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10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine

We’ve revamped the traditional Korean skincare routine with ten of our best new natural skincare products from 100% PURE.

Posted on May 29, 2017
Written by: 100% PURE®

*Editor’s Note: We’ve updated our previous Korean skincare routine with our just-launched natural skin care products, while expanding skin type options!

By now the mythical, magical, and somewhat elusive Korean skincare routine has been demystified. This multi-step skincare routine is based on a complex layering system in order to protect and use each product to its fullest beauty potential. This trail-blazing layering routine has a deep philosophy of ritualizing the whole beauty experience: it’s not about randomly choosing skin care products or just slapping something here and a little dab there. It’s truly an artform with a zen-like flow.

Have you ever thought about the skincare products your skin is absorbing? The idea that not all beauty is created equal is commonly accepted now, but have you ever thought a little deeper into the production chain to realize that not all packaging is safe? There can be BPA and phthalates slowly seeping into your beloved skincare products. Harmful plastics can be leaching into your personal care products without you even realizing. Ack! Luckily, 100% PURE is committed to using glass and safe plastic tubes that are free from BPA, phthalates, and other harmful toxins or chemicals.

Skincare is super personal, and there’s no catch-all routine that will work for everyone. What we love about the Korean Skincare routine is that it’s structured with this in mind. Depending on your skin concerns, you can tailor the method to really focus on certain details -- like clarifying, anti-aging, or radiance boosting. Here we’ve updated the scaffolding of a 10 step Korean skincare routine that you can play and experiment with until you find your perfect and unique formula. Try it out (might we suggest the long holiday weekend when you are a little less frazzled and have more time?) and see what works for you.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 1: First Cleanse (Oil)

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Light Cleanse: Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk

Deep Cleanse: Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

When embarking on your Korean skin care routine, the first step is to gently cleanse with the help of natural oils. It might seem scary to acne prone skin types to be using oil to remove makeup and impurities but stick with us, it will be more than okay. The concept behind using oil as a cleanser is that this luxurious liquid is the perfect and most effective carrier to dissolve sebum, stubborn makeup, and dry or hardened debris in your pores. It’s all about dissolving the bad stuff! If you’re opting for a light cleanse, reach for our new vegan Coconut Oil Cleansing Milk. This indulgent facial cleanser was made in a base of skin softening coconut milk and coconut oil. The subtle smell of vanilla bean and coconut reminds us of just baked Japanese sweet bread.

If you’re needing a deeper cleanse after a night out or a long day at the office, our Blood Orange Cleansing Balm is here to help! The healing oils like organic avocado, organic coconut, and organic olive are simultaneously cleansing and moisturizing your delicate skin. We recommend taking an extra minute or two to give yourself a facial massage while cleansing your face with the rich and buttery cleansing balm, since the balm turns to a silky smooth texture on contact. Make sure to treat your skin with love and care, and avoid tugging or any harsh rubbing.

PRO TIP: If using the cleansing balm, make sure the water is warm to hot while using a face towel to remove. Cold to cool water will make the removal process more difficult.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 2: Second Cleanse (Water)

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Dull Skin: Fermented Rice Cleanser

Acne Prone Skin: Tea Tree & Willow Cleanser

Uneven Skin: Berry Nectar Cleanser

Onward to the second cleanse of our new routine! Double cleansing is important and acts as second cleanup crew for your face. This step will help pick up any lingering bits or oil left from your first oil cleanse. While you might be tempted to switch steps, it’s important to keep the water cleanse second so that the natural skincare cleanser ingredients can tone, hydrate and sink into your pores without having to battle any dirt or grime. If you’re part of the dull, lackluster skin group, try Fermented Rice Water Cleanser, which harnesses the power of sake, amino acids, malic acid, and a treasure trove of minerals and vitamins to help brighten and soften skin. Our new sake cleanser uses powerful natural ingredients like mushrooms, licorice, white mulberry and citrus to help lighten dark spots, rather than harsh or toxic chemical lighteners. Are you looking for a natural solution to acne and oily skin? Tea Tree & Willow Clarifying Cleanser is your new go-to cleanser. With a concentration of antibacterial ingredients like tea tree and willow, our plant-based cleanser is perfect for acne prone skin. 100% PURE’s gentle formula will help unclog pores and remove excess oil without stripping or drying sensitive skin. Our Berry Nectar Nourishing Cleanser is literally overflowing with potent berry power! We packed over ten vitamin and antioxidant packed fruits into this complexion balancing cleanser. Fruit acids from green apple, cranberries and citrus help to invigorate dull, vitamin-deprived skin. Who knew tiny berries could help be such big players in giving your complexion a healthy glow?

PRO TIP: For an extra cleansing benefit, use our Konjac Sponge or Facial Cleansing Brush to help gently exfoliate dead skin cells on your face; this will help to revitalize and promote healthy skin cell turnover.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 3: Exfoliate

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Acai Pulp Facial Scrub

Next phase: exfoliating. Traditional skin care products use harsh and abrasive bits of plastic or cardboard to act as exfoliators, but those seemingly innocent particles are actually causing more harm than good. Harsh scrub ingredients might seem like they really ‘get in there’, but trust us, they aren’t helping your skin (more abrasion is not better). These hard and oversized pieces are often causing more damage and irritation to your skin -- possibly even enlarging pores (Gah!). Opt for gentle, natural, and effective exfoliators like jojoba beads or Acai pulp. Pulp from acai berries is the hidden hero in our Acai Pulp Facial Scrub, working behind the scenes to slough away dead skin cells and keep our environment and wildlife safe by not clogging it full of non-biodegradable plastic beads. It’s critical to add an exfoliating step in your skincare routine, and depending on your skin type and needs, you can incorporate gentle exfoliating daily or as little as twice a month for extra sensitive skin. By exfoliating with non-synthetic based scrubs, it opens your pores up to accepting hydrators, serums and moisturizers in later steps. Concentrate on your T-Zone while gently buffing circles on your face and avoid harsh or repetitive rubbing or scrubbing motions. The increased circulation to your dermis will leave you with a healthy glow, and ready to move on to your next skincare layer.

PRO TIP: Leave the scrub on for a few minutes as a light acid mask, while gently massaging your face (in upwards motions) for another self care moment.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 4: Toner

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Dull Skin: Fermented Rice Cleanser

Dry Skin: Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner

Acne-Prone Skin: Tea Tree & Willow Astringent

Are toners just part of some giant, worldwide skincare marketing scheme to add an extra step? Nope, think again! If you aren’t already using a toner, listen up: this essential step is not about the highly irritating astringents of yesteryear, or about those harsh alcohol-based toners we used as teens, desperate to banish acne once and for all. 100% PURE has given natural toners a makeover by creating gentle formulas that deliver much needed hydration through hyaluronic acid, while simultaneously balancing skin’s natural PH levels.

The toner step’s main purpose is to soften, or “pre-moisturize” your skin in order to prep it to absorb the thicker, richer formulas that come later in this multi-step routine. We’ve already touched on the powers of skin brightening sake and the same goes for our Fermented Rice Toner. Whether it’s have dry skin year-round or are simply plagued by winter dryness, our toner from the sea, Restorative Sea Culture Hydrating Toner, delivers intense water-drenching power to soften, plump, and hydrate thristry skin. We’ve formulated this natural toner in a base of gelatinous algin from pure seaweed. In order to retain the purest minerals and healing nutrients from our beautiful ocean, we’ve sourced our seaweed from unpolluted waters.

A common misconception for acne prone skin is that it doesn’t need moisture or hydration, because your skin is already oily. False: oily and acne prone types both need water to help balance regularly fickle skin. Within a base of tea tree leaf water, super absorbing hyaluronic acid helps to pull this anti-inflammatory toner deep into your pores. Working together with antibacterial and antiseptic herbs, our Tea Tree & Willow Astringent will help to soothe, clarify and fight off future breakouts without stripping or irritating your delicate skin. Toners can be pumped into clean hands and gently patted onto your face, or pumped onto a clean cotton pad and gently swept onto your skin. Don’t forget your neck and eye area!

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 5: Serum

☀️ Morning Skin Care Product

Dull Skin: Fermented Rice Water Serum

Damaged Skin: Green Tea EGCG Serum

Dry Skin: Restorative Sea Serum

🌙 Night Skin Care Product

Dull Skin: Vitamin C Serum

Uneven Skin: Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum

Getting into the groove yet? You’re halfway there! Step five is all about delivering much-needed vitamins, minerals and nutrients to your skin. If you’ve been following our routine, so far you’ve cleansed, cleansed again, and thoroughly prepped skin for the serum application. This layer is where you’ll be targeting specific concerns for your specific skin type. If it’s the morning and you have dull or lackluster skin, we’d recommend applying a thin layer of Fermented Rice Water Serum. Did you know that sake is rich in enzymes, malic acid, amino acid, and vitamins? The powers of EGCG go far beyond your cup of green tea. Green tea in skincare comes with a potent dose of EGCG: an important phytochemical in helping to delay to signs of aging. This natural ingredient doubles down by also containing caffeine, known to help reduce the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. For everyone who falls under the dry skin category, try our ultra light and silky Restorative Sea Serum to restore hydration via seaweed polysaccharides, working behind-the-scenes to plump up your complexion.

About to call it a night? We’ve developed two groundbreaking superstars for night time regimen serums. Try the newest member and current rising star: Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Potent PM Serum. What sets this serum apart from every other serum on the skincare market is our unique technology of combining Vitamin C and Niacinamide.

“I love 100% Pure’s Multi Vitamin serum. It is made with 10% Vitamin C, 10% Niacinamide, 10% Vitamin E, 1% CoQ10, and 1% Retinol. Although Vitamin C and Niacinamide are anti-aging superstars, they are not usually in a single formula. That’s because Vitamin C is usually highly acidic with a pH balance of around 2-3 whereas niacinamide needs to stay at a neutral pH of around 6 to stabilize. When formulating this potent serum, I found a way to combine Vitamin C with Niacinamide by using a higher quality, more expensive vitamin C (Magnesium Ascorbyl Phosphate) that has the same pH as Niacinamide so they can work synergistically together.”

- Susie Wang, Co-Founder of 100% PURE

If you’re hoping to brighten and smooth away discoloration, try our Vitamin C Serum. We’ve formulated with vitamin C and green apple extract for serious brightening and enhanced collagen production. As always, when using skincare products with Vitamin C or retinol, make sure to use SPF the following day to protect your skin.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 6: Hydrogel Mask

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Dry Skin: Green Tea Water Bomb Mask

Mature Skin: Ginseng Collagen Boost Mask

Sun Damaged Skin: Caffeine Mask

If you’re a fellow beauty nerd, no doubt you’ve already tried a Korean sheet mask: the beauty staple that’s still going strong, enjoying much more than 15 minutes of fame in the skincare spotlight. Color us enamored, because we just can’t imagine life before face masks. Natural face masks are incredibly effective hydrators, meaning they soak their healing, hydrating ingredients into your skin until they literally shrivel up. Leave your sheet mask on for at least 15 - 20 minutes to let it fully activate. The secret behind this powerful beauty tool is that it avoids the pitfall of product evaporation, which can happen with other products that you apply in non-mask form.

Our Green Tea Water Bomb Mask injects your pores with hyaluronic acid, which hydrates skin cells, and green tea extract, for increased circulation and reduced inflammation. The hydrogel formula is composed of intensely nourishing organic aloe water and plant cellulose. Channeling traditional Chinese medicine, we’ve made ginseng the star of our Ginseng Collagen Boost Mask. This gangly root has been praised for thousands of years, and it’s not hard to see why when you drill down into the many health benefits of ginseng. Known for its anti-aging, toning and brightening properties, Korean ginseng, along with Vitamin C, helps to boost collagen production. Did you catch our previous blog about the benefits of caffeine in skincare? If not, pop on a Caffeine Mask and hop over to read how to power of caffeine can help sun damaged skin and reduce puffiness. So yes, you can have your caffeine and wear it, too!

PRO TIP: Make adjustments to the mask to help it lay flat on your face for maximum benefits. You might need to gently tear slits on the sides of the eye or mouth holes.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 7: Eye Cream

☀️ Morning Skin Care Product

Puffy Eyes: Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream

Crepey Eyes: Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream

🌙 Night Skin Care Product

Dark Circles: Retinol PM Eye Cream

It’s true that the eyes are the window to the soul, but they’re also one of the main giveaways to our age. Chances are your eye area needs specific help to depuff, lock in moisture, lessen dark circles, or revitalize crepey skin -- or all of the above. We always advocate for paying special attention to your eye area, since it houses the most fragile skin of your face and requires special TLC to make it really shine. While each natural eye cream from 100% PURE is packed with powerful, skin-beneficial ingredients, choosing the correct eye cream can be difficult, so we’ve whipped up an eye cream guide to help you decided which natural eye cream is best for you.

Our Coffee Bean Caffeine Eye Cream comes in big for eye area multitasking, with its highly caffeinated formula (an ingredient with proven results for de-puffing), and rose hydrol for a concentrated shot of PH restoration and reduced inflammation. We’ve recently developed two new eye creams that are ready to join your bathroom vanity: for starters, Super Fruit Oil Nourishing Eye Cream is true to its name. Super fruits within the formula work to help fend off pollution, smog, smoke and anything else trying to infiltrate your delicate dermis. The ultra rich fruit oils from pomegranates, plums, acai and coconuts help to deeply moisturize your eye area.

Plant-based retinol in our Retinol PM Eye Cream are dark circles’ worst nightmare. Vegan stem cells from mung beans are the secret weapon in our age correcting eye cream formula to support more rapid cell turnover and new cell production. Working with a concentration of vitamins and peptides, this nighttime eye cream instantly starts working while you sleep to promote collagen, elasticity, and help lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles -- truly beauty sleep. For application of any eye cream in this step, always use gentle upward tapping motions, being careful to never tug or pull skin.

PRO TIP: We love to apply this eye cream like a star on our face, hitting 5 points: under each eye, between our eyebrows, and either side of our mouth for the smile lines.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 8: Moisturizer

☀️ Morning Skin Care Product

Lackluster Skin: Restorative Sea Culture Extra Riche Créme

Damaged Skin: Green Tea EGCG Protective Cream

Dry Skin: Hydra Drench Water Gel Cream

🌙 Night Skin Care Product

Multi-Vitamin + Antioxidants Ultra Riche PM Treatment

Hydration is everything in the Korean skincare routine, and the layering and combining of products allows your moisturizer to give you its all. This is your chance to seal in the ingredients you’ve applied up to this point: think nourishing and also providing yourself with a protective layer. To pump the brakes on aging, skin discoloration and dullness, religious application of your moisturizer (on your face and neck) is key. Try our newly released Hydra Drench Water Gel Cream for intense hydration from chia seed gel. For damaged skin or for someone who is battling pollution on a daily basis (we’re looking at you, city slickers), we’d recommend opting for our Green Tea EGCG Protective Cream to help you ward off toxins in the air. Restorative Sea Culture Extra Riche Créme is a natural moisturizer straight from the sea; within this rich face cream lies a nutrient-rich bounty from the sea containing minerals, antioxidants, vitamins and trace elements. This deeply moisturizing skin care product also uses skin plumping seaweed and red algae to lock in hydration, to keep your skin supple and nourished all day long.

Rather than using cheap polymers, fillers, or toxic synthetics, 100% PURE has only formulated skin care with active, natural and skin beneficial ingredients.

“We never use fillers, thickeners, or anything synthetic or toxic in our products. Basically, if it is unhealthy, it is not going in the formula. We only use the healthiest, highest quality ingredients.”

- Susie Wang, Co-Founder of 100% PURE

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 9: Facial Oil

☀️🌙 Morning + Night Skin Care Product

Argan Oil

There is truly an art to this Korean skin care layering system: it all boils down to molecular sizes within the skincare formulas and what needs to be first, second, and so on for it to properly penetrate your skin. Moving on to the oil step, our 100% PURE argan oil is rich with vitamin E, carotenoids, squalene, and essential fatty acids. This skin softening oil is the perfect layer for deeply moisturizing and nourishing your skin with restorative nutrients. Oil can be a multi-use, multi-area treatment, so don’t feel like you have to stop at your face. Gently sweep argan oil around your decollete, hands, hair and anywhere else needing a little moisturization.

100% Pure Blood Orange Cleansing Balm

Step 10: Sunscreen or Night Balm

☀️ Morning Skin Care Product

Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30

🌙 Night Skin Care Product

Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm

Our skincare journey is drawing to a close, and you definitely get a gold star for making it to the end! When going through your routine in the morning, always finish with SPF in order to maintain and protect the work you’ve put into your skin. UVB and UVA rays put your skin on the fast track to sagging and wrinkles, so take care to apply – and reapply – throughout the day. Our Yerba Mate Mist SPF 30 will give you full protection; we even snuck yerba mate extract into this SPF spray, which is a natural hydrator and defender against free radicals (key for anti-aging).

If you’re at your last step and it’s the evening, top off your multi-layered skin care goodness with our Retinol Restorative Overnight Balm. This rich, buttery balm will nourish, brighten and smooth your skin while you’re off in dreamland. The natural retinol from carrots will promote even skin tone and elasticity. You’ll wake up to a perfectly replenished complexion, with all the hard work having been done while you slept. Remember to ALWAYS wear sunscreen the next day after using this high potency overnight balm.

Put the time in, play around with a routine that fits your face and your life, then stick to it. The Korean skincare regime is a lot less scary then it seems, we promise: make it your own and nip skincare woes in the bud. If your looking for more skincare advice, check out our informative 10 Things to Never Do with Skincare to see if you’re making any common skincare mistakes.

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