5 Step Korean Skin Care Routine


simple korean skin care routine

Everyone wants stunning healthy skin. And this is a very fair wish that is not that hard to achieve. Beautiful glowing skin needs daily care and routine.

Many people get overwhelmed when they come across “busy girl” 10 step skin care routine, layering of the products both in the morning and at night.

I love 10 step Korean skin care routine and try to perform 10 steps at least 2-3 times a week. However, let’s be honest, it is hard to find time. And it also can be pricey to buy all those products.

But nevertheless, you will end up with healthy glowing skin if you cut all those steps in half. Half the time, half the price, similar results.

In this post I will be talking about skin care routine using Korean skin care products. I am a loyal Korean cosmetic advocate. I tried and used so many different products and stopped searching when I was introduced to Korean skin care.

I like how seriously Korean researchers and scientists take the anatomy, physiology of our skin. How many studies they run each year. And how they constantly trying to improve their products.

So, we are going to talk today about 5 Step Korean Skin Care routine.


5 Step Korean Skin Care Routine


Although even 5 steps might sound like a lot of steps especially in the morning. But in real life applying these 5 products does not take much time. Your whole routine might take you 1-2 minutes maximum.

I also would like to mention, that have at least 2 days during the week when you incorporate extra steps into your routine like masks, sheet masks, overnight sleeping packs, exfoliation and such.

In this post I will give you suggestions of products that are suitable for ALL SKIN TYPES.


This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you make a purchase, I might receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Step One: Cleanser


Usually I recommend doing double cleansing in the evening, so you can remove all dirt, pollution, makeup that accumulated on your skin.

You do not really need double cleansing in the morning unless you applied some heavy skin products before bed time.

You can easily do a single-cleansing method (I do not really know if it is a real method lol, I just made it up. I means using just one product).

calming hydrating face cleanser for any skin type


Step Two: Toner


Many people do not really understand what toner is and why it is an essential part of Korean skin care routine (or any routine). I did not use toner for about 20 years, just could not understand: what for?

However, toner is a very important step in skin care routine. In summary, face toner does the following:

a) completes cleansing process

b) restores skin’s pH balance that was disturbed during cleansing

c) prepares skin for other care products

d) skin toners contain a lot of useful ingredients that will hydrate, moisturize, brighten, whiten your skin; help fight acne; skin tone dullness; wrinkles and fine lines.

You could read the whole post about Face Toners, their benefits and how to use them.

Bottle Dear Klairs subtle toner


Step Three: Essence or Serum or Ampoule


The next step after the toner is application of an essence. Or it can be a serum; or an ampoule. Or all three together. It all depends on your skin type, maturity of your skin and what kind of skin issues and problems you would like to solve (for example, dehydration, or agin, or dullness, or acne).

The major difference between an essence, serum and an ampoule is a concentration of the product and amount of ingredients in it.

The lightest is an essence, then goes serum, and an ampoule is the most concentrated.

I have a very detailed article about Differences between Essences, Serums and Ampoules.

hydrating purito essence that contains galactomyces
hydrating and moisturizing korean ampoule with fermented ingredients


Step Four: Eye Cream


Our skin around eyes is very gentle and thin. It has less oily glands and that is why it is more prone to dryness.

Invest in a good eye cream that is specifically designed for eye skin.

You can read more about Main Principles in Undereye Skin Care



Step Five: Moisturizing and Hydration

Regardless your skin type or skin issue that you have, you always, always have to prioritize hydration and moisture of your skin. If you skin is adequately hydrated and moisturized, you are about 70% on way to a glowing skin.

Best korean moisturizer for oily skin


Things to consider when starting 5 step skin care routine


Please, do not skip this part and have some patience reading through it. I always want to skip the boring “education/explanation” part and dive into practice.

However, in oder to create a perfect skin care routine with few products you do need to have solid knowledge about few things.


What is your skin type?


If you read some of my blog posts about skin care, you know that I always start with importance of knowing you skin type.

You can take a quiz at Soko Glam website to determine your skin type. You can also download my FREE ebook where I go in details about skin types.

Please, read an extensive post on different skin types and how to determine yours.

I will talk a bit more about skin types and goals skin care for each one at the end of the article. Please, take few minutes to review it.

For now, lets start with skin care routine itslef.


Do you know about protective skin barrier?


This is another 101 subject that you have to know and understand. You have to understand that if you damage this outer skin barrier, you will end up with dry, cracked, red skin. And even some skin diseases could develop.

Please, take a moment to read the article about Protective Skin Barrier.


Skin Types – Short Review


But bear with me, let’s review it again. And if this is something new for you, then read carefully.

Knowing your skin type is very crucial because it determines what kind of issues you have to work on, what to pay attention to in your skin routine and what kind of products to purchase.

There are 5 major types of skin (actually, there are more, but we are going to overcomplicate things.)

  • Normal skin type
  • Oily skin type
  • Dry skin type
  • Sensitive skin type
  • Combination skin type

Normal skin and Its Care Goals


Normal skin type – your skin is, well, normal. It is not too shiny, not too oily, dry or reactive to cold/hot temperatures or ingredients in skin care products.

Goal of care – maintain normal skin with adequate hydration, moisture, nutrition etc.


Oily Skin and Its Care Goals


Oily skin type – your oil glands overproduce skin oil. Also, your skin might be too dehydrated. In any event, your skin feels greasy and has oily shine look.

Goals of Care: Hydrate (extremely important), Moisturize (equally important), Reduce oil production. You CANNOT use harsh products that strip off natural skin oil and thin protective skin barrier.

One of the best Korean moisturizers for oily skin:


peeling gel for skin exfoliating, brightening skin

Dry skin and Its Care Goals


If your skin constantly feel dry, you could see flaky or even peeling patches then you definitely have dry skin type. It means that oil glands in your skin do not produce enough oil, that moisturizes the skin. It could also mean that you used wrong skin care products. In any event, you skin feels dry and even pooling.

Goal of care – Moisturize (including natural carrier oils and butter), Hydrate and Nourish your skin. You CANNOT use products with harsh chemicals, especially harmful alcohols.


Sensitive Skin and Its Care Goals


If your skin often turns red, inflamed and becomes irritated you most likely have sensitive skin type. Anything can trigger the reaction: hot or cold weather, strong wind, too much sun. You also might react to a new skin care product because your skin is too sensitive to some ingredient in the product.

Care Goals – Hydrate, Moisturize (including natural carrier oils and butters), Nourish. Find products with minimal ingredient list that will not irritate your skin. Find products that have calming, soothing and anti-inflammatory properties.


Combination Skin and Its Care Goals

This is the most confusing skin type and it could be hard to pick the right product. Usually, if you have combination skin type, you will notice very oily and shiny forehead, nose and chin. However, your cheeks could be dry or even sensitive with red, flaky, dry patches.

In most severe cases you might have to use skin products for different skin types on your cheeks and forehead. But usually you use one product with emphasis on the issue that bothers you the most: too much oil or too much dryness.

Goal of Care – Moisturizing and Hydration is the main focus. You CANNOT use products with harsh chemicals, harmful alcohols etc.


All-In-One Products: Toner+Essence+Moisturizer


MUJI – Sensitive Skin All-In-One Essence

This is all-in-one gel like product that will act as a toner, essence and a moisturizer.

It is a very gentle product and will be suitable for any skin type.



Dr.Louie Revitalizing All-in-One Essence Oil Free

Toner + Serum + Moisturizer in 1 bottle You can get everything in just one bottle! DrLOUIE’s signature product, Revitalizing All-in-One Essence is a combination of toner, lotion and cream that takes care of signs of aging – loss of elasticity, enlarged pores, fine lines and dry skin. Emblica Extracts and Vitamin C renew your skin and facilitate the formation of collagen and Hyaluronic Acid for firmer-looking skin. 

Kiehl’s Iris Extract Activating Essence Treatment

Unique, velvety liquid concentrate delivers anti-aging and hydrating ingredients to skin’s surface layers. It contains Iris Florentina Root Extract, known for its deeply nourishing and anti-aging benefits to skin. This is your essential “first step” anti-aging treatment to maintain skin’s youthful texture, reduce fine lines, and activate radiance.

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