Thursday, 10 April 2008

Korean Beauty Tip : 5 Step Skin Care Routine

I grew up thinking that it was enough to have a 3-step skin care routine. Wash - tone - moisturize. Only recently, i learned that it would take more steps if you want to really take good care of your skin. Korean and Japanese women are known to follow a 5-step skin routine.

The 5-Step Skin Care Routine is Korean women's biggest beauty secret to flawless skin.

Here's the 5-step routine:

1. Double cleansing ---> 2. Massage & mask ---> 3. Tone ---> 4. Essence ---> 5. Moisturize

Phew! Let's find out in detail what each step is all about.

1. Double Cleansing

Thoroughly cleanse your skin with makeup remover and cleanser before going to sleep. Never ever go to sleep with your makeup still on!

Have you heard of Cleansing Oil? It is a washable oil that is emulsified with water to quickly remove all makeup, grease and dirt. One very famous brand is the Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil. It removes all traces of makeup gently yet effectively as well as other types of pore clogging dirt while maintaining skin's natural sebum levels

2. Massage & Mask

Facial massage is the secret to glowing skin. Apply a massage pack or cream and massage your face. You could even use a gentle scrub. It is exercise for your skin.

A facial massage improves blood circulation and is a great stress reliever!
Facial massages also stimulates the flow of oxygen and nutrients to improve the elasticity of your skin. The skin temperature rises, opening pores and pushes out the dirt embedded deep within the skin. Your skin will look visibly fresher, younger and glows after a massage.

Incorporate a facial massage into your beauty regime at least 2 - 3 times a week for visible results.

A word of caution for those with acne or oily skin, massaging will agitate the oil glands and increase oil secretion. So refrain from massaging.

On the days you do not indulge in a facial massage, apply a mask on your face. There are many types of masks out there in stores, but the two that are most important are clarifying mask (deep cleanses the skin) and moisture mask.

Facial masks should be applied 1 - 2 times a week, after cleansing and preferably at night.

3. Tone

Some might think that toners are useless. But toners actually remove dead skin cells and residue from cleansers. Choose a toner that is suitable for your skin type.

4. Essence/serum

Essence or serums are very light, liquid concentrated treatments to correct skin problems. Essence is easier absorbed and penetrates deep into your skin, better than regular moisturizers.
For best results, wait 5 minutes after applying serums before applying your moisturizer to allow maximum absorption. Because of their concentrated affects, serums are generally more expensive.

5. Moisturize

Choose a moisturizer suitable for your skin and use it diligently.

I am not one who is blessed with flawless skin, but i have learned that no matter what your skin type, you could make it better by paying extra attention to your skin care routine.

We recommend:
Shu Uemura Cleansing Oil
Decleor Cleansing Oil
Kose Seikisho Perfect Cleansing Oil
SK-II Facial Treatment Cleansing Oil

Beauty Tips from a Korean Makeup Artist


Rooster said...

I only know one step, and it's not even on the list!


he he

Liz said...

Gosh, where to find the time to do all that?

Rooster said...

Oh, Orchid, I have this small bottle of Shu Uemura... something. It's called Cleansing Beauty Oil Fresher, is it the same as the cleansing oil you mentioned?

I have no idea what to use it for. It was a Christmas present from 2005. I haven't thrown it out cuz it looks expensive. Haha, I hope it hasn't expired.

Orchid said...

Hi Rooster,

Shu Uemura has quite a few types of their product - Cleansing Oil (green, gold, pink & orange). Each type of cleansing oil is for different skin types.

The one you have "Fresh" sounds like the pink one. Is it pink? I have yet to own a bottle, but i did go to the store and asked to test it. It's pretty cool.

You press some of the oil out, and rub it on dry skin first. It smells really nice. Then after a short while, you add some water, and the oil and water emulsifies and it turns whitish. Then you wash it off, and reveal clean, smooth, nice smelling skin!

Try the one you have with you. :-)

Rooster said...

Mine is a clear oil, has no colour tint to it. Hmmm, maybe it's an old model. he he

Ok. I'll give it a shot.

Orchid said...

Any instructions on the bottle?

i was quite amazed, cos when you mix the oil + water, it emulsifies into some sort of cleanser. i would think washing with oil would leave your face oily. But it doesn't, it's fresh and clean. Plus the experience was like a science experiment. ;-)

Liz said...

Wow kewl stuff. I'd like to play around with this oil-that-mixes-with-water-and-turns-
into-cleanser thingy?

Rooster said...

The back label is all in Japanese. O_o

Anonymous said...

Ahh great tips and procedures. Although Shu Uemura is expensive, it is fairly good for Asian skin. Though I didn't find it helpful for washing off heavy make-up and my face is allergic to added fragrance. Those with sensitive skin should practice simpler steps because the more routines you have and the more agitation you place on the face, then the worse it gets. Also, those with acne and other skin conditions might benefits from beta hydroxy (a super exfoliant). And everyone, please use moisterizers with SPF! On your neck and earlobes too! is possible to get skin cancer on earlobes! Plus your neck shows your age so take care of it too.

Anonymous said...

great skincare advice! although i would like to add that toner usually goes after cleansing as you're trying to take off any residual make-up, dirt and oil. i do...cleansing, toner, mask/scrub, moisturizer and/or sunscreen...ALWAYS use facial sunscreen for day!

Anonymous said...


pink said...

hey guys!
found your website thru

i'll be dropping by often!
read few of your posts and they're all very interesting!
keep up the great work!

Liz said...

Hi Pink, welcome! :-) Hope to see you again.

Chianz said...

I'm a SKINFOOD lover... ;D
and I think the effects and price
are really amazing so I iitroduce
SKINFOOD's brand skin care products!

Anonymous said...

DHC Skincare has a really great deep cleansing oil as well - I believe it's actually a Japanese company and the cleanser is one of it's bestselling products.

Orchid said...

Are there any FANCL and DHC outlets here in Kuala Lumpur/Petaling Jaya?
Am actually looking for a reasonably priced, good Cleansing Oil.

Harmon said...

L'occitane has a Cleasing oil for $22 bucks.

I like their body products.

Orchid said...

@Harmon oh okay thanks! Will check L'occitane products.

yoona said...

what kind of skin whitening product do you recommend, what's the bestseller whitening product in Korea? does anyone know?

Nie said...

Thanks for this!! I really want to have a good skin, but really I don't! now Im using Proactiv which is working but dries my skin a lot

I have a question..
1) For the double cleansing, I don't wear make-up so what do u use for the other one?
2) What kind of massage oil/cream would you recomend that is good?
3) Also goes to toner/essence/moisturizer

Right now Im using cliinique as my moisturizer but what is essence and what does it do?

Hope to hear a reply from you and thank you!! Have a great one!

Orchid said...


1) If you don't use makeup, then you probably do not need to use a makeup remover. Just use a good cleanser that is suitable for your skin.

2) If you are using Proactiv, then it sounds like you have acne. Do not massage your face if you have acne as it will aggravate the oil glands.

3) To find the right product that suits your skin, its best to approach a professional. Go to the beauty counters at the mall where the consultants can see what skin type you have and recommend the products. If you go to a regular beautician, they can recommend too.

cherrypitbliss said...

About the facial massages, I've heard of them and have seen a step or two, but do you know anything that goes into depth? I don't want to do it incorrectly.

Orchid said...

hi cherrypitbliss, best to check with a trained beautician for facial massage techniques. If you have gone for facials, you can try to do what they do for you.

Kristen said...

Hey, try looking up face massage on youtube! There are some shown by japanese products too! I found one, the CEO of japanese high end brand, SUQQU, showing how to do a facial massage. Pretty cool!

Thu said...

According to Laneige site (Korean skin care brand) there's another step in between toner and serum: that's the "emulsion". So there are two types of moisturisers you apply: the first layer is to balance the skin's moisture level before applying serum and moisture cream because otherwise it won't be maximally effective...but then that would be A LOT of products going into the skin...the skin has its limits u no

mapple said...

I do it all except the facial massage. My skin is acne-prone. I don't know if I can do the facial massage. What do you think? Beside, should we use the essence + moisturizer? or just choose one?

loraborealis♡ said...

I noticed that on Laneige's site, there are many different types of products ranging from refiner, emulsion, and essence.

From what I understand, refiner is what I (an American) understand to be toner. Essence is like a serum? And what is emulsion? The SA at the Amore store today used the word "lotion" to explain it but that didn't make sense to me because I define the word lotion as moisturizer and I use lotion in one of the last steps of my skin care routine. Thank you for your response ahead of time. :)

gabriela2 said...

Certainly will try to follow all the steps, well, most of the time.
Any recommendation for deep lines and slowly sagging skin (age, you know!) short of the knife?


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