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That Famous Korean Skin Routine Might Not Be So Great After All

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    Illustrated by Anna Sudit.

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    Thanks to the popularity of BB creams and sheet masks, Americans are suddenly fascinated by Korean beauty routines. And now, everyone’s talking about the 12-step skincare regimen that’s trending on YouTube. While we love the idea of the languid pampering that comes along with such an elaborate routine — and, are even a bit envious of the discipline it requires — the concept is about as far away from American sensibilities as South Korea itself.

    We want things to multitask, and be easy and efficient, so we can get to the next thing on our busy schedules. And, anything that's 12 steps long takes a lot of time and work. But, there isn’t a better endorsement for 12-stepping than the immaculate complexions of the ladies who tout the method. Those girls — and those faces — have us second-guessing our simple three-step processes. Are there a few (or a dozen) steps and products standing between us and glowy, petal-soft skin?

    With feelings of wonder, inadequacy, envy, and aspiration, we reviewed each step in the Korean method to see which should make the cut when it comes to optimal (and efficient) skin care. Read on for the essentials.

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  2. Photo: Via Earth Tu Face.

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  3. Photo: Via Diptyque.

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  4. Photo: Via Darphin.

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  5. Photo: Via SkinCeuticals.

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  6. Photo: Via Sulwhasoo.

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