The Basic Principles of Korean Skincare


Gone are the days of the three-step beauty routine of cleansing, toning, and moisturizing. Today, caring for the skin requires eight to ten steps using various skincare products from the country that is dominating the global skincare industry – Korea.

The K-beauty regimen may seem excessive and time-consuming, but many women all over the world are patiently following them with the hope of excellent results. After all, it is almost impossible to find a Korean woman who does not have a fair, radiant, and stunning complexion.

What makes Korean skincare a cut above the rest? Mostly, the principles they follow in taking care of the skin are incomparable to what women commonly do. Here are the basic ones:

Prevention is Key

While many non-Korean women try to find quick-fixes and tips to address skin concerns, Korean women are raised to care for their skin from a young age. From the onset, skincare is a priority and not an afterthought when skin problems arise.

Since caring for their complexion comes first, their beauty regimen is methodical, requiring several steps to complete. A Korean skincare box is never dull. It is usually composed of numerous skin products for cleansing, exfoliating, toning, moisturizing, nourishing, and for other purposes. Ultimately, Koreans spend money, time, and energy investing in their skin health to avoid skin issues later.

Know and Respect Your Skin

A woman applying moisturizer image

Koreans hardly use the one-size-fits-all approach when it comes to skincare. They take the time to know their skin type and to listen to its needs. K-beauty products come in various forms to fit the unique needs of individual skin type.

Following this principle means paying attention to what your skin is telling you. For instance, if your skin is reacting negatively to a particular product, you should stop using it right away. It does not matter if celebrities are endorsing and raving about it; what matters is what your skin is saying.

Cleansing is so Important that Once is Not Enough 

For Koreans, skin cleansing is an integral part of keeping it healthy, which is why they do double-cleansing. Since the skin is exposed to dirt, dust, make-up, and other pollutants during the day, washing the face once with water and soap is not appropriate.

To ensure that the facial skin is thoroughly free from dirt and impurities, Koreans wash using a deep cleanser followed by cleansing foam. This process ensures that the face is clean down to the pores. The Korean skincare box created by the cosmetic shop JOAHYE includes several cleansing products fit for this purpose.

Proper Layering of Products is Necessary

Koreans use several products in their skincare routine because they believe that layering produces the best results. Note, however, that proper order should be observed during layering. The desired effects may not be achieved if you apply various skin products at random. Remember that there is a reason behind the sequence of steps in the K-beauty regimen.

Hydration Is Everything

A woman applying cream on her hand image

One of the essential principles of Korean skincare is keeping your skin hydrated. Your skin is like a sponge, and it is dry and brittle when you do not hydrate it. This means it can crack when moved, leading to infections like acne. Additionally, when you try putting products such as serums on dry skin, they won’t absorb as well, undermining their ability. Dry skin is also thin and saggy compared to plump, hydrated skin. 

When using any product, it is essential that you hydrate beforehand to ensure your moisture barrier stays intact. It helps protect your skin, prevent moisture leakage from your skin, and it also helps keep bacteria out. 

It’s All About the Glow

Korean beauty is all about having glowy, dewy skin. This is starkly different from Western beauty, which is obsessed with matt-ness. Dewy skin differs from oily skin as the latter is plump, hydrated, and radiant. It is shiny and smooth because it is hydrated and moisturized, not because of excess sebum. Korean skincare is designed to help you get that dewy skin by including hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to smoothen your skin. 

Use Gentle Products

Korean skincare tries to minimize the chemical it uses and aims to clean your skin and make it glow gently. It treats your skin as a delicate surface that can be easily damaged. Most scrubs come with complex chemicals and exfoliants, which can be highly detrimental to your skin. Korean skincare takes the opposite approach in ensuring your skin is treated with effective yet gentle ingredients. 

Korean 10-Step Skin Care Routine

The Korean skincare routine is exceptionally intensive to ensure your skin is as clean and well-taken care of as possible. 

  1. Double-cleanse with an oil cleanser first to remove all oil-based impurities.
  2. Then use a gentle water-based cleanser.
  3. Exfoliate. You don’t need to exfoliate every day. Make the decision based on your skin.
  4. Use a hydrating toner to balance your skin’s pH and start hydration.
  5. Apply essence to amp up your hydration. 
  6. Use face oil, serums or ampoules. Use ones that suit your skin the best.
  7. Apply a sheet mask or any other hydrating mask. You don’t need to do this every day.
  8. Apply an eye cream
  9. Seal all the products with a moisturizer.
  10. Apply SPF if you are applying the products in the morning. 


If you keep in mind and apply the basic principles in Korean skincare mentioned above, you will be closer to achieving the beautiful complexion you always wanted. Get in touch with JOAHYE to order a K-beauty box that contains everything you need to start a Korean beauty regimen today.

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