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I Tried the Famous Korean 10-Step Skincare Routine, & Here’s What Happened


I’m a firm believer that if you treat your skin right, it’ll hate you just a little less. In pursuit of that, I’ve tried a myriad of lotions, potions, creams and serums, and set aside a little more time each day to give my face the attention I know it deserves.

Once I saw those cute little diagrams and infographics floating around Pinterest proclaiming the wondrous magic of the South Korean 10-step skincare routine, something clicked.  

No wonder Taeyeon and Park Hye-Min have such beautiful skin when they follow a complete and thorough regimen. I had to try it! In the months since, I’ve scoured the web for the most popular K products to incorporate into my routine, but for a while, I never actually managed to follow the whole 10-step process in its entirety. This week, I decided to buckle down and get serious about K-beauty. For help and guidance along the way, I consulted one of my favorite books, The Little Book of Skin Care by Charlotte Cho. It’s basically the ultimate guide to Korean skin care and then some. 

Here's an (almost) complete look at my regimen, along with a before picture of how much Mario Badescu Drying Lotion I needed to cover my spots the night before I started. 

Day 1

My first day following the complete regimen went pretty well! I'm used to my skin care routine not taking very long, but I was surprised at how little extra time adding a few new steps took. Going to bed, my skin felt super bouncy and soft to the touch. Off to a great start, it seems! 

Day 2

I noticed a few new small bumps on my forehead, but nothing major. Despite that, my skin seems brighter and more elastic, especially after using my exfoliating peel. While putting my face on for the day, I noticed my liquid foundation blended into my skin a bit easier. 

Day 3

Time for a mask! Today I tried the Seaweed Oil Balancing Clay Mask from The Body Shop. I loved how tingly it felt as it dried, and my pores looked a lot tighter once I washed everything off. 

Day 4

This morning my skin felt a bit on the dry side, so I applied my moisturizer twice. Other than that, my skin still feels and looks better. 

Day 5

I'm getting a little tired of putting on sunscreen every day. I've always disliked the way it felt, but I gotta do it! 

Day 6

Today I did a bad, bad thing...I fell asleep with my makeup on. Needless to say, I woke up from my nap with half a dozen little whiteheads dotting my chin and nose. Once I took care of them with my extractor tool, my skin looked almost back to normal, albeit a bit redder. Never again! 

Day 7

To try and salvage the glow I've been working on all week, I decided to try a sheet mask. This one by Tony Moly uses rice as its active ingredient, which provides hydration and essential nutrients to the skin. Although it was v messy and I could've scared anybody by walking out my front door, it actually worked like crazy. This is the best my skin has looked all week - I feel like I'm actually glowing. 

Final Thoughts

Let me just say, the 10-step routine takes way less time than I imagined. After timing myself every day, the average time came out to only 5:29. Talk about quick. Here's a look at my skin after seven days on my new regimen. 

Although I do still have some redness and a nose full of blackheads (which you can't see here), I know this routine has helped my skin a ton. I definitely plan to continue onward, and hopefully after a while even my most stubborn skin issues will be taken care of.

Trying to curate your own 10-step routine? SokoGlam (created by Charlotte Cho as well!) has everything you need to get started. Good luck! 

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