How to Use Korean Skin-Care Products, Step by Step

Celebrated for its power to produce a glowing visage, the Korean skin-care routine has captivated beauty fanatics around the globe. But the exhaustive process, with its multiple steps and products, can also be daunting. We asked expert Felicia Kim, of the Back Bay’s Felicia’s Cosmetics, to make it easy for us.

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Photographs by Toan Trinh

1. Cleanse and Cleanse Again

“This cleansing oil dissolves all traces of makeup, including waterproof formulas,” says Kim, who recommends Kosé Sekkisei Clear Cleansing Oil ($38), infused with herbs to remove impurities from clogged pores.

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Follow with a foaming cleanser such as Kosé Sekkisei Supreme Washing Cream ($45), which transforms into a rich lather to clear away any residue.

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2. Stay Balanced

To brighten skin after cleansing, Kim recommends Dr. Ci: Labo VC100 Pore White Lotion ($65), a vitamin C toner. “It targets enlarged facial pores and uneven skin tone,” she says.

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3. Scrub Away

Kim suggests using a gentle exfoliator such as Dr. Ci: Labo Enrich-Lift Gold Peel ($47) once a week to remove dead skin cells while softening the skin.

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4. Feed Your Skin

A nourishing antioxidant serum can treat dull skin, acne, or scarring. Kim prefers Ling Oxygen Plasma Potion ($90); for best results, she says, apply it both mornings and nights.

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5. Open Your Eyes

Using a high-performance formula such as Jurlique Purely Age-Defying Firming Eye Cream ($58) can help reduce lines, wrinkles, undereye puffiness, and dehydration, Kim says.
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6. Drink Up

Before special occasions, use Dr. Ci: Labo Aqua-Collagen-Gel Deep Moisture Mask ($48). “It has natural botanicals to hydrate and depuff the skin for a brighter complexion in less than 10 minutes,” Kim explains.

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7. Replenish

Kim’s favorite moisturizer is B. Kamins Replenishing Moisturizer Kx ($150), which is packed with zinc and copper oligopeptides to prevent moisture loss and help smooth fine lines.

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8. Defend

Anna Sui Protective BB Cream ($28) controls oil, minimizes the size of pores, and offers SPF 50 protection. “It also can be applied as a base for concealer and foundation,” Kim adds.