A Guide to the 7-Step Korean Skincare Routine

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A young Asian woman touching her face


Skincare should be a delightful part of our self-care routine. But let’s be real; with all the advice and products out there, it can feel like following a treasure map with no directions. 


That’s why we love Korean skincare routines—there’s a time, place, and purpose for each product. It’s an elaborate yet surprisingly straightforward way to pamper your skin. 


Luckily, you don’t have to dive into the full 10 steps if you don’t want to. We’ve got a simplified 7-step Korean skincare routine that’s just as skin-loving and relaxing, giving your skin the nourishment it craves without overcomplicating things.

Let’s get started. 

Step 1: Oil Cleanser

Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil


The first step in our Korean 7-step skincare routine is oil cleansing. Cleaning your face with an oil cleanser helps remove makeup, sunscreen, excess sebum, and other oil-based impurities that can’t be completely cleared away with water-based cleansers.


To perform an oil cleanse, make sure your hands and face are dry. Apply a generous amount of the cleanser to your face and massage gently in circular motions, making sure to dissolve all the gunk on your skin. Then, add warm water to your face to create a milky texture. Finally, rinse the cleanser thoroughly.


When shopping for an oil-based facial cleanser, buy one formulated with gentle ingredients like plant-based oils and extracts. We love the Anua Heartleaf Pore Control Cleansing Oil because it has natural oils like sunflower and jojoba seed oils that provide a deep pore cleanse while moisturizing your skin.


Step 2: Water Cleanser

Round Lab Birch Moisturizing Cleanser

Next on our 7-step Korean skincare routine is water cleansing. This step is necessary to remove remaining residues, impurities, and oil cleanser from the surface of your skin. It ensures a deep, thorough cleanse, allowing active ingredients in products to better penetrate the skin.


You most likely know how to perform this step! Simply dampen your face, dispense a small amount of cleanser onto your hands, and massage it onto your skin. Rinse thoroughly, then pat dry with a towel.


While you can use conventional cleansers for this step, we prefer Korean facial cleansers as they don’t strip the skin. One of our favorite water-based cleansers is the Round Lab Birch Moisturizing Cleanser. Formulated with Inje's Birch Tree sap and hyaluronic acid, it removes all traces of impurities and hydrates your skin at the same time!

Step 3: Toner

Alt text: I'm From Rice Toner


Toner is the unsung hero of the Korean 7-step skincare routine, especially after exfoliation and even on days when you do not exfoliate because cleansing can disturb the skin's natural acid level. 


Toners help restore this balance, thus preparing your skin for the goodness of the rest of your 7-step Korean skincare routine


Look for a hydrating Korean toner that suits your skin type and concerns. For sensitive or dry skin, choose a toner with hydrating and soothing ingredients like hyaluronic acid or aloe vera. If you're oily or acne-prone, look for oil-balancing ingredients like niacinamide. 


Saturate a cotton pad with the toner and gently sweep it across your face, or pour a small amount into your hands and pat it onto your skin. Allow it to fully soak in before you move on to the next step. 


Step 4: Treatment 

Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide


Now that your pores are clean of dirt and dead cells, it’s time to treat your skin. Serums and ampoules are supercharged with higher concentrations of active ingredients, making them perfect for a boost or battling a skin concern. Think of them as the high achievers of your skincare routine. 


Again, choose a Korean face serum with ingredients that match your skin’s unique needs. For example, you can never go wrong with retinol or peptides for mature skin


If you want to use more than one serum at a time, start with the one with the thinnest consistency and work your way up, allowing each layer to absorb for a few minutes before applying the next. 


A word of caution on mixing actives: Some ingredients, like vitamin C and retinol, might be too harsh for your skin when used together. Reach for them on alternate days of your 7-step Korean skincare routine


Step 5: Eye Cream

Haruharu WONDER Black Rice Bakuchiol Eye Cream

The skin around your eyes is thinner and more delicate, making it prone to dryness and signs of aging. Incorporating a nourishing eye cream into your Korean 7-step skincare routine can help address issues like dark circles, puffiness, and fine lines. 


Squeeze a pea-sized amount onto your ring finger and gently tap the product around your eyes to avoid pulling or tugging. 


Step 6: Moisturizer

Dr. G RED Blemish Clear Soothing Cream


Moisturizer is your skin's best friend when it comes to sealing in all the hydration and nutrients from the previous steps. 


And yes, oily skin needs to be moisturized too. Without it, your skin can become dry and irritated, which leads to increased oil production and worse, acne. If you’re worried about your moisturizer feeling heavy, look for gel options that offer hydration without the heaviness. 


On the other end, dry skin needs a richer, more hydrating moisturizer. And if you have combination skin, you'll need a Korean moisturizing cream that balances both hydration and oil control. 


Step 7: Sunscreen


SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Silky-Fit Sun Stick

Our Korean 7-step skincare routine is not complete without sunscreen. Apply a broad-spectrum SPF 30 or higher Korean sunscreen every morning, rain or shine! 


We love the SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Hyalu-Cica Silky-Fit Sun Stick because it has a silky, non-greasy finish, and nourishes your skin. Formulated with hyaluronic acid and antioxidants like Diospyros Kaki Leaf and Camellia Sinensis Leaf Extracts, it keeps your skin hydrated and protects it from sun and free radical damage.


Shop Korean Skincare Essentials at EYURS 

And there you have it—a comprehensive guide to the 7-step Korean skincare routine, with a few bonus steps for those looking to go the extra mile. Remember, the key to glowing, healthy skin is consistency, patience, and using products that suit your specific skin concerns

EYURS has everything you need to kick-start or enhance your Korean skincare routine. Browse our curated selection of authentic Korean skincare online and discover the perfect additions to your self-care regimen.