your face, it doesn’t spin.  Many knock offs spin, which will pull and tug on your skin and speed up the loss of elasticity!

Clarisonic Mia
L’Oreal Revitalift Cream Cleanser

My current cleanser of choice is Loréal Revitalift cream cleanser.  I love how creamy the lather is and a little bit goes a long way.  I’ve had my little tube of it for probably a year and there’s still plenty of it left!

3. Exfoliate – This is another thing you don’t have to do every day, but you should do it at least once or twice a week.  Exfoliation not only cleans  out clogged pores but also sloughs off dead skin cells. If you have sensitive skin, you’ll want to just do it once a week.  If you use prescription Retin-A you may want to skip this step

I use Retin-A from my dermatologist, so I only use super gentle exfoliaters and use them rarely.  I like Avon Anew Clinical Dermabrasion System because you can dial how much exfoliating granuales you use.

Avon Anew Microdermabrasion System

4. Toner – Up until the year 2000 (which was almost 2 decades ago!) it was still a personal preference as to whether or not use toner. Back then it was basically to just remove any residual cleanser.  Now, toner has come a long way.  After cleansing, the pH of your skin is disrupted due to the alkaline nature of most cleansers, so toner restores the natural pH balance of your skin while humectants prep the skin so it’ll absorb the serum and moisturizer later.  You can either apply toner with a cotton round or just pat it onto your face.

*I also want to stress that you want only alcohol free toners.*  Witch hazel is a good alternative ingredient.  Leave the alcohol for the pimply teenagers.

Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol-free Toner with Aloe Vera

I suggest Thayers Rose Petal Witch Hazel Alcohol-free Toner with Aloe Vera

and Fresh Rose Floral Toner

Fresh Rose Floral Toner

5. Essence –  Essence is unique to Korean skincare and claimed to be the most important part of the routine. It’s a treatment product which nourishes and hydrates similar to serums and ampules but it’s water-like in consistency.  Because it’s thinner than serums and moisturizers it absorbs deeper into the skin and really helps your serums and moisturizers to do their job.  Like serums and moisturizers, you’ll pat essences onto your skin.

Currently I’m using:

Caudalie Vinoperfect Concentrated Brightening Essence

6. Serum – When you’re young and don’t really have any skin issues you don’t need a serum. Once you hit 30 I’d seriously consider a serum and it’s a must if you are over 40.  What you use will depend on your concern.  Some people have redness, some have pigmentation and some like me, want a firming and lifting treatment.  Serums are generally thicker than essences but thinner than moisturizer.   They tend to have small molecules and really penetrate the skin.  Below are my recommendations:

To help Redness and Irritation: La Roche-Posay Rosaliac AR Intense Hydrating Facial Serum
To help Discoloration and Sunspots: Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Vitamin C Serum
For Firming and Lifting: Algenist Concentrated Reconstructing Serum

7. Mask – My personal favorite step.  A mask is great for your spa days at home, at night, or whenever you want to treat yourself.  Most people mask once a week, but there are those who swear by masking every single day! You really can’t do too much masking.  It’s beneficial, it’s hydrating, it’s wonderful.  Like your serum, the mask you choose really depends on your skin’s needs.   Hydrating, brightening, vitamin C… pick a mask that matches your skin and use it once a week.  Or every day.  Or multi-mask and use different masks on different parts of your face.  You do you.

I have a plethora of masks. Seriously, at last count I had 21 different ones.  Here are some of my favorites:

Peter Thomas Roth Meet your Mask kit (6 trial size masks, enough to do 30 masks or more)

Peter Thomas Roth Meet your Mask kit
Fresh creme ancienne ultimate nourishing honey mask











For an Eye Mask I use:

Klorane Smoothing and Relaxing Patches With Soothing Cornflower

8. Eye Cream – Your eyes are the window to your soul. They also show your age like a bitch so keeps those peepers moisturized at all times!  Hopefully you started using eye cream in high school, but it’s never too late.  You do want cream made for your eyes and not anywhere else.  The skin under your eyes is thinner and more sensitive so eye creams are gentler than any cream you’d put on the rest of your face.

I suggest Baebody Eye Gel.  It’s a large jar and you can use it on the rest of your face if you are trying to save time/money.

Baebody Eye Gel

9. Face cream – Lock in your skin’s moisture and help that serum do it’s job. Use a day cream AND a night cream.  The night cream is usually a heavier thicker cream meant to be washed off in the morning.  If you’re luck your day cream will also have an spf, but that seems to be harder to come by these days

I like Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion for day and Josie Maran Argan Oil face butter at night.

Algenist Regenerative Anti-Aging Lotion
Josie Maran Argan Oil face butter









Which brings us to our final step…

10. SPF – Make sure you have an SPF of at least 30.  It cannot be over stated how much sun can make you look older, not to mention melanoma.  90% of premature aging is caused from sun exposure.  SPF is a must for everyone: male, female, young, old.   SPF SPF SPF!!

I love my Supergoop! SPF 50 Setting Mist Sunscreen, it sets makeup on the days I wear it and it’s super easy to spray on before leaving in the morning..

Supergoop! SPF 50 Defense Refresh Setting Mist Sunscreen

Ideally K-Beauty would become a lifestyle.  It is important to remember to take time for yourself.  You get out of your skincare what you put into it.  #MoreisMore  If you are cutting anything out to save time or money you can pare it down to 6 steps.

If you click on the links and try the products I’d love to hear your feedback.  I think I did a decent job of listing good products that fit into most budgets.

Cheers to your skin!



I take care to recommend items I really like and hope you’ll enjoy! Just so you know, I do have affiliate relationships. So, while every product is independently selected, if you buy something through my links, I may get a very small share of the revenue.


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