My 8 Steps of Korean Skincare Night Routine

Hey guys! How is everybody? I cannot believe how fast time flies and now we’re in the month of May. Happy Wesak day to everybody that celebrates this auspicious day and happy birthday to Siddhartha Gautama!

To be honest, I am not keen of anything Korean, the K-Pop craze, K-Drama, K-Film but with the exception of Korean food (I LOVE Bibimbap!) and of course, the flawless and dewy skin that these Korean women have. I always wonder how they have their perfect skin and I discovered that Korean skincare product is actually so innovative and they are now taking over the beauty and skincare world and yours truly here has become so obsessed! From knowing absolutamente nada about Korean skincare routine to become semi-pro in explaining or should I say “encouraging” my friends to get into the Korean beauty craze bandwagon with me.

Before I started this Korean skincare journey, the only thing that I did is to just wash my face with a normal face cleanser that I just got from Watson or Guardian and that is exactly the only skincare routine that I ever did, every single day. But that totally changed when I met a friend of mine whom is now one of my closest friends at work, Diana and her skin is absolutely amazing and so close to the flawlessness similar to the skin of Korean women.

The normal Korean skincare normally has 10 to 12 steps to it, depending whether it’s for day or night routine. Yes my friend, you read it correctly, 10 TO 11 STEPS! I’m pretty sure that you would think  the number of steps in a Korean skincare routine is too much, which I personally agree when I first found out about the 10 steps but as I was doing my own research time after time, I really think that each of the steps actually has their own benefits that can really do wonders to your skin if you do all the steps mentioned. You have to put more effort into your skin to get the best result, am I right? 🙂

Taken from the book The Little Book of Skincare: Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy Glowing Skin by Charlotte Cho, co-founder of Sokoglam

In this particular post, I will only be focusing on the night routine. Hence, the title. Before I get into more in depth of my skincare, let me just briefly share what is my skin situation. So, I have combination and acne-prone skin whereby I can get pretty oily in my T-Zone area and I break out quite easily especially if I get really lazy to clean my face from all the make-up that I have on.

For the time being, my personal Korean Skincare night routine consists of 8 steps but it can also be 6 steps because there are 2 steps that I don’t normally do on a daily basis. However, I will still be explaining all 8 steps because it’s good to remind myself why I do all the steps and probably this post will actually help you to understand more about the beauty of Korean skincare routine and to also probably inspire you to get into this craze with me.

Without further a due, let’s go to it!


I. Make-up Remover

Double cleansing is basically washing off the impurities from your face, 2 times. The first step that I do is to take of the make-up from my face and for that, I am using an oil based cleanser. Koreans are obsessed with oil based cleanser because it helps in melting the make-up by just massage it onto the face, you don’t even have to put so much pressure and roughly rubbing your lids to rub that eyeliner off.

I am using a Korean cult favorite oil cleanser, Banilo Co Clean It Zero Original. This product is so amazing! I got it because I read so many good reviews about it and Youtuber Morgan from Beauty Breakdown said that this is her favorite oil cleanser. If you have oily skin, don’t be afraid of using this product because actually by incorporating oil-based product into your skincare routine actually helps to regulate the amount of natural oil / sebum production.

My tips: Use warm water to cleanse off the oil-based makeup remover as warm water helps in melting off the product and also to open up your pores for the next step.

II. Water Based Cleanser

For step 2, I use the water based cleanser to rinse-off the oil and make-up residue and my go-to water based cleanser that I use at night is the Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam. The Innisfree brand is actually well-known for their skincare line because the ingredients for all of their products are all natural and high quality originated from the island of Jeju. What I love about this product is that, it contains tiny bits of volcanic clay whereby clay helps to absorb excess oil/sebum.

Korean fact: Do you know Koreans only use their middle and ring fingers to message the foam onto their faces? They believe that it will decrease the amount of pressure they put their face as too much pressure could cause their face to sag and to loose the skin’s elasticity.

My tips: Do this step at the very last of your shower / bath time because you need to use the toner immediately right after shower.

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III. Exfoliation

This is one of the step that I don’t do everyday, with a reason. It’s actually not recommended to exfoliate your skin especially the face area because it can inflammation and worst, dehydration. Prolonged dehydration can cause the very-dreaded wrinkles.

The exfoliator that I used is the coffee scrub that I have blogged about it, which you can read about it out here. I love that scrub as it does not dehydrate my skin and the price is affordable. I exfoliate 3 times a week, particularly on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday.

IV. Toner

Many people may think that toner is a product that just tone up the face. Well that’s actually really not the case. In Korean skincare’s terminology, toner is actually to be applied to get rid of pollutants or cleanser residue that you still might have after cleansing your face. Besides that, the most important reason for you to apply toner is that it actually balances out the PH level of your skin and this allows your skin to prepare itself to absorb the other products that you have after this step.

The one that I’m using is the Mamonde Rose Water Toner and what I like about this product is that it contains 90.89% of rose water, it has this really nice and soothing scent of rose and the scent is the original scent of rose! I just pour out a dime size of product into my palm and pat the product onto my face, I do this 5 times per go until I achieve a Mochi – kind of bounce for my face.

Korean Facts: Do you know that Koreans actually pats their toner at least 7 times onto their face?

My tips: Don’t dry your face with a towel when you’re just finished with your shower. Pat your face until semi-dry then you pat the toner onto your face!


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V. Essence

Essence is one of my favourites in this whole steps of skincare because it really does work! That SK-II line, yes they are essences! And to most Koreans, essence is equivalent to the heart of their skincare regime, it is that vital to have it in your skincare! Essence actually has a double purposes which acts as a toner but at the same time it has this serum hybrid that helps in repairing your skin and to boost your skin cell turnover rate that makes your skin to look brighter and smoother.

I am using the Missha First Treatment Essence, which popularly known as SK-II dupe. I JUST CANNOT SKIP THIS EVERYDAY! Similarly to toner, I pour a dime size of this heavenly essence and just pat lightly to my face but I only do it 2 times as it contains active fermented ingredients.

My tips: Quickly pat this item onto your face as leave it too long on your face may cause reddening.

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VI. Serum / Ampoules / Boosters

Serums, ampoules and boosters are products that contain a more concentrated essence that aids your skin to combat more concerning issues that you have about your skin such as pigmentation, wrinkles whereby in my case are pore-refining and acne. Since I have oily T-Zone, it makes my pores around that area to be a little more visible than other part of my face. I wouldn’t say I have a serious acne condition but I get break out easily even though it’s not the time “of the month”.

The serum that I’m using is an oil-based serum, Garden of Eden Primrose E. I know you might question me why do I use oil-based serum even though I have oily T-Zone, but I learned from a beauty guru Gothamista on Youtube that oils are really good for your skin  because it contains anti-oxidant, nutritiens and vitamins that nourish the skin and even heal the skin deeply when applied but if you use the wrong ones for your skin type, the oil can betray you and your skin, brutally! I only use 3 droplets of oil and massage the oil onto my skin until it is fully absorbed. The good thing about this product is that it doesn’t leave any greasy feeling on my hand and on my face and I realized that the next morning, my T-zone is not oily AT ALL!

This is the only non-Korean product I use in this Korean Skincare routine and it’s surprisingly cheap that cost me RM49.00, it can be purchased in your nearest drugstores Watson and Guardian.

My tips: Massage in circular motion on your face and to know what oil is suitable for your skin type, go to Gothamista’s Youtube channel and check out the video on Face Oils.

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VII. Sheet Mask

Sheet masks, how I love thee! The beauty of sheet mask is that it forces your skin to absorb the goodness from the sheet mask and you can totally see and feel the difference after leaving it on your face for 15-20 minutes. What I love about sheet mask is that it allows you to just relax and when I put my sheet mask on, I am on full Zen-mode! I don’t do this everyday, it’s a 2 times per week thing for me or just once a week depending on whether I have sheet masks in stock in my vanity. Bought these 2 sheet mask on a sale for RM5.00 for 2 at Watson 😛

It is also an Instagram-worthy selfie since your girl here is obsessed with Instagram!

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VIII. Sleeping Mask

Reaching to this point, I already have the shiny glow on my skin, Koreans call it ‘Dewy’. The purpose of this final step is to keep your skin to stay hydrated as you are sleeping. The product that I’m using is none other than La Soul Diamond Sleeping Mask. I put it all over my face and my skin absorb the product quite quickly an it doesn’t leave any stickiness.


There you go, my 8 step of Korean skincare routine! Intimidating, much? This whole routine only takes about 10-15 minutes, 30 minutes top if I have my sheet mask on and that’s it. I find it relaxing and therapeutic that I’m actually doing something good to my face and to my skin, you need to take some time to pamper yourself and I am doing it everyday! The reality is that, I do want to look youthful even when I’m old and the only thing I can do is to put extra time and effort into taking care of my skin.

If you would like to know more about Korean skincare routine and Korean Skincare product, please feel free to check out the links below as these people are my gurus and I can totally rely on them and the information that they impart.

  1. Gothamista’s Youtube channel
  2. Morgan from Beauty Breakdown Youtube channel
  3. Joan Kim’s Youtube channel
  4. Glow Recipe’s blog

I purchased all my Korean skincare products on Hermo where you can get all of the major Korean and Japanese brands and also the drug store brands like Maybelline, Lo’real and others. And a major and big shout out to Major-B, a local tiny store located in Damai where you can just go to the shop and they also have an online store where you can check what products they have in stock before you go to the store. All the products sold in the store are bought directly from Korea by the owner of Major-B herself, she is now living both in Kota Kinabalu and also Korea and she even has a Korean boyfriend! All the products are actually affordable given that all of them are authentic Korean brands.

It’s a really long post and give yourself a pat if you read this until the end and I hope by reading this post, you will have some knowledge on Korean skincare routine and how good it is to your skin that makes you get excited to love your skin more that you want to work on your skin even more than your current skincare routine!

Until next post and Annyoung!


Disclaimer: This post is nowhere a sponsored post by any brands mentioned. However, I am up for any collaborations 🙂


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