I was fortunate enough to be able to spend 3 months in my Motherland of South Korea. With the explosion of popularity in Korean skin care (aka K-beauty), and my own increasing interest in keeping my skin looking as young as possible forever. I was ecstatic to try out everything I could get my hands on.
Before I left for Korea, and even while I was there, I watched at least 8 hours of Youtube videos on the best skincare and makeup products that South Korea had to offer. With this knowledge I was able to test almost all of the beauty and skin care products that had created major “hype” around the world. And I had a lot of fun doing it!
This list encompasses top 15 skin care and makeup products that I have found live up to their hype.
My skin type
I have what people would call combination skin. It can get oily around my T-zone, making my pores a huge problem (literally). This is in combination with the super dry parts of my face that feel like a desert.
I have put these Korean skincare products in order of how they are supposed to be used. If you need advice on what time of day and how often to use different skin care products, click here. If you want to try one for yourself or read more reviews, you can find a link to the products at the end of each description.
This stuff works! I was skeptical at first because all of the liquid makeup removers I have used have not come close to the power of Neutrogena’s makeup removing wipes. However, I was shocked when this stuff removed my eyeliner and 80% of my heavily layered mascara in two wipes. To try it yourself click here.
Banila Co – Clean it Zero Sorbet Cleanser ($19)
This is actually one of the first Korean beauty products that I tried. I saw rave reviews online so I decided to give this a shot against my blackheads. I had never used an oil based cleanser and I was shocked at how well this worked to remove my make up. Koreans have been using oil based cleansers in their routine for years and I can see why. It actually works to break down and not just smear the makeup off of your face. If you want to test this out for yourself, click here.
Before I got fully into sheet masks I used this bubbling clay mask. Not only did this get really deep into my pores, it was fun to use. The clay actually carbonates and bubbles up. Watch this great video by my one of my favorite Youtubers to see it in action. If you want to try it for yourself, get a jar off of Amazon by clicking here.
I love exfoliaters because of how clean and bright my skin looks after I use them. I had crossed my fingers before I used this one in hopes it would meet my high expectations, and my hopes were fulfilled.
These pads pack a powerful exfoliating punch. The thing that I love most about them is that unlike other exfoliaters, that you have to wash off, this one comes in the form of a pad. That means no washing off those weird little crystals beads off of your face after scrubbing. To try what I have dubbed as the most convenient exfoliater in the world, click here.
This has to be my favorite thing on this list! Son and Park are two Korean make up artists turned beauty and make up creators. The Son and Park Beauty water is almost magic. It is not harsh on your skin like other toners but it will get every last bit of dirt off of your face. It actually removed the excess gunk on my face after two-step cleansing with an oil and traditional foam cleanser. I also like to use this when I am an feeling too lazy to cleanse my face in the morning or when I am running late.
An additional bonus to this water is that is has no fragrance, in case you are sensitive to strong scents that many skin care products have. I highly, highly recommend giving this beauty water a shot. Click here to try this amazing beauty product for yourself!
If you have looked into Korean skincare you have probably heard of this product. It is supposed to be a dupe (almost exact copy) of the famous but expensive SK-II essence. This one was everywhere on people’s top lists so I had to try it out. I am very happy to report that it lives up to the hype. If the long term benefits are true to it’s promise, I will be looking like I’m 20 for the rest of my life. If you want to look young forever too, click here to buy a bottle.
When I first got into Korean face masks 2 years ago, Leaders Insolution masks were my all time favorite. After I landed in Korea, I was super excited to find a wide variety of masks that I had never tried before. Every single Leader’s mask that I have tried has been amazing. These masks are a game changer, especially these because they are made from coconut fibers that literally feel like a second skin.
I have probably tried at least 12 different brands of face masks while visiting Korea. Yes, Korea has more than 12 different brands out there! My favorite one out of the dozen or more that I tried is Mediheal. After falling in love with this mask, I tried even more of them and was blown away at how great they were.
These masks are not just great for regular use to keep your skin looking amazing, they are affordable too. So affordable that you can use them on a daily basis and not break the bank! To check out and try my favorites, click here, here and here.
I don’t know if you can talk about K-beauty or skin care without mentioning Innis Free. As one of the most well-known and raved about brands in Korea, I decided to try a few things. This moisturizing serum is a best seller and one I heard most about. After trying it, I can see why so many people were talking about it.
It is a lot lighter than most serums that I have used. You can feel it quickly and easily absorb into your skin without leaving a greasy feeling on top. Click here to grab a bottle of this best seller!
I know snail sounds like something you do not want to put on your face but let me tell you, it works really well. You can see how intense the Korean beauty industry is for even thinking about testing snails as a form of skincare. Snail is gaining a huge following in Korea and around the world.
This stuff really worked to clear up my skin and reduce the appearance of my pores. Anything that can make my pores smaller is a winner in my book. If you are looking for an all around great but affordable ampoule this might be it. Click here to try the Korean snail skincare trend for yourself.
Even though I am only in my mid-twenties, I am a huge supportive of preventative skincare. This is a great moisturizer that will not only deeply moisturize your skin, it has anti-aging ingredients.
This stuff really worked to keep my skin feeling great through the strong dry winds and heating inside buildings during Korea’s harsh winter. You can get a jar of the intense version here, or the original formula here.
I know that I mentioned I had combination skin which usually doesn’t mean pimples. But for some reason I broke out while I was in Korea.
My friend, who has very oily skin, let me use a few of these patches and they are a miracle worker! They are highly raved about by beauty gurus and award winning. The patches are a great spot treatment that pull out the bacteria and puss from the pimple. If you want to get rid of your pimples fast, click here to grab some.
This is one of my favorite BB creams or beauty balms as Dr. Jart like to call it. I tried this one even before I knew that Dr. Jart was a Korean brand of skincare. If you have big pores like I do, you know how hard it is to hide them.
This BB cream does an amazing job of making it look like I do not have gaping pores while providing perfect coverage over the rest of my face. To try the pore perfecting BB cream, click here. If do not have issues with your pores, try his other beauty balms, which are also a cult favorites, here.
If you have dry lips that crack, or love to use matte lip colors that are drying, this is the product for you. You apply this little guy on at night and by morning your lips are as good as new.
I highly recommend this product to anyone who regularly uses lipsticks, someone who has dry chapped lips, or someone who wants their lips looking juicy and supple all of the time. A little of this stuff goes a long way, and you can get a jar of it by clicking here.
Okay I know this technically isn’t skincare but I had to add these eyebrow pencils to my list. These pencils are above and beyond anything that I have encountered in America. They are amazing because they glide on amazingly easily and they come with their own brush attached on the opposite end.
A brow pencil that comes with a brush on the end that is under $10, how can you beat that?! Safe to say that I stocked up on a few of these before I left. My brows will be looking perfect for the rest of the year. If you want to have perfect brows, click here to try one of Holika Holika’s pencils!
Skincare on my List to Try
Can’t wait to try this one! I heard it smells great and works wonders to make your skin looking really clear and bright. Click here to try it out.
This balm is another oil based cleanser! Many Youtubers have recommended this one over the Clean it Zero mentioned in this post! Get it by clicking here.
Bring a lover of masks and anything that will fix my pores, I can not wait to give this one a try. It is said to clean your face by pulling out all of the impurities. Click here if you want to try it out!
Please note that everyone has different skin types. What works for my skin may work wonders on your skin too, but there is also a chance that you don’t get the same results. That’s okay because there are so many products out there that you can try. Keep going until you find the perfect routine that works for you!
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