A 10 Step Routine With Plant Based Products

By March 15, 2017

In the world of K-beauty, ingredients like snail mucin and bee venom rule the game. So if you only use plant based ingredients, starting the Korean 10 step routine can feel like a lost cause. But don’t despair! We’ve created a great Korean 10 step routine with plant based products.

In January 2016, South Korea announced a landmark decision to ban the testing of cosmetics and ingredients on animals by 2018, so we can see that the Korean market is taking a strong stance to uphold a more humane and cruelty free position. However, this law doesn’t affect the use of animal ingredients in products, so we are more than likely to continue to see ingredients like snail mucin, bee venom, and others show up in ingredient lists.

Despite there being Korean plant based products, there aren’t many that are certified or specifically labeled as vegan. This is because veganism isn’t as big of a concept in South Korea as it is in America. In South Korea, veganism is very rare and often times misunderstood. So if you want to be 100 percent sure that a product is free of any animal derived ingredients (including honey), it’s best to reach out to the company directly and specify the exact ingredients you’re trying to avoid.

But if you’re interesting in trying out a basic plant based approach to the 10 step routine, here’s a simple guide! Disclaimer: None of these products are labeled as certified vegan, but they all contain only plant based ingredients.

Oil Cleanser: Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil

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The first step of your routine should always be a good oil cleanser to will help remove all of your makeup and any other acne-causing debris from your skin. The Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil is great because it’s packed with black bean oil to help control sebum production, black sesame oil (which has a nice burst of antioxidants), and black currant seed oil (which is full of vitamins and minerals).

Foam or water based cleanser: CosRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser or Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water in Calendula or Rose

The CosRX Low pH Good Morning Cleanser is a gel based cleanser that’s formulated with natural oils, like tea tree oil, which is anti-bacterial and helps to purify the skin. It’s also really hydrating. This cleanser is perfect for dry and sensitive skin types!

For days where you’re looking for a gentler cleanse, go for the Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water in Rose or Calendula. These cleansers are similar to a micellar water and have real flowers suspended in the product, which (aside from being aesthetically pleasing) work to pack the formula with as much fresh ingredient as possible. Rose enhances the skin with boost of hydration, while calendula calms irritated skin.

Toner: Klairs Supple Preparation Toner or CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads

The Klairs Supple Preparation Toner is packed with skin-loving ingredients, like licorice root, which helps to brighten, and aloe, which is great for moisturizing and calming irritated skin. This toner works to remove excess dirt and sebum while also balancing the skin. This helps to prep the skin for the rest of the products to come.

For acne-prone skin, the CosRX One Step Pimple Clear Pads are great since they’re pre-soaked with betaine salicylate and willow bark water, which work to exfoliate and deeply penetrate the pores to clean them out, working to treat and prevent breakouts.

Essence: ENature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin

The ENature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin is a great concentrated essence to use to prep and hydrate the skin. It’s filled with 78 percent birch tree sap, and chamomile and plantain seed extracts, which help to nourish and soothe dry skin.

Exfoliator: Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling or the CosRX AHA or BHA

Whether you’re into chemical or physical exfoliation, there’s a product for you. The Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling is a great one step exfoliator that helps to manually slough off dead cells at a cellular level through the use of AHAs. The result is clearer and smoother skin. Depending on which version youuse (lemon, green tea, or wine), they’re packed with ingredients to brighten and treat signs of aging.

And CosRX’s AHA and BHA have become total game changers in the world of skin care. They are touted as holy grails by many for their ability to clean out pores well beyond the surface level. The BHA targets blackheads while the AHA works to fight and prevent whiteheads. They both work to fight against acne, closed comedones, dull skin, and fine lines!

Serum: Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum and Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum

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The Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum is packed with antioxidant-rich Bulgarian Damask rose oil, which works to hydrate, brighten, and fight against signs of premature aging. And the Klair’s Rich Moist Soothing Serum is great for sensitive skin types as it aids in soothing and intensively hydrating the skin.

Moisturizer: CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream or RE:P Nutrinature Ultra Moist Gel Oil


The CosRX Hyaluronic Acid Intensive Cream is jam packed with hyaluronic acid, making it an intensely hydrating cream that helps to boost the skin’s moisture content without feeling sticky. It’s also formulated with sea buckthorn oil, a power antioxidant that works to slow down and reduce fine lines and wrinkles.

The RE:P Nutrinature Ultra Moist Gel Moist is a unique gel oil that moisturizes like an oil and refreshes the skin like a serum to revitalize dry and dehydrated skin. This multitask item is packed with humectants which work to lock in moisture and protect the skin, helping you stay refreshed and moisturized all day long.

Optional: Masks — Neogen Blemish Soothing & Sebum Controlling Mask, Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Mask or the RE:P Bio Fresh Mask With Real Vitality Herb or Real Nutrition Herb

The Neogen Blemish Soothing & Sebum Mask is designed to combat and prevent breakouts by working to reduce excess sebum production and help sooth and calm irritated skin. This mask is great for oily and acne-prone skin!

The RE:P Masks are clay based formulas packed with real crushed herbs that help to brighten and deeply moisturize the skin as well as work to draw out any impurities. Even though they’re clay based, these masks are super gentle on the skin, so you never get that tight feeling, which is common with most clay masks. These are great for all skin types!

As you can see, executing a Korean 10 step routine with plant based products is actually pretty easy!

+ What are your favorite Korean plant based products? Let us know in the comments below!

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