I’m half-Korean, so I grew up in a culture that really idolized porcelain skin and a regimented skincare routine to go with it. My mom always told me to eat pumpkin and blueberries because they were good for my skin (I knew all about antioxidants and vitamin C at age six), sheet masks were stocking stuffers for the holidays and we always had a collection of new Korean beauty products rotating in our bathroom cabinet.
It’s pretty amazing to see how Korean beauty trends have expanded to the US over the past few years, bringing women all the best BB Creams, facial essences and beyond: Dewy skin for everyone! Now, I may not be as hard-core as some of the ladies from my motherland — I still enjoy a light (SPF-protected) tan in the summertime and, let’s be honest, a 10-step beauty routine is a liiittle unrealistic on my watch + wallet. But I’ve definitely seen and tested enough to sort out the good, the bad and just plain gimmicky.
With K-beauty’s world of adorable packaging and sometimes outlandish ingredients (oh hey, snail cream), the options can be a little overwhelming. But I’ll be rounding up my favorite Korean beauty finds each month here on Brit + Co, so you don’t have to do the guesswork. In other words, we’ve got you, girl. Here are this month’s faves:
Fave: Your New Go-To Travel Cleanser
Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick ($32): This one would probably be in the K-beauty bible if there was one. The cult-favorite face cleanser causes all kinds of frenzies (online and retail) because it’s carefully formulated with highly concentrated natural ingredients (90% to be exact) — mainly luxurious oils and fermented roses. Not to mention, its stick design helps target problem areas + makes it insanely easy to tote around.
Fave: Your Upgrade from Coconut Oil
Banila Co. Clean It Zero Classic ($21): Oil cleansers are a crucial first step for that coveted double cleanse, and this is the product to kickstart your routine. You may have seen this fave blowing up on your beauty blogger feed lately, and for good reason. It’s an upgrade from our beloved coconut oil because it melts away stubborn makeup like that and comes in the form of a waxy solid that becomes a liquid once applied on the skin, which is waaay easier than melty coco oil that can be tricky to travel with.
Fave: Your Regal AF Eye Treatment
Diaforce Gold and Diamond Hydrogel Eye Patches ($22): Because we all have days when fatigue can get the best of us, hydrogel eye patches are a holy grail product to manage stubborn eye bags. These guys are PACKED with natural extracts (seaweed, aloe, green tea and rose) that nourish and treat the delicate eye area. Pro tip: Store these in the fridge to reaaally cool and soothe any swelling. Eye treatments during our morning coffee? Multi-tasking win.
Fave: Your #WokeUpLikeThis Secret Weapon
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask ($23): Sleeping masks are perfect for the girl who feels like it’s lazy Sunday every day. Just apply at night and wash off in the morning. According to the brand, this product is sold every 15 seconds in Asia. The mask is gel-based, so it glides right on, leaving your skin really glowy and still plump in the morning. It’s thick, but doesn’t feel heavy. And don’t worry: It’s non-comedogenic. The trademarked scent with orange flower and sandalwood is a HUGE dreamy plus. For anyone looking for more Laneige (a household K-beauty brand), it can now be found at Target.
Fave: Your Anti-Tap-Water Splurge
Dr Jart+ Dermaclear Microwater ($32): We know what you’re thinking… “Water for your face? Groundbreaking” *insert sarcasm here* We did too. But as soon as you try this microwater, you’ll swallow your words. It acts as a makeup remover, toner and brightener all in one. Use a cotton ball and sweep over your face until your makeup is gone and let the active hydrogen minerals do their thing. You’ll be seeing tighter pores and brighter skin before you know it, and you don’t even need to rinse it off after. Just soak it all in, babe.
Have you tried any of these cult faves? Tweet us your fave K-beauty finds @BritandCo!