We’re into it! Several weeks ago we purchased Charlotte Cho’s beauty bible The Little Book of Skin Care Korean Beauty Secrets for Healthy, Glowing Skin and boy are we glad we did! For several years, we’ve been hearing all the rave about Korean beauty and how their culture places such prominence on beautiful skin (50% of their market is skincare, while the US is 20%). We’ve been hearing about this 10-step skincare routine too but that’s where we stopped. 10-steps!??!?! Say what!?!?!?! Yeah, we were thinking the same thing you’re thinking now. But then we thought, ya know what…. Korean skin really is beautiful, so let’s give it a shot. Plus, Charlotte Cho is amazing & we trust her opinion.
We can honestly say we’re ’10-stepping’ and LOVING IT! Let us take you through the journey to clearer, more radiant skin!
Quick note…. the book included 3-4 options when it came to products… we did our research and selected one for each step that either got the best reviews, AND/OR caused little to no irritation/breakouts for most skin types (I have a normal skin type). It took us a couple days so hopefully we can help you cut down on the time it takes you to decide on each product. For the full list of products, we recommend you order the book! We recommend you order the book in general because it really has a lot of great information and #sokosecrets!
Our total cost – $271
STEP 1: Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser
Oil cleanser is used to remove sunscreen, makeup, smog and pollution from the skin. The cleanser will break down all the oil-based debris that’s on your skin. You will apply this on a dry face, in a gentle, circular motion. Rinse off.
We went with Banila Co. Clean It Zero Classic $22 (there are a LOT of fake ones.. be sure to order it from Charlotte’s website)
STEP 2: Water-Based Cleanser
It’s time to wash your face, a second time! This is not just a Korean skincare step, but it’s also recommended by dermatologists and estheticians. This step will help remove any leftover impurities on your skin that can cause breakouts. You will apply this water-based cleanser to your skin – texture will either be creamy or foamy when you add water – work it in a circular motion. Rinse off.
We went with the Neogen Dermalogy Real Fresh Green Tea Foam $19
I think it has real tea at the bottom of it!
STEP 3: The Exfoliator (not to be confused with The Terminattoorrr, admit it, you said it like Arnold)
As we’ve said before… as you get older skin cells take over 45 days to regenerate, thus making exfoliating an absolutely necessary step to your skincare routine. In this step, you want to remove dead skin cells & loosen any debris that’s clogging pores. The book recommends doing this one or twice a week though I have been doing it pretty regularly.
We went with the Goodal Phytowash Yerba Mate Bubble Peeling $22, though I really think I should have chosen the Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off. I’m slightly disappointed with the Goodal Phytowash… just doesn’t seem to be exfoliating enough.
STEP 4: The Toner
Not your typical toner. Toners help to remove any leftover residue from either your cleanser or any impurities! In this case, you want to use HYDRATING toners rather than the astringent ones that are popular in the US & contain alcohol.
We went with the Son & Park Beauty Water $30
STEP 5: The Essence
Totally new term for me! And it’s actually the heart of Korean skincare. This is considered the most important step of your skincare routine. This is used to help hydrate the skin and increase cell turnover, thus – brighter & younger looking skin!
We went with the Neogen Code 9 Lemon Green Caviar Essence & Tox Tightening Pack $44 – the only thing with this badboy is that is really didn’t include a lot of pads which is apparently what makes it work……but I improvised & didn’t pour the liquid into the pad container as suggested so I wouldn’t run out of the caviar too quickly.
You can even use this on your hair!
STEP 6: Ampoules, Booster and Serums
We typically call them serums in the US, but these are thicker consistency products that are used to treat very specific skin problems – such as fine lines, dullness, sun spots, etc.
We went with Missha Time Revolution Night Repair New Science Activator Ampoule $49
STEP 7: The Sheet Mask
… here’s where we went a little ROGUE in the 10-step process! Because we have been testing new masks, we have ‘skipped’ Charlotte’s product recommendations….. We have been doing manuka honey masks, aztec clay masks, rose hip oil masks plus many more. We did however order some while writing this blog so we can update you.
Face masks are totally #trending in the US! This is the ‘SOUL’ of Korean skincare. Charlotte recommends you use a sheet mask twice a week. In this case, the product we just chose said to leave it on for 20 minutes & relax. The goal of the sheet mask is to penetrate your skin with nutrients and moisture for a more radiant complexion.
We ordered Manefit Bling Bling Hydro Gel Mask – Energizing Rose $6 (I ordered 2 for $12)
STEP 8: The Eye Cream
I have a love, hate with eye creams… I haven’t found one that I swear by and I’m a little down and out about trying new ones….so for this, I stuck with my Clinique eye cream (free sample not gonna recommend) that I’m trying to just finish the container. Regular use of eye creams can reduce dark circles, puffiness & crow’s feet!
Charlotte recommends Banila Co It Radiant Brightening Eye Cream, $17.50 which we will try once our other container is empty.
Remember to apply your eye cream with your ring finger & gently pat upwards.
STEP 9: The Moisturizer
Hydration is the most important part of your nighttime routine! Since it’s usually the thickest product, you’ll want this to go on last (but if it’s during the day, sunscreen will be last). Charlotte also recommends to sub in a sleeping pack in place of your night cream once a week to intensely hydrate which we love. Plus if you order from Sokoglam.com, you get free masks with every order (at least I think).
Charlotte recommends Missha Cell Renew Snail Cream $45– made from 70% snail mucin extract as its star ingredient.
We stuck with our Oil of Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Cream $25 that we’ve been on for 10 years, I swear by it! *Visible wrinkle results in one day!
STEP 10: SPF
You’ll only include this step during the day, but this is probably the #1 thing you can do to protect your skin!
Charlotte recommends Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk $22 which protects you from BOTH UVB and UVA rays!
We continued to use our SkinMedica Environmental Defense Sunscreen $48. If you already have a great sunscreen that protects you from UVA & UVB rays and includes ZINC, stick with it!
And you’re all done 😉
In summary, we are LOVING our skin! Truly! I wouldn’t recommend something to you that didn’t work… plus this routine includes a lot of products and a good amount of cash money so I wouldn’t steer you in the wrong direction. I would DEFINITELY suggest you get on this train. In fact, I am currently doing a Mesoestetic Cosmelan peel right now for my dark spots and I can honestly say that my healing process isn’t as bad or painful as the last time because my skin is so moisturized & well taken care of!
We did some mixing and matching but that’s the beauty (pun intended) of this! You can decide what best works for your skin and mix in the rest!
- Less dark spots (which I suffer from)
- Moisturized skin (my dermatologist was shocked at how moisturized my skin is, especially since we live in the desert)
- Less wrinkles & overall brighter complexion (I also get Botox, so can’t 100% say these products helped with that)
- Better overall skin and complexion
- Didn’t irritate the skin or cause breakouts
- Could be costly (we’ll see how long the products last)
- Harder to find products, but glad Soko Glam has a website where the products are easier to find
- It’s 10-steps, but I actually started to enjoy the ritual
If you have questions regarding this 10-step routine, just ask us! Ms. Cho, we sure hope you’re reading this – you’re our hero!
P.S. I went to a party the other evening and I was SHOCKED that I only had to wear a little blush and a tiny bit of concealer… my skin really did look good. (well maybe lighting was really good too but seriously, skin was on point!)