I’m not the kind of person who has great skin by default. I always had to do a little extra- especially in my early teens when I struggled with acne. Even now there are still some things my skin needs great improvement on, so lately I’ve been reading a lot on the Korean skincare routine, decided to give it a try myself, and also share it with you guys.

The thing is, their skincare routine is pretty different from what we’re used to. Sure you use a face scrub and moisturize your face every now and then in order to keep your skin fresh, but this is a 10-step everyday routine. Now don’t panic- I know 10 layers on your skin may sound overwhelming, but that is exactly why I made this introduction to it, in lesser steps, so you can become familiar with the basics at first.


I cannot stress enough how important it is using a good cleanser to take off your make-up every night. I typically use Garnier’s Micellar Water that does a great job at deep cleaning the face, but if you want to take it to the next step, you should know that korean women use two cleansers in their routine: an oil-based one for removing stubborn eye/lip make-up and after that a water-based one to make sure all impurities are out of the way.


Exfoliating your skin is crucial, because you need to slough off the dead skin cells in order for your pores to be able to properly absorb the skin care products and allow them to do their job. It’s recommended you do it twice a week, and depending on how rough the formula is, be very gentle when applying. You can even do your own exfoliating face scrub at home without much effort – I made one using granulated sugar, olive oil, and honey. Easy to apply and works wonders.


Toner, or “refresher”, hydrates your skin, making it easier to apply the next products. Kind of like a sponge, your skin responds much more quicker to treatments when it’s a bit damp than when it’s dried up. For this I use the ETUDE HOUSE Pink Water Facial Toner, it’s easy on the skin and you can either apply it directly on your face using your hands or using a cotton ball and just swipe it all over.

Korean Skincare routine facial toner


Ah yes, essence is dubbed the “pillar of the korean skincare routine”, let me explain to you why: it is made so that it directly targets fine lines, dull and uneven skintones, and basically has active ingredients that help with skin regeneration – making the skin brighter and smoother. Now, there is this confusion, many people wonder what the difference between “essence” and “serum” is; truth is, they’re pretty much the same thing, it’s the concentration that differs. Typically essences are more lightweight, marketed as another layer of hydration before applying the serums.


This is the skin perfecting step, like I said before, serums are the more concentrated versions of essence. They are the treatment products, working on issues such as acne, brightening and evening skintone, pore-refining, etc. so you adapt and use them based on your skin’s needs, and for this I am using the ETUDE HOUSE Pink Water Serum.


Emulsion in pretty much like a moisturizer, but with a more watery consistency. You can either use them before the serums or after them, depending on your routine. Since mine is from the ETUDE HOUSE set, it is made to be used after the serums. This is not an absolute must, but it can only do good, it’s job is to create a moisture (am I the only one that is bothered by this word?) barrier that will seal in all the products you used before, leaving your skin soft.


It’s really no doubt that the skin around your eyes is extremely fragile and, well, it should be treated as such, so you can avoid lines and dark circles around your eyes. Therefore, after all those steps mentioned before, you should gently tap (not rub) the cream on the entire orbital bone. The ETUDE HOUSE kit comes with an eye cream, but for this I also use the TONYMOLY Panda eye stick (it’s adorable. The packaging is convincing enough) ; it is extremely refreshing and I usually use it in the morning if my eyes are feeling puffy or if I have visible dark circles.

korean skincare routine eye serum


You might wonder, Nora, this is nice and all, but where can I get all of this stuff? I got you covered. I got the Pink Vital Water Trial Kit (it includes the toner, serum, emulsion and eye cream) from eBay. This is the perfect kit for you to get started with this kind of routine! As for the TONYMOLY Eye Stick, I got it from Sephora, but as you already guess it’s available on eBay too.


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