Are You Taking the Right Steps to Care for Your Skin? Treat Your Skin to K Beauty+ A Walk Through the Korean Skincare Routine (2019)

Are You Taking the Right Steps to Care for Your Skin? Treat Your Skin to K Beauty+ A Walk Through the Korean Skincare Routine (2019)

Korean beauty products and rituals have been dominating the beauty conversation over the past year, with American retailers snapping up new K-beauty brands to sell on what seems to be a weekly basis. Whether you're a hardcore K-beauty user or just want to search for sheet mask recommendations, we have done a great job at distilling and analyzing what's out there. Read on for information and inspiration.

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Getting to Know What the Korean Skin Care Fad Is All About

In the past few years, the buzz around Korean skin care or K-beauty has become hard-to-miss particularly if you are a beauty enthusiast (and even if you aren't!)

Glowing clear skin is something that every woman dreams of, which comes naturally for a lucky few. But for most others, it can be achieved only with the right skin care routine and the right skin care products. Korean skincare burst into the global scene around ten years ago bringing with it a new entirely philosophy of skincare that intrigued many.

Inspired by the Flawless Skin of Korean Women

It was the K-pop and K-drama craze which introduced the world to the uniquely flawless skin of Korean women. Their clear dewy skin that barely needed any makeup naturally evoked interest in their beauty routines and products.

As people learnt more about it, the trend took off and found popularity globally when many found that it worked.

A Different Approach

In the Korean context, good skin is not just having no breakouts or wrinkles, it is about having healthy, blemish-less, fresh-looking skin with the inner glow which has no need for any concealment using makeup.

A major reason for Korean skincare catching on so much is its approach towards skin concerns. Rather than applying harsh chemicals to attack issues like breakouts or lathering on heavy creams to fix dryness, the K-beauty takes a gentler approach. It also enables you to tackle core issues rather than treating the symptoms.

Top ways in which Korean beauty differs:

  • Focus on Hydration: Keeping the skin moist is not about adding oil to the skin, but about retaining moisture(water) levels naturally. This helps to keep the skin fresh-looking.
  • Layering: Rather than depending on 1-2 heavy products, K-beauty suggests layering lightweight, highly concentrated products that penetrate through the skin.
  • Regular Regime: Having a regular skincare regime, curated separately for morning and evening, ensures your skin is cared for and its concerns are addressed on a daily basis.

Not Just Skincare, A Lifestyle Choice

The famed Korean glass skin is the result of a carefully put together routines that use carefully formulated products.

When you adopt the Korean skincare method, you'll realize the need to readjust your outlook on caring for your skin, your diet and how you choose skin care products. Changes like drinking more water, assessing ingredients before buying any product, dedicating time for your routine slowly becomes second nature, especially when they show results.

Why Korean Skin Care Different

Blend of Age-Old Remedies And Innovation

Korean beauty taps into the country's ancient traditional knowledge to develop products. Companies use Ingredients that have been known for centuries as potent solutions but develop the actual formulations using scientific research and processes. This ensures you get the best of both worlds.

Gentle Formulations

The use of chemicals is at a bare minimum in the majority of formulations of Korean beauty product. Products are created such that they do not cause damage to the skin (when used with care). The focus is on natural ingredients - primarily herbs but also some eyebrow-raising ones like snail mucin and bee venom!

Targeted Products

Rather than the one size fits all approach, K-beauty helps you choose products that specifically address your problems. Products are developed around particular ingredients, and skin concerns so you can figure out if its for you. This allows you to create a skin care regime that can be more effective and help you sort issues at the root.

A Short Intro to the Infamous 10-Step Routine

Korean beauty has become synonymous with the 10-step routine, often putting off newcomers, but these ten steps cover the entirety of the Korean philosophy to skin care.

In actual practice, the routine is flexible and you can pick and choose the steps that suit your particular skin profile and issues. it also does not take a huge amount of time, 10 minutes tops to finish the routine! When you see results you, like many others, are likely to find the daily routine meditative and way of self-care!

First Cleanser

Also known as oil cleanser this is a product that sets apart K-beauty. Oil cleansers form the foundation of the Korean routine. Using oils as the major ingredients they break down and remove oil based impurities, whether that's makeup or grease.

Second Cleanser

The oil cleanser is followed by a gentle foam cleanser that removes the water-based impurities like grime and sweat. This double cleansing ensures all the impurities that clog pores and cause breakouts are removed from the surface of the skin.


Exfoliation is the process of removing dead skin that accumulates daily. There are primarily two kinds of exfoliation - physical and chemical. Physical is where products like scrubs or masks are used whereas chemical is where certain mild acids are used to improve skin turnover.


Toners are products that prepare your skin for the next steps - they remove any residue left from earlier steps and balance the skin's moisture levels after the cleansing process. Offering a great many choices by way of ingredients, you can pick based on what you want the toner to focus on. For example, some toners are geared to reduce acne forming bacteria while others simply add more moisture to the skin,


Essences are light formulations that contain blends of active ingredients that deliver multiple benefits such as hydration, anti-ageing, reduced pigmentation etc. Considered as a very important step as it helps in improving the skin at an overall level.


These products feature highly effective ingredients in a concentrated form for tackling specific skin problems such as acne, fine lines or dry patches They are usually used only on the problem areas and are on the pricier side.

Sheet Mask

Yet another product that found tremendous fame thanks to Korean Beauty. Sheet masks mimic facials, delivering beneficial ingredients directly onto the face, forcing the skin to absorb. These masks may look scary but they are a wonderful way to rest the skin and treat it with healing ingredients. Recommended 2-5 times a week.

Eye Cream

The delicate skin around the eyes needs special care as they tend to show lines and dryness first. Using gentle creams with highly beneficial ingredients help the skin around the eye reduce dark circles and damaged skin,


After all that hydration, this step is where it gets sealed into the skin. A moisturizer (and there are separate ones for day and night use!) uses heavier ingredients to seal the moisture in and provide the skin with ingredients like ceramides to plump it up.

Sunscreen /Night Cream

Sunscreen is an essential part of Korean skincare. Sun damage is relentless and causes lasting issues, so protecting your skin is a must do.

Night creams nourish the skin and help it rejuvenate and heal itself as you rest.

Korean Skin Care in India: A Trend That's Catching On

As the global craze for Korean skincare grew, it naturally reached Indian shores as well. Korean products are particularly suited for Indian skin which often suffers in our hot, humid climate. Particularly for those with acne-prone, oily skin, these products offer a wonderful system to manage their skin issues.

Although it was earlier extremely hard to find authentic Korean products, today Korean brands have set up stores in India! Additionally, there are several online stores that stock Korean products, which saves you from the hassle of shopping on international sites.

Products Available More Easily Now


  • Innisfree has stores in Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Hyderabad.
  • Online beauty store Nykaa has set up stores in several major cities (current count is 34) and these usually stock products from Innisfree, The FaceShop and Klairs.

There are several online stores that offer genuine Korean products, the major of which is Nykaa. This site has the most authentic range of products from popular Korean brands. The prices too are not very expensive here.

A few other sites to check are:

You can always check out eBay stores and Korean shopping sites as well. However, you will need to account for delayed shipping, extra shipping charges and foreign currency transaction charges. Top sites for those in India: YesStyle,,

Putting Together a Beginner Korean Skin Care Kit for Indian Skin

Tempted to give it a try but think the 10 step process a little too much? Worry not, we have created a basic Korean skincare kit for Indian skin that you can try. Use our recommendations to dip your toes into K-beauty and see if the approach works, without you having to spend too much(relatively!).

Oil Cleanser

For the first step of cleaning out the day's grime or any makeup you have on, try out the Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil. It's a well-reviewed product that helps clean out the skin without drying it out. The cleanser is made of oils from natural ingredients like black bean, Black sesame oil and Black currant seed oil, all of which help control sebum production and soothe the skin. This is a great option for oily skin. Order it on for Rs. 1,550.

Here's yet another highly popular product but this time for dry skin. The Banila Co Clean It Zero is a balm cleansing oil that cleanses the skin while nourishing it and brightening it. This costs Rs. 1,600 on

The Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Oil is a perfect option for combination to dry skin. Featuring a special kind of green tea root extract, this product will hydrate while providing mild cleansing. Order it on for Rs. 1,400.

Second Cleanser

The second cleanser is similar to regular face washes, but with the major difference that it does not strip the face dry. The COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is the top cleanser recommendation across skin types. This foam cleanser uses natural ingredients to clean without irritating the skin. You can find this on for Rs. 850.


If you have oily, acne-prone skin, then the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Toner is a fantastic option. Made using Jeju volcanic scoria that eliminates excess sebum from the skin and controls oil production, this toner is great to clear up pores and look brighter. A great option for combination skin is the Cosrx Galactomyces Alcohol-Free Toner which uses ferments to hydrate the skin. Available on for Rs. 1,250.

For dry-normal skin, try the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner that's available for Rs. 1,450 on Chock-full of natural herbs, this toner will help hydrate, smoothen and brighten skin.


There are primarily two types of moisturizers available - lightweight ones for daytime use and nourishing ones for night. The Cosrx Aloe Cream is a refreshing light day wear cream that perfect for oily skin and acne prone skin. It hydrates without causing that greasy look that so normal for those with oily skin. Buy it for Rs. 1,434 from

For those with dry skin, the Cosrx Honey Ceramide Full Moisture Cream is the best option. Made using Manuka honey and ceramides, this cream will sufficient nourishment to your skin to keep it moist and plump. Buy it for Rs. 1,650 on

Sunscreen /Night Cream

If you have oily skin then consider the Missha All Around Safe Block Aqua Sun Gel which has been formulated especially for this skin type. Comprising ingredients like glacial water, this sunscreen is sweat and water resistant and protects from both UVA and UVB rays. Check it out on where its priced at Rs. 950.

In the case of Night Cream, try the Cosrx Ultra Nourishing Sleep Mask which is suitable for all skin types. Comprising rice extracts, this cream helps your skin rejuvenate itself over the night. Available for Rs. 1,350 from

Doing Korean Beauty Skincare Right: Pitfalls to Avoid

Not Knowing Your Skin

Korean beauty offers an incredible range of products using a variety of ingredients that promise amazing benefits. Knowing which ones to pick understandably is pretty key for this approach to work. Therefore you must spend time to analyze your skin. Find out your specific skin type, identify what issues you need to resolve whether that's acne or fine lines, and finally prioritize what you want to target with your skincare routine.

Rushing Your Product Purchases

Reviews that boast of amazing results might make you want to order it all. Hold on. Don't buy a whole host of products without knowing if your skin is ready for it or even if it needs it. The 10-step process is simply a suggestion. Particularly as a beginner, you need to consider carefully pick out products, test it out and then stick to it. Adding steps further depends on several factors like how your skin is responding, fresh issues to tackle etc.

Expecting Overnight Results

The gorgeous glass skin is sadly not going to happen overnight. K-beauty products may deliver great results but as with everything in life they need time. Some products do show improvement quickly, but nothing is guaranteed. So unless you have a bad reaction continue using the products with consistency and patience to see if they actually work.

Assuming One-Size-Fits-All Approach

One of the greatest things about K-beauty is its flexibility, you can pick out products that suit your skin needs. However, the flip side is that products need to give the same results to everyone. There are so many factors involved - diet, genetic, environment, skin type, stress levels - that products have different reactions. So although a product has worked for another person it may not work for you. So you need to accept that there's an element of trial and error involved in K-beauty.

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Ultimate Step Korean Beauty Skincare Routine

Well, the Korean skincare routine may be a super long process but as we can see from these Korean beauty enthusiasts, the whole step really pays off. As most of them are very conscious about their skin, their advanced technology has brought superior care into bottles and believe us, there are Korean cosmetics products that really live up to their promise! The entire routine may sound quite intimidating but it’s really a great way to take care of your skin while pampering yourself. Do you think it’s something you’ll try?