K-Beauty: All about the steps of the Korean Layering

Jeune femme coréenne souriante commençant sa routine visage face au miroir

Principles of Korean Beauty

The secret of K-Beauty, Korean beauty, is above all to take care of your skin for healthy and beautiful skin; make-up is secondary. Taking care of your skin does not only consist of cleansing and moisturizing it morning and evening, but of meeting its needs by respecting its metabolism through a daily routine or ritual in several stages and in successive layers; and this is called face layering or Korean layering.

Korean Layering Philosophy

Korean face layering is a technique that consists of performing daily, morning and evening, a series of face treatments, some superimposed on the previous ones.

The steps of Korean layering correspond to the preparation and treatment of the needs of the different layers that make up the skin:

  • The first steps treat the skin's needs on its outer layer (epidermis), and allow the skin to be prepared for the following deeper treatments (and therefore "to open the skin"),
  • the intermediate stages treat the cutaneous needs on the deeper layers (dermis and hypodermis),
  • The last steps finalize the care on the epidermis and protect it from external aggressions (hence the action of "closing the skin").

If the steps are not all mandatory, it is however necessary to respect the logic and therefore the order.

The different stages of Korean layering

Each step corresponds to a type of treatment and you will need to select a treatment corresponding to your skin type and your expectations.

Step 1 - Double cleansing (morning and evening): Make-up removal

Double cleansing consists of removing make-up and cleansing the skin. It corresponds to two distinct facial treatments, in order to properly purify your skin of all pollution, dust, make-up and other cutaneous secretions.

This double daily cleansing is essential to let your skin breathe and facilitate cell regeneration, key conditions for healthy and beautiful skin. This is all the more true in the evening before going to bed because the night is the privileged moment for the cellular regeneration of the organs of the body.

If double cleansing is necessary in the evening, we can be satisfied with a simple cleansing in the morning, even if for my part, fond of the textures of certain make-up removers, I also use in the morning before my cleanser a make-up remover oil which will remove secretions night skin, and nourish and relax my epidermis.

The different textures:

  • Cleansing oil: suitable for all skin types, including oily skin
  • Balm: suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin
  • Cleansing milk: suitable for all skin types, but for combination to oily skin, this texture may seem too rich.
  • Micellar water: Be careful with its use. Before using it, check the ingredients carefully because it often contains alcohol or surfactants that attack and dry out your skin. The use of micellar water would rather be recommended for occasional use, not daily.

The right gesture for make-up removal:

  • Cleansing oil & Balm: Pour 2-3 pressures of cleansing oil on one palm and rub between two palms of the hand to heat the cleansing oil a little. Then gently massage face and neck. Finally massage again with a little water for one to two minutes. You will notice that the oil turns milky. Rinse thoroughly with clear water. This massage gesture is a real moment of relaxation for you and your skin. Note that you don't need cotton, one less single-use utensil!
  • Cleansing milk: Massage the face and neck with the milk in circular motions and wipe off with a cotton ball. Another way is to apply the milk on a cotton ball and wipe the entire face, neck and décolleté with this cotton ball soaked in cleansing milk.
  • Micellar water: Soak cotton with micellar water and cleanse the skin.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Facial Cleansers:

Other related article:

Step 2 - Double cleansing (morning and evening): Cleansing

The cleanser is the second step of the double cleansing. It is used to remove fat residues and eliminate all impurities to have a clearer and healthier face. Choose a cleanser with a slightly acidic pH (natural pH of the skin between 4.5 and 6, neutral pH is 7) which preserves the hydrolipidic film of the skin or a cleanser with a slightly alkaline pH which is suitable for oily or combination skin.

  • All skin types: slightly acidic pH between 4.5 -5.5
  • Oily skin: slightly alkaline pH between 7.5 – 8.5

The different textures: choose according to your taste

  • Mousse: Suitable for all skin types, especially oily, combination or sensitive skin. The mousse texture is delicate and pleasant to use.
  • Gel: Suitable for all skin types, especially oily, combination or acne-prone skin.
  • Cream: suitable for all skin types, especially for sensitive, dry, acne or redness skin.

The right gesture for cleaning:

  • Foam: Massage the cleansing foam on face and neck with circular movements and rinse with clear water.
  • Gel & Cream: Emulsify a dab of cleansing gel or cream in the palm of your hands and apply it to the moistened face and neck in circular movements. Then rinse with clean water.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Facial Cleansers:

Option: Scrub or exfoliation (twice a week)

Exfoliation is an optional or rather non-daily step whose purpose is to eliminate dead cells, unclog the pores of the skin, facilitate its oxygenation, and thus strengthen its vitality and maintain it. her youth. Indeed, the periodic exfoliation of your skin promotes skin cell renewal and allows a more luminous and uniform complexion.

Exfoliation should be done once or twice a week, but beware of sensitive skin, for which twice a month will be sufficient.

The different textures:

• Exfoliation with natural seeds (mechanical): is the most applied method and is suitable for all skin types except skin sensitive to friction.
• Acid scrub or peeling: gentler method for the skin suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. Fruit acids (AHAs) such as lactic or citric acids, or salicylic acid (BHA) are often used.

The right gesture for exfoliation:

  • Natural Seed Scrub: Moisten your seed powder and gently massage onto face with circular motions and rinse with clear water.
  • Acid scrub: Apply by massaging lightly with the cotton soaked in acid exfoliant on the face, leave on for 1 to 3 minutes and rinse with clear water.

Among our selection of Natural Face Scrubs:

Step 3: Applying the tonic lotion or toner

In Korea, the toner is the step after the double cleansing and optionally the exfoliation to eliminate the last impurities and rebalance the pH of the skin and thus prepare it to receive moisturizing and active care for the deeper layers of the skin.

Note that in the West, the toner is often presented as a product aimed at purifying and tightening the pores by an astringent action and for good reason, it often contains alcohol and dries the skin.

The right gesture to apply the tonic lotion or toner:

  • Soak a cotton pad with a small amount of the toner, and sweep it carefully over the entire face,
  • Or preferably, apply a small amount of the toner to your palms and press them against the face for gentle absorption into the skin.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Face Toners:

Option: The mask (1-2 times a week)

Among the various existing masks, sheet masks are the most used in Korea to deeply moisturize the skin.
They are impregnated with serum and full of active ingredients to treat according to specific needs for hydration, anti-aging, complexion radiance, skin soothing, etc.

Many Koreans use them daily. Applying the mask is a moment of tranquility, a break of 15 to 20 minutes for yourself not to be missed and to be repeated once or twice a week.

The right gesture for the mask:

Leave the fabric mask in the fridge for 10min before use for better comfort, put it on your face for 15-20min. Then remove the mask and gently massage the excess serum until completely absorbed.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Hydrating Face Masks:

Step 4 - Applying the essence, serum, or ampoule

After the tonic and the mask, the application of a serum (or essence or ampoule) is the treatment to treat your specific needs on both the superficial and especially the deeper layers of the skin.
Due to the preparation of the skin with the previous steps and the fine or even liquid texture of these products, the active ingredients are quickly assimilated by the skin down to the cellular level to respond to any deficiencies in their metabolism.

These active ingredients can have a high moisturizing, anti-oxidant, plumping, anti-dark spot, lightening or evening out the complexion, sebum regulator, anti-imperfection…
The 3 denominations essence, serum and ampoule designate the same type of care but display concentrations of active ingredients, which are different and here increasing.

It is possible to use several different products but in this case it is important to start with the one with the most liquid texture and then continue with increasingly dense textures.

The different textures:

  • The essence: Very fluid or even liquid and contains active ingredients targeting anti-aging, anti-dark spots, dull complexion, etc.
  • Serum: Looks like essence but has a denser texture and more targeted care.
  • The ampoule: Contains very concentrated active ingredients and gives a faster result.

The right gestures to apply the serum:

  • After cleansing skin and applying toner, apply 2-3 drops of serum directly to your face. Tap gently until fully absorbed.
  • Or preferably, apply a small amount of the Serum to your palms and press them against the face for gentle absorption into the skin.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Facial Serums, Ampoules and Essences:

Step 5 - Applying the emulsion

The emulsion is a fluid and light moisturizing cream formulated with water and light oils, fine enough to penetrate the cutaneous tissue and nourish the skin. In Korea, it is also called 'Lotion'.

The emulsion is often used in summer as a day cream because of its light and pleasant texture.

It is suitable for combination to oily skin in day and night cream; normal and drier skin should not do without this care cream.

The right gestures to apply the emulsion:

Apply a dab of emulsion cream all over the face and neck and pat lightly.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Face Lotions and Emulsions:

Option - The application of the care oil

The main role of face care oil is to maintain skin hydration by establishing a lipid barrier preventing the skin from drying out. The texture of the face care oil must be light to be easily absorbed by the skin in order to nourish it and maintain its natural protective barrier.

The care oil generally incorporates a large number of active ingredients to treat your specific needs, such as essence, serum or ampoule, but this time on the shallower layers of the skin.

The right gestures to apply the care oil:

  • Apply a small amount of treatment oil to your palms and press them against the face for gentle absorption into the skin.
  • Or mix a few drops of oil with your cream and apply to face and neck.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Face Care oils:

Step 6 - the eye contour

The skin around the eyes is very thin, the most fragile on the face and the one that ages the earliest with the appearance of dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles.
Before the first signs appear, additional and specific care is needed in the form of moisturizer, oil or patch.

The right gestures to apply the eye contour cream:

Apply the cream to the eye contour, avoiding direct contact with the eyes.

Among our selection of Eye Contours with natural ingredients:

Step 7 - the care cream

The care cream is the last step of the Korean Layering and has a denser and richer texture. It helps to "close the skin", to keep all the nutrients and active ingredients received by the previous treatments by forming a protective film on the very surface of the skin.

This step is essential to keep your skin healthy and protect it from external aggressions, especially for dry, dry skin or in winter during dry and cold weather.

The right gestures to apply the cream:

Apply a dab of cream all over the face and neck and pat lightly.

Among our selection of Natural Korean Face Moisturizers:

Step 8 - sun protection (every morning)

UV rays are the first cause of premature aging of the skin and sunscreen is necessary in summer and winter alike to protect your skin from these rays and preserve the youthfulness of your skin.

Among our selection of Korean SPF50+ Sun Creams:

Face massage during your Korean routine

I didn't want to end this article on Korean Beauty and Korean Face Layering without emphasizing the importance of face massage. Its benefits are both physiological and psychological.

Self-massage is comforting, reconnects you to your body and your feelings. It's a moment just for you, during which you take care of yourself.

The physiological benefits of massage are numerous, as face massage contributes to:

  • Improve the absorption by the skin of the active ingredients of cosmetic treatments, thus increasing their effectiveness,
  • Become aware of and reduce the muscular tension of the face which in the long term can lead to fine lines and then wrinkles,
  • Increase blood circulation especially in the capillaries for a better supply of oxygen and nutrients to the skin cells, thus improving cell vivacity, a real natural anti-aging treatment, lifting and illuminating the complexion.

At the beginning of your Face Layering, take advantage of the make-up removal and cleansing stages with your gentle, natural treatments to gently massage the different parts of your face, with particular attention to the fine lines forming (forehead, frown lines, sideburns, goose, …), and the oval of the face.

Finally, I hope this article has answered your questions about Korean Beauty and more particularly about Face Layering. Feel free to comment on this article below or by email to contact@my-kare.com and share it on social networks.

You find on the site MY-KARE articles, advice for your well-being and the entire selection MY-KARE Korean, natural, vegan and healthy facial treatments for healthy and beautiful skin; effective and “Clean” care responding to an ethic of reasoned consumption for the good of our health and our environment.

Happy Korean Routine to You!

Founder of MY-KARE



> Why choose Korean cosmetics?

10 Answers

anonymous avatar

Planchais J

January 15, 2024

Bonjour, votre article est très complet il nous informe très bien, cependant je voulais vous demander en combien de temps vous finissez votre skincare en considérant les dosages indiqués ?
Merci beaucoup 💗

anonymous avatar


January 15, 2024

Avant de vous lire j’étais perdue dans l’ordre des soins . J’ai acheté les produis pour mon visage sans me renseigner vraiment avant de les poser sur mon visage ! Merci pour vos explications , pour moi tout est clair maintenant grâce à vous . Bon soin à vous toutes ;-))

anonymous avatar


September 19, 2023

Bonjour Pauline,
J’ai commencé par les étapes de 1 à 5 (et je mélange l’huile de soin à l’émulsion).
J’ai profité d’une semaine de congés pour commencer et cela ne me prend pas beaucoup plus de temps qu’avant. 5 à 10 minutes.
J’ai disposé mes produits dans l’ordre d’application (Je m’étais fait aussi une note avec les différentes étapes et options pour ne pas oublier).
Au fur et à mesure de la toilette, et habillage j’applique les différents soins.
N’hésitez pas, vous n’avez rien à perdre à prendre soin de vous et de découvrir ce rituel. Bonne Routine…

anonymous avatar


September 19, 2023

Merci pour ces conseils… Maintenant, j’y vois plus clair !!!
Seule question : où placer le massage du visage AVEC HUILE svp ?
Avant les sérums, ils ne pourront pas pénétrer
Après la crème hydratante, c’est l’huile qui ne pénétrera pas ou peu ?
Merci pour votre réponse 🙏

anonymous avatar


July 31, 2023

Bonjour, je vous remercie pour tous ces conseils ! Je voudrais me mettre à ces soins et ça m’a été d’une grande aide. Juste puis je savoir combien de temps prenez vous pour faire ses soins matin et soir s’il vous plaît ?

anonymous avatar


December 26, 2022

Je ne trouvais jamais le temps de m’accorder quelques minutes pour prendre soin de moi. Quand j’ai lu cet article, je me suis dit “mais combien de temps il faut matin et soir, pour tous ces soins ! ?” Cela fait 3 mois maintenant que je suis une adepte inconditionnel de ce rituel. Une façon de bien commencer la journée et de se chouchouter le soir. Au bout d’un mois je voyais déjà le changement au niveau de la peau, aspect, fermeté…
Merci pour ce partage bien instructif.

anonymous avatar


December 10, 2022

Un grand merci pour cette article, très bien expliqué, j‘acheter toujours plein de produits mais je les utilises jamais dans l’ordre, et rien que de vous lire je me voyais dans la salle de bain entrain de prendre soin de mon visage,allez j’y vais toute suite …😂

anonymous avatar


April 25, 2022

Ma bible cet article … grand merci !

anonymous avatar


February 02, 2022

Merci pour cet article ! , très instructif et super bien expliqué, lorsqu’on vous lit, on a juste envie de s’y mettre, et je vais m’y mettre ! Cela ne peut être que du bonheur, vraiment MERCI pour vos conseils ?

anonymous avatar


July 17, 2021

Impressionnante cette routine Coréenne ! C est vrai qu on a tendance à être plus expéditives pour gagner du temps ! Mais lorsqu on dispose de plus de temps ou qu on a besoin de prendre soin de soi, c est du bonheur assuré ! Merci Hyun-Hee pour cet article. Pour ma part j ai beaucoup appris !

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