Korean beauty is EVERYWHERE. I can’t go on any fashion website without seeing it. Topshop, Urban Outfitters and ASOS are all selling Korean beauty. Interestingly, many of these products I have never seen in Korea.
When I moved here, I was keen to start exploring the beauty products on offer here. I have tried so many, with varying degrees of success. Many of the creams are unsuitable for my Mediterranean skin; I need something a little more tough! However, some products have been saviours. These are my current favourites.
SKINFOOD SALMON EYE CONCEALER
Dark circles are something that have forever plagued me. I think it is a combination of always being exhausted and having thin skin. I have tried millions of concealers all claiming to hide and mask, each with varying success.
Reading a Korean beauty blog, I stumbled across this and immediately ran out to buy it. It is made by SkinFood who are everywhere in Seoul. Costing 8000won, it is a bargain. I was eager to try it when I got home and I wasn’t disappointed. It is a thick, almost paste-like consistency. However, it isn’t cakey or greasy, going on easily. It covered my dark circles exactly as I hoped it would.
For the price, it is a miracle and well worth it. I am planning on buying a load to take home so I never run out!
NEOGEN ACID PADS
These are the products of the moment and are everywhere on blogs and forums. They are a little pricey so I was initially a bit hesitant. One day I popped into Olive Young on my way home and they were 50% off so I decided to give them a whirl.
They come in three types; green tea, wine and lemon. I chose the green tea ones because they looked the most refreshing. The product itself consists of 30 circular pads coated in an natural exfoliant. You can use them directly on your skin and the rough surface aids exfoliation.
I use them about once a week and really notice a difference. They leave my skin feeling fresh and smooth. I was a little worried they may be a bit abrasive as I have sensitive skin but they haven’t been. They are made from natural products so are good if you are avoiding harsh chemicals.
INNISFREE VITAMIN C SPRAY
For a city that loves beauty, it has terrible environmental conditions. The air is perpetually smoggy and polluted, especially in the spring. My skin is far duller here and often gets greasy when it never did before.
I did some research and most dermatologists recommend including vitamin C in your routine to fight against the effects pollution. I picked up this vitamin C spray from Innis Free. It was super cheap, under $10. I’m can’t read the instructions but I use it after cleansing in the morning. It has a beautiful citrus scent. Even if it doesn’t stop me forming early wrinkles, it smells great and is beautifully refreshing!
NATURE’S REPUBLIC CITY TONER
This is similar to the product above, so if you don’t live in a city it may not appeal to you! I was in search of a new (affordable) toner and stumbled across this in Nature’s Republic and was drawn to the logo on the front.
Made specifically for people living in cities, it claims to fight the effects of living in a polluted environment. Again, I don’t know whether this prevents wrinkles but it leaves the skin feeling clean so it must be doing some good. For the price, you really can’t complain!
Korean beauty is often about the sheet masks. Compared to in the west, they are cheap as chips here. They are also not the ones you see on ASOS and Urban Outfitters. I have tried so many of them here, but in all honesty, I just don’t get them. I never notice a drastic difference in my skin afterwards and it all seems a bit of a faff.
Saying that, I do love a face mask but generally perfect the ones you apply directly. I am a fan of Lush’s Mask of Magnimity. However, this is incredibly expensive in Korea so I’m waiting to repurchase when I go home. In looking for a cheap alternative, I have found the Self-heating Mask. Available from LOHB, it is a steal at 1000won (about $1).
As the name suggests, it heats once applied. After 15 minutes, you wash it off to find smooth, supple skin. It is my favourite face mask in Korea, even though it is a bargain!
Korean beauty is a famous around the world, especially in recent months, and for good reason. It is affordable and often follows through on its claims. While these products are sold in Korea, they are mostly available in America and on Amazon. If I found them online with international shipping I have linked them below.
What are you favourite Korean beauty products?