Different cultures put different emphasis on skin care. In America, a typical skin care routine can range anything from a quick wash and moisturizer to a face mask to clean out the pores. In Asia, keeping the skin healthy as you age is really important. Some East Asian cultures even encourage people to smile without teeth to avoid developing wrinkles in later life. Koreans especially take care of their skin very seriously.
The Korean 10-Step Program
One Korean skin care regimen that has become especially popular internationally is the 10-Step Program. It started out as a favored method among the women of Seoul. There are slight variations of it, with some claiming that all steps need to be followed each day = while others saying it’s perfectly fine to do only a few steps each a day.
The full program goes like this:
- Oil cleanser
- Foam cleanser
- Serum/Booster/Ampoule Treatment
- Face mask
- Eye Cream
- Face Cream
So it’s not that surprising that a lot of people choose to do only a few steps a day. To do all ten is time-consuming and expensive. However, it’s this kind of commitment to skin care that is shown throughout the Korean culture.
Cleansing and Protection of the Skin
The above program hits a lot of notes when it comes to skin health, but two cornerstones in Korean beauty are cleansing and protection from the sun. While an oil cleanser will clean off makeup or soot, the foam cleanser will take off anything water-based like dirt or sweat. This “double-cleanse” is immensely popular in Korea. Note that it’s even followed up with an exfoliation treatment.
Then along with these deep cleansing comes plenty of moisturizing and treatment products, plus SPF. Wearing sun screen in Korea isn’t just an essential if you’re planning a long, hot day at the beach — it’s often part of the every day regimen. This also means less amounts of tanning and sun spots. Both things that prevent the porcelain-like skin tone many Korean women and men have. Although there are products that can help lighten the skin too.
A Rise in Skin Care Technology
As programs like the 10-Step become more world-wide, Korea — and their government — have been using this to their advantage. With the entire world looking at them, their goal has been to take their intensive skin regimens internationally as an export. What does this mean for Korea? It means that government money is being spent on the production and development of new, high-tech skin care products to use locally and non-locally. The Korean beauty products that already exist are constantly being changed and updated to create more effective, desirable commodities.
Overall, if there’s any culture that takes the health of their skin seriously, it’s Korea. As their government invests in the beauty industry, and popular regimens become favored in other parts of the world, the extensive beauty routine may become more commonplace. Their dedication, however, stretches beyond just a multitude of products: staying out of the sun or making sure to keep a relaxed face is just as important. The 10-Step Program is the main example of what routine many Seoul women follow, but some are even said to put as many as 18 products on their skin a day. It really is no wonder why many people choose to buy their products from Asia or Korea — the quality and selection is extremely varied.