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The Best 5-Step Korean Skincare Starter Kit For Beginners

Updated: 1 day ago

5-Step Korean Skincare

In a world where skincare trends come and go faster than we can keep up, it's easy to get swept away by the latest fads and try a multitude of products based on online reviews. But what if I told you that the key to radiant skin isn't about following trends or stocking up on every new product that hits the market? What if I told you that focusing on the basics and following a simple routine tailored to your skin type could be the secret to achieving that coveted K-beauty glow?

For Koreans, skincare isn't just a routine—it's a ritual, a sacred practice that forms the foundation of beauty. This belief has spread worldwide, with many people, regardless of their skin type, adopting the Korean skincare philosophy.


But I get it—not everyone has the time or patience to follow a 10-step skincare routine religiously. That's why I'm here to introduce you to a simplified 5-step Korean skincare routine that can help improve your skin's appearance and overall health without overwhelming you.

Step 1: Double Cleanse

The cornerstone of any skincare routine, a good cleanser is essential for removing makeup, dirt, and oil from the skin. Embracing the double cleanse method, popularized in the Korean beauty world, involves using an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser for a thorough cleanse without stripping the skin of its natural oils.

During the oil cleansing step, these carefully curated oils synergize to effectively dissolve stubborn makeup and impurities, while simultaneously nourishing and moisturizing the skin. Their lightweight consistency ensures quick absorption, making them suitable for all skin types, including acne-prone skin, as they are non-comedogenic, meaning they won't clog pores or trigger breakouts.

  • Consider options like the iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil and The Face Shop Rice Brightening Water Cleansing Rich Oil for a thorough yet gentle cleansing experience that leaves your skin feeling refreshed and revitalized.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare

For the gel or water-based cleansing step, if you seek a gentle yet hydrating formula that won't compromise your skin's moisture barrier, consider alternatives that provide a refreshing cleanse without stripping away essential moisture, ensuring your skin remains balanced and nourished after each use.

  • Opt for gentle yet effective options like the Matcha Hemp Hydrating Cleanser by Krave Beauty or the COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare

Step 2: Toner

While toning may not be an essential step, it can work wonders for prepping the skin and improving its barrier health. Look for toners infused with ingredients like hyaluronic acid and centella to boost hydration and soothe the skin.

  • Personally, I swear by the SNP Peptaronic Toner for its lightweight, hydrating formula that keeps my skin moisturized throughout the day without interfering with my makeup. Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Hyaluronic Toner is another great option.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare

Step 3: Serums

Korean beauty serums are frequently tailored to address specific skin concerns. However, for beginners, it's wise to begin with straightforward yet hydrating choices. As you advance, consider exploring serums featuring ingredients like niacinamide, collagen, or vitamin C to target your unique skincare needs.

  • Opt for simple yet hydrating options like the Mixsoon Bean Essence or the Madagascar Centella Ampoule.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare

Step 4: Moisturizer

When it comes to moisturizers, finding a balance between lightweight texture and nourishing hydration is paramount. Opting for formulas that are light on the skin yet deeply nourishing can ensure your skin stays moisturized without feeling weighed down or greasy. Look for ingredients like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and botanical extracts to provide hydration while maintaining a breathable feel on the skin.

  • Look for formulas like the Mixsoon Bean Cream or the I'm From Rice Cream that provide ample hydration without feeling greasy or heavy on the skin.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare

Step 5: SPF

Last but certainly not least, sunscreen is a non-negotiable step in any skincare routine, regardless of the weather or season. Korean sunscreens are renowned for their lightweight textures and high levels of sun protection, so don't skimp on this vital step.

Consider options like the Numbuzin Sunscreen or the Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum Sunscreen for broad-spectrum protection without the dreaded white cast.

5-Step Korean Skincare
5-Step Korean Skincare


Sometimes it's best to go back to basics.

By adopting a simplified Korean skincare routine tailored to your skin's needs, you can achieve healthy, radiant skin without the fuss. So, why not give it a try?



Image Credits - Ricky Tijo

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