Skincare Routine

October 14, 2017

Hi guys! I’m here to share my skincare routine. Just a heads up, this will be a long post as I will explain in every detail what & why I use each item, and how to layer them correctly.

The Korean skincare regimen consists of 8 or more steps that one must religiously follow in order to achieve your goal. Younger looking skin? Wrinkle Free? Whitening or brightening? Dark Circles? Acne scars?  Yes it seems like a lot of work, but I promise you, using the right products, ingredients in the right order will combat those skin problems faster than you can imagine. It’s worth the time believe me! If you want to have the perfect makeup, that means you need to have the perfect skin.

I started to do my skincare when I was in college.The everyday stress that I got from staying up late to finish deadlines,lack of sleep, no sun protection whatsoever & excessive smoking,took a toll on my skin. I noticed that my skin became dull, dark under eyes, and that I looked older than my real age.

When I came across Korean Skincare, I thought to myself, why not give it a shot? Haven’t you noticed how smooth their skin looks? I mean, If Korean’s can age gracefully, then so can I.

Before we get into the steps, you have to determine your skin type. There are five skin types.

  • Normal
  • Oily – Use gel based or Soapy products.
  • Dry – Use oil, cream, water or moisturizing based products. Avoid foam type of cleansers.
  • Combination – Use water based, gel based or mild foam products.
  • Sensitive – Use non stripping products. Avoid alcohol based, or harsh exfoilating ingredients.

    After you have established your skin type, You must know what ingredients you should avoid. Use products  that contain natural ingredients like green tea, pomegranate, honey, snail mucin,etc. You should be aware of the contents  you apply on your skin. Avoid products with Parabens, mineral oil, fragrance, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), animal fats, polyetheylene /pegs,talc and many more.


What is Layering?

It seems like slapping products on your face looks easy. But do you notice any significant improvements? Is it the product itself? or your method of applying it?

Layering is what differentiates Asian skin care from western skincare regimen. In order to achieve effective & noticeable results, you must know what, when and how to apply your skincare products. So basically when we adapt the layering method, you start with the thinnest to the thickest consistency of the products. In that way,  using the right products in the right order will make significant changes to you skin.

Now I have explained what layering is, Let’s proceed to my current skincare routine.


Step One – Cleansing


I use two products to wash my face with. I first start with an oil based cleanser (Etude House Moisture Cleansing oil). Oil based cleansers are used to dissolve the make up. On an unwashed dry face, pump the oil cleanser on your palm(2 pumps is enough for the whole face), and join your palms together and rub slightly. Then massage the oil unto your face. Wet you hand a little bit while massaging to emulsify the make up and then rinse.

Next step on cleansing is your facial wash. I am currently using Innisfree’s jeju volcanic pore cleansing foam. If you have a combination skin like me, this face wash didn’t dry me out since it claims that it’s “foam” but It’s actually a soft “soapy” type of texture. Wash your face as you would normally do. You can also use facial brushes too for deep cleansing effect.

Step Two – Exfoliate!


After cleansing, the next step is to exfoliate. The best time to exfoliate is after a warm shower. The steam of the shower will help open your pores. This should be done at least 2 times a week. I mainly concentrate on my nose and chin area because those are the parts that I have blackheads/whiteheads and pores. I’m am alternating the two products that I use.

I use Skinfood’s Black Sugar Mask wash off & Rice Mask wash off.  Both products equally perform well. The only difference is that the Rice Mask provides brightening effects.

 Scoop some product and massage it on your wet face. Concentrate on the areas where you have noticeable pores. I prefer to leave it longer than 20 mins. Then rinse.

Step Three – Toner


After exfoliating, your skin will definitely need some refreshing and hydrating. That’s where the toner comes in! Toner helps hydrate the skin after the extensive cleansing process and preps the skin for the next products you’ll need to apply. It also balances the pH(Potential of hydrogen) levels of your skin.  I’m currently using the Mamonde Rose Water Toner.

You can either use a cotton pad and swipe it softly across your face, or as per my procedure, I pour some on my palms and gently pat the product on the face.

Step Four – Essence


After your toner, make sure to give at least a 4 minute interval before you proceed to the next step. Essence is one of the most important part and considered the heart of Korean skincare. It’s job is to hydrate, enhance your skins cellular turnover which gives a youthful ,smooth and brightening effect.

You can use a cotton when applying the essence. But I prefer to pour some product on my hands and gently tapping it on my skin.

Step Five – Serum/Ampoule


Serums or ampoule’s are concentrated versions of the Essence. The use of Serums are for addressing the main problems of your skin. For example, I have a combination skin(oily t-zone, dry areas of forehead and some parts of the cheeks). I chose a “Green tea” based product because it is known for having hydrating and moisturizing properties.

In order to decide which serum to use for your skin type, always read the ingredients & what skin concerns do they target (Wrinkles, hyper pigmentation, dryness, etc).

For application, I use two small pumps on the back of my hand, and use the other hand to apply and slightly pat on the targeted areas(forehead & cheeks).

Step Six – Face Masks (My Favorite!)


These masks are soaked with loads of good ingredients such as honey, avocado, green tea , Vitamin C and many more. Like exfoliating, it’s advisable to use face mask’s at least two times a week.  It’s like a quick spa day treatment.

What I love about the Mr. Honey Mask is that after using it, there is noticeable improvement. It makes my face look more hydrated & plumper. I noticed I get a lot of compliments whenever I use it.

I prefer to use a “hydrogel” type of mask compared to “sheet masks” because it feels comfortable. For a more refreshing feeling, allow your face mask to cool for at least 5 mins in the refrigerator or freezer. After applying it, leave it on for as long as you like. The longer, the better 🙂 After removing, pat the remaining essence on your face for your skin to absorb the vitamins.

Before you throw out your mask packaging, use the remaining essence on your neck and pat it gently. (Don’t forget the neck. they need some loving too!)  

Step Seven – Eye Cream


The skin surrounding our eyes are very delicate & thin. It is mandatory that you do not forget to treat the skin surrounding the eyes as they are easily noticeable.

Eye creams help to hydrate and protect the eye area. There are also a lot of eye creams that are multi functional, aside from hydrating, there are eye creams that give a brightening effect, anti wrinkle or wrinkle improvement and combat puffiness.

I use a roll-on eye gel to diminish the puffiness. The hydrogel eye patches are used for nightime only as I have to leave it on for 30 mins or longer. You can also use the eye patches on the sides of your mouth area(smile lines). After removing the hydrogel, pat lightly using your ring finger for ingredient absorption.

I have noticed significant brightening and hydrating improvements after religiously using it.

Step Eight – Emulsion/Moisturizer


An emulsion or moisturizer is self explanatory. I use the Etude house collagen moistfull emulsion during my night skincare routine. On the other hand, I use the Neutrogena hydro boost water gel in the morning when I’m in a hurry to do my make up. Both are equally moisturizing. I just find that my skin absorbs Neutrogena faster. It is mandatory that you use moisturizer day and night.

Step Nine – Sleeping Pack (For Night time Skincare)


Sleeping pack or what we call as night cream, helps seal in the moisture and all the vitamins we applied on the face recently. These are heavy in texture compared to the normal moisturizer.

It’s the last step of my skincare routine at night.

It has extra hydrating properties. I alternate my sleeping packs depending on my skin. I use Mr. Honey when I feel that my skin is extra dry & Laneige when my skin feels normal. Aside from the face, I also apply some on my neck area for hydration as well.

I am currently not using any Morning cream as I haven’t decided on what product to try yet. If you have any suggestions for my combination skin, please message me or leave a comment on this post. Your help will be very much appreciated.

Step Ten – Sun Screen ( For Morning Skincare Routine)


 This an essential step to your skincare because it protects your skin from the harmful UV rays of the Sun which is known as a contributing factor for skin damage. It causes uneven pigmentation, premature ageing, dark spots, wrinkles and fine lines. You might think that you don’t need sun screen because your primer, foundation & powder already contains SPF. Girl, let me tell you something, It’s NOT ENOUGH. Your efforts of taking care of your skin will only be put to waste if you don’t apply Sun screen. I cannot stress how important it is.

After applying your moisturizer, Apply your sunscreen on your face & your neck. I use Etude house Sunprise Dust block SPF 50+PA +++. Aside from Sun protection, it also protects your skin from environmental pollutants.


So I guess that’s the end of my 10 step Korean skincare. I hope this is somewhat informative for those of you interested in trying something new. I am not a skincare expert. These are only the methods I use that I find helpful for my skin. I still give my skin rest from all of the products once in a while for the natural oils to develop. If you have any questions or suggestions, please feel free to message or comment below this post. Thank you for reading & until next time ♥



12 responses to “Skincare Routine”

  1. Julissa Camacho says:

    This was very helpful thank you

  2. Mary Jane Paz Lasco says:

    Amazing! I’m really inspired to follow your skincare routine!

  3. rhondaspaz says:

    This was very thorough. You must have gorgeous skin!

  4. I relly loved your post, and I especially enjoyed that all products were korean 🙂 Definitely gave me some inspiration of what products I might wanna try out in the future! I just ordered those skinfood masks 2 weeks ago, so I’m excited to receive them soon 😀

    • mariaaar says:

      Thats very exciting to hear! Can’t wait for you to try korean products☺️ let me know your review once you test out the skinfood masks! Thanks for reading❤️

  5. Abhishek says:

    Step wise written, along with products, it’s very useful as pollution level are high these days. Skin protection becomes important. You have pretty pure skin. Adorable!

  6. Tracy says:

    I love the step by step process that you have given us. I would love to incorporate some of these steps into my routine! I have never tried an essence before so I think I might add that in first!

    • maria says:

      Thank you for you feedback. I truly appreciate it and I’m glad you’re willing to incorporate some of them to your routine 🙂 Let me know if you see any improvement’s once you start using them.

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