Decoding the 10-step Korean beauty regime

Decoding the 10-step Korean beauty regime

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5 minute read

Most of us wouldn’t think twice about spending 30 minutes or more applying make-up for a special occasion, yet when it comes to skincare we often bemoan anything more than a quick cleanse or mask before bed. But imagine the benefits of spending that time on targeted, high-performance skincare. Put in the work and the results will leave you feeling confident in cutting down your day-to-day make-up and letting your natural glow shine through.

The 10-step Korean beauty regime is big news at the moment, with retailers and beauty bibles alike describing the benefits. 10 steps might sound like a daunting prospect to those used to a simple cleanse, tone, and moisturise, but the K-beauty philosophy is all about flipping the roles of skincare and make-up. Maximising the time we spend on skincare means more flawless-looking skin, and less time spent on our make-up every morning – sounds like a good deal to us.

The K-beauty philosophy is all about flipping the roles of skincare and make-up

Coming into winter, there couldn’t be a better time to incorporate some K-beauty steps. Our skin is adapting to the cold, wind and rain – as well as the extra calories and bubbles that go along with the party season. Nature is telling us to hibernate, so use this new routine as a chance to unwind and relax. And the best thing? You don’t need to just stick to K-beauty brands to benefit from the 10-step routine. K-beauty brands of course work really well in these multi-step regimes, with ingredients designed to work together harmoniously. However it’s also super-easy to swap in skincare you already own.

Step one: Oil cleanse
Kick off your new skincare journey by giving your face a wonderfully relaxing massage with a small amount of this Erborian Solid Cleansing Oil. It will transform from a solid balm to a rich oil, lifting off make-up and daily grime, and treating your skin to a soothing blend of green tea and chamomile. Gently sweep over the eyes to make sure you’re loosening up any stubborn mascara.

Step two: Second cleanse 
Your second cleanse should get deep down to complete the job, making this Julep Love Your Bare Face Cleansing Stick a fantastic choice due to its lather and gentle exfoliating finish. With a blend of rice bran, grapefruit peel and camellia Japonica seed oils, and pomegranate fruit enzyme, this will have your skin feeling thoroughly cleansed thanks to the gentle peel from the fruit enzymes.

Step three: Exfoliate 
A manual exfoliant such as the Julep Charcoal Sponge is a gentle choice for this step, and a good option if you’re worried about overwhelming skin with too many topical products. Simply sweep it over your skin in circular motions for thorough exfoliation that’s key for the next steps. This sponge is simply made from all-natural konjac root and enriched with detoxifying bamboo charcoal powder.

Step four: Tone 
It’s time to sweep away any dead skin cells left behind from your exfoliation, re-balance your skin’s pH, and close your pores with a toner like Algenist Hydrating Essence, packed with hydrating, natural ingredients such as witch hazel and chamomile. Alongside all of this goodness, you have the key addition of alguronic acid, which works to improve skin texture and firmness.

Step five: Treatment essence
The purpose of a treatment essence is to nourish the skin post-cleanse and prep it for any oils, or serums that come after. Mizon Hyaluronic Acid is a wonderful choice for this as it is a highly-concentrated formula that will protect against moisture loss. Along with hyaluronic acid, this serum also contains ceramides and raspberry extract, working to protect skin from environmental aggressors and retain moisture.

Step six: Serum
Pack in some skin-smoothing power with the Collagen 100 serum from Mizon. Just three to four drops will improve the feel of skin’s elasticity and minimise the appearance of fine lines. The marine collagen contained in this serum is hydrolyzed, meaning it is in extra-small particles that can be more easily absorbed by the skin. Gently tap it into the skin to help it absorb.

Step seven: Sheet mask 
Take a few minutes to relax or listen to a podcast while you leave your Erno Laszlo Firm & Lift Sheet Mask to sit for 15 – 20 minutes, allowing the argan oil and botanical extracts of grapefruit and algae to sink into your skin. This step also helps your skin absorb your layered essence and serum, and the contoured fit makes it super-easy to keep this mask in place.

Step eight: Eye cream
A key element of any skincare routine is finding the right eye cream. Revitalising Eye Cream from Tula is a wonderful choice for this delicate area; the antioxidant-rich formula will enhance the good work you’ve done so far by hydrating and refreshing. With probiotic technology, this moisturiser is free from phthalates, parabens, mineral oil, petrolatum, propylene glycol, gluten, and sulphates.

Step nine: Moisturiser
Seal in all of these steps with an easily-absorbed moisturiser such as Liz Earle Skin Repair. Enriched with a finely-balanced blend of borage oil – a rich source of essential fatty acids – and Vitamin E to act as an antioxidant, this is also the perfect finishing step if you don’t intend to wear any make-up.

Step 10: SPF and coverage for daytime 
SPF is a must-have for any time of year, and combining this with a formula that adds some coverage is a perfect time-saver after an in-depth regime. IT Cosmetics Full Coverage SPF 50+ CC+ Cream does all of this with a moisturising finish. Infused with hydrolyzed collagen, peptides, niacin, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants and vitamins A, B, C and E, your skin will thank you for this extra shot of moisture.

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