The 10-step skincare routine has been steadily making the rounds of the internet for years now. But if you’re like me, you’re too intimidated to take on this routine yourself. Though I have clicked through instructional slideshows in utter terror, I conquered my fear and have spent close to a year figuring out what goes into the 10 steps and what works best for me. And like the true friend I am, I will simplify what you need to know about 10-step skincare regimens so you can transform your problematic skin into luxuriously clear face you deserve.
The OG 10-step Asian skincare routine is as follows:
1. Oil cleanser
2. Foam cleanser
3. Toner (this kind of toner actually preps your skin for all the moisture your about to load up on)
6. Eye cream
7. Sheet mask
8. Spot treatment
10. Sleeping pack (the heaviest product, meant to seal in the moisture you built up for the night)
GO CUSTOMIZE CRAZY
If you’re still on board after that barrage of products, I’ll give you the good news: You don’t have to follow this exact list! In my opinion, the most critical parts of the 10-step method are the double cleanse, the applicaiton of moisturizers from lightest to heaviest, and sealing all that moisture up with a heavy mask. Otherwise, feel free to get rid of steps and add your own steps based on your skin type. I opt out of the sheet mask (I don’t have that much time on my hands) and spot treatment (I haven’t had more than one pimple at a time for months…#humblebrag) and use witch hazel toner for extra cleanness instead, as well as, Stridex pads/Alpha Hydrox Anti-Wrinkle Treatment for my fear of the ceaselessly ticking clock. Sad Girls Guide
I owe my clear and moisturized visage to the hours I clocked while googling skin types, skincare products, reviews, and ingredients. Any issue you may have with your skin, from excessive dryness to those super annoying little white bumps (they’re called closed comedones!), can be solved with the right info and product recommendations. Reddit’s /r/SkincareAddiction is an easy and informative way start to your journey and avoid making common mistakes like using products with a lot of alcohol in them.
MAKE TIME FOR YOUR ROUTINE
Make your 10-step routine a self care ritual rather than a chore. Set aside at least 20 minutes before you get sleepy to take care of your face. I’ll turn on an episode of Celebrity Big Brother and apply my moisturizer while watching Janice Dickinson get messy. If you’re more into relaxing before bed, turn on a slow jam station on Spotify while you take care of your face. Do whatever you need to in order to enjoy the whole process.
Something that sets the 10-step routine apart from the average western beauty regimen, other than, ya know, 10 fricking steps, is the way in which you apply your products. Rather than rubbing your cleansers and moisturizers over your face all willy-nilly, you should use small circular motions to cleanse and gently pat moisturizer into your skin. This can stimulate blood circulation as well as prevent premature wrinkles from tugging at your skin. Plus, it feels hella luxurious to pat your ultra moist skin with several different products.
MAKE AN ON-THE-GO VERSION OF YOUR ROUTINE
If you plan on traveling or coming home unable to spend all the time you need in front of the mirror before passing out, create an abbreviated routine. Mine includes makeup remover, cleanser, lotion, and moisturizer – all products that I put in nifty travel size bottles, and can be applied in five minutes or less. Don’t let having a girls’ night out deter your skin progress!
WEAR SUNSCREEN (EVEN IF YOU DON’T USE A 10-STEP ROUTINE!)
If you’re chemically exfoliating with AHA and/or BHA, your skin will be extra sensitive to UV rays. Stock up on SPF to apply underneath your makeup daily, and make sure to get your neck and decolletage as well. If you’ve read to the end of this guide and decided the 10-step routine isn’t for you, go ahead and apply SPF daily anyway. Nothing wrong with preventing sun damage and early aging. Put! Sunscreen! On your face! Everyday!