South Korea’s skincare and makeup trends have taken the world by storm. Despite advertisements and beauty products all targeted at women, men can have their own share of the Korean skin care routine, too.
But how does it work?
Don’t worry. We’ve got you! Whether you’re dealing with acne or just want to clear up dead skin a little more, you can follow our skincare routine for men below:
So, What is the K-Beauty Skincare Routine for Men?
The following products are listed by the order you apply them to your face, K-beauty style.
Treat this as the general guide to your own customized shopping list!
Ready to find out just how many skincare products you might need? Read on!
Step 1: Double-Cleansing is a Must
It’s time to start the double-cleansing method! Using both a water-based and oil-based cleanser keeps the hydration intact while making sure NO DIRT remains on your face!
Most men grow up with bar soaps as their cleansing choice. While using soap and water makes it seem as if everything is good, that’s not the case.
Unfortunately, this ONLY ENDS UP with your face stripped of its natural oils.
Like, seriously… Those soaps don’t even get the job done right!
Chances are, you still have makeup, oil, dirt, and germs STUCK to your pores.
What you should do: Use a Korean oil cleanser first before moving onto the Korean water-based cleanser step.
Step 2: Do You Want to Look Younger? Get a Toner
Want to chase down germs down to the last drop?
A Korean toner can help. Toners also tighten your pores, keeps acne at bay, and makes sure your one concern isn’t an issue: aging.
YOU’LL LOOK YOUNGER with this product in your grooming routine.
- You’ll get the best results if you gently pat it onto your skin.
- Most might use a cotton ball but we highly advise you don’t! Instead, use a cotton face pad.
Step 3: Treat Your Skin with Exfoliants
Get rid of those dead skin cells and see more life emitting from men’s skin! ONLY a good Korean exfoliant can do that.
You can exfoliate chemically or physically.
- Chemical exfoliants include ingredients that help speed up skin cell turnover and remove dead skin cells.
- Physical exfoliants assist with removing all that oil, dust and grime from your face with no question. Usually, these come in the form of abrasive scrubs.
Step 4: Buy Sheet Masks to Go Cheap!
You’ll find one in ANY skin care store. Brands vary, so just get one with the intended effect.
Do you need something nourishing, or something more on the hydration side? Each sheet mask will have its own use!
After you exfoliate, you can lie down for a bit. Take this chance to relax your body!
Korean sheet masks have to stay on your face for AROUND 20 MINUTES to completely absorb the ingredients.
Most masks contain Green tea and Vitamin C since they contain antioxidants.
Green tea and Vitamin C are thus great for their anti-aging and skin-brightening properties.
The best part? Sheet masks are ridiculously affordable!
Step 5: Revitalize with Serums
Need more of a concentration of those active ingredients? You got it!
Whatever you need for your skin, the best Korean serums will take you there. Guys can suffer from oil, big pores and fine lines, and a serum SOLVES THAT PROBLEM.
But be Wary of Active Ingredients!
These ingredients can – and will – make you break out!
Don’t overload too much onto your skin.
Hyaluronic acid is a good choice! The content of Hyaluronic acid is enough to hydrate and encourage skin cell turnover.
You’ll usually find Hyaluronic acid in a lot of lotions and facial moisturizers.
Step 6: Use Essences
Don’t know what good Korean essences are? Neither did we until we tried out the best ones for a Korean skincare routine.
Essences make sure your skin is hydrated. It’s a good layer to top off your skin with, plus it functions as a great primer.
If you’re not the type to like overwhelming layers, an essence will be lightweight!
Step 7: Don't Forget Moisturizers!
At this step, you’ve had a lot of hydration. You don’t need any more of Korean moisturizers, right?
Actually…that’s where you’re wrong. You do need one!
YOU NEED IT to lock all that moisture in one place!
Never. Skip. Good moisturizer. It comes in creams and gels, so you can choose your favorite solution to accommodate your skin.
Step 8: Pamper the Eye Area with Eye Cream
The skin around the eyes is the most sensitive area.
We may not realize it, but guys continue to aggravate the skin by pulling and rubbing at it subconsciously.
The steps to eliminate the habit can be hard. While you attempt that, help those fine lines and dark circles out with Korean eye creams!
You can use eye creams at night. Eye creams also treat some of the UV rays damage the skin cells in this area get from the sun.
Step 9: Use Emulsions
Emulsions are a great bonus for your skin! If you overproduce oil, you can choose a water-based emulsion with broad spectrum SPF.
Pimple-prone skin can take the extra step of having active ingredients in the emulsion to target oil, bad patches, and blemishes.
Step 10: Never Ever Forget Sunscreen
While not applicable at night, this step is crucial and must never be missed when you go out for your day.
You can forget some serums or creams, but NOT SPF PROTECTION.
The sun is to blame for making you age faster. You also risk getting skin cancer staying out too long in the sun.
To keep your sensitive face safe from sun damage, use Korean sunscreens with at least an SPF of 40 or more.
Considerations Before Doing a Korean Skincare Routine
Okay, listen: the Korean skincare routine isn’t for everyone. This isn’t meant to discourage you, but 10 steps are a lot! In the end, you might find that you’re aggravating your skin even more.
Instead of trying to guess which steps don’t work, take the initiative to do the following:
1. Find Out Your Skin Type
There are three skin types out there: dry skin, oily skin, and combination skin.
Finding your skin type first is crucial BEFORE you start a skincare routine.
You want to build a skincare routine based on what your goal is. That goal relies on your skin type.
For example, Korean skin care hacks would be different if you had dry skin or dry patches that existed with oily ones.
This is since your skin’s pH level may be imbalanced.
If you have an overload of sebum production that won’t be helped by a Korean skincare step, then you could skip that.
It all boils down to doing the steps that work for you.
2. List Down Your Specific Skin Concerns
Okay, what we said above is more elaborated here. After you’ve typed your skin, see what you want to improve.
Do you turn oily easily? Are there stubborn zits or discolored areas you need to take care of?
This can lead you to what you need to buy, and the possible price range!
For example, you may need to prioritize moisturizer, sunscreen, eye gels, and cleanser.
3. Learn the Basics First!
Start with clean skin. Then, you can already cleanse, moisturize, and exfoliate. Get that down on paper!
Most people jump into an overwhelming routine without considering the way it can affect their skin.
4. Create Your Shopping List for Korean Skincare
You want to find the right ingredients. When you’re doing Korean skincare, it’s easy to get sidetracked by other stuff you can buy.
Trust us, testing out the brands to find something that works for you is going to be hard enough.
Stick to a list and see if they all address your skin issues.
Just the list and no more!
5. Do a Test Patch First
Stop putting just anything onto your skin! Use a patch test to determine if it’s safe for you.
You might react POORLY to an ingredient in your essence or sunscreen, especially if it has active ingredients.
You don’t want to look like Frankenstein, right?!
Who knows? You might even be allergic.
No sheer amount of water can wash away how an allergen can absorb into your skin. Test it on your hand – by the back of it or the ring finger.
6. Stay Patient During the Trial and Error Process!
Even some of the right products can pass the test patch but still be bad for you in the end.
That’s just the way of life. Any man will be impatient, but when you find your holy grail, it’s very much worth it.
You can ditch soap and water for the real deal.
Stay patient. Document your progress. Take a photo of your progress every two weeks if you’ve got to.
Once you’ve found the product that works for you, you can move on to eliminate other buys.
7. Try a More Organic Skin Care Habit
If you have over-sensitive skin, you may be able to get everything under control – oil, blemishes, and stubborn zits – with organic elements.
Naturally-occurring content is better than chemicals in your cleanser.
You can browse through plenty of organic Korean skincare brands and start a new routine based on them.
Is a 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine Necessary?
Not at all.
While many K-beauty routines take 10 steps – and some a lot more, if you can believe it – you can always simplify.
There’s one sentence that sums up the entire skin care experience: your mileage may vary.
Too many products can clog your pores and make your skin worse.
If you don’t test them out first, you’ll have a hard time finding out which product to eliminate.
Remember the Basic Skincare Routine We Mentioned Above?
The simplified Korean skin care routine can start with that. Double-cleanse, exfoliate, and moisturize.
When you’ve got that down, you can move on to other Korean skin care methods!
Try double-cleansing with an oil cleanser, exfoliating, moisturizing, and adding an eye cream or serum. A sheet mask every week can work, too.
It’s a MUCH SIMPLER regimen for you to follow. After all, not everyone has the time to consistently apply ten steps every day!
Help! Why are K-Beauty Products Not Working for Me?
You may have missed a critical step in your skincare regimen. Go back to our list of considerations!
Did you verify your skin type? Did you consider what goals you wanted, and what ingredients can help you get your way? If not, then you’re back to the drawing board.
Some of the things you buy for skincare have that one thing: being fickle. But don’t worry!
Most will succeed in trying out a Korean skincare routine. JUST MAKE SURE you stay consistent and kind to yourself when a product doesn’t work out.
You might need to tweak your lifestyle, too. Nourish yourself from the inside out INSTEAD OF relying on chemicals and masks!
Switch to a healthier lifestyle.
- Drink more water, and make sure you get your fill of vegetables and fruits.
- Exercise more for that natural glow and keep yourself lean!
- You also have to sleep earlier. You wouldn’t eye cream if you focused on getting as much sleep and water as possible. By then, you’ll be doing half of one eye cream’s work.
Koreans have the best hacks for skincare. It’s gentle and has been proven effective by the majority!
Don’t let being a guy make you miss out on the essence of Korean skincare: keeping you looking good no matter what, even until your old age.
Don’t be afraid to try out new things! Incorporate them into your schedule and make sure you keep yourself consistent and healthy.
We hope you helped out! We want you to achieve healthier, clearer skin as fast as possible. This list is a way to get you closer to your goal.
August 18, 2021 – Updated article formatting and content
July 16, 2021 – Reviewed and updated article links