Skin Concern: Is this a good set of a 10-step korean skincare routine?

Skin Type: Oily Combination Weather: Hot and Humid

Skin Concern: Is this a good set of a 10-step korean skincare routine? I've been doing things for 2 months but I'm not seeing as much effects as I've thought

AM Routine:

-Cosrx Good Morning Cleanser

-Celeteque Alcohol-free toner

-The Face Shop Hydrating Sun Cream (SPF 40)

PM Routine

-Pond's Lemon Cold Cream (Oil Cleanser)

-Etude House Baking Powder Foam Cleanser

-St. Ives Apricot Scrub (2x a week, Wed and Mon)

-Etude House Black Toner

-Innisfree Pore Clay Mask (same with scrub)

-Elujai Propolis Ampoule

-Salmon Oil Eye Cream

-Nature Republic 92% Aloe Vera Gel

-Honey and Berry Lip Mask

-Benzoyl Peroxide Topical Treatment (I barely use this, only when I have really bad active breakouts)

-CosrX Pimple Patch (I seldom use this as well,
only when I use the topical treatment)

16 Answers
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Ditch the baking powder cleanser (you can just use the Cosrx good morning instead) because it has high PH and the St.ives scrub because it's known for having irregular too-sharp bits. Otherwise it looks ok.

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St.ives is too irritating for my face but I find that chemical exfoliants don't work fast enough for my liking. If you're like me and prefer physically removing dry patches or dead skin then I recommend Dr.G Brightening Peeling Gel. I only use it once a week or two but it works really well without irritating or drying out my face.

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I’ve tried the cosrx good morning cleanser– I liked it but found it not as gentle as other cleansers, sometimes made my skin itchy (i have dry skin though). Perhaps a cleansing water could be good for the morning? Something that is easier and could provide some added skin benefit besides just cleansing. Maybe cut back on the use of the apricot scrub, it seems a bit harsh compared to ab exfoilaters. I used to used skinfood black sugar scrub and it felt nice & smooth when rinsing it off– or look into mild chemical exfoliates & slowly add it to your routine. A chemical one would be less abrasive physically on your skin and might help with your texture concern. Again, maybe using the crib and mask was too much on your skin? There are liquid pore treatments out there– I think cosrx has some affordable pore / chemical exfoliaters. Lastly, try adding another step after your aloe at night, something that can help seal the moisture in. Since you live in a hot/humid zone, a gel moisturizer could be a good option and you could likely find one for soothing or brightening, anti-aging etc. some added perk while helping lock in your routine

Ohhh, I'll definitely check on that! Where can I find those?

I usually order from Amazon! Something like this:

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I agree with LikeIsaidPotato - more isn't always better, and it's difficult to advise without more information such as your approximate/exact age, for example. What is suitable for a 16 year old may well not be for a 36 year old.

St. Ives Apricot scrub is something I've used as a teenager and have regretted - it's horribly abrasive, and it can actually cause inflammation, acne and bumps because it scratches the skin! Have you considered introducing a BHA and/or AHA (salicylic acid, betaine salycilate, and/or glycolic acid toner or essence) into your routine as a chemical exfoliation step? I would drop this entirely, and if you feel you need physical exfoliation, buy yourself some cellulose sponges (the round yellow things) and use those with your foaming/2nd cleanser - they are non-abrasive and exfoliate delicate skin very well.

It sounds like you might also be overloading your skin - have you considered paring the routine down to cleanser-toner-essence (AHA/BHA are great here, the COSRX BHA Power Liquid is amazing), moisturizer, sunblock, and similar but without sunblock in the evenings?

Other than that, I do not recommend 1st/oil cleansers unless you are using makeup and/or a waterproof sunscreen. If you use neither, it's not necessary, especially not on oily skin. Obviously if you have makeup or a waterproof sunscreen to remove, it's very good to use.

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Yes, I do use sunscreen and makeup during the day, so I use oil cleanser at night. Actually, I was planning to buy a new serum and essence; The Ordinary Niacinamide 30% and Zinc 1% and CosrX Hyaluronic Acid Power Essence. But since you've introduced a chemical exfoliant, now I'm not sure if I'll still buy those. (I heard Niacinamide is good for dark spots which I have and Hyaluronic Acid for Hydration) What do you think?

I haven't used TO niacinamide, but there is absolutely no reason to not sure niacinamide with a chemical exfoliant - unless you are sensitive to niacinamide itself. I use a 10% solution of niacinamide as toner morning and night before any actives (low-% retinoids, more niacinamide, BHA) and I (nor my SO) have had any problems. I DIY my own niacinamide by dissolving 10% by weight of pharma-grade niacinamide in a spray bottle (50ml) of distilled or mineral (non-fizzy) water or rosewater, and making a new batch weekly or if I run out sooner. Hyaluronic acid is not an exfoliant, it's a humectant. What were you considering it for? Again, more information about your approximate age and skin conditions, it's a bit difficult to judge, but I would recommend hyaluronic acid for people with dry and/or dehydrated skins more than I'd for combination/oily. In short, I would remove abrasive St. Ives, and then pare down the routine rather than add more products, a chemical exfoliant excepted. Then introduce products back in one at a time and see if they hurt or help, and reject if they either hurt or don't seem to make a difference when you've used up a whole container (obviously only for not-sure, don't continue using something that gives visibly bad results). Science! ;)

Oh, sorry! I'm 15 years old with oily and acne-prone skin, dealing with blemishes, breakouts, dark spots, and quite often those small little bumps on your face especially in the forehead. I intend to buy the Hyaluronic Acid as an essence (for an extra boost of hydration and moisture) and the Niacinamide as a serum (to target my skin issues such as dark spots and blemishes) And good lord! I've been using the St. Ives scrub for over 8 months now! That's probably why my skin hasn't made its drastic milestones. Nonetheless, down the drain it goes. With the chemical exfoliator, could u specify which Cosrx product it is again? I've researched online and saw 2 products: BHA A-sol and BHA blackhead power liquid. Thanks!

You can use the scrub on your body, there's no need to toss it. You might also look up the pH of the Baking Soda cleanser. I think I remember it being high, and that could be irritating to your skin, so it could be a good idea to give a quick search to make sure it's in the proper range. You want your cleanser to be a ph of around 5.5.

yeah sure, I'll def opt for a gentle cleanser. thanks!

I'm not WYRT, but I'm pretty sure they meant the BHA Blackhead power liquid (black label, not red label).

Yep, I meant COSRX BHA Blackhead Power Liquid. If you are 15 with oily skin, then your skin is probably (among other things) still throwing its puberty tantrum. I am not saying "all teenagers have that" or that "it'll go away on its own" (both lies, awful lies), but that the hormonal changes are probably still contributing to the situation. Hormonal acne sucks, I commiserate. I still sometimes get 1-2 blemishes around my period and it's awful and hurts and I hate it - and my skin isn't even acne-prone at all. I completely missed where you said Hyaluronic acid was for hydration - that'll teach me to reddit on one dose of coffee! The question I should be asking - is your skin also dehydrated? As in, do you get flaking or sad surface patches despite being oily? I ask this because while more hydration is generally better, more products when they aren't needed, aren't (the whole "7-step or 10-step routine is a must" is a total scam). What do you mean by those "little bumps" on forehead? Acne, inflamed spots, or something else? Dark spots = blackheads or discolorations after acne? I've taken a look at your routine and I think you could potentially use the BHA exfoliant, and a niacinamide serum/essence in your AM routine after toner and before sunscreen. I can't comment on TO (lots of people love it, I just have not tried it myself, but it's probably a decent bet. Or you can get Scinic Honey AIO Amoule, or Purito niacinamide serum, or you can DIY. And like I mentioned already - try taking out products from your routine and see if face gets worse or improves or neither. It is the best way to determine if the products are necessary - and when you have acne problems, a product that is not necessary often also makes things worse. I don't know where you live, but Purito samples are available on ebay if you wanted to try a little bit of the serum without buying the whole bottle. Oh and - don't throw away the St. Ives! It's AWESOME - for your FEET! Seriously, use it up on your feet, your toes will thank you! Ok on elbows and knees, too! Most 'fail' products that don't give you an outright allergy are fine as body products - just keep them off your neck and chest.

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> Is this a good set of a 10-step korean skincare routine?

More products won't exactly mean more results. The 10 step routine is generally considered a fraud, if you have multiple products to address specific problems it's another thing, but the 10 step routine just asks you to buy multiple different products for no reason at all. There's really nothing in your routine that work against each other, but there's also nothing much in there that address your issues.

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what do you recommend removing/substituting instead?

That depends too much on what exactly your issues are, like what's the source of the bumps and the poor texture and whatever else you may want to deal with it.

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