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How Korean Beauty has Taken the World by Storm

Updated: Feb 16, 2021

K-pop isn't the only Korean industry that has captured worldwide attention.

Written by: Tyler Tassi

Photos by: Emily Singleton

Korean beauty, or K-beauty, is a genre of skincare products and makeup created and manufactured in South Korea. Multistep skincare routines are incredibly common in South Korea, causing the skincare industry to boom, and for good reason. K-beauty has taken the world of skincare by storm with products that deliver on their promises.

Korean skincare is heavily focused on hydrating and moisturizing the skin, both of which are highly important in the prevention of early aging and healing of sun damage. COSRX is a popular Korean beauty brand, known for creating innovative products that soothe your skin and leave it feeling incredibly hydrated. I recommend the Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ($23). Essences are lightweight, serum-like toners for the skin, designed to be applied after a facial cleanser. This particular product uses snail mucin, or the slime left behind when a snail moves, for its soothing and hydrating properties. I know that putting snail mucin on your face sounds crazy, but your dehydrated skin will thank you; trust me.

Another Korean beauty brand that I recommend is Innisfree, known for their natural and affordable products. The Super Volcanic Clusters Pore Clearing Clay Mask ($15) gently cleans the skin of impurities. Another one of my picks from this brand is Innisfree's My Lip Balm ($10). This lip balm will leave your lips feeling plump and moisturized all day.

Glow Recipe, a Korean skincare brand founded by two women, has gained attention for its natural products that use unique ingredients. The Banana Souffle´ Moisture Cream ($39) uses real bananas to hydrate and even out skin tone. Additionally, the Papaya Sorbet Enzyme Cleansing Balm & Makeup Remover ($32) gently removes foundation and mascara without stripping your skin.

Sheet masks are a skincare essential, and we have Korean beauty to thank for that. These masks are wildly popular in South Korea and the trend has made its way to the United States in a big way. The Mamonde Rose Flower Lab Essence Sheet Mask ($3) is a very affordable sheet mask that is packed with moisture and promises to leave your skin feeling dewy and healthy. Sheet masks are an especially great skincare hack to prevent dry skin during the winter months.

Finally, I highly recommend the K-beauty brand, Dr. Jart+. This brand features a wide range of products that help target specific concerns. For instance, Dr. Jart+ has a whole line of Cicapair™ products designed to target and correct redness in the face, which is an issue that many people struggle with. I have used their Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment with SPF 30 ($18), which aims to calm redness and irritation, and I have definitely seen a noticeable difference in my skin. Also, their Shake & Shot Rubber Masks ($12) are a fun and beneficial way to relax after a stressful day. These masks come in a variety of types, from Pore Minimizing, to Firming, to Hydrating and Purifying.

Korean beauty products have raised the bar for skincare standards across the globe, and shifted from a new trend to a beauty routine staple. K-beauty might just be the skincare secret we've all been looking for, to give our skin that refreshed, glowy look without breaking the bank.


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