Korean beauty has become a big part of my life, not just because I married into a Korean family with lots of K-beauty experience, but also because Korean beauty products have taken the world by storm! Not a day goes by without someone asking me what I think about a certain K-beauty trend or item. I’ve written multiple reviews on my favorite and not so favorite items in the past (those reviews here and here), and some of my picks were included in this Bustle article titled “23 Life Changing Korean Beauty Products that Dermatologists are Obsessed with.” I liked that article because I got to see what K-beauty products some other dermatologists, Korean and non-Korean, enjoy using on a regular basis. Today I want to share some of my top K-beauty finds that I have been reaching for more and more often this winter season.
Memebox bon vivant Botanical Pure Mask (c/o): I LOVE this line of sheet masks, and they are my new favorite! These masks are made with 100% Eucalyptus-derived elements, boasting a natural formulation that does not irritate the skin. Each mask is soaked in one of 6 superfood essences, such as acai or chamomile, and each one targets a different skin concern such as redness, dull, or dry skin. The masks are thin and breathable, and they adhere to the face like a second skin throughout the entire 15 minutes you have them on. Plus, the price is unbeatable – $22 for 14 masks AND a free cute cat headband to keep your hair back while masking (I received one as a gift and my husband can’t stop teasing me when I wear it!).
Nature Republic Steam Cream with Shea Butter: An oldie but a goodie, my heavy duty winter-makes-my-skin-crack night cream! I reviewed this before here and I’ll just reiterate: I haven’t been able to find anything else quite so moisturizing when my skin is dried out from the cold. The ingredients consist of Shea butter from Africa mixed with soothing and moisturizing oils that provide lightweight but lasting hydration to your skin overnight. I’ve already gone through two jars of this and it is still by far my most effective night cream.
Skin Food Brown Sugar Scrub: This brown sugar exfoliating scrub does wonders for removing layers of dead dry skin from my face. After cleaning my face, I pat dry, and while my skin is still slightly damp, I layer on this sugar scrub, mixing it with some water to facilitate application. Leave on for 10-15 minutes and then wash off. I’m always surprised by how smooth and polished my skin feels after using this mask, and it is only $10! I use this once a week, alternating with my Clarisonic Mia 2 and my Cure Natural Aqua Gel (a huge huge hit in Japan).
Laneige Water Bank Serum (c/o): This serum contains six different minerals that help hydrate the skin and delivers moisture that actually lasts throughout the night and well into the next day. The formulation is light-weight, smells nice, and doesn’t irritate my sensitive rosacea-prone skin. During the winter, when I need some extra moisturizer during the day, I use this serum underneath my sunscreen when I get ready in the morning (view my sunscreen picks here).
Nature Republic Cleansing Oil: This is a great oil-based makeup remover that I use in addition to my Neutrogena Makeup Wipes on days that I’m wearing more foundation or eye makeup. The only thing to note is that you should remove your contact lens before you use this product; otherwise, you’ll end up with makeup smudged onto your lenses!
Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask: I do this once in a blue moon because this mask is super messy and makes me look like the Wicked Witch of the West, but it does help to clean out my pores. Once you have enlarged pores they are extremely hard to shrink back down so most of what I do is maintenance and trying to prevent them from getting bigger. This clay mask is a thick gooey formulation of volcanic ash designed to absorb sebum and cleanse pores. Pro tip: do not wait until the mask is completely dried out to wash out because that means your skin is getting totally desiccated too. Set a timer for 10 minutes but if your mask has already completely dried out, just wash it off and follow with serum plus night cream.
Shop some of my picks here:
What are your favorite K Beauty finds? Would love to hear!