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K-Beauty 101

December 31, 2020

K-Beauty 101

K-Beauty 101

So you’ve heard about the K-Beauty routine and all the steps but still have no idea where to start with your new routine? Don’t stress!

This is K-Beauty 101:

What Is The K-Beauty Routine?

More than a set of products or steps to be followed, the K-Beauty Routine is really a philosophy that involves caring for the skin by hydrating and nourishing it. You won’t find anyone in Korea talking about ’10 steps’ or ’12 step’ routines – Koreans simply do the minimum they need to do to get their skin looking good.

For most Koreans, the definition of “good skin” is a clear, transparent complexion that’s free from blemishes and dark spots and is moisturised and fresh.

This is what the steps in the K-Beauty Routine are designed to do– cleanse, treat any skin issues that crop up and hydrate to make sure your complexion is #onfleek

The Steps Of The Routine Will Be As Different As You

What it takes to keep your skin well-nourished for will look different for everyone.

If you’ve spent years in the sun, it’s going to take a little more TLC to erase the symptoms of of pigmentation, wrinkles, dehydrated and damage.

If you’re experiencing signs of premature aging or your skin is mature, you’ll require additional hydration and a few anti-aging active ingredients to take care of fine lines, wrinkles and eye bags.

What Are The “steps” Of The K-Beauty Routine?

No K-Beauty 101 would be complete without touching on the key principles behind the routine. In a nutshell, these are “Cleanse“, “Treat” and “Hydrate“.

A K-Beauty routine can include the following steps (at night)


Step 1 – Cleanse With An Oil-based Cleanser

This gently removes sunscreen, dirt and makeup.

Some of our favourites include d’Alba Piedmont Cleansing Oil for anti aging, Subi Bare Skin Balm for sensitive and dry skin, and JJ Young by Caolion Lab Black Cleansing Stick for congested skin, acne and oily skin.

Step 2 – Cleanse With A Foaming Cleanser

Follow up with a foam cleanser to get rid of any leftover product or buildup on your face. In the morning, you can skip straight to this step.

We love iUNIK’s Centella Bubble Cleansing Foam for sensitive skin, Tosowoong Enzyme Powder Wash for dry skin, JJ Young by Caolion Lab Green Cleansing Stick for travel on-the-go and COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel for acne-prone skin.

Step 3 – Exfoliator

Exfoliators are great for clearing out dead skin and promoting cell turnover – just don’t scrub too hard or too often – once or twice a week is plenty.

We love Skinfood's Black Sugar Wash Off Mask for a good-old fashioned scrub, Beauty of Joseon’s Apricot Peeling Gel for a less abrasive scrub and COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid for a chemical exfoliant alternative.


Step 4 – Toner

A good toner resets your skin’s pH balance and prepares it to properly absorb the next step of skincare. You can use this night and day after cleansing.

We love iUNIK Tea Tree Relief Toner for acne-prone skin, d’Alba Piedmont Peptide No Sebum Balancing Toner for anti-aging, and Benton Aloe BHA Skin Toner for combination skin.

Step 5 – Face Mask

Not only do face masks increase your skin’s hydration and suppleness, they also target specific skin concerns like freckles, wrinkles, skin tone, acne, pigmentation and fine lines.

They are also great in winter, to counter-act the effects of heating and air-conditioning, and for long-distance travel.

We love Benton’s Goodbye Redness Centella Mask for irritated skin and JJ Young by Caolion Lab Charcoal Mud Sheet Mask for congested skin.

Steps 6-9 – Essence/Facial Oil/Serum/Ampoule/ Emulsion

These are highly concentrated skincare products that target specific skin issues. They make skin softer, firmer, suppler, more toned, and more hydrated.

If you’re looking for K-Beauty gold, try Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence and Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment Essence.

Step 10 – Eye cream

Thicker than a standard moisturiser, a good eye creams help prevent eye bags, dark circles and puffiness by hydrating and treating the delicate under-eye area.

We love APLB's Propolis Collagen Eye Cream, which comes in a whopping 75ml jar. 


Step 11 – Moisturiser

Your moisturiser hydrates and protects the skin from the external environment.

Some of our favourites include Jelly Ko Bubble Tea Steam Cream for brightening, and APLB Retinol Vitamin A Moisture Cream to take care of aging concerns.

Step 12 – Sleeping Mask

Sleeping masks are thicker versions of moisturisers. They are designed to be left on while you sleep and washed off in the morning. A skincare product that goes to work at night while you go to sleep?! Yes, please!

We love Jelly Ko Cherry Blossom Sleeping Mask for brightening, oily skin and large pores.

Step 13 – AM – Sunscreen

When you wake up, don’t forget to slip-slop-slap before you put on your daily makeup. Aim for SPF 50+ and don’t rely on the sunscreen in your makeup for adequate protection.

Confused? Don’t Be!

The easiest way to find the best skincare routine for your skin is to try out some different products and routines and see which fits you best. There is no one-size fits all approach, particularly when it comes to the K-Beauty routine.

If you still need help with the K-Beauty 101, reach out to the SS Team for your own personalised free skin consultation!

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"This is what the steps in the K-Beauty Routine are designed to do– cleanse, treat any skin issues that crop up and hydrate to make sure your complexion is #onfleek"


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