5 Step Korean Skincare Routine for Combination Skin (Night)

  • Introducing 5 step nighttime skincare routine for combination skin along with the popular products in Korea right now for each step.
  • Exfoliator is required to be in your skincare routine. I just didn’t put it in my night routine since it is part of my morning routine – using it in both times made my skin too dry. Feel free to include it either in the morning or night or even both as needed.

5 Step Routine: Makeup Remover → Cleanser → Toner → Serum → Moisturizer + Eye Cream

Step 1: Makeup Remover

My night routine starts from a makeup remover to get my real skin out. I wear makeup every day, including sunscreen. As you might have noticed, I fall under a lazy girl camp so I don’t enjoy cleansing oil or cleansing balm as they require some rubbing exercise. That’s why I love cleansing water or liquid type makeup remover.


BIODERMA Sensibio H2O is one of the top global sellers so I assume a lot of you would be familiar with. Korea is not an exception. It has been awarded from Hwahae since 2015, 5 years a row, and still is #1 in the entire cleanser category (not only in the cleansing water category). Available at Amazon.

Reviews say…

  • Pros: cleanse well, gentle and not irritating (even around the eyes), good for troubled skin
  • Cons: still require double cleanse for thorough cleansing, price

I sometimes double cleanse with just this one product and it works great. You know, there are some days when you really don’t have any energy left to even turn on the water faucet right? 😉 It doesn’t have any oily feeling that resides on your skin after use and that’s another thing I like about this product. I’ve been using this product for 10 years now and even though I do try different makeup removers, I always come back to this one.

Besides Sensibio, there are two other types for dry skin (“Hydrabio”) and oily skin (“Sebium”) so pick and choose following your skin type and status. I do enjoy using Sebium H2O in the Summer when my skin becomes more oily and acne-prone.

Step 2: Cleanser

Ok, so since you “peeled off” your makeup, it’s time to clean your real skin/face. I would use whichever you use in your morning routine. I don’t see much value or need for using a different one for the night routine. I prefer foam type cleanser to gel/oil/cream/lotion type as I want a more refreshing feeling. However, it shouldn’t be too drying. I would suggest you go ahead and try different cleansers to find what you like! Please also share what is your favorite cleanser in the comment section.

Step 3: Toner

The next step is to get your skin ready for the upcoming nourishing steps. I sometimes skip this step but I enjoy toners in general because I can kind of verify how the previous two steps went. You can visually check when you wipe your face out with a cotton pad soaked with toner. It is so relieving when I see the cotton pad still white by saying “That was a perfect cleansing!”

I customize toners by my skin condition. If it’s summer or my skin is in the acne-prone situation, I use the light, refreshing, cooling product, or the one within the acne line. Other times, I enjoy somewhat more moisturizing toners. The toners that I use seem not too popular in Korea so I will skip introducing them in this post.

The popular toners right now in Korea? I could narrow down to two and both seem to be quite effective all year round.

ROUND LAB 1025 Dokdo Toner

I could find this toner literally in any kind of rankings in Korea from Hwahae to bestseller list from drugstores. Click here for my in-depth review. Available at Olive Young Global.

Reviews say…

  • Pros: gentle even for sensitive skin, generous quantity, good for trouble/acne
  • Cons: feels just like pure water, nothing special

THE LAB BY BLANC DOUX Oligo Hyaluronic Acid 5000 Toner

Together with Dokdo Toner, this one is another super star in the toner market in Korea. This product claims that hyaluronic can be well absorbed when it is in low molecule format (vs high molecule) and it consists of the molecules that are 200 times smaller than the other hyaluronic products. Available at YesStyle.

Reviews say…

  • Pros: gentle ingredients, moisturizing, package – easy to adjust the amount you want to use,
  • Cons: price, little bit oily feeling after use, better to use as “toner mask” (use toners as mask by soaking multiple cotton pads with the toner and put them on your face for 10~15 mins) rather than wiping it out right away

Step 4: Serum

The next step is serum. I consider serum as the main nourisher or a problem solver in the routine. So I normally have a pool of serums on my shelf and pick/choose or mix/match based on my skin condition. Here I want to introduce Dive In Low Molecule Hyaluronic Acid Serum since it is so popular in Korea now.

TORRIDEN Dive In Low Molecule Hyaluronic Acid Serum

Like Oligo Hyaluronic Acid 5000 Toner, this product claims its name indicates that it has low molecule hyaluronic. However, if you look into its product detail, it also consists of the mix of high and low molecular hyaluronic acids along with Panthenol and Malachite extracts for soothing effects. Available at StyleVana.

Reviews say…

  • Pros: light, refreshing, moisturizing, good to use before makeup
  • Cons: can take some time to fully absorb, can be too light – mix with oil or other thicker/dense products

Step 5: Moisturizer + eye cream

Finally, the last step! You thoroughly cleansed and nourished your face. Now it’s time to wrap up the routine by putting a moisturizing/protecting layer to keep your skin hydrated. I don’t separate eye cream to another step since eye cream is just a moisturizer for your eye area. I believe moisturizer should be the most gentle, non-irritating product in this whole routine because it should be well combined with any serums or toners that I mix and match.

DR.G R.E.D Blemish Clear Soothing Cream

In this regard, Dr.G R.E.D Blemish Clear Soothing Cream can be a great solution. It won Hwahae beauty awards since 2018, now ranked as #5 in the moisturizing cream category in Hwahae. It is # 2 best seller in the entire skin care category in Olive Young. I love the fact that it contains 5 Cica complex – Madecassoside, Madecassic Acid, Asiaticoside, Asiatic Acid, and Centella Asiatica Extract – for the ultimate soothing effect and its light gel texture which absorbs quickly to your skin. Available at Amazon.

Reviews say…

  • Pros: great for sensitive, acne/troubled skin, moisturizing, cooling
  • Cons: can be too light for fall/winter, package- jar type is not optimal for hygiene

Regarding the eye cream, I would not put too much energy to look for the one that plumps your under-eye area or shows dramatic results. A single eye cream will not do the magic. I think a non-irritating product with a reasonable price point would work so feel free to use any product that does not cause troubles and falls under your budget.

So that was it! Hope this routine was not too complicated for you. I also want to make sure that reviews are reviews and the product that works for each person varies. The above product list could be a great reference for you to start your exploration, not the ultimate guide. I’ve started my skincare routine around 12 years ago but I still explore the right products for me at each moment or season and that’s the real fun in fact. So good luck and let’s have fun 🙂

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