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Korean Skincare: Should you use the ten-step Korean Skincare routine?

The infamous ten-step Korean Skincare routine became wildly popular internationally a while back. People everywhere started buying the ten-step kit in the hopes that it would make all their skin problems vanish within a few short weeks. And while for some, it worked wonders – smooth, soft skin free of all acne and scarring- for others, it was a jarring experience of irritation, breakouts and inflammation. In Korea itself, the trend died as quick as it came. Most Koreans profess to stick to only 3-5 products now instead of the laborious 10. So what merits the downfall of this skincare routine, and should you try it despite it all?

First, an Oil-Based Cleanser

Oil-based cleansers remove makeup that’s still on your skin after you’ve used wipes. More importantly, it dissolves hardened oil clogging your pores. Oil dissolves oil, and the process is called emulsification.

Make sure your face is dry before application, or else it won’t be as effective. Massage onto your skin for two minutes, not more, and your pores should unclog.

Second, Non-Oil Based/ Water Based Cleanser.

After you’ve rinsed off the oil cleanser with water, use this to remove germs and excess oil from your skin. It’s essential to do so so that oil from the cleanser and the remaining sebum doesn’t clog your pores again.

Together, this is the double cleansing method.

Third, Exfoliation

You can use a lump of sugar or oat scrub, or a chemical exfoliant. This product is to remove the layer of dead cells on your face and relieve dullness. It will help with avoiding blackheads.

Fourth, Toner

Toner helps maintain the pH of your skin and calms down sensitive or irritated skin.

Fifth, Essence

Essence is hydrating and rejuvenates your skin to promote new cell growth.

Sixth, Serum

Serums are anti-aging; they combat wrinkles and decrease free radicals.

Seventh, Sheet Mask

Masks are moisturizing, anti-aging, hydrating, help with skin texture and unclog pores. There are many types of masks.

Eighth, Eye Cream

Not all face creams apply to the thin skin near the eyes, as thick creams can cause acne on such fragile skin. Eye creams are to even out skin tone under the eyes, hydrate, soften wrinkles and reduce puffiness.

Ninth, Moisturizer

To moisturize your skin some more, even after the face mask

Tenth, SPF

To protect your skin from UV rays and decrease wrinkles and chances of cancer. This step is not applicable unless you’re going out.

This routine disagrees with so many people because the sheer number of products used every day can overwhelm the skin and irritate. Significantly, the daily exfoliation can cause more dead cells and damage the skin barrier.

Not to mention this, buying a sheet mask a day is too expensive for most people. It is wiser to use a variation of this routine to skip doing exfoliation and masks daily and do them once or twice a week. This routine will give your skin the space to absorb and process. For people with sensitive skin, doing all the ten steps of this routine can be harmful.

Just remember to bring the cleansers and moisturizers down to your neck to help with skin tone there as well. It will help your face blend in with the rest of you.

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