Want to take your beauty routine international without the expensive plane ticket? Korean beauty products have been popping up everywhere lately. It seems like a new product emerges every month and everyone goes into a frenzy. With big retailers such as Costco and Sephora jumping onto the bandwagon, this trend is here to stay!

It’s not just all hype and no substance. K-beauty products are some of the most innovative makeup and beauty products in the market right now. Still undecided? Here’s a run-down of why we think Korean beauty products shouldn’t be overlooked.

What do Korean beauty products do differently?

Skincare: Famous for their 10-step daily skin routine (seriously, there’s 10 steps), Koreans take skincare VERY seriously. Maintaining a youthful glow is one of their top goals, and they’re owning it.

Okay, but who actually has time for 10 steps of skincare?

Innovation: Top Korean beauty brands are known for their innovation. The Korean market is super competitive , so they’re always coming up with new products that give consumers the most bang for their buck.

The adventure factor: Their target consumers aren’t afraid to experiment a little. So you’ll definitely see some products you wouldn’t normally find in the western market.

Eco-friendliness: Companies know that unpronounceable ingredients don’t hold much sway with the public, so they focus on making eco-friendly products with natural ingredients.

Natural beauty products

Versatility: Why buy two products when you can get the same results with just one? Top selling products often have two or more different functions.

Holy Grail Products

Because these products are becoming more and more famous, you don’t have to search far and wide to find them anymore. In fact, a quick search on Sephora will bring up over a hundred Korean makeup and skincare products. With so much to choose from, what should we be looking for? Here are some must-have products from around the net:

  • TONYMOLY: Panda’s Dream Magic Cream. This hand cream is sold in a container designed to look like a panda. The rest of their product line is equally adorable, from bunny lip glosses to banana hand milks. When it comes to adorable packaging, TONYMOLY does it right.
  • Missha: M Perfect Cover BB Cream SPF 42 PA+++. With over 512 reviews, this BB cream is their best-selling product. They were one of the first brands to introduce a range of shades for their BB creams and have dominated the market ever since.
  • Dr. Jart+: Ceramidin Cream. Don’t let its no-frills packaging fool you. Part 2 of a 2-step system, this face cream has become a household staple for those suffering from dry skin. Founded by a dermatologist, it’s no wonder that this product consistently gets rave reviews.
  • Iope: Air Cushion Sunblock XP. In 2014, this first-of-its-kind product was sold once every four seconds. This innovative cushion compact foundation provides the UV protection of sunscreen while covering all your imperfections.
  • CLIO: Waterproof Brush Liner. Lauded as one of the longest lasting eyeliners on the market, CLIO’s Kill Black liner is a force to be reckoned with.
  • SKINFOOD: Black Sugar Mask Wash-Off. All their products contain food extracts, like broccoli or kiwi, to refresh and boost your skin. You’ll be tempted to taste this sugary mask, but you may want to hold off– it doesn’t taste as great as it looks.

Strange, but we'll give them a try!

Koreans are more experimental with their beauty products. It’s no surprise that some strange concoctions have rolled out onto store shelves recently.

  • Peripera: Peri’s Tint Jelly. Okay, so this one is more cool than strange. These lip stains come in a variety of offbeat colors that change when applied to the lips. The green “apple stick” and the blue “sky stick” transform into bright pinks and fuchsias when applied on the lips.
  • MIZON: All in One Snail Repair Cream. Products that contain this key ingredient help fade acne scars, hydrate and brighten skin tone. Snail mucin extract is found in many products ranging from face serums to lip treatments. It’s a better alternative to going to a snail spa and having snails slither over your face, so why not give this cream a go?
  • Holika Holika: Bird’s Nest Gold Leaf Cream. With one of the key ingredients being gold (GOLD!) it’s no wonder that this product also comes with a hefty price tag. This anti-aging cream is packed with Swiftlet’s nest extract, gold extract, and gold dust. Swiftlet’s nest is more well-known as a Chinese delicacy in their edible bird’s nest soups. The gold increases blood circulation while the nest extract nourishes the skin.
  • Freeset: Donkey Milk Skin Gel Mask Pack Aqua. Cleopatra supposedly bathed daily in donkey’s milk to keep her youthful beauty in check. Hey, if it worked for her, it certainly works for us. With 7 different vitamins, including 5x more vitamin C than cow’s milk, this anti-aging ingredient is why this hydrogel mask is a best seller.

Did we miss one of your favorite K-beauty products? Let us know your top picks in the comments below!

Author Celina Feng

More posts by Celina Feng

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