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You Don’t Need to Use Korean Brands to Do the 10-Step Korean Skin Care Routine

If you’re big on skin care like I am, you’ve probably heard about the infamous 10-step Korean skin care routine that skin care junkies all over the world have started incorporating into their everyday lives. And while it took me a while to pick it up (after all, I grew up with a dermatologist who always told me what to do and what products to use), I realized that it wasn’t because of the lengthy and taxing routine that intimidated me. It was more because I assumed I had to use all Korean brands to complete my routine, and at that time when I was starting to get curious about it, there weren’t many options available, and I wasn’t willing to experiment with a brand or product that I hadn’t heard or read about yet.

Not long after, and without even realizing it, I had put together products that follow the 10-step Korean skin care routine—but using brands that aren’t Korean! So if you can relate with me on some level, below is a guide as to what products you can use (it’s a mix of Korean and non-Korean brands) that you can also integrate into your daily regimen:

1. Oil Cleanser

Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero (P945) is probably the most popular sorbet-like makeup remover that melts into oil and dissolves even the most waterproof makeup! I especially love using this to remove my waterproof mascara, because there’s no need for me to rub and tug to get the gunk off. A dollop can instantly wash it off!

Another alternative to an oil cleanser is St. Ives’ Exfoliate & Nourish Coconut Oil Scrub (P399). It’s a two-in-one formula that cleanses the skin AND exfoliates it! So it can even eliminate the 3rd step, which is exfoliating.

2. Foam or Facial Cleanser

A Calyxta favorite, Shiseido’s Senka Perfect Whip (P300) is a cleansing foam that works like a cushion to gently cleanse and moisturize skin. Those with extra dry skin can opt for something more gentle—like Simple’s Moisturizing Facial Wash (P249), CosRX’s Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser (P600), or Oil of Argan’s Argan Oil + Green Tea Facial Soap (P170)!

3. Exfoliate

This step isn’t something that you have to do daily. I would recommend doing this only twice or thrice a week, especially if you have dry and sensitive skin. But if you’re looking for a chemical exfoliator, Neogen’s Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Lemon (P1,195) is an innovative pad made with natural ingredients to promote visibly clearer, smoother, and brighter skin! Another exfoliator option would be St. Ives’ Nourished & Smooth Oatmeal Scrub + Mask (P205).

4. Toner

When it comes to toners, Calyxta has so many good options that can address different types of skin! From Zenutrients, to Thayers, to Pixi, to Benton and Dear Klairs, take time to consider your skin type and your skin’s needs before buying a toner. For oily skin, I recommend Thayers’ Alcohol-Free Rose Petal Witch Hazel Toner (P700) or Pixi’s Glow Tonic (P990). Those with dry skin can give Dear Klairs Supple Preparation Toner (P880) a try. And if you have sensitive skin, you may want to try Zenutrients’ Tomato & Cucumber Balancing Toner (P245)!

5. Essence

I have nothing but praises for CosRX’s Hyaluronic Acid Hydra Power Essence (P963). I’ve been using it for almost a year now, and my skin’s suppleness and hydration level have improved so much. You can also check out Benton’s Snail Bee High Content Essence (P650) as an additional alternative.

6. Serum

Depending on what your skin needs, you can also opt for a serum that can help you achieve #skingoals. Tia’m’s My Signature C Source (P899) is a powerful Vitamin C serum that brightens your complexion and fades away scars and blemishes. But if you’re looking for a burst of hydration, you may want to try Pixi’s Hydrating Milky Serum (P1,350).

7. Face Mask

Face masks are an affordable way to indulge yourself, and I personally love wearing it while binge-watching Friends on Netflix. Again, there are a lot of different masks for different types of skin, and the beauty of these one-time-use sheet masks is being able to alternate them to address a specific concern. Check out Luke’s, Innisfree’s, and Beauty Friends II’s selection of sheet masks for as low as P50!

8. Moisturizer

Moisturizers are one of the final steps in the 10-step Korean skin care routine to lock in everything, and what I like about Simple’s Hydrating Light Moisturizer (P500) is that it fits all skin types.

9. Eye Cream

One of the hardest skin care products to find, at least for me, is a good and effective eye cream. I’ve road tested and gone through a number of them already, and so far I haven’t been very successful in finding one that I really like. But Pixi’s 24k Eye Elixir (P1,180) was one of those I tried and genuinely recommended to others because it contains age-defying ingredients to plump fine lines around your eyes. It also helps reduce puffiness, thanks to the silver ball that massages your eye area whenever you apply it. A little tip? Place this in the refrigerator, so the ball gets extra cool!

10. Sunblock

The last and probably most important step is protecting your skin from harmful UVA and UVB rays, as well as pollutants. Make sure to invest in a good sun screen like Sun Bum’s SPF 30 Face Stick (P870).

Written By:

Gretchen Gatan


Gretchen is a writer, makeup artist, and the beauty and lifestyle blogger behind Her love for beauty all started when she discovered the wonders of doing her brows with a good eyebrow pen. Despite her girly ways and obsession with skin care, she loves watching wrestling and gets competitive while playing Ultimate Frisbee.

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