Korean Skincare Part I: Morning Routine


Over the years, I have become more and more fascinated by the growth and popularity of Korean culture- especially in regards to their skincare. With their extensive routines and wide range of products, it’s easy to feel lost and unsure on how to adopt these practices as our own.

Thankfully, Vicky Lee of Sorabelle.com teamed up with Cosmopolitan to give us a breakdown on her 8-step morning routine and how it can give us that enviable, healthy glow we are looking for.

Step One: Wash with Water

As soon as you wake up and start your morning routine, wash your face with water. Sounds simple, right? This quick step will remove any impurities, that accumulate as you sleep. When you introduce face washes and other products, you’re stripped of the natural oils that keep your skin looking dewey and fresh.

Step Two: Toner

This step is meant to treat your face’s pH scale. According to Well and Good, “if your skin is congested or starving for vitamins, hydration, or nutrients. It can help balance the pH of your skin.” Lightly applying some to the skin can also remove leftover residue left behind after your initial wash.

Our suggestion- Banila Co. V-V Revitalizing Toner ($18)

Step Three: Essence

Essence, a hybrid between serum and toner, is packed with a concentrated blend of anti-aging, hydrating and complexion enhancing ingredients. It also aids in cellular turnover and gives you a youthful appearance.

Our suggestion- Missha’s Time Revolution ($45)

Step Four: Ampoule

Need to give your skin a boost? Then reach for an ampoule. Ampoules are supercharged serums that are used for a finite amount of time to target specific skin problems you may be experiencing.

Our suggestion- Tosowoong’s Propolis Ampoule ($29)

Step Five: Serum

Like ampoules, serums are used to target specific skin problems, such as dark spots, dehydration, wrinkles, but for an extended period of time.

Our suggestion- The Pure Lotus Jeju Lotus Leaf Balancing Concentrate Oil Serum ($52)

Step Six: Eye cream

If you have read our previous blogs, you will know that the skin around the eyes is incredibly thin and because there are no sebaceous glands to produce moisture, hydration here is key. Consistently using an eye cream that’s filled with beneficial ingredients, that are gentle and non-irritating will prevent both puffiness and wrinkles.

Remember to treat this area carefully and gently tap a thin layer of cream to your under-eye. Never tug or rub it in.

Our suggestion- Saturday Skin’s Wide Awake Brightening Eye Cream ($46)

Step Seven: Moisturizer

Applying a good moisturizer is the most important step in any Korean skincare routine. “Hydration is the key to flawless skin and according to Lee, staying consistent with hydrating products, such as moisturizer, will have you seeing “plumper, younger looking skin and a natural glow exuding from within.” Patting on your moisturizer will also seal in the products you’ve applied so they can properly absorb into the skin.

Our suggestion- Lagom’s Cellus Mild Moisture Cream ($40)

Step Eight: Sunscreen

After your moisturizer has been absorbed, apply a layer of sunscreen. And not just in summer. “Putting an SPF of 50 or higher every three hours is common among Korean women”, Lee explains, “even when relaxing at home or on a rainy day.” Doing so will also protect you from harmful UV rays, which can cause premature aging and skin care.

Our suggestion- Biore UV Aqua Rich SPF 50 ($22)