10 Korean skincare you didn’t even think you needed - until today
Whether you’re looking for your very first K-beauty buy or your nth one, the sheer number of options can be completely overwhelming! Thanks to online stores, we have better access to countless K-beauty brands and their massive product lines. If you’re looking for more choices for doing the 10-step skincare routine or want to go beyond the super gwiyeoun (cute) packaging, we’ve compiled 10 finds that further prove just how awesome Koreans have gotten at raising the bar for beauty. Add these to your must-try and must-buy list!
This magic bottle of water is one of South Korea’s top-selling products, and for a great reason. This wonder multi-tasker can serve as both your makeup remover (for light and non-waterproof makeup) and toner or skin prep before putting on your makeup. You can even transfer into a spray bottle to use it as a hydrating mist that also helps brighten skin. It’s pretty friendly to all skin types and has a 4.5 pH that can help balance the skin’s pH level.
Using beta hydroxy acids, this chemical exfoliant can draw out impurities that are stuck deep in your pores without the abrasive contact of a scrub or the pore enlarging effect of a peel-off mask. Despite the name, it’s actually pretty gentle on the skin and is supremely effective for both the removal and prevention of comedones. It’s best used after a low pH cleanser and left on for 30 minutes before any other product application.
Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick (about P1,500 at online shops) or Neogen Green Tea Cleansing Stick (P900/The Skincare Curator)
Have you ever heard of cleansing sticks before? They’re basically facial foaming cleansers formed in massive twistable tubes, which is another nifty idea. Not only are they very travel-friendly (goodbye, bag spills!), they also keep your skin from drying out as the cleansers are formulated with beauty oils. Su:m37’s is one of the most, if not THE most, popular of cleansing sticks but it can be hard to find and often features a hefty price tag. Neogen’s version is more readily available but also has a more balm-like texture.
W-Lab Sebum Out Peel Off Pack (P1,100/Althea PH)
Remember those widely-advertised nose packs on social media that show so many blackheads (actually sebaceous filaments) stuck to a black peel-off mask? It’s gross yet oddly satisfying at the same time. This one can be applied to the whole face, but without the painful removal process. It just kind of gently peels off! If your skin concerns include rough texture, enlarged pores, and whiteheads, you might find this a keeper. The blend of charcoal powder, bentonite, and purifying oils cleans out the pores and makes the skin a lot smoother.
Dear Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin Drop (P1,010/Althea PH)
Vitamin C is a highly sought-after skincare ingredient for those who have problems with dark spots, acne scars, and dull and dry skin. It has to be used with caution though, as high doses can cause skin sensitivity. Fortunately, this one has a 5% vitamin C concentration that can be used even by those with sensitive skin. Just apply on its own, or mixed with your favorite moisturizer if you experience a slight tingling as your skin adjusts to using vitamin C.
Skin&Lab Vitamin Toner and Mist (P450/Althea PH)
Even without the hot summer weather, you’ll want to keep this mist with you all day! This vitamin mist is powered with hyaluronic acid for anti-aging plus vitamins A, B, C, E, and K, and collagen for supple skin. It can keep your skin refreshed and hydrated throughout the day. You can also use it as a toner and it smells fruity and fresh!
Skinfood Black Sugar Honey Mask Wash (P330/Althea PH)
Exfoliating regularly is necessary for removing the dead layers that make skin look dull and feel rough. This sugar scrub smells as sweet as the name suggests. It contains minerals that can help eliminate blackheads while restoring moisture to keep skin smooth and supple. Best of all, it works whether you leave it on as a mask or use it as an exfoliating cleanser.
The Saem Iceland Micro Hydrating Eye Stick (P320/Althea PH)
Made from Iceland Mineral Water (that is said to help treat darkness and dryness of the skin), this cute eye stick buddy has a cooling effect that keeps the skin feel refreshed, hydrated, and moisturized. Since it’s in stick form, it’s easy to lug around and reapply when your skin starts to dry up again.
Elizavecca Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask (P550/Althea PH)
It bubbles and it fizzles, just like a soda! While it may sound like a crazy idea, this wash-off mask helps clean out your pores and nourish your skin. It looks just like any normal clay mask when you first apply it, then it reacts to the air and creates a tingly-sensation that forms a foam layer over your skin.
COSRX Blackhead Silk Finger Ball (P190 for 12 pieces/Althea PH)
We love all things CosRX here on PV, and this is probably one of the more interesting skincare products they have. It’s made from 100% silk and sericin, a protein produced by silkworms as they make silk. It’s designed to slip over your finger, soaked in warm water, then be rubbed on blackhead-prone areas to remove them painlessly.
Have any of these K-beauty must-haves made their way into your skincare routine yet? What’s your best K-beauty find so far?