The Korean culture is at the forefront of skincare technology and evolution. Just ask any beauty brand and they will tell you; they visit Seoul for inspiration and seek out what's happening in the marketplace. But that doesn't mean American brands and consumers are not taking note- I've heard about the Korean 9 Step skin care routine for some time.

It wasn't until recently that I heard Korean men often adhere to the same routine. So when I went to the launch of a new product for Lab Series, the Max LS Power V Lifting Cream launch; I was again confronted with the notion of this 9 step skincare routine. I had to give it ago; see my steps below. 

The Wash

Clean your skin up from the harsh day behind you with the face wash of your choice.

I prefer a gentle cleanser as my skin can be sensitive. If you tend to have more oily skin, opt for a face wash for skin prone to oil.
Apply the suds in a small circular motion and blot your face with a towel, don't wipe.

The Wash: Baxter of California Daily Face Wash

The Exfoliation

The exfoliation step is meant to scrub away any dead skin and impurities, rejuvenating your skin to it's full brightness. 


This step isn't meant for everyday, try every other week. Adding more if you feel it is too long. 

Concentrate on the forehead, nose and chin area. 

The Exfoliator: YonKa Men Scrub Mousse

the tone

The tone is an essential step in the process as it restores your skin's natural pH balance. It's also meant to clean up an residue your cleanser might have left behind before moving onto the absorption steps. 


Find a toner that is alcohol-free; these toners of the old days can be harsh on skin. 

Concentrate on the forehead, nose and chin area.

The Tone: Baxter of California Herbal Mint Toner

The Oil

The step in the Korean routine is called the essence. I haven't found too many offered for men in the US, so I opted for an essential oil as they are gaining popularity among men's grooming routines (plus I can't live without mine). I find the oil brings a smoothness that is hard to achieve otherwise as essential oils deeply penetrate the skin. 


Find an all-natural blend of essential oils most suited for your skins needs. 

Grapeseed oil, Tea Tree oil and Frankincense oil are a few to check out. 

The Oil: Plant Face Oil

the extras

This is the specialty step. Have dark circles? Redness in your skin? Wrinkle fillers? This is when you will layer in any other creams or serums you may use. 

The Extras: Lab Series Instant Skin Booster
Kiehl's Powerful-Strength Line-Reducing Concentrate
Kiehl's Double Strength Deep Wrinkle Filler

The Mask

This will give you a deep clean and help the skin absorb the prior steps before pulling out any residue left over. 


Not part of your everyday routine; try twice a week and adjust from there. 

The Mask: Baxter of California Clay Mask

The Eye Cream

The skin under your eyes is the thinnest skin on your body and one of the first places to show age. Even if you can't find time to follow the routine, I suggest this step every night. 

The Eye Cream: YonKa Men Under Eye Gel

The Moisturizer

This is the last layer and the one that will true lock in moisture before heading to bed. Research your brands before buying and invest in a nice one- they last for a very long time and you can feel the difference. 


Gently massage your face starting with forehead down the face (and don't forget the neck!)

The Moisturizer: Lab Series Max LS Age-Less Power V Lifting Cream (20% off until April 4th!)

The Mist

This gives your skin a refresher after all the massaging and layering of oils and creams. This step is my favorite I have added during the routine- feels and smells amazing. 


You can do this anytime of day for a refresh- perfect for travel or heading out of work on the go. 

You can easily make any scent you prefer by mixing purified water and the essential oil of your choice.

The Mist: Home Health Rose Water

The Whole Crew

9 Steps: Left to Right

Hair: Baxter of California Hard Water Pomade

Shirt: Hardvaerk

Photos by Madeleine Cooke