You Don’t Need a 10-12 Step Skincare Routine, and Here’s Why

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Popularized by Korean beauty gurus the 10 (or sometimes 12) step skincare routine has really taken the “skincare game” to the next level. It’s more accurately two routines, one you do in the morning that contains an SPF, and one at night that replaces that with an extra moisturizer. It’s probably the most extra routine there is, and it’s legitimately just too much. In fact, much of “K-Beauty” is marketing spin. Korean women are known for their flawless complexions, but it may not just be to extensive daily regimes. 20% of Korean women are thought to have had plastic surgery and Korean dermatologists prescribe the acne medication, Accutane, to just about anybody.

Why it’s overrated

While the 10 steps are very thorough, a lot of them are unnecessary. It’s basically a “do everything every day” approach that doesn’t account for a variety of skin types and needs. So you end up doing more than you need to and potentially overdoing it in other areas. Instead, focus on what your skin needs and go from there.

What are the 10 steps anyway?

  1. Oil Cleanser
  2. Foam Cleanser
  3. Exfoliator
  4. Toner
  5. Essence
  6. Serum
  7. Sheet Mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Sleeping Mask
  10. SPF
  11. Mist
  12. Maintenance Facials

And doing 10-12 steps twice a day every day is a huge chunk of time spent washing and rewashing your face. And ten steps and ten products it ends up being a huge chunk of change out of your budget having to purchase and keep stocked. It’s just not necessary.

What it does get right

The 10 step routine is a lot of work, but it’s not wholly flawed. The combination of an oil based cleanser and a water based cleanser is a solid makeup removing and face cleansing method, it encourages more serums than creams, and has daily sun protection intertwined in.

The takeaway

While the whole ten or twelve steps of the routine are really unnecessary, it does appeal to a lot of people. Pull from it the things that you think would benefit your skin to do on a regular basis, and pick your products very carefully for your skins needs and issues. Take it as an inspiration and customize it based on getting exactly what your skin and your own routine needs.