Emma Wedgwood

Do you really need a 10-step skincare routine?

Feb. 24, 2023

As technology gets more advanced and skincare moves on, more ingredients become available and are then added to others to create the “next big thing”.

Around five years ago, many skincare experts promoted the double cleanse, an oil-based cleanse followed by a water-based cleanse, at the end of each day to fully remove makeup and impurities. But while the double cleanse proved popular, there is nothing that will define 2020s skincare trends more than the now iconic 10 step Korean skincare routine.

Several brands responded to the maximising trend by offering every skincare ingredient known to man as a standalone product, which must be applied in the right order to be effective. But is all this really necessary? Read on to find out.

What is a 10-step skincare routine?

A combination of western and eastern skin care practices, the 10-step skincare routine (often called the 10-step Korean skincare routine) involves 10 separate skincare steps…

  1. Oil cleanse – using a hot cloth cleanser or similar oil based product
  2. Water cleanse – with a facial wash or foaming cleanser
  3. Exfoliation – a chemical exfoliator is recommended
  4. Toning – refreshing and hydrating
  5. Treatments and serums - designed to target specific skin problems
  6. Essences – concentrates and ampules containing highly concentrated ingredients
  7. Sheet mask – collagen boosting or other hydrating ingredient
  8. Eye cream – specifically designed for the delicate eye area
  9. Moisturiser – to seal in all the other products
  10. SPF – to protect the skin from UV rays

While all these products arguably have their place in any skincare routine, whether or not it is necessary to do every single one every day, or even twice a day, is still up for debate. But is there any harm in doing a long routine like this if you want to?

What are the problems with a 10-step skincare routine?

Firstly, having to purchase all these products is expensive, and difficult to store. Not everyone has unlimited space for bottles and jars. And with so many steps, it is impossible to tell whether or not any of the products are actually working.

Then there is the time it takes to carry out, usually a minimum of 10 minutes morning and night. And while that doesn’t sound like much, you could probably learn to speak basic Korean in that time over a period of a few months (and your skin may or may not have changed in that time).

But the biggest problem with these lengthy routines is that, if not done correctly, they can trigger more problems than you started with. Over exfoliation and over cleansing can damage the natural acid mantle which protects your skin, causing dryness, breakouts, and irritation.

What are the latest trends in skincare?

Almost in protest from several years of lengthy skincare routines, multitasking products are making a comeback. Combining ingredients which are proven to work (some of the current favourites are Vitamin C, retinol, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide and ferulic acid) can save you time and money while being more gentle to your skin.

So I recommend that you ditch the lengthy skincare routine and focus on a small number of targeted products which provide proven results in less time and for less money.

If you’re not sure which products are best for you, having a skincare consultation with an expert can help you understand which blend of ingredients will best suit you.

Discover the right skincare routine for your skin by booking a skincare consultation with me. We will discuss your skin concerns and I can prescribe a mix of medical grade skincare and over the counter products to give you your best skin yet.

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