How to Get Started with Korean Skincare

How to Get Started with Korean Skincare

A complete guide to get started with Korean Skincare!

Starting a Korean skincare routine as a beginner can be overwhelming at first, given the multi-step nature of K-beauty routines and the wide array of products available. However, with a few simple steps and some basic guidelines, you can ease into a Korean skincare routine and begin reaping benefits for your skin. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you get started:

Understand Your Skin Type

Before diving into a Korean skincare routine, it's essential to understand your skin type i.e. oily, dry, combination (oily in T-zone and dryness on cheeks) or sensitive as well any specific concerns you may have (e.g., acne, aging, hyperpigmentation). This will help you select products tailored to your skin's needs. Note, if you have sensitive skin, check out our tailored guide for this skin type once you have gone through all these steps! ๐Ÿ™Œ

Start with the Basics

Begin your Korean skincare journey with the following fundamental steps: cleansing, toning, moisturizing, and sun protection (in the AM routine). These steps form the foundation of a healthy skincare routine and are essential for maintaining skin health and hydration. ๐ŸŒŠ

Cleansing: Cleansing is the first and most crucial step in any skincare routine, as it removes dirt, oil, makeup, pollutants, and other impurities that accumulate on the skin's surface throughout the day. Cleansing also helps to unclog pores, prevent breakouts, and promote overall skin health. Here's how to cleanse effectively:

  • Double Cleanse (Optional): Double cleansing involves using an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser to ensure thorough removal of oil-based impurities like sunscreen and makeup, as well as water-based impurities like sweat and dirt. If you are starting out, this is an optional step, but highly recommended for your PM routine!
  • Massage Gently: Apply the cleanser to damp skin and massage in gentle, circular motions for about 1-2 minutes, focusing on areas prone to congestion, such as the T-zone (forehead, nose, and chin).
  • Rinse Thoroughly: Rinse your face with lukewarm water to remove the cleanser completely. Avoid hot water โ›”, as it can strip the skin of its natural moisture and lead to dryness.
  • Pat Dry: Gently pat your skin dry with a clean towel, being careful not to rub or tug at the skin, which can cause irritation.


This is the second step in a skincare routine, designed to rebalance the skin's pH, refine pores, and prepare the skin for subsequent treatments. Toners also help to remove any residual impurities left behind after cleansing and provide a boost of hydration and nutrients to the skin. Here's how to tone effectively:

  • Apply to skin: Pour a small amount of toner onto a cotton pad or your hands (or use a toner pad directly) and gently sweep it across your face and neck, avoiding the delicate eye area.
  • Pat into the Skin: Instead of rubbing the toner into the skin, gently pat it in with your fingertips to promote absorption and stimulate circulation.
  • Follow with Essences (Optional): For an extra boost of hydration, you can follow toning with a hydrating facial mist or essence to further nourish and prep the skin. If you are looking for an essence, one of the holy grails in Korean skincare is theย Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Power Mucin essence.ย 


Moisturizing is essential for replenishing moisture, strengthening the skin barrier, and locking in hydration. Even if you have oily or combination skin, moisturizing is crucial to maintaining skin health and preventing moisture loss. Ingredients like hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and ceramides are particularly beneficial for boosting hydration levels. Here's how to moisturize effectively

  • Choose the Right Moisturizer: Select a moisturizer suited to your skin type and concerns. Look for lightweight, non-comedogenic formulas for oily or acne-prone skin, and richer, creamier formulas for dry or mature skin. Note: (comedogenic ingredients clog pores; examples include cocoa butter, coconut oil, linseed oil, shea butter). Some really great moisturizers include Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Soothing Gel, Mixsoon Bean Cream, Torriden Dive In Soothing Cream and more! Feel free to WhatsApp us for recommendations! ๐Ÿ˜‡
  • Apply to Damp Skin: After toning, apply a pea-sized amount of moisturizer to your face and neck while your skin is still slightly damp to seal in moisture.
  • Massage Gently: Use gentle, upward motions to massage the moisturizer into the skin, ensuring even coverage and absorption.
  • Focus on Problem Areas: Pay special attention to areas prone to dryness, such as the cheeks and forehead, and areas prone to oiliness, such as the T-zone.


Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher to protect your skin from harmful UV rays and prevent premature aging. You will not go wrong with the BOJ or Roundlab sunscreens, both of which are terrific.

Expand your skincare routineย 

Add Targeted Treatments

Once you've established a basic routine, you can introduce targeted treatments to address specific skin concerns. Whether it's acne-fighting ingredients like salicylic acid, brightening agents like vitamin C and niacinamide, or anti-aging ingredients like retinol and peptides, choose products that align with your skincare goals. If you are at this stage and need help, feel free to WhatsApp us for recommendations! ๐Ÿค

Experiment with Sheet Masks

Sheet masks are a hallmark of Korean skincare and offer a quick and convenient way to pamper your skin with potent ingredients. Incorporate sheet masks into your routine a few times a week to hydrate, soothe, and revitalize your skin. In fact, we use sheet masks every night. ๐Ÿซฃ

Never forget Sun Protection

Sunscreen is a non-negotiable step in any skincare routine, including Korean skincare. Choose a broad-spectrum sunscreen with SPF 50 or higher and apply it generously every morning, regardless of the weather. Sunscreen helps protect the skin from harmful UV rays and prevents premature aging and sun damage.

Introduce Products Gradually

As you explore new Korean skincare products, introduce them into your routine gradually to avoid overwhelming your skin. Start with one new product at a time and observe how your skin responds before adding more. This approach allows you to identify any sensitivities or reactions and adjust your routine accordingly.

Listen to Your Skin

Pay attention to how your skin reacts to different products and adjustments in your routine. If you notice any signs of irritation or sensitivity, scale back on products or ingredients that may be causing discomfort. Likewise, if you experience positive results, continue to tailor your routine to meet your evolving skincare needs.

Stay Consistent

Consistency is key in Korean skincare. Establishing a regular skincare routine and sticking to it diligently will yield the best results over time. Even on busy days, prioritize the essential steps of cleansing, moisturizing, and sun protection to maintain healthy, radiant skin.

Skincare is a personal journey

By following these steps and gradually incorporating Korean skincare principles into your routine, you should start seeing improvements to your skin's health. Remember, skincare is personal, so don't be afraid to experiment and adjust your routine to uncover your individual needs and preferences.

We hope that this guide is helpful for you. If you have any questions or need any guidance, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram @uncover.skincare or on WhatsApp, where our founder will guide you personally!

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