The Universal Skincare Routine?

Hey Ashes 2 Ashes Fam,

Welcome back to another blog post, today we’re going to be focusing on how you can transform your skin with this 10 step skincare system from Korea. In case you weren’t aware, South Korean women and men are the pioneers of the beauty industry and are usually 20 steps ahead of us westerners when it comes to makeup and skincare. So today I thought I would explain each step of a Korean Skincare Routine and give some western product suggestions to follow this routine (note the * next to my personal favourites).

First, if you want to check out my Korean morning skincare routine, I’ve just uploaded it on youtube and have embedded it below for your viewing pleasure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Step 1: First Cleanse

The most important part of a Korean Skincare Routine is the double cleanse. Korean women and men are fanatic about makeup and dirt removal from their face and like to use two different cleansing methods to do this. The first cleanse is the makeup removing step and involves a balm or oil cleanser. These products are applied to the face dry to melt away all the makeup. They are then emulsified with water to create a milky cleanser that completely rinses off all makeup.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Swisse Moringa Oil Cleanser $8

Palmer’s Ultra Gentle Facial Cleansing Oil $14.99*

Trilogy Makeup Be Gone Cleansing Balm $38.99

Step 2: Second Cleanse

This step is designed to remove any excess makeup, dirt or residue left over from the first cleanse and is usually a water based or gel cleanser. These cleansers are the one’s we are most familiar with here in Australia but make sure to pick one not too striping to the skin.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Simple Moisturising Facial Wash $9.99*

Palmer’s Creamy Cleanser & Makeup Remover $9.99*

Olay Total Effects Foaming Cleanser $13.99*

Step 3: Exfoliator

This step is not necessary for every day in a Korean Routine but is incorporated at least twice a week. Peeling Gel’s and Gentle Physical Exfoliants are very popular in Korea but it’s up to you wether or not you use a physical or chemical exfoliant.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Nivea Gentle Exfoliating Scrub $9.99

Simple Smoothing Facial Scrub $9.99*

Nip+Fab Glycolic Scrub Fix $21.99

Step 4: Toner

This next step is toner, and this step is to help balance the skin and help it regain some moisture after cleansing. This step can also include the 7 Skin Method which I talked about in my skincare video where you layer toner to help aid with skin hydration.

Drugstore Suggestions:

ModelCo Replenish Rose Mist Nourish & Tone $19.99

Trilogy Hydrating Mist Toner $27.99*

Bioderma Hydrabio Tonique Moisturising Toning Lotion $32.99

Step 5: Essence

This next step is a hybrid between a serum and toner, packed full of anti-oxidants and is designed to aid in skin repair and cell turnover for a brighter and more hydrated complexion.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Antipodes Ananda Antioxidant-Rich Gentle Toner $34.99*

Olay Regenerist Miracle Boost $39.99

Dr. Lewinn’s Eternal Youth Luminosity Day & Night Golden Essence $69.99

Step 6: Serums or Ampoules

This step is where you personalise your products to your skin type, pick a problem area wether it be dryness, pigmentation, oil control or redness and then find a serum or treatment that can help with that.

Drugstore Suggestions (The most common skin issues):


The Ordinary Niacinamide 10% + Zinc 1% $9.90

Trilogy Blemish Control Gel $20.99

La Roche-Posay Effaclar Duo Plus $29.99


Derma E Vitamin C Concentrated Serum $34.99

La Roche-Posay Seni White Emulsion $39.99

JoJoba Company Natural Pigmentation Oil $39.99


The Ordinary Vitamin C Suspension 23% + HA Spheres 2% $9.80

Antipodes Worship Superfruit Antioxidant Serum $53.99*

Dr. Lewinn’s Eternal Youth Night & Day Serum $69.99


The Ordinary Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5 $12.90

Palmer’s Skin Perfecting Ultra Hydrating Serum $24.99

Avene Hydrance Optimale Rehydrating Serum $59.99*

Step 7: Masks

Now if you know anything about Asian Skincare, you know sheet masks are everything. Unfortunately here in the west we have no where near the amount of options when it comes to sheet masks as clay masks are the most popular option. But again, apply a mask that is perfect for your skin type but preferably something hydrating or pore refining.

Drugstore Suggestions:


Avene Instant Soothing Moisture Mask $44.99*

Antipodes Aura Manuka Honey Mask $48.99

Sheet Masks:

Yes To Coconut Ultra Hydrating Paper Mask $4.79

Garnier Hydrabomb Tissue Mask Green Tea $4.99*

Neutrogena Hydro Boost Mask $19.99

Mud Masks:

Formula 10.0.6 Skin Clarifying Mud Mask $1.99*

L’oreal Paris Pure Clay Mask: Detoxifying & Brightening Charcoal Mask $13.99

Sukin Super Greens Detoxifying Clay Masque $16.99*

Step 8: Eye Cream

This particular step while many skin care enthusiasts believe it to be pointless, it is incredibly important for Korean skincare to aid in makeup application. Eye cream allows for a seamless and smoother application of eye makeup as well adding hydration and fine line treatment.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Palmer’s Illuminating Brightening Eye Serum $14.99

Simple Regeneration Age Resisting Eye Cream $19.99

Olay Eyes Pro-Retinol Eye Treatment $48.99*

Step 9: Moisturiserย 

Moisturiser is incredibly important in a Korean routine as moisture is king no matter what your skin type. Choosing a moisturiser that sinks into the skin while providing a lovely glow for no-makeup-makeup is a must have.

Drugstore Suggestions:

Oily Skin:

Simple Hydrating Light Moisturiser $3.99*

Formula 10.0.6 Seriously Shine Free, Mattifying Oil-Free Moisturiser $9.99

Bioderma Sebium Global $29.99*


Neutrogena Sensitive Skin Moisturiser $13.99*

Olay Moisturising Lotion $10.00*

Dry Skin:

Simple Replenishing Rich Moisturiser $9.99

Olay Moisturising Cream $10.00

Essano Rosehip Collagen Repair Night Creme $24.99*

Step 10: SPF

Korea, much like Australia has a warmer climate with a high chance of sun exposure. It is the most important step of any skincare routine to apply at least SPF 30 on your skin and at least 1/4 tbsp. The protection within moisturiser is not enough to fully protect your skin so adding an extra sunscreen is a must.

Drugstore Suggestions:

La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Melt-In-Cream SPF 50+ $11.20

Ego Sunsense Moisturising Face Lotion 50+ $14.49

Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Fluid SPF 50 Facial Suncreen $19.99

And that, ladies and gentleman is a 10 step Korean Skincare Routine. I dare you to try it and leave a comment down below or let me know on any of my social media accounts how it goes. I promise you wont be disappointed ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ashley Wangmann


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