As a longtime fan of cushion foundations, adorable Korean makeup and weird sheet masks, I consider myself something of a Korean beauty and skin care aficionado. But even after years of gleefully consuming all things K-beauty, I'd never tried the full, storied 10-step Korean skin care routine.
A couple of weeks ago, I decided to change that: Bolstered by the success of my recent pilot test of the 7 skin method and eager to test all of the new Korean skin care launches flying in left and right, I embarked on a brand new K-beauty journey. Over time, I slowly introduced new Korean beauty products to my arsenal until I had a full-on 10-step routine going, which I kept on using for a week-plus. And I have to say, I think I'm a convert — keep reading to find out what I learned...and why I'll be sticking with it.
As for the concept of double cleansing itself? I highly recommend it to everyone — it's great for ensuring that no dirt or debris (or mascara) is left behind, without resorting to harsh surfectants that can leave your skin feeling overly stripped.
Step 2: Gel Cleanser
I followed up my cleansing balm with the newly reformulated Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser, $34. As with many Korean beauty cleansers, this one is pH balanced to be ever-so-slightly acidic so as to better match your skin's own natural pH. This means it helps to keep your skin balanced, while also allowing your other products to absorb better.
Step 3: Exfoliation/Toner
Since I've got combination, acne-prone skin, I decided to add some light daily exfoliation into my Korean skin care routine. I used the popular Leegeehaam Tea Tree 70 BHA Toner, $34, which is pretty much magic in a bottle. It's gentle enough to be used every day, but thanks to all the tea tree essence and BHAs, it's dynamite at clearing and brightening skin.
Step 4: Essence
After trying out the 7 skin method a few weeks ago, I'm still going strong on it (though sometimes I abbreviate to three layers of toner/essence, rather than the full seven). Each morning and night I patted on several layers of the Peach & Lily Wild Dew Essence, $39, which is a superlative product. It's almost like water, but so, so hydrating (and not at all sticky). Plus, with niacinamide sitting high on the ingredient list, it's great for calming distressed skin while refining the appearance of pores.