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Gumii Guru Guide to the

10 Step Korean Skincare Routine

Step 1 Oil-Based Cleanser (PM)

Oil-based cleansers (also called pre-cleansing balms) are where your journey to brighter, healthier skin begins. We know what you’re thinking. “How could oil possibly clean my skin?’ By breaking up even your most stubborn make-up, that’s how. Use your fingertips to gently massage the cleanser all over that beautiful face of yours and watch your day melt away. There is absolutely no scrubbing necessary because the balm does all the work for you and we know you deserve to relax after a long day. Finish up by splashing your face with lukewarm water to help dissolve the remaining oil and makeup. If you’re feeling a little shiny, don’t worry, step 2 will clean that right up! 

Step 2 Water-Based Cleanser (AM&PM)

Ahhh, water. Now that’s a word we associate with cleansing. A good water-based cleanser will whisk away any remaining residue from step 1. Just like with your oil-based cleanser, you’re going to massage this onto your face and let those suds penetrate your pores. Gently massaging your face also helps increase circulation, which leads to brighter skin. Splash some warm water over your face to remove the remaining impurities and marvel at how fresh and clean your skin looks. Be sure to play around with different formulas and brands to find a cleanser that works for you. If your cleanser is leaving your skin feeling raw or stripped of its natural oils, try a new one. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life. 

Step 3 Exfoliate (PM)

This step is special because you don’t have to include it in your everyday routine. (We know you need a break sometimes) Two to three times a week is all you need or if your skin is easily irritated, exfoliating once a week will do the trick. Using your fingertips, gently massage your exfoliate over your face, avoiding your delicate eye area, and rinse with warm water. This step will remove dead skin cells and leave your skin polished and prepped for the following steps (hey that rhymed.) There are many different types of exfoliates ranging from abrasive to gentle, so be sure to find one that works best for you. We don’t recommend using sandpaper…don’t ask. 

Step 4 Toner (PM)

The days of over-drying, alcohol-based toners are long gone and we only have room for gentle, PH balancing formulas in our beauty routine. Toner balances your skin’s PH and really extracts any leftover dirt or residue from your skin. You have a couple options for how you can apply your toner. You can either pat it all over your face with your hands, or pour some onto a cotton ball and lightly sweep it over your skin. Toner should leave your skin with a pleasant tingling sensation, not a burning one, but even a gentle toner can be a little drying. Remember, its easier to dehydrate your skin than it is to hydrate it, but luckily these next steps will replenish any moisture you’ve lost.


Step 5 Essence (AM&PM)

Here’s where it can get a little tricky. A traditional essence is a thicker hydrating serum, but what we’re looking for is something a little waterier so it can be patted on your face post toning. Luckily, the Korean brands are just the thing we need. This is a magical substance that increases your skin-cells turnover rate leaving you with healthy, younger looking skin. Apply your essence by squeezing a small amount into your hands and patting it over your face. Then sweep it in an upward motion across your cheeks and forehead. Always follow the grain of your skin when applying skin-care products to ensure absorption. 

Step 6 Serum (AM&PM)

What’s the difference between serums, ampoules, and boosters? The only difference is their names! With key ingredients like snail secretion, royal jelly, bee venom and charcoal powder, there is a serum for every skin concern. Some serums minimize pores while others are specifically formulated to treat acne. There’s a serum for anti-aging and one for dryness. We’re still waiting on the one that allows us to eat whatever we want without gaining weight, but we think it’s still a couple years away. The best part about serums is you can layer them and use many as you want. Whether you want to just stick to one, or you want 20 layers of serum is entirely up to you and your skin’s needs. 

Step 7 Sheet Masks (AM&PM)

Sheet masks are the hottest trend in skin care and for a good reason. They really work! Coming from countries like Korea, Japan, Taiwan and now the US, you can’t go wrong with a good sheet mask. They’re made of flexible paper or fabric sheets that are cut to fit the contours of your face. They’re soaked in special serums and designed to seal in moisture, leaving you with glowing skin. This is our absolute favorite step because all it requires is opening up your mask, smoothing it onto your skin, and kicking back and relaxing for 10-30 minutes. Don’t worry, there’s no need to fly all the way to Korea because we have a curated collection of these miracle masks in our shop!

Step 8 Eye Cream (PM)

When it comes to eye cream, we believe the thicker the better. The skin around your eyes is different from the rest of your face and deserves special attention when it comes to moisturizing. Just like other skin care products, different eye creams target different needs. There’s something for everyone whether you’re looking for something anti-aging or for an eye cream that eliminates dark circles. Remember that the skin around your eyes is very delicate so use the pad of your pinky or ring finger to lightly dab a thin layer around your eyes.  

Step 9 Moisturizer (AM&PM)

You might be thinking that after all of those serums, the sheet mask and the eye cream that your skin’s thirst has been quenched, but you still have one more step of hydration. Moisturizer is what’s really going to seal in all of that work you just put into your skin. A good moisturizer will plump your skin and leave it looking radiant and dewy. A nice thin, even coat applied in an upward motion is really all you need. If you really feel like bringing on the self-love, you can give yourself a facial massage to increase circulation, absorption, and relaxation.

Step 10 Sun Protection (AM)

Listen up sun goddesses and gods! While you may think the sun is your friend, its actually doing a number on that pretty face of yours. Whether you’re out hiking, taking your dog on a quick walk, or working indoors most of the day, everyone needs sun protection. Even a few minutes in the sun a day can cause some real, long-term damage to your skin. A morning application of SPF 30 sunblock to any exposed skin is mandatory. Add more if you’re going to be outdoors for an extended period of time or if your foundation doesn’t already have an SPF rating. If you’re short on time and can only pick one step from your routine, this is the one!

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