My 12 Step South Korean Skin Care Routine Part 2: The Review


by Rene Sacchitella

This 30-day venture with South Korean Skincare has been equal parts excitement and anxiety. It’s stressful to change our skincare routine, especially when you have acne. Any minute change or new product could be the recipe for an explosive breakout. Since I have used the majority of the products before when I made this regimen, my fear stemmed from using a cleansing oil, massaging and recovery sleep masques. In my initial theory, I thought that the cleansing oil would break me out, (since it’s an oil… that can’t be good right?) the massage would increase inflammation causing spreading of the existing problem skin, and I thought the recovery masque would end up clogging my pores while I slept to inevitably wake up looking like regret. I was proven wrong. Completely. I don’t think my skin has looked better.

To add some backstory, I have suffered from cystic acne since I was 16. At this point I thought I have tried everything. I will say that since I started using Image Skincare and Yonka products, my breakouts have significantly reduced but haven’t ever gone away.  I thought that hormonal areas like the neck and chin would always be out of balance no matter the steps I took to prevent breakouts there.


This was my skin before I started the routine. This at the time this was a huge improvement for my skin. But you can see that there is of congestion on my chin and cheeks and across the jawline. With fractional laser and dermal needling, the significance of my scars has dwindled since this picture but my progress on my acne has plateaued. That’s the main reason and interest for trying SOKO skincare. I heard great reviews, it seemed perfect for my skin type and I could incorporate the products I love with the method.

The Breakdown:

The 424 cleansing method was thorough and heavenly. I will admit at first putting oil on a face full of makeup while suffering from a breakout was unbelievably terrifying. I think I had to talk myself into it for probably a ridiculous amount of time. But specifically the oil cleanser is a complete game changer. My makeup came off without irritation, the massage techniques made me feel pampered and when I finally rinsed and lathered with a foaming cleanser spinning in my Clarisonic brush, my skin had a certain suppleness I usually only experience during a facial. I will admit this is how I will be cleansing my face from now on, completely impressed.

I actually love having this many exfoliating products in my house at one time. They last longer, you can pick the one that your skin needs as opposed to using the one you have available. I normally used the Gommage 305 once or twice a week when my skin was dry and mostly layered the Total Resurfacing Masque with the Hydrating Enzyme masque for the third exfoliation during the week. I felt like this was the best for me during this because my skin was already clearing up that I didn’t need to rely on an aggressive exfoliation ritual, but I love that I had the ability to do so if it did change. 

Toner, Essence and Ampule:
These steps are probably the other defining features about the SOKO regimen. The toner with micellar water balances the PH of the skin, which is especially important for acneic skin and any skin at high altitudes. Yonka“s Lotion PNG toner made me feel like the rest of the products were absorbing better because it felt like my pores were more open and ready. The essence helps purify the impurities and free radicals while targeting inflammation. I felt tempted to spray the essence throughout the day or in between each step, because it made my skin feel fresh. I only used the ampule by themselves for 2 weeks. I later instead used a pump of Yonka’s Juvenil with Crème 15 or Image’s Illuma serum with my Vital C serum during the serum step and achieved the same benefit with easier application. I did keep these steps separate when applying a sheet masque or a recovery masque to guarantee the moisturizing benefits of the serum.

Recovery Masques/ Sheet masques/ Massage
For the sheet masque portion I kept it at “Step 7” since the Emulsion Pure works really well before a spot treatment. If I was doing a massage, I also kept at this point of the regimen since my skin really liked working in the essence or the ampule excess. When it was a recovery masque I actually did it as a sleep masque at the end of the night or right after the exfoliation and before applying a toner. I felt like if I was washing it off I felt that I “wasted” the essence or ampule I was using, even though they would just be solidified with the recovery masque. There were also times during the exfoliation step that I would start with Total Resurfacing Masque, rinse then apply a layer of Masque 103 to then finish with Masque N1 when I had time. I guess that’s why I love this system so much because it’s so customizable.

Eye Cream/ Spot Treat/ Serum/ Moisturizer/Sunscreen
The last steps of the regimen seemed pretty typical of most American Skincare regimens. I was pretty accustomed to using an eye cream, then spot treat acne, apply serum and night cream before bed and sunscreen during the day. So this seemed to be right in line to most skincare routines.



My breakouts are basically nonexistent, my skin seems more contoured and toned from the amount of massaging every night, and my redness has subsided. Overall I think that the most important tips to take away from this is try the 424 double cleansing method, get a good essence and really listen to what your skin is telling you when it comes to exfoliation. Again this regimen is customizable with the products we have to address other skin concerns, you can always ask me any questions by emailing me at

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