One of the most amazing things about K-beauty is that you don’t need to break the bank in order to get good quality products. The idea behind Korean skincare routines is to protect our skin and prevent problems from showing up in the future, and for that there are some steps we just can’t skip. You’ve probably heard or read about the mythical Korean 10 step skincare routine already and maybe thought to yourself: “there’s no way I can do 10 steps every day,” or, “I’d have to be rich in order to afford that.” Well, we’re gathered here today to demonstrate that those statements aren’t exactly true and that there’s a way to build up an amazing and powerful skincare routine without going broke.
First off, stick to the basics. Your main focus should be to cleanse, moisturize, and protect. We’re not saying you should totally forget about the rest of the steps, but if you’re just starting and want to stay on a budget, then try these essentials first!
The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright Light Cleansing Oil ($14)
This natural cleansing oil contains rice and soapwort extract, which help cleanse your skin properly, not leaving any residue or impurities trapped on your pores while brightening and hydrating your skin. It will remove even the most stubborn waterproof makeup!
CosRX Low pH Morning Cleanser ($11)
Double cleansing is known to be the heart and soul of Korean skincare for a reason. After an oil-based cleanser, you need a water-based one to cleanse away every residue the oil was not able to remove. It’s important that both your cleansers are kind to your skin! This gel cleanser in particular is not only wallet friendly but also super gentle. Its low pH formula doesn’t strip your skin of its natural oils and keeps it plump, clean, and hydrated. (Pst… if you’re on the sensitive skin side, this is definitely a holy grail for you!)
BENTON Aloe BHA Skin Toner ($17)
Trying to stay on a budget? Then go for products with multiple benefits contained in one bottle! This aloe BHA toner is packed with amazing ingredients such as aloe and salicylic acid so you get deep hydration and exfoliation at the same time. You’ll find out how this little green bottle will soothe, moisture, exfoliate, reduce sebum, and calm down your skin just minutes after it absorbs.
Tony Moly I’m Real Sheet Masks ($1.90 each)
Can we even talk about a Korean skincare routine without including sheet masks? These masks from Tony Moly are a good option if you want to keep it low price but with variety. A pack of eight masks is only $15 (meaning you pay approx. $1.90 per mask). If you use two weekly, you’re covered for the whole month!
Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream ($14.50)
A multifaceted cream that fits every skin type and weather. This collagen cream keeps your skin always moisturized, firm, and healthy. Enriched with super collagen and baobab water — which will keep your skin hydrated for over 12 hours — it is a perfect example of “a little bit goes a long way.” One jar will last you long time without a doubt.
Innisfree Daily UV protection Cream ($9)
Your whole routine will make no sense if you don’t finish it with a good sunscreen. Protecting our skin against UVA and UVB rays is essential in order to keep it bright, young, hydrated, and healthy. This water-based sunscreen contains Sunflower Seed Oil and Jeju Green Tea extract, two ingredients that will not only protect us from the sun but also keep our skin fresh with a dewy finish.