10 Steps To Perfect Skin

Korean women aren’t simply blessed with flawless skin – they work for it. Charlotte Cho lets us in on the skincare routine the whole world envies.


  1. Oil cleanse. The first step in the famous “double cleanse” method. This step works for all skin types, including those that are acne-prone or oily. An oil-based product breaks down oil-based impurities such as makeup and SPF. 

  2. Water cleanse. The second step in the double cleanse method. Water-based cleansers break down water-based debris such as dirt and sweat. They typically come in cream or foam formulas. 

  3. Exfoliate. This is a step you can do weekly. Use a chemical-based exfoliator that uses an ingredient such as alpha hydroxy acid to penetrate skin and deep clean pores. Use a mechanical exfoliant such as a sugar scrub to slough off dead cells from the surface of your skin.

  4. Tone. Do this after you cleanse (or exfoliate, if you’ve chosen to do that step). Korean toners focus on hydrating the skin, and prepping it to better absorb the other products in your skincare routine.

  5. Essence. Typically a liquid formula that’s made with ingredients that help make your skin look less dull and brighten your complexion by encouraging skin cells to regenerate.

  6. Ampoule. A denser, slicker version of essence that’s supercharged with ingredients that help address signs of skin damage.

  7. Sheet masks. Perhaps the most iconic step in Asian skin regimens. You can use one once or twice a week. Typically they’re made from cotton or gel sheets that have been soaked in serums and essences, and you wear them for about 15 minutes. Many are specially formulated to treat particular skin concerns, like acne or dryness.

  8. Eye cream. Use something richer here than you would the rest of your face. Use a tapping motion as opposed to a rubbing motion to avoid stretching the skin, which could lead to wrinkles.

  9. Emulsion. A lighterweight moisturiser that penetrates the skin and hydrates at a deeper level. 

  10. Sleeping pack or night cream. The most emollient or creamiest product in your routine. Slather this on last, because it’s so thick it could prevent other products from being absorbed into the skin. While it moisturises on the spot, it also keeps you hydrated as you sleep.
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