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    I Tried The 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine And It Took A Long Time

    I wanted my skin to scream, "hydrated radiance!"

    Hi, I'm Lauren and I've recently become obsessed with Korean skincare. Korean beauty culture highlights skincare over makeup, so it's no wonder that there is a whole routine dedicated to treating your skin right.

    Lauren Han

    My skin is very acne-prone and dry, but also super oily at times. So, like, WTF you know?

    Charlotte Cho, founder of Soko Glam, outlines the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine in The Little Book of Skin Care, aka my new bible.

    William Morrow / Via

    My skin really isn't that bad, but I wanted it to be great. My mom has been doing this for decades and her skin is brighter, more youthful, and glowier than mine. I should've listened to her. Sorry, mom!

    I decided to try the 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine in an attempt to achieve that flawless, dewy look that Koreans are so well-known for.

    Lauren Han

    I bought all the things I needed in order to get that glowy skin. Even though it is called the "10-Step Routine," you don't actually do all 10 steps every day, and you can switch it up based on your preferences. I was a little hesitant to try this because I'm incredibly lazy. Once I'm in my bed, it's hard for me to get up to take my makeup off. This time, however, I was determined.

    Step 1: Makeup Remover and Oil Cleanser

    Lauren Han

    I used Banila co Clean It Zero Purity on my dry face. While it may look like it's doing the opposite of cleansing (and a bit terrifying), it actually gets everything off once you rinse it with warm water โ€” even waterproof mascara. This stuff is ridiculous and I love it.

    Step 2: Water Based Cleanser

    Lauren Han

    Double-cleansing is a must in the routine. This actually is my favorite new thing to do at night because it really makes my skin feel so clean โ€” not like that super tight, dry feeling. I've been using Skin Food Wildberry Milk Cleansing Foam and it's good, but I'm not married to it.

    Step 3: Exfoliate

    Lauren Han

    This is one of those steps you don't do every day, just once or twice a week to get all those dead skin cells off your face. This particular scrub, Skinfood Black Sugar Mask, is amazing and my skin feels smoother than a baby's bottom every time I use it. Oh, and it smells sooooo good.

    Step 4: Toner

    Lauren Han

    Toners are meant to be refreshing and to prep your face for the next steps. I don't know if I feel a significant difference after applying Nature Republic Aloe Vera Toner, if I'm being honest.

    Step 5: Essence

    Lauren Han

    Essence is supposed to be the miracle step that really transforms and repairs your skin, but I have my suspicions that this particular one โ€” Missha Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence. I think it made me break out. It's very watery, and you just pat it in to your skin.

    Step 6: Serums, Boosters, and Ampoules

    Lauren Han

    These are for more specific issues, like wrinkles, brightening, discoloration, etc. Mine (Art Naturals Vitamin C Serum) is for wrinkle-prevention, so IDK if it's working. I'll let you know in about 10 years.

    Step 7: Sheet Mask

    Lauren Han

    Ugh, so this is another one of my favorite steps. It's so hydrating and it's just relaxing to sit there for 25 minutes and not do anything. I typically use the Tony Moly Sheet Masks, but my friend brought me this one from Korea so I thought I'd give it a try. I don't actually know if this was a sheet mask... but it looks like it so maybe?

    Step 8: Eye Cream

    Lauren Han

    Not quite sure what this does either, but I have been told it's important. Probably for wrinkles too, since it's called Olay Age Defying Anti-Wrinkle Cream.

    Step 9: Moisturizer

    Lauren Han

    Like I mentioned, my skin is super dry so moisturizing is a necessity for me. I've been using this Clinique one for years and I feel amazing every time I put it on.

    Step 10: Sunscreen

    Lauren Han

    I personally hate sunscreen but I know it's important so I apply this EVERY morning. I usually don't have to apply at night since it's typically dark when I go to sleep and wake up (sometimes). This Neutrogena Sunscreen Lotion has become the only sunscreen I use. It feels like lotion, it's lightweight, and it doesn't smell.

    And that's it!

    Lauren Han

    So it's not really 10 steps every day and night. After doing this for a couple of months, here are my thoughts:


    - Double cleansing makes my skin feel so clean

    - I found a lot of new products that I love but would not have tried before

    - Fewer breakouts

    - I feel relaxed going to bed because I basically just spent 10 minutes pampering myself

    - I stopped picking at my pimples because I was more conscientious of my skin

    - I started wearing less concealer/foundation and felt a lot more comfortable with my skin


    - By starting so many new products at once, I didn't know which ones made my skin react a certain way (whether it was positive or negative). So I would recommend introducing each step into your current routine over time.

    - This is much more costly overall because there are so many products

    - It's less convenient when packing for travel

    - I can't hit the snooze button anymore

    Overall, I did see noticeable changes in my skin and will be sticking to this routine for a while, but I am definitely okay if I skip a day or two here and there.

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