Looking for an easy Korean skin care routine that will save you time and won’t overwhelm you? Here you go!
We all love the idea of the 10 step Korean routine, but if we’re being honest, even the most devoted skincare lovers don’t always have the time or energy for the full routine. Take it from me: I’m a college student with a packed schedule of classes, extracurriculars, and social events. My commitments don’t run from nine to five—they go around the clock. When I come home at 3am from a late night cram session before an exam or have to be up early for a breakfast meeting for work, going through my full 30-minute routine isn’t always on the cards.
That’s why I decided to build a routine made up of entirely multitasking products that’s just six steps in the morning and five at night. Every product does more than one thing and pulls inspiration from the different steps of the full Korean routine. Basically, this routine contains all the benefits of a full routine fit squarely into a quick 10 minute regimen. Let’s dive in!
Double cleansing is a staple in the Korean routine and one of the keys to maintaining a good complexion. But sometimes can be a hassle, let alone having to do it twice.
However, there is a product that allows you to reap the benefits of a double cleanse in one go. The Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick is specially formulated to harness the benefits of both oil cleansing and water cleansing, all in one easy-to-use cleansing stick. Its unique formula contains 13 natural oils that break down makeup and oil-based impurities, while its low pH makes it a gentle and effective water cleanser. Plus, it also contains natural green tea leaves that gently exfoliate the skin.
Just swipe the stick over damp skin, massage with your hands, and rinse off. And just like that, you’ve packed a double cleanse and exfoliation into one step.
This is where the ultimate K-beauty multi-tasker, the Son & Park Beauty Water, comes in. This miracle do-it-all formula cleanses, tones, balances, hydrates, and micro-exfoliates the skin. Long story short, no multitasking routine would be complete without it.
It’s a micellar water, so it uses micelles to actively break down makeup and other stubborn impurities that may be left behind after your cleanser. It has a gentle pH of 4.5, which allows it to re-balance the skin, restoring it to its natural, balanced state. Lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extracts hydrate the skin, making it soft and supple. And finally, willow bark and papaya extracts help to lift away dead skin cells, leaving your skin gently exfoliated.
Full on exfoliation is a step that only needs to be done a few times a week (hooray!). There are lots of exfoliators out there, but few do as much as the Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon. These pads make exfoliating quick and simple, with no mess to worry about. Just swipe one of the single use pads across your face and you’re good to go.
But these pads do so much more than just exfoliate. As it sloughs away dead skin cells, it also releases lactic acid, which penetrates deep into the pores to clear out debris and impurities. Lemon is also loaded with vitamin C, which instantly brightens and clarifies your skin, leaving you with a soft, radiant complexion. It takes less than 30 seconds, and your skin will be clear of dead skin cells, baby soft, and glowing.
If you’re going to cut products out of your routine for the sake of time, essence is one that definitely should not go. It’s the heart of any good routine, and the results make it worth the extra time. But you can multitask with your essence just like you can with anything else in this routine.
The RE:P Nutrinature All-In-One Multitem is a perfect example of this, as it combines the benefits of a toner, essence, and emulsion in one. Niacinamide reinforces the skin barrier and helps even out tone and texture, rosehip and lotus seed offer antioxidant properties, and olive and avocado oils deeply nourish and hydrate. This makes sense, since it’s literally called a multi-item.
Although your Multitem offers moisture, it’s at the level of an emulsion, which is normally only enough for people with very oily skin. For everyone else (and even some of you who have oily skin), you’ll want to add a lotion to make sure your skin is getting the moisture it needs.
For this routine, I’ve chosen another product that practically has multi-tasking in its name: The Erborian Yuza Double Lotion. This moisturizer is unique in that it’s a bi-phase product, combining the best of a facial oil and a lotion. Boasting a lightweight, watery consistency that’s incredibly easy to absorb, you simply shake the bottle to mix the two phases (oily and milky) together and apply directly to the face. This not only ensures double the moisture, but yuzu provides powerful antioxidant properties that brighten and energize the skin all in one simple step.
Sheet mask… or not
When you’re short on time, the last thing you’re going to do is sit for twenty minutes with a sheet mask on your face before bed. But that doesn’t mean you have to give up all the benefits.
On nights when you feel like masking but just don’t have the time (or energy), swap your moisturizer above with a sleeping pack—that’s right, this isn’t an extra step. You put it on just like a lotion and the mask goes to work while you sleep. When I use sheet masks, I love how deeply they hydrate and moisturize my skin, so I love to use the Enature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack. It’s enriched with 74% birch tree sap, which delivers a powerful dose of moisture to my skin. When you wake up, your skin will be rested, glowing, and moist—similar to how it looks when you remove your favorite sheet mask (just without any of the time or effort).
There is one extra step for your morning routine: Sunscreen. As much as I would like to keep both the morning and evening routines at five steps, this sixth morning step is one you absolutely cannot cut out because SPF is essential for good skin.
But, as with all the above products, I like to use a sunscreen that offers much more than just SPF protection. The My Skin Mentor Dr. G Brightening Up Sun is a phenomenal choice for this. Formulated with aloe and centella extracts, it soothes and calms irritated skin, and sinks into your skin with an added boost of hydration. The formula also lays on an anti-pollution barrier, so your skin will be protected from not only the sun, but also environmental stressors and pollutants.
The Dr. G sunscreen also acts as an amazing base for makeup. It boasts a light pink to peach undertone to brighten and even out skin complexion, while tannin complex helps control excess sebum and oil protection. Once this sunscreen is on, your skin is ready for whatever the world (or your makeup bag) has to bring.
So there you have it—a college student’s guide to getting ten steps out of five or six. It’s always good to have products like these on hand in case you’re running short on time, to make sure your skin still gets the attention it needs. With this routine on hand, you can cut down on time, but not on benefits.