Looking for a 10 step Korean skin care routine for sensitive skin? We’ve mapped it out for you below!
If there’s anyone who can guide you through a great Korean skin care routine for sensitive skin, it’s me. Because if you’ve read any of my product reviews on The Klog, you know I have super sensitive skin. I need moisturizers that cure my chronic redness and irritation and I crave cleansers that contain skin-soothing ingredients. And if you’re nodding your head in agreement and feel lost as to which Korean products you should use for your stressed out skin, look no further. Here is your entire routine:
Oil cleanser: Banila Co Clean It Zero Purity
Everyone loves the original Banila Clean It balm oil cleanser for its amazing abilities at wiping away the heaviest of makeup, but what about those of us whose skin can’t handle fragrance or coloring?
The Banila Clean It Zero Purity balm is the same exact thing as the original, except it’s been formulated with sensitive skin in mind. That means it contains no artificial coloring, synthetic fragrance, alcohol, parabens, or mineral oil, which means it’s basically free from any items that would normally trigger sensitive skin.
Another great option is the Hanskin Cleansing Oil & Blackhead [PHA]. This cleanser is specially formulated with polyhydroxy acids (PHAs), a gentle acid suitable for sensitive skin types, to lightly exfoliate and help keep blackheads and dead skin cells at bay!
Water-based cleanser: Cosrx Low-pH Good Morning Cleanser
Sensitive skin also tends to lean on the drier side, so the thought of cleansing again after you’ve washed your face with an oil cleanser might sound off-putting to some. But it shouldn’t! You need a water-based cleanser to deep clean your pores. The key is finding one that won’t strip your skin of its necessary oils.
This Cosrx product is a gel cleanser formulated with a very low pH so it won’t foam up and dry out your skin. It also contains some very mild acids that are a great gentle exfoliator for sensitive skin.
Exfoliator: RE:P Bio Fresh Mask With Real Calming Herb
Exfoliating is one of the scariest words for people with sensitive skin. I get it—you don’t want to make your skin even redder by intensely scrubbing it. But exfoliation is really important for all skin types—it helps get rid of dirt and debris that builds up in your pore that normal cleansers can’t pick up. And if you’re looking to achieve a smoother skin texture, exfoliating is key. Note: Sensitive skin types don’t need to exfoliate every single day; I exfoliate twice a week.
I suggest using the RE:P Bio Fresh Mask with Real Calming Herb twice a week. It’s a soothing clay mask formulated to calm irritated skin and reduce redness and inflammation. The fresh herbs in the formula act as a gentle exfoliator to lift impurities while the chamomile and calendula help to soothe and calm. It’s also free of mineral oil, sorbic acid, animal ingredients, surfactants, parabens, mineral oil, and propylene glycol.
Toner: Neogen Real Flower Cleansing Water Calendula
This Neogen toner contains a formula made for those who are prone to redness. The main ingredient—calendula—is known for its healing and calming properties since it’s an anti-inflammatory. In short, this toner will balance your skin beautifully and prepare it for the remainder of your skin care routine.
Essence: Enature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin
If your skin suffers from inflammation and redness, use this essence every single night and morning. It’s packed with natural-healing nutrients—like 78% birch tree sap, chamomile and plantain seed extracts—to help nourish and soothe skin. It’s also formulated without any parabens, mineral oil, and artificial fragrances.
Serum: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum
This serum uses a blend of vegetal extracts—including broccoli, celery, and carrot root—to add serious moisture to your skin without messing with your skin’s natural barrier. If you’re looking for a serum that will give you plumped-up skin without making you redder or more inflamed, this is it.
Eye cream: Erborian Seve de Bamboo Eye Matte
The skin around your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face, so if you have sensitive skin, you need to make sure you choose an eye cream that has absolutely no chance of causing any irritation.
The Erborian Seve de Bamboo Eye Matte is a calming eye cream that uses bamboo sap to help intensely hydrate the eye area. It will reduce the appearance of dark circles and fine lines without creating any redness.
The Erborian Ginseng Infusion Total Eye is another great choice. It’s fragrance-free for your super sensitive under eye area!
Moisturizer: Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
I’ve sang my praises before for this awesome moisturizer and I’ll sing them again here: This is the only moisturizer I use every single night.
Last week, I had a unfortunate encounter with a product with way too much glycolic acid and my skin turned as red as a tomato and felt like it was lit on fire. To immediately calm that situation down, I smothered on a good amount of this Klairs moisturizer. Within 20 minutes, the burning subsided and the redness was eliminated.
I can thank the hefty amount of ceramides (a skin barrier-building ingredient) in this moisturizer for calming my skin down. It also contains yeast-derived beta glucan and jojoba oil for intense moisturizing that lasts for hours. Put simply: This moisturizer is my holy grail product.
Another great moisturizer for sensitive skin is the Botanic Farm Avocado Honey Rich Lotion. It’s the perfect light moisturizer for dry, acne-prone skin! With a super thin texture, this cream blends easily into skin and doesn’t leave a heavy feeling.
Sunscreen: Missha Near Skin Dustless Defense Sun Block
A Korean skin care routine for sensitive skin would not be complete without a good sunscreen. Missha developed the Near Skin line specifically for sensitive skin, and the sunscreen in the line is formulated with botanical extracts that help to create a barrier on the skin from dust and pollution, thus helping protect it from irritation.
Optional: Sheet mask: Manefit Bling Bling Hydro Gel Mask in Soothing Aqua Collagen
This mask won a Soko Glam Best of Beauty award in 2014 for its ability to seriously diminish the appearance of fine lines without affecting your skin’s barrier. Thanks to algae extract, this contoured hydrogel mask instantly cools and soothes stressed out skin on contact.
I would use this mask every other night before your eye cream and after your essence.