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The 10-step Korean skincare challenge: Why it’s a total game-changer for the skin

vicky lee

Words by Korean beauty expert Vicky Lee.

Korean women are famous the world over for their hauntingly flawless and glowing skin. Even though it may seem hard to believe, Korean women haven’t won the genetic lottery. Their clear and radiant complexion is the result of a healthy diet and a long skincare tradition. Korean women start caring about their skin at a young age, using up to 10 or more products in their night-time routine alone.

Their 10-step skincare routine is already very popular in the U.S.A. thanks to its undoubted effectiveness, yet some women are still hesitant to take the plunge and adopt it for daily use. The main obstacle that seems to get in the way is time, or better lack of it. We are all extremely busy these days, juggling a full-time career with family commitments, all the while trying to maintain some semblance of a social life. Fitting in a 10-step skincare routine too can sound too daunting and unattainable.

This is why I decided to challenge my dear friend Nadya Abela to try the 10-step Korean skincare routine for three weeks. Nadya is one of the busiest women I know: a wonderful mother to two adorable little boys, a stunning model, a savvy entrepreneur and a dedicated philantrophist – she runs the Nadezda Fund, a charity that helps disadvantaged children obtain access to medical aid -, Nadya has her hands full every single day. I was confident that if Nadya can find the time to work the 10-step skincare routine into her busy life, other women will easily be able to follow her example, too.

Nadya before and after the 3 weeks 10-step Korean skincare challenge
Nadya before and after the 3 weeks 10-step Korean skincare challenge

Here’s the entire 10-step Korean skincare routine Nadya tried:

1. Cleansing:
– In the morning, water only: it keeps skin hydrated.
– At night, first an oil-based cleanser (Tony Moly Pro Clean Soft Sherbert Cleanser): removes oil-based impurities, such as sunscreen and makeup.
– Then, a water-based cleanser (Innisfree Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam): removes water-based impurities, such as dirt and sweat.

2. At night, 3xfoliator (Skinfood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask): sloughs off dead skin cells.

3. Toner (Innisfree Broccoli Clearing Toner): rebalances the skin’s ph after cleansing.

4. Essence (Purpletale Setting The Scene Treatment Essence): speeds up cellular turnover.

5. Ampoule: Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Science Activator Borabit Ampoule: concentrated anti-aging formula to fight wrinkles.

6. Serum (Skinfood N.1 Black Sugar Perfect First Serum Fresh): treats sun damage.

7. At night, Sheet mask (Purpletale 5 Steps To Lovely Skin Sheet Mask): hydrates and revitalises skin.

8. Eye cream (Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream): nourishes the eye area.

9. Moisturiser (Purpletale Ode To Hydration Facial Cream): moisturizes skin.

10. In the morning, sunscreen (Sulwhasoo Snowise EX UV Protection Cream): protects skin against aging UV rays.

11. Sleeping cream (Purpletale Plot Twist Restorative Cream): hydrates and repairs skin while you sleep.

What makes this routine so incredibly effective is its strong focus on hydration. Hydration plumps up the skin so that fine lines and wrinkles look smaller. It gives the complexion a healthy and youthful glow. Finally, it makes skin more permeable, aiding the penetration of active ingredients. Skin is like a sponge: the wetter it is, the more absorbent it gets. Each layer infuses the skin with a burst of moisture that helps the following layer be absorbed more easily, boosting the effectiveness of the entire routine.

The 10-step Korean skincare has been a total game-changer for Nadya, as it was for me and for every woman who has ever tried it. After a brief period during which her skin was adjusting to the new routine, Nadya saw a noticeable improvement. Three weeks later her skin had completely transformed and is now absolutely flawless. It goes without saying, despite her crazy schedule, Nadya is now fully converted to the 10-step Korean skincare routine!

Here is a five-minute video where Vicky interviews Nadya about the 10 step Korean skincare challenge: