Because K-beauty is the reigning skincare champion of the world
Korean beauty burst onto the scene a few years ago, with double-cleansing, essences and sheet masks taking our bathroom cabinets by storm.
Surpassing Japanese beauty to become the most popular beauty category from the far east, K-beauty is known for creating great serums, the best CC cream and 10-step skincare routines, all encased in super fun packaging.
One of the biggest SoKo skincare trends of the moment is ‘glass skin’. You may have heard of it, the desired result being clear, smooth and poreless skin that resembles (you guessed it) a pane of glass. It’s those elusive 10-step routines that are responsible.
But before we tell you the Korean beauty products you should never be without, read on for five things you need to know about the world of K-beauty.
Cleansing is taken very seriously
Forget falling asleep in a full face of make-up. In Korea, women double cleanse – usually with a balm or oil to remove make-up followed by a foam or cream cleanser to get rid of pollution and remaining debris.
It’s all about the cushion foundation
You’ve no doubt seen these on the market already – the foundation compact that contains a sponge saturated in foundation, which is applied with a pad. They’re meant to be easier to apply and also give a smoother finish than ‘traditional’ foundations.
Essences are the essence of Korean beauty
They might sound a bit new-age to us, but essences are the mainstay of a South Korean beauty regime. Their purpose is to add a hit of moisture to the skin before you moisturise to keep your face nice and plump.
Sheet masks are straight out of SoKo
You won’t find a beauty enthusiast without them, but the sheet mask trend came over from South Korea. The main benefit of the sheet mask is to mega-hydrate the skin and infuse it with other essentials like vitamins.
These cloth, paper or biocellulose masks are placed on your skin for 10-15 minutes and are saturated with just the right amount of hydrating ingredients (like humectant hyaluronic acid) to really boost your skin’s moisture levels.
Now that you’ve had a crash course in K-beauty, read on as we chart the most popular and effective Korean beauty products available to buy now – as well as what makes them so great…
Erborian's is one of the best-selling CC creams on the market. It comes out of the tube pearlescent, then transforms to skin tone upon contact with your face, leaving your complexion glowy and healthy-looking. Good skin in a bottle.
When it comes to peel pads, these are some of K-beauty's best sellers. Enriched with resveratrol from red wine, these AHA toning pads can be used every day for a brighter complexion – just be sure to follow up with SPF on your freshly exposed skin.
This single use lip mask is bascially a giant gummy patch, soaked in product, that you stick over your lips to hydrate and plump your pout. They're many an A-lister's go-to before red carpet appearances, and great as a pre-party treatment.
Plumping the skin means heaps of hydration, and that's where essence and face mists come in. Saturday Skin's two-in-one toner and essence can be used as a hydrating skincare step or to refresh your skin's moisture levels throughout the day.
We don't use the expression lightly when we say this face serum, from Korea's first cosmeceutical brand, is a game changer. Simply apply a few drops to your face, morning and night, and your face will stay free from oiliness throughout the day. You won't believe the results.
One of these sells every 60 seconds they are so popular, working as a mask, treatment and primer all in one. The jelly texture completely changes the skin's texture, making it smooth and soft, and creates the perfect base for make-up to stay in place all day. No wonder it's taking the UK by storm.