12 Korean Beauty Products You’re About To Become Obsessed With

For decades, South Korea has been famous for innovative beauty exports like cushion-compact foundation, BB cream, and sheet masks. Known for their “skin first” approach, K-beauty brands like Belif, Peach & Lily, and Glow Recipe have become staples for skincare obsessives who want quality ingredients and packaging at an affordable price point. 

From cleansing micellar water to hydrating essence, here are the best K-beauty products to try now.

Everyday Essence Face Serum

Packed with hyaluronic acid, ceramides, and minerals, this gel-like essence quickly absorbs into skin to deliver deep hydration.

Shop $60

Hydrating Micellar Water

Double-cleansing isn’t complete without micellar water. Swipe off dirt, makeup, and oil with this gentle green tea formula suitable for all skin types.

Shop $14

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream

Tired eyes are no match for this supercharged eye concentrate with red ginseng, Japanese honeysuckle, and licorice. Apply a pump to the delicate under-eye area and gently tap in.

Shop $180

Pimple Patch Set

ELLE.com Beauty Director Chloe Hall swears by these face-saving acne patches, which protect blemishes from reinfection and absorb impurities.

Shop $19

Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Hop on the watermelon train and apply this hydrating mask while you sleep. Watermelon extract is packed with amino acids that seal in moisture.

Shop $45

Featherweight Daily Moisturizing Cream

This moisturizer lives up to its name. It’s super lightweight, non-greasy, and fully hydrating, thanks to ingredients like peach fruit and avocado extract. 

Lip Sleeping Mask

Beauty editors swear by this leave-on lip mask to treat chapped lips. Hero ingredients like vitamin C and berry mix complex work overnight to soft and plump skin. 

Shop $22

Clear Skin Oil Free Makeup Remover Wipes

Wipe off the day with these gentle but effective makeup wipes. This pack is free of fragrances, alcohol, and sulfates, ensuring that your skin will stay safe and clear. 

Shop $8

Teatreement™ Cleansing Foam

The magic of tea tree oil! The acne-fighting agent pairs up with salicylic acid and coconut extract to clear pesky breakouts. 

Shop $28

Moisturizing Eye Bomb

This cult-favorite eye cream delivers 26 hours of moisture for supple skin. Apply it under concealer to prevent makeup from creasing. 

Shop $48

Miracle Seed Essence

Use a plant-based essence to prep skin for your routine. Lotus seed helps product absorb while combatting environmental stressors. 

So Rich Hydrating Gel

Dry skin? I don’t know her. Using ingredients like camellia and lotus, this antioxidant-rich cream protects skin from free radicals and sun damage, while locking in moisture.

Shop $25

ELLE article

Innisfree’s Best-Selling Green Tea Serum Just Got an Eco-Friendly Upgrade

You can’t think about the major hitters in Korean beauty and skin care without having Innisfree bubble up to the forefront of your brain. Owned by conglomerate Amorepacific Group — whose other brands include Best of Beauty winners Sulwhasoo, Laneige, and Mamonde — Innisfree has a massive lineup of products and product lines centered around specific ingredients (orchid, soybean, and volcanic clusters, oh my) and was the first Amorepacific brand to open a U.S. flagship store. Located in New York City, the shop’s walls display close to 10,000 plants in an attempt to transport customers to Jeju Island (located off the coast of South Korea), where the green tea from one of its most popular product lines, is sourced from.

One particular green tea product, the Intensive Hydrating Serum, which the brand says is sold every five seconds around the globe, just received a big, eco-friendly upgrade. As part of Innisfree’s larger, ongoing “Less Plastic” initiative, the brand launched a jumbo-size Intensive Hydrating Serum Paper Edition that’s 100 percent recyclable and made with 52 percent less plastic than its predecessor. Ringing in at $39 and 5.4 ounces, it saves you $15 as opposed to buying two regular-size, 2.7 ounces bottles at $27 each. A great deal, if you ask me.

It’s still the same, beloved formula made with Jeju green tea extract and Jeju green tea seed oil, grown and extracted from Innisfree green tea farms, to hydrate and maintain skin’s moisture barrier.

To recycle your bottle, you simply remove the green paper label, remove the two halves of the molded paper shell, and then recycle the paper parts separately from the inner, soft plastic layer — as demonstrated below. Innisfree also offers an Empty Bottle Program, so customers who feel comfortable with stepping inside an Innisfree store can drop off their beauty empties and earn loyalty points. Or you can recycle your skin-care goodies through TerraCycle‘s zero-waste boxes.

Personally speaking, the Innisfree green tea serum has been a staple of mine over the years. The clear formula is impossibly lightweight and absorbs upon contact with my combination-leaning skin, so there’s no heavy, goopy feeling at all. I not only reach for this whenever my skin feels dry and tight during the winter, but it’s also fantastic for humid summer weather, as it plays very nicely under sunscreen and makeup. 

Lately, I’ve been upping my exfoliation routine at night to keep rouge pimples at bay, and this is the perfect follow-up product to keep my skin soothed, softened, and glowy. I’m not even a tea drinker but the leafy scent is so lovely — and while it’s definitely noticeable, it’s not overpowering. 

ALLURE article

6 Korean Models Reveal the Best Skin-Care Secret They Learned From Their Mothers

Seoul Fashion Week has come to a close, but given the endless stream of “chok chok”, “kkul-gwang”, and “glass” complexions that came down the runways, it’s only natural that the obsession around each model’s preternaturally luminous glow lingers. And because, in many instances, a Korean woman’s steadfast dedication to her skin-care regimen is inherited from her mother, it seemed like the right time to procure hand-me-down intel.

From Moon Kyu Lee’s pared-back approach, to Hoyeon Jung’s go-to calming treatment, here, six Korean models share the one tried-and-true skin-care secret they learned from their mother.

Moon Kyu Lee

“My mom always told me to use as little product as possible. She only uses a hydrating cream and sun protection before going out. And I watch a Korean YouTube channel called Director Pi, which analyzes the composition of different types of cosmetics and finds ‘friendly’ products for your skin. I had to throw away some of my favorite products after discovering their strong chemical compositions. Now, I prefer natural ingredients and use a range of organic products from Sanoflore.”

Songwha Oh

“When I was 20, my mom told me, ‘Wash your face as soon as you come home; you have to keep your skin good while you’re young.’ After I cleanse with Aesop’s Fabulous Face Cleanser, I apply one of their creamy moisturizers as they’re great for my dry skin.”

Hoyeon Jung

“ ‘Skin first, makeup second!’ is what my mom has always told me, so I stick to basic [moisturizing] and only use a cleanser when I wear makeup, otherwise I’ll just use water. When my skin is irritated, I’ll use an aloe mask pack for its soothing effects.”

EZ

“One of the most important beauty tips my mom taught me is don’t cleanse your face too much, just at night. If you wash your face too much, it gets drier. Using just water in the morning is fine! At the end of the day, before I go to sleep, I use one of the cleansers from Innisfree, a very famous Korean brand, or Darphin’s Aromatic Care face oil with chamomile.”

Gui Eh Park

“For my night routine, my mom always told me that I should only use one cream that perfectly suits my skin and then never touch my face after I put it on. So after I clean my face at night, I wipe it with toner, then moisturize, always using the same amount. And then when I wake up in the morning, I don’t wash my face with a cleanser, just water to clean off the leftover cream from the night before. It may feel like you didn’t wash, but it minimizes stimulation to the skin, so less possibility of emerging pimples. I love Neogen’s Code 9 Glacial Magic Pore Gel and always use a spoon to scoop it out, because I don’t want to infect the bottle.”

Jinkyung Kim

“My mom says, ‘If you want to have baby skin, you have to use baby-proof products!’ I know it sounds crazy, but I think about it whenever my skin is showing signs of stress. My skin has gotten more sensitive and weak since I started modeling, so I really prefer more pure, natural products. The most important thing is cleansing. I’ll use a cleansing milk or gel, gently using my fingertips to massage it into my face, circling at the cheeks, chin, and around the eyes.

VOGUE article