A Guide to the 6-Step Korean Skincare Routine

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A young Asian woman posing

Pampering your skin with Korean skincare products is a tried and tested way to get that plump, glowy, and healthy complexion you've always dreamed of. 

If you're not ready to commit to the elaborate 10-step routine, no worries — the Korean 6-step skincare routine is a condensed version that still packs a punch. 

But this doesn’t mean piling on all the products at once. Korean women have honed the art of using skincare products strategically to maximize their effects. It's not about how many products you use, but how you use them. 

So take your time, be mindful, and enjoy the journey to glowing skin with this 6-step Korean skincare routine. 

Step 1: Double Cleansing 

The first and perhaps most important part of the routine is preparing your skin for what’s to come. If you’re wearing makeup or waterproof sunscreen, double cleansing is a must. Oil-based Korean facial cleansers are effective at removing these products without stripping the skin of its natural oils. Double cleansing is also fantastic for reducing skin texture. 

The initial cleanse tackles dirt, oil, and makeup, while the second one removes any leftover gunk left behind by the oil cleansers. Use a low-pH water-based or foaming cleanser, as it will improve the effectiveness of the subsequent products. 

Pro tip: You must be very gentle in this part of the 6-step Korean skincare routine, as harsh scrubbing can damage your skin and lead to premature aging. Koreans delicately massage the cleanser into their skin and rub it with just their fingers. 

Take a cue from the pros—be gentle, thorough, and don't rush the process. 

Product Suggestion: Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser 

This low-pH formula is gentle on the skin's natural barrier and suitable for all skin types. 

Step 2: Toner

The skin's natural pH level is around 5.5, which is slightly acidic. This acidity helps to protect the skin from damage caused by bacteria and other environmental factors. When disrupted, your skin becomes more vulnerable to problems such as dryness, irritation, and acne

Toners help maintain the skin’s ideal pH. So yes, toning is an essential stage of the 6-step Korean skincare routine.

There are many types of Korean toners, each with its own benefits. Hydrating Korean toners are designed to moisturize the skin while exfoliating ones help remove dead cells. Brightening toners improve skin tone, and soothing varieties come with invigorating ingredients like chamomile, green tea, and centella asiatica to calm sensitive and irritated skin

Let your skin tell you what it needs. If it's feeling dry and tight, it's time for some hydration. If dull and textured, use a brightening or exfoliating toner, and so on. 

Product Suggestion: Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner 

A fan favorite toner constituting 77% Anua Heartleaf water and ingredients like chamomile to soothe and calm the skin.

Step 3: Treat 

A young woman holding a serum pump bottle

This is probably the most exciting part of the 6-step Korean skincare routine because essences and serums are designed to target all those pesky skin issues. These concentrated products come in various types, each catering to specific needs. 

For example, hyaluronic acid plumps the skin and minimizes fine lines. Niacinamide improves the appearance of pores, reduces redness, and evens out skin tone. Retinol, a dermatologist favorite, is beloved for its effectiveness in fighting fine lines and wrinkles. 

Once you've applied the essence or serum, use a gua sha tool or facial roller to gently massage and press the product into your skin. This also promotes lymphatic drainage, which reduces puffiness and improves the complexion. 

Like your essence, pick your serums according to your skin’s needs and concerns. 

Product Suggestion: Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide 

This highly effective serum is packed with niacinamide, also known as vitamin B3, and bacteria-fighting propolis to deliver radiant, glowing skin. 

Step 4: Eye Cream 

Next up in the 6-step Korean skincare routine is treating the delicate skin around your eyes with a nourishing eye cream. This will help combat signs of aging and fatigue, and keep your eyes looking their best. 

Some eye creams boast special ingredients like retinol, bakuchiol, tranexamic acid, and peptides to target multiple eye-related concerns, such as dark circles, puffiness, as well as fine lines and wrinkles

Eye creams may feel like regular moisturizers, but they're actually an extra layer of protection for your skin. And since they're typically thinner than regular moisturizers, they absorb more easily. 

Once again, gentleness is crucial here. Apply the cream around your eyes using your ring finger and lightly tap it in to avoid pulling or friction. 

Product Suggestion: Beauty of Joseon Revive Eye Serum: Ginseng + Retinal

This popular eye cream uses ginseng and retinal liposomes to fight wrinkles and give your skin a youthful bounce. It's also non-irritating, so you can use it every day!

Step 5: Moisturizer 

Moisturizing is key in the 6-step Korean skincare routine because it seals in all the goodness of the prior steps. Plus, the skin is constantly losing moisture through sweating and evaporation, so it's important to replenish that with a Korean moisturizing cream

There are many different types of Korean moisturizers you can use. Gel moisturizers are lightweight and soak in quickly, making them perfect for oily or combination skin. On the other hand, creams are thicker and more occlusive to provide longer-lasting hydration for dry or sensitive skin. 

Here's a pro tip for those extra dry skin days: layer your moisturizer! Start with a thin layer of a water-based moisturizer, like a gel or lotion, and then follow it up with a cream. This will keep your skin feeling hydrated and smooth. 

Product Suggestion: Pyunkang Yul Nutrition Cream 

Hello, nourishment! This rich cream provides intense hydration to the skin, making it ideal for dry or dehydrated skin types. 

Step 6: Sunscreen

A young woman standing under sunlight

Safeguarding your skin against the sun’s harmful rays is the grand finale of the 6-step Korean skincare routine. 

Korean skincare enthusiasts love both chemical and physical sunscreens for comprehensive protection. Korean sunscreens often use both SPF (Sun Protection Factor) and PA (Protection Grade of UVA) rating systems to categorize their effectiveness against both UVB and UVA rays. 

SPF measures protection against UVB rays, which cause sunburn. On the other hand, PA measures protection against UVA rays, which are associated with premature aging and skin damage. The more plus signs (+), the higher the protection. 

We also love that most K-beauty sunscreens come with additional beneficial ingredients, such as centella asiatica, rice extract, ginseng, and more. Whichever you choose, remember that sunscreen should always be part of your Korean 6-step skincare routine, rain or shine! 

Product Suggestion: Round Lab Birch Juice Moisturizing Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++

One of Korea’s most popular sunscreens! It’s made with birch sap, hyaluronic acid, plant extracts, and vitamins to keep your skin hydrated and protected all day long. 

Shop Korean Skincare Essentials at EYURS

There you have it—a detailed yet manageable skincare routine to keep your skin nourished and happy all day. 

And the best part is, you can get all these essentials at EYURS. Eager to try out this routine? Shop authentic Korean skincare products from our online store, and enjoy free, same-day shipping on all orders over $40!