The 10 step routine from Korea

As a beauty lover, we trust you've already heard about the 10 step K-Beauty routine. But do you also know that the routine is based on three K-Beauty principles? These basic rules run through the whole K-Beauty world like a silver lining. You can consider them as the 1+1 of K-Beauty. So make sure you remember them well!



The first rule is what we call "from light to heavy". In the typical Korean routine, several products are applied one after the other and on top of each other to maximize the effectiveness of the products. We are talking about the so-called "skincare layering". However, the products are not applied in random order. Instead, you start with the product with the lightest texture and finish the routine with the product with the heaviest, thickest texture. Only in this way is the skin able to absorb the active ingredients of the individual products. So it makes sense to apply the watery essence first before applying the thick moisturizer. It becomes even clearer when we look at the following comparison: If you pour a bucket of water on dry soil, the water remains on the surface of the earth and simply evaporates. However, if you moisten the earth surface buy adding a bit of water at a time, the bucket of water is absorbed very effectively. Our skin works similarly. We moisten it first with a watery essence before applying the rich cream.

The 2nd K-Beauty basic rule is: "Upward and outward". This rule refers to the application of the products. Korean women are very methodical when it comes to massaging skincare products onto their skin. Products are always dabbed in the middle of the face (forehead, nose, cheeks and chin), and then massaged upwards and outwards. How so? The upward and outward movements give your face an extra lifting to prevent wrinkles and sagging of the skin. The whole thing happens of course with little pressure - rubbing and tugging on the skin is a K-Beauty taboo!

And now the 3rd rule: "From lukewarm to cold". When cleaning the skin, water often comes into play. The right water temperature with each step increases the efficiency of your face cleansing. Warm water stimulates the pores to open up, allowing dirt to be removed more effectively. After applying your facial cleanser, it is best to wash your face with lukewarm water. Be careful: Never use hot water, because this leads to irritation, damage and drying out of the skin! As a final cleansing step, you splash your face with cold water. This causes the pores to close up and shrink.



1. Makeup remover: Koreans devote a separate step to removing lip and eye make-up in their skincare routine. We all know that products such as waterproof mascaras and long-lasting lipsticks are not easily removed. In addition, the skin around the eyes and mouth is very delicate and sensitive and you should be particularly gentle to this region. To remove your lip and eye make-up, use an effective but gentle make-up remover. Soak cotton pads in it and place the pads over your closed eyes for about 10 seconds. After the remover has broken down the eye make-up, everything can easily be wiped down. Important here: No rubbing and tugging! This leads to irritation of the skin and even causes wrinkles. The same process is repeated with the lips.

2. Oil cleanser: Now the remaining make-up and other impurities are removed from the skin. Pour some cleansing oil into your palms and rub both palms together to equally distribute the product. Then gently massage the oil onto your dry face in circular motions. The warmth of your hands helps to open the pores so that make-up and dirt can be removed more effectively. Then rinse everything off with lukewarm water.

3. Foam cleanser: Koreans are convinced that perfect skin starts with proper skin cleansing. That’s why cleansing doesn’t end with just the oil cleanser. Instead the skin goes through a second wash. We are talking about the so-called "double cleansing". For the second cleanse, a foaming cleansing milk or gel is used. Apply the product on the palms of your hands first, then let it foam up by rubbing your hands together. Then gently massage it onto your wet face. Finally, rinse it all off with lukewarm water.

4. Exfoliation: In order to remove dead skin cells and to reveal fresh skin, Koreans regularly - but not excessively - exfoliate their skin. Excessive peeling can dry out or even injure the skin. For oily skin, it is enough to exfoliate 1-2 times a week. For very dry or sensitive skin, 1-2 times a month is sufficient. There are different types of exfoliators on the market. Just chose one that suits your skin best. For instance, you can try a chemical peel. Those exfoliators contain certain acids that effectively and gently free the skin of dead skin cells. After application, the skin does not need to be rinsed with water. On the other hand there are manual peelings. In this case you remove the dead skin cells by actively massaging the product onto the skin. The peeling action comes from small sand-like elements (e.g. sugar). If you use a manual peeling, make sure to rinse your face with cold water afterwards. The cold helps to reduce the size of the pores.

5. Toner: This step acts as a transition from skin cleansing to skincare. For Koreans, a toner is an absolute must-have! A small chemistry crash course explains why: The natural pH value of your skin lies between 4.1 to 5.8. For simplification, you can just remember a value of 5.0. A look at the pH scale tells us that the skin is naturally slightly acidic. Is that good? Yes absolutely! Because this acid mantle keeps pathogens and germs away. With each cleansing, the pH balance on the skin is disturbed and thus the acid mantle is temporarily switched off. That’s where we need the toner! It helps the skin to restore the natural skin protection barrier faster by restoring the pH balance of the skin. In addition, it soothes and nourishes the skin. Plus it’s super easy to apply: Put a few drops of toner on your palms and pat them into the skin. With that the cleansing part of the routine is done. We now get to the actual caring part of the routine.

6. Essence: While the first 5 steps are basically not interchangeable, the next 5 steps can be modified depending on your product selection. Remember the first K-Beauty rule: From light to heavy. Nowadays we find essences, serums and moisturizers in various forms. Sometimes the moisturizer may be lighter than the serum (e.g. a gel moisturizer). So determine the order of your skincare products by evaluating their textures according to the rule "from light to heavy". For the sake of simplicity, let's assume we have a traditionally watery essence. Essences have a moisturizing and nourishing function. They also prepare the skin for the next care steps. How to use them: Drop a little on the palms of your hands and gently pat it into the skin.

7. Serum / Oil / Ampoule: Now you ask yourself: "What is the difference between essence, serum, oil and ampoule? They are all liquid products after all.” The distinction lies in the concentration of the products. While an essence contains a rather low dose of active ingredients, an ampoule is usually fully packed with active ingredients. An ampoule is a kind of boot camp for your skin in times when it is particularly in need of care and nourishment. So choose a product that suits your skin needs best, apply a few drops on the face and then gently pat it in.

8. Moisturizer: A moisturizer covers your skin with a protective film. This locks all the moisture, as well as the active ingredients and nutrients of the previous products in the skin, so they can properly do their magic. Usually the moisturizer itself comes with additional caring benefits. How to apply: Dab a bit of cream on your cheeks, forehead, chin and nose and then massage it all in. And remember our second basic rule: Massage it into the skin in upward and outward movements.

9. Eye cream: For the very sensitive eye area, an extra eye cream is applied. Eye creams are usually rich in caring agents but have a light texture. Since the skin around the eyes is particularly fine and wrinkles are very easy to form there, special care must be taken when applying the eye cream: Use your ring finger to dab the cream and pat it in. The ring finger is the weakest finger you have. So you can be sure that you do not exert too much pressure.

10. Mask: Korean women swear by the use of masks, especially sheet masks and sleeping masks. They provide your skin with extra care and give you an extra opportunity for relaxation.


Phew - done! Your skin should be thoroughly cleansed and deeply nourished after this 10 course meal - and you probably need a breather! It's hard to believe, but for Koreans, these 10 steps are often just the bare minimum. For many it does not stop at 10 steps. In addition, the evening routine differs from the daily routine. Of course, the Korean woman ends her daily routine with the sunscreen.

10 step K-Beauty routine:

  1. make-up remover
  2. oil cleanser
  3. foam cleanser
  4. peeling
  5. toner
  6. essence
  7. serum / oil / serum
  8. moisturizing cream
  9. eye cream
  10. mask





After delving into the 10 step routine, we asked ourselves: "Do you really need all 10 steps?" Maybe some of you have asked yourself the same question. None of us question the effectiveness of the Korean skincare routine. Just look at the enviably flawless skin of the Korean stars. But we must admit that we often don’t have the time and patience for such a long skincare routine. We get up in the morning and are glad when the time we have is enough for a quick breakfast. We get home in the evening and would rather rest and relax than go through 10+ steps of skincare. You feel the same? Then glimyu is what you need!


With glimyu you don’t have to get up 2 hours earlier  in the morning to go through a lengthy skincare regime. We shortened the K-Beauty routine for you. From 10 to 3 steps. How glimyu products make this possible ...


  • They have highly effective formulations with active ingredients that are also included in top seller products from Korea.
  • They are small multitaskers because they always serve multiple purposes and always provide several benefits.
  • They form a customizable basic routine for each skin type, which you can easily expand according to your needs.
  • They only develop their full effectiveness in compliance with the three K-Beauty principles: From light to heavy, upwards and outwards, and from lukewarm to cold.


C + P + C [+ P] is the glimyu care formula and here we show you exactly how it works!


Tags: K-Beauty

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