Cruelty-free 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine (Vegan-Friendly too!)

During my time in South Korea, I saw skincare ads everywhere! Having dewy, clear, and bright skin was the standard I noticed when I would walk around Downtown Daegu. Now, what I didn’t realize was, the Korean skincare routine was all the rage here in the United States. It wasn’t until I was back home for good, I noticed that Sephora had a promotion pushing the 10-step Korean beauty routine; outing the “American” (United States) and French way of cleansing and moisturizing. Image result for Sephora korean skincare

Amazed that this skincare look is still in, I wanted to mix the K-Beauty aspect using brands that you can find here so the everyday woman and man can experience this technique. Just remember, like any skincare routine, make sure you are choosing products for your skintype and listen to your skin. 

*= Vegan-Friendly


Before you begin the “formal” cleansing step, it is essential to get rid of the stubborn eye makeup that can stick to your lashes and lids. With a clean cotton pad, gently rub the eye area to remove any mascara, liner, or shadows away.  

  1.  R.L. Linden & Co Your Eyes Only Gentle Makeup Remover ($20) *
  2. The Body Shop Camomille Gentle Eye Makeup Remover ($18) *
  3. Real Purity Eye Makeup Remover ($8.99)


Now this step is where you will remove all that facial makeup. Massage it over your dry face and neck to break up makeup, add a splash of lukewarm water to emulsify, and massage again, rinsing everything away. And don’t be fooled; oily skintypes can use oil-based cleansers too! 

  1. Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil ($30)
  2. Mullein & Sparrow Cleansing Oil ($32) *
  3. Burt’s Bee Facial Cleansing Oil ($16)


Exfoliating is crucial for a polished complexion. Buffing away dead skin cells and debris makes it easier for the rest of your skin care products to penetrated your pores. Using this product up to twice a week, gently massage or tap in an exfoliant into skin for smooth and soft skin.

  1. S.W. Basics Organic Exfoliant ($24) *
  2. Suki Exfoliate Foaming Cleanser ($32.95)
  3. OZNaturals Natural Enzyme Exfoliator ($18.99)


Time for toner. You can either mist your face with a toner or use a cotton pad to swirl the product into your skin. Toners helps balance your skin’s pH levels and preps your skin with a bit of hydration to better absorb your following skin care treatments.

  1. Herbivore  Rose Hibiscus Face Mist ($32)
  2. Earth Science Aloe Vera Complexion Toner & Freshener ($10.95) *
  3. Andalou Naturals Blossom+Leaf Toning Refresher ($12.95)


Ok, so essences, in my option, are center of the Korean skincare routine. They are hard to find in the United States since most people use serums, but essences are like a toner and serum combined. Essences essentially repair skin and help with cell turnover. All you have to do is gently pat it into the skin. 

  1. May Coop Raw Sauce ($14-$43)
  2. Vapour Beauty Essence Restorative Night Treatment ($90)
  3. Body Shop Oils of Life Intensely Revitalizing Essence Lotion ($24) *


Time for treatment products! Boosters, serums and ampoules the concentrated essence. Just make sure you tap these products into the skin. These products can address any issue including brightening, pore-refining, pigmentation, wrinkles, or acne. 

  1. Acure Organic Seriously Glowing Serum ($19.99) *
  2. 100% Pure Organic High Potency Reversal: Restore Serum ($55)
  3. Balm & Co. Sky Serum- Balancing ($45) *


UGH! I love sheet masks. I was addicted to these. Not only were they cheap to buy, but the selection was overwhelming. I would pop one on once a week and quietly sit on my bed for 15-20 minutes, letting the sheet mask do its magic. Great time to mediate, which can help your skin in the long run. 

  1. Andalou Naturals Instant Hydration Hydro Serum Facial Mask ($5.99) *
  2. Yes To Tomatoes Acne Fighting Paper Mask ($2.99)


The skin around your eyes is the most delicate skin on your face and should be treated with more love. Use your ring finger to very gently tap—never rub—eye cream around the entire orbital bone, avoiding the water line, to treat and protect. 

  1. Juara Miracle Tea Complete Eye Cream ($48)
  2. Athara Moroccan Coffee Eye Cream ($24.95) *
  3. Derma E Age-Defying Eye Cream ($24.75) *


Almost there! Hydration is your express lane to dewy glowing skin. Finding a moisturizer that works for your skin type is a crucial step to protecting your skin. They come in many different forms so it shouldn’t be too hard—like an emulsion, a lotion, gel or cream. Morning and evening, pat a moisturizer all over face and neck to keep skin protected and hydrated, sealing in all the work from your other steps. 

  1. Beauty Brew Rose & Vitamin C Restorative Face Balm ($40)
  2. OSEA Blemish Balm ($44) *
  3. Lotus Moon Corrective Skin Brightening Moisturizer ($50) *


I know I say this every time I write about sunscreens, but I want to make sure this “I’m Black/Brown so I don’t need sunscreen” myth dies. It doesn’t matter your skin color, sunscreens are the best thing you can do to prevent premature aging. Apply every morning, reapplying throughout the day as needed. It’s important as the last step so it can shield your skin from the harmful effects of UV rays.

  1. Mychelle Sun Shield SPF28 Unscented Sunscreen ($20) *
  2. Suntegrity Natural Moisturizing Face Sunscreen & Primer SPF 30 ($45) *
  3. Beauty by Earth Facial Sunscreen SPF 20 ($16.99)

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