Korean Skincare and My Morning Routine

This may not be the most exciting post, but it’s definitely something I want to share to introduce you to my skin and the kind of routine I have/my products. The weather here in Seoul has changed again and I’m not craving the heavy moisture I was just a few weeks ago during the dry wintery period. It amazes me how quick the weather changes here compared to home. But you guys aren’t reading this to hear about the weather ha…

Skincare in Korea

I don’t know how many of you reading are familiar with a ‘Korean skincare routine’- I’m sure the majority of you if you found my blog. First of all, this term is slightly confusing. It’s definitely not true that all Korean women adhere to the ideas this phrase suggests- the same, complicated, million-step routine religiously followed by all. Of the women I have met here, there has been a huge variety in their approaches to beauty. 

Having said that, it seems that caring for oneself, and in particular the skin, is ingrained in many Koreans from a young age. I don’t claim to be an expert on Korean culture by any means, but I have come to this conclusion through my observations whilst living here. These observations include the jimjilbang experience (local saunas/spas which are a regular family activity for many) and the very thorough washing routines that occur in there, the visibility of skincare everywhere I seem to go, the wide range of skincare steps companies produce, as well as frequent comments from my kindergartners on skincare topics such as the need for sun screen (they are five years old!). I have clearly not explored skincare in every corner of the world, but skincare here in Korea appears to be pretty unique. 

As far as I can see, skincare holds an importance in Korea that I never saw at home. And I like it- a lot. Whilst many people complain that the stores simply create all of these steps as a profitable scheme, in my opinion having so much available makes it great for tailoring a routine. I feel very in control of what’s going on my face, and like the flexibility. I appreciate the huge range of products on offer and the competitiveness of a market always striving to find new ingredients and winning formulas. I am also an anxious person, and my skincare routine has definitely become a way for me to relax and unwind.

A Korean style skincare routine can be tailored to suit your time, budget, lifestyle and skincare needs, and doesn’t require Korean products.  My routine is based on the many different steps that I learned about here in Korea, and I do mainly use Korean products because I’m living in the country and love to shop in the K-Beauty stores!


My morning routine

That turned into way more of a discussion than I intended… on to my morning routine…I don’t use all of these products everyday, but pick and choose depending how my skin feels. As I said in my last post, I love having specific products for targeting problems or skin needs. I do try to maintain the steps and not change products too often. It does get difficult when I’m in shopaholic mode and buy things I shouldn’t- I definitely have more moisturisers than the average person needs. I’m fortunate in that my skin is not particularly sensitive and rarely has bad reactions to products, so when I do want to switch it up, I don’t worry too much. How your skin reacts to new products and trying to record which ingredients work for you is definitely something to bear in mind when purchasing skincare, and even more important if you have sensitive or troubled skin.

I have marked with a heart the products that I will continue to use and repurchase, and the others I will most likely switch to something new once they’re finished/I’m bored. 

Products marked with an asterisk were products I was given for testing, and did not buy myself. They are in this post because I really liked them and use them daily. See my disclaimer or email me for any queries on this subject.

Anyway, here’s my morning rundown…


First Cleanser:
I still try to do an oil cleanse first thing to get rid of any dirt or sebum that has built up overnight.
The Faceshop Real Blend Calming Cleansing Oil



Second Cleanser:

COSRX Good Morning Low pH Cleanser ♥
I really like this light gel formula and it’s a lovely refreshing scent.



Cleansing water:

If I feel like an extra step of cleansing to freshen my face I use Femmue Flower Infused Cleansing Water*



First Essence/Toner:

Kiehls Iris Extract Activating Treatment Essence (a lovely gift from a parent!)

Su:m37 Secret Repair Toner




COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ♥

Scinic Snail All-in-One Ampoule ♥ (This isn’t technically an essence but it’s very light and quickly absorbed so I sometimes use it at this stage in the morning)




Femmue Global Cera Smart Cream * ♥

Su:m37 Secret Repair Emulsion

Nature Republic Super Aqua Max Fresh Watery Cream

COSRX Advanced Snail 92 All in One ♥




Femmue UV Shield Antipollution Gel SPF30 PA++ *

Missha All- Around Safe Block Essence Sun SPF 45 PA+++


I keep it fairly short and simple in the mornings and do more treatments at night. Night routine coming very soon! What is your morning routine like? How do you feel about this type of multi-step routine? Let me know in the comments!

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      1. Do you mean the Faceshop cleansing oil? I really enjoy this cleansing oil, the scent does a lot for me because I adore lavender, and it really is calming. It feels great on my face as I’m massaging it in and takes off my daily face make up well. I purchased it because of the scent and based on how much I liked my rice water Faceshop cleansing oil! If you were asking more broadly about other products too let me know 🙂

    1. I really like it! The smell is beautiful if you like lavender, and it has a great texture to massage in. I can’t really comment on how well it removes eye makeup as I don’t use it for that, but it definitely takes off my face makeup very nicely!

  1. I love this routine, I need to focus more on how my skin is day to day instead of being steadfast in my current routine. I love the products you use, I might need to pick one up, or two, or five!

    1. Yeah it’s sometimes hard when you have a set routine that you’re used to, but I’ve definitely found that for me it addresses any issues I’m having with my skin much more efficiently and effectively if I take it day by day. Haha, let me know if you buy any of these and what you think!

    1. Yes just because I feel like my face needs freshened and I enjoy double cleansing, my face feels thoroughly clean for the day.
      And yes I want to try more scinic products based on how much I like this one!

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