|BEAUTY TIPS| Beginner’s Guide to Korean 10-step Skincare

beginner 10 step skincare routine

I've been posting so many reviews in a row from cleanser to sunblock but I haven't really talked about how they all go into my own routine. I now have like 20+ in-progress products (SIAL?) with new members coming in almost every month (WHAAAAT? *I CANNOT CURB MY URGE*). I actually follow the 10-step Korean skincare routine and modify the routine depending on my skin condition (and how lazy tired I am that day). So, today let's scratch the surface a little with this short and sweet beginner's guide that I put together to help you begin.

Korean women are known for their beautiful skin and their love for skincare. I guarantee you must have thought about this at least once if you watch enough Korean drama! They advocate the 10-step skincare routine and follow it religiously. Not only that, they separate their morning and night routines by using entirely different products. That is altogether over 20 skincare products for just one day! 

That's not it. They also have add-ons to switch between according to their skin’s needs, which can easily raise the number of products to 30 or even 40 (that's way crazier than me)! When the wave finally hits the rest of the world, it just seems overwhelming to those of us who only use a cleanser and a moisturiser (I was totally guilty of this).

beginner 10 step skincare routine
My do-it-all cleanser

When I first entered the game in 2015, I was constantly reading blogs and watching videos online for some tips on how to start. It was tiring and difficult because there are so many products to choose from! It was after tonnes and tonnes of reviews that I managed to build a skincare routine reasonably suitable for my sensitive combination skin. Yet that routine is not even complete even after two years. To save you from the trouble I went through, today I am going to share with you some tips I learnt over the past two years.

I did not start filling in the gaps immediately with 8 extra products. Not only my purse will hate me for it, my skin will too. It is not necessary to start immediately with all 10 steps. Having to choose all 10 products at once is not an easy task! What’s worse is you cannot know which product your skin is reacting to if you throw all 10 at it at the same time. It may be okay if the results are positive on your skin, but if your skin is purging all of a sudden, you will have to cut all 10 out and slowly bring each in again. That means you might have to experience that purge again while you discover which is/are the culprit(s).

My tip is to first go for the basic ones, i.e. cleanser, toner, moisturiser and sunblock. This is the full routine cut in half but still giving your skin the necessary care and protection. If you're a cleanser-moisturiser girl (or boy) like me, that means only two extra products to purchase. You can save essence and serum for later because filling in your skincare routine gap with those require a better understanding of your skin. While you're testing out the new toner and sunblock, you can take the time to get to know what your skin loves/hates to help start the search for the right essence and serum.

Tips: You can use the same products for your morning and night routines, so you don't have to buy two sets of them. But no sunblock at night!

Buying full size products are sometimes terrifying. You have no idea if it is going to work well on your skin and they are so frigging huge. If it does, congratulations! If not, you are simply throwing your money down the drain and those products are not cheap. Note: You should never hold on to an unsuitable product just because you broke the bank to get it! I know how disappointing that feels (been there done that!).

Reviews on the internet may help but, I’m sure you have heard this many times, everyone’s skin type is different. Hence the easiest way to get around this is to get samples. You can search around the net for sample-selling websites or request for them while you are in a retail store like Sephora. Most retailers give away samples when you make purchases with them too! 

Tips: Some products may seem to work excellently on another similar skin type but your skin may fail to love one of the ingredients in them. Patch test is most recommended!

It is crucial that you give your skin what it needs. Do not blindly follow someone else’s routine because, like I said, everyone’s skin reacts differently to the same products. What is great on her skin might not work at all on yours. You can start by looking at the more popular brands which most people are buying from. If we are talking about Korean brands, Innisfree, Etude House and Cosrx are some that many of us Korean beauty addicts are crazy about. 

For beginners, you can get products from the same brand or even same product line to avoid mixing the wrong ingredients. The beauty assistants will be your best bet at choosing the right products if you are buying in-store. Buying online is equally doable and you can get ideas and recommendations from bloggers or YouTubers through uncle Google. 

There are even online retailers who sell customised multi-step skincare routines for which you can buy all recommended products together at a lower price:

Althea - varying from one time to another

Bomibox - USD37.99 (8 full or deluxe beauty products)

Bag of Love - RM39.90 (5 deluxe sample size products)

Vanity Trove - varying from one time to another

Modbox - varying from one time to another

So that’s it, I hope this helps! You do not have to be as clueless as I was two years ago when it comes to Korean skincare. 

Thank you for reading, see you in the next post!


  1. Cetaphil is also useful for moisturizing your skin and is gentle on all kinds of skin types.

  2. Hey – great blog, just looking around some blogs, seems a really nice platform you are using. I’m currently using WordPress for a few of my blogs but looking to change one of them over to a platform similar to yours as a trial run. Anything in particular you would recommend about it?
    skincare reviews


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