Skincare Stories | What is the 10 Step Skincare Routine?

Hello, everyone! I’ve decided to start a new series called Skincare Stories that focuses around…you guessed it, skincare! Skincare can be quite daunting for a lot of people; everyone has a different skin types which respond differently to products, and everyone struggles with different skin issues, too. Sometimes, it’s really hard to figure out what each ingredient does, what type of products your skin needs, and what ingredients actually work, versus products that are just a gimmick or fad!

I’m no expert when it comes to skincare, but taking care of my skin is something that I do enjoy. I thought that starting a series all about it would really help to get some things cleared up (even for myself!) and to get some discussion going!

Some people might think that we buy all of these lotions and potions because we’re vain, and that skincare is a gimmick. Our skin is the largest organ in our body, AND it’s also the most visible. We take care of our hearts by going to the gym, and we take care of our livers by not binge-drinking. Why shouldn’t we be doing our best to take care of our skin by providing it with the ingredients it needs to keep it happy? Good skincare also doesn’t need to cost an arm and a leg, either. There is perfectly affordable skincare out there that works just as well, too!

Today’s post is all about the 10-step skincare routine. My friend recently asked me if I follow the 10-step skincare routine, and I told her that I actually don’t. If you haven’t heard of the the 10-step skincare routine, it comes from Korea and like all Korean beauty products, it has really taken off the last few years. Some steps are the same as the Western skincare regime, while some steps are new. The 10 steps are as follows:

1. Double cleansing

This includes using a cleansing oil or balm to break down all of your makeup and other surface grime from the day, and then following it with a cleanser to completely wash off the cleansing oil and makeup.


2. Exfoliator

The idea of an exfoliator is that it helps to shed your dead skin faster, leaving behind the “new”, fresh skin underneath. There are two types of exfoliators: chemical and physical.

3. Toner

After oil cleansing and washing for your face with cleanser, toner helps to restore your pH balance, and preps and softens your skin for the products that will go on your face after toner. Some people also use it to take off any residual makeup that wasn’t removed during the cleansing process.


4. Essence

Essences are new to the Western skincare scene, therefore they can be a bit confusing to those of us who are not well-versed in Korean skincare. Toner actually consists of a lot of water, but essence is the first step of our skincare that preps the skin for moisturizer, and is packed with nutrients and antioxidants. In terms of consistency, essence is thicker than toner and not quite as watery.

5. Serums

This step is not new to us! Serums are different in essence in that they have a higher concentration of active ingredients and will usually target a specific skin concern, whether that be acne, brightening, and fine lines.

6. Sheet Masks

I bet a lot of us have used sheet masks before! These are fiber masks (but now also come in different materials as well) soaked in serums. You lay these on your face for about 15 minutes while relaxing, and come out of it with plump, soft skin! Sheet masks target different issues, such as brightening, hydrating, and firming.

7. Eye Cream

This one is pretty self-explanatory; eye creams keep the eye area moisturized, helps to decrease puffiness, and diminish the look of wrinkles. There has always been some debate as to whether we need a separate cream for the eyes, but I’ll leave that one up to you!

8. Moisturizer

Every skin type needs a moisturizer, whether you have oily or dry skin. Moisturizer not only helps to, well, moisturize your skin, but it also helps to lock in all of the other nutrients from the previous products you have applied.


9. SPF

Okay, everyone knows what sunscreen is, too. Everybody also knows that we should be wearing SPF on a daily basis, but I’m willing to guess a lot of us don’t! In the past, sunscreens have always been sticky and give you a white cast, but those are sunscreens of days past. These days, sunscreens can be thin and comfortable enough to wear every day. Similar to exfoliators, SPFs can be physical or chemical.

10. Sleeping Masks

I didn’t know until recently that sleeping masks are also from the Korean beauty routine, even though I’v been using them for years! Sleeping masks help to seal in all the good stuff you have applied so that it can soak in overnight. Most people think that sleeping masks are only for hydration, but there are also sleeping masks that target other issues for oily and mature skin types as well!

Honestly, Asian skincare can be a little confusing and I still get toners, essences, and serums a bit confused! Later on in my skincare series, I will be going through all of these skincare steps one by one.

Do I think everyone needs to do the 10-step skincare routine to have good skin? Absolutely not! While I think that there are steps that all skin types should be doing (SPF!!), everyone’s skin is different, and therefore requires different routines and steps. I’ve heard some people say they live by the 10-step routine, whereas other people call it “exhausting”. If it’s always worked for you, then nu all means continue on, but if you’re used to only having a very slim skincare routine and it works for you, that’s fine too. To be honest, I find skincare to be relaxing and a nice way to wind down, but I recognize that not everybody has the time to do it. My 6-8 step skincare routine takes less than 10 minutes, and I don’t feel like a 10-step skincare routine wouldn’t take too much time out of my day, but I recognize that some people only want their routine to take a minute or two!

Do you follow the 10 step skincare routine? Let me know if there’s anything in particular relating to skincare that you would like to see next!

16 thoughts on “Skincare Stories | What is the 10 Step Skincare Routine?

  1. I would say that my skincare routine ranges between 6-8 products too! I recently added essence to my skincare and it has made a difference in terms of hydration and prepping my skin for everything right after. I sometimes use a sleeping mask now and again and find that that helps too!

    This is an exciting new series so can’t wait to read more!

    Liked by 1 person

    • What are the steps that you normally skip? For me, it’s toner (although I’m currently using one), essence, and sheet masks haha. I really need to get into essence though, the last time I used one was a few years ago, before I even knew what an essence was! Which one are you loving right now?

      I’m glad you like the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      • I recently opened my Missha Time Revolution set! Inside, it includes the essence and the night time ampoule serum! I am really liking both products actually and can’t wait to test it out a bit more! So far so good though.

        I normally forget to sheet mask. I am trying my best to keep to sheet masking once a week though at the least. I think I could also do more with chemical exfoliating now and again!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ooh I’ve heard good things about the Missha Time Revolution set! Will need to check it out and look into serums more. Glad to hear you’re liking it!

          Honestly, I skip sheet masks because I feel like I can never see results from them. Maybe it means I need to do them more often, like once or twice a week? I bought those 7-day Lululun masks and still need to break those open!

          Liked by 1 person

          • I’ve yet to break open my Lululun masks too! I am trying to use my oldest masks first before I know some are expiring next year. Seems like a long time away but it really isn’t which is sad!


            • Have you tried those Lululun masks already? 🙂 It’s quite popular here in Japan and I had heard so many good things about them so I used a 7 days pack, but I wasn’t very happy with the result. I’m not sure whether it’s normal with sheet masks or it’s just me, but my skin felt tingling with the mask on. It was ok when I took the mask off and I felt my skin was quite hydrated. Yet I still felt I had to put moisturizer afterwards. Maybe it’s the material of the mask or maybe it’s the content of the mask itself which is not suitable for my skin. Let me know about your experience!

              By the way, green tea masks and clay masks are also great!

              Liked by 1 person

              • Hi Mar’yana! Apologies for responding back to you so late – I have been so busy recently with work that now I’m finally catching a break. 😅

                I have still not tried the Lululun masks but it’s definitely something I need to do.
                It’s a shame that you used a 7 day mask and it didn’t give you the result you wanted.
                I’ve just followed you on your blog so if I end up using the Lululun mask (and remembering to let you know), I’ll message you! 🙂

                Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ll be honest… I rarely use a toner! I probably should but I always forget, and I;m always spending money on moisturizers and serums so I forget about them.
    I can’t imagine having the time to do a sheet mask every single day & night! If only…

    Liked by 1 person

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