10 Step Korean Skincare Routine For Oily Skin: Anti-Sebum

10 Step Korean Skincare Routine For Oily Skin: Anti-Sebum

It can be a daunting effort trying to work out a skincare routine for the first-timers. Especially when you have millions of choices in the market. Which steps are necessary and which steps can you omit? In this post, I’ve pulled together a 10-step skincare routine for oily skins to give you some ideas when choosing products or building your own skincare routine. In the following weeks, I’ll be posting more routines targeted at other skin types (eg. dry, combination, sensitive, etc).

The goal for this skincare routine is to cleanse away the oily surface and create a balance in the skin in order to reduce excessive sebum production.


Cleansing could be the key to fix your oily skin. When your dead skin cell layer gets thick, it tends to block the hydration entering into the deep layers of your skin, the skin then produces excessive oil trying to counteract the lack of water. However, cleansing should be done right. So that you’re not stripping the skin from the top and making it think you’re dry and produces more oil. This routine includes a few cleansers to make sure you cleanse gently, yet thoroughly.

Step 1: Oil Cleansing

Oil cleansing is the most gentle yet effective way to remove gunk on the surface of your skin. It’s not only for makeup or sunscreen, but also sweat, dirt, sebum, micro dust, etc. By massaing the oil on the surface of your skin, it melts away the impurities gently. Because of the “oil dissolves oil” action, no scrubbing is needed. After a few circular motions on the entire face, focusing on the nose and T-zone, add some water to emulsify the oil then rinse away.

Your skin should feel lightened and pores opened up, ready for the second cleansing.

Step 2: Water Cleansing

The second cleansing step will get deeper into your pores and help loosen up the sebum inside the pores. This bubble cleanser from Some By Mi is an interesting product. The gel cleanser turns into bubbles after contact with the skin. This injects oxygen into the pores and push out the gunk inside the pores. It also contains BHA that gets deep into the skin layer and loosen up the sebum.

Step 3: Exfoliating

$25.00 $22.00 AUD

As mentioned above, when your dead skin cell layer gets too thick, your skin will produce more oil. In order to avoid this, exfoliation is the key. This peeling gel from Pyunkang Yul is extremely gentle but effective. It also contains BHA, which helps with removing sebum wihin the pores. Once applied on the skin, it combines with the sebum on your skin, turns into a rubber dust kind of texture. Massage this over the nose and T-zone area to get rid of dead skin cell and sebum build up.

Use this 2 times a week to control your dead skin cell and keep sebum at bay.

Step 4: Clay Mask

After previous steps of cleansing, your skin should be pretty clean (on the surface). The use of clay masks targets at the sebum inside the pores. It helps to suck out the impurities within the pores and controls sebum production. This one from Isntree also acts as an exfoliator, so don’t use it with Pyunkang Yul Peeling Gel.

This clay mask contains Artemisia, which is a powerful herb with medicinal functions to clarify, detoxify, soothe and repair the skin. 


After cleansing, we need to inject some hydration into the skin to balance the skin. Once your skin is properly hydrated, it wouldn’t feel the need to produce more oil to protect itself. For oily skins, it’s better to use multiple thin layers rather than one thick layer. The skin needs water more oil, therefore we need to choose products with more hydrating factors and less emollients.

Step 5: Toner / acid treatment


This toner from Some by Mi doubles as an acid treatment. It contains AHA, BHA and PHA targeting at dissolving sebums at different layers of the skin. It also contains tea tree extract to control sebum production and gives a cooling effect to the skin. This toner has a water-like texture, which penetrates deep into the skin and keep the skin refreshed.

Use a cotton pad to gently swipe across the entire face avoidng the eye and lip area.

Step 6: Essence Toner

Essence toner is a great choice for oily skins as we will be skipping the essence and serum step. However, we still want to increase the hydration level. This Essence Mist from Real Barrier is unlike anything you’ve tried before. It has a lightweight watery texture, but also provides a tonne of hydration. More importantly, hydration that lasts on the skin, thanks to its patented formulation.

Spray this on the skin and press gently until absorbed.

Step 7: Moisturiser

$19.90 AUD

As an oily skin, you probably hate moisturisers. But it’s important to seal the moisture you applied in the previous steps, so that over time, your skin wouldn’t become dry and produce more oil. This gel from Benton contains Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, to hydrate and soothe the skin. The gel formula is cooling and lightweight. Apply a small amount all over the face.

Once your skin is not as oily, you may switch to the Real Barrier Intense Moisture Cream, which is lightweight yet hydrating.


The following steps are not oily skin specific, but will help you to achieve better skins.

Step 8: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is important to keep your skin from sun damages or premature againg. Choose a sunscreen that’s lightweight and doesn’t dehydrate the skin.

Step 9: Eye Cream

Use an eye cream to help delay the signs of aging. This eye cream contains peptides to effectively reduce fine lines and lifting the eye area.

Step 10: Spot Cream

Oily skins are likely to have problems with acne. This spot cream helps to soothe inflammations and expedite the healing of pimples.

Final Words

You probably have gotten the message by now. Cleansing and hydration are the keys to fix excessive sebum. In fact, they are probably the keys to fix many other skin problems as well. Our skin is very resilient and has the ability to regenerates itself. Address its needs and you’ll see improvements very soon.

Although it is called a 10-step skincare routine, you don’t need all ten products at the same time. Especially with exfoliators and clay masks, use them as you need. Once your skin condition changes, you may want to switch out a few products to keep it well hydrated and balanced.

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