It has been a while since K-beauty products got their fame (many thanks to K-Pop and K-Drama stars) and now it is not hard to buy Korean skincare products in many places outside of South Korea. As a matter of fact, the issue is what to choose among so many available Korean skincare products.
It is practically impossible to use all Korean skincare products, so I went over 22 lists and articles by well-known beauty and style magazines and beauty bloggers: the list includes Vogue, Marie Claire, Elle Korea, and even NBC News. I have picked the 10 Best Korean Skincare Products of 2023 that are the most mentioned and recommended by these beauty experts. Also, I include the list of Korean Skincare brands that were mentioned the most over various skincare products.
LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask
LANEIGE’s Lip Sleeping Mask is the most mentioned Korean skincare product by far: 13 times recommended out of 22 articles and posts. LANEIGE is one of the brands owned by Amorepacific, the second-largest beauty and cosmetics company in South Korea.
Many experts praise LANEIGE Lip Sleeping Mask for its moisturizing power and essential nutrients for lips. It comes in five flavors: original, cherry blossom, gummy bear, sweet candy, and vanilla. Flavors could be different in regions.
PEACH & LILY Glass Skin Refining Serum
Bazaar magazine says PEACH & LILY’s Glass Skin Refining Serum is “synonymous with a glass skin, the concept of super-dewy skin that got its start in K-beauty.” The niacinamide in the serum treats dark spots, hydrates the skin, and recovers the loss of elasticity.
Suitable for sensitive skin, the founder of PEACH & LILY recommends pumping “it out into your fingertips to pad it in that way,” preferably three pads a time, and don’t smear it.
GLOW RECIPE Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops
One of the viral TikTok K-beauty picks is Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops from Glow Recipe. With key ingredients of niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, and, of course, watermelon, this multipurpose dew drops can be your serum, primer, or highlighter under or over makeup.
One of its 1,200 reviewers says “I love the dew drops! I finish my face makeup and use one pump to pat equally on both sides of my temple and undereye/apples of the cheeks. It instantly makes me look brighter and more rested. I like how it’s a “highlighter” but no shimmer. I will never go without!!!”
BANILA CO Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm
How popular is this best-selling Korean cleansing balm? Banila Co sells Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm every three seconds. In fact, his K-beauty product is the reason why the Korean beauty brand Banila Co has been such a success since its beginning in 2006.
Clean It Zero Cleansing Balm focuses on a simplified double-cleansing routine. It easily removes makeup, dirt, and oil in one go including even stubborn waterproof mascara and heavy foundations.
COSRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
France has Escargot, the snail dish, and South Korea has a snail essence. It could seem awkward or even shocking to consumers in other parts of the globe, but snail mucin has been a popular ingredient for K-beauty products for a while.
Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is the bestseller of CosRX thanks to its performance for fading dark spots, improving hydration to parched skin, and resurfacing the skin. This essence is great for all skin types, but be aware that it could feel a bit sticky initially right after application due to its high moisture.
DR. JART+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment
By boasting the main ingredient centella asiatica a.k.a. cica or tiger grass, one of the best-sellers of Dr. Jart+ neutralizes redness and soothes the skin. This creamy treatment transforms from green to beige once applied to the skin.
Even better, this product has broad-spectrum SPF 30 and protects your skin from UV rays. No doubt about why it has got more than 200,000 favorite votes on Sephora.
INNISFREE Pore Clearing Clay Mask
You see the snail mucin in K-Beauty products and think you’ve seen it all? Not yet. One of the most popular destinations in South Korea for travelers is Jeju Island and it is a volcanic island. Innisfree’s Pore Clearing Clay Mask’s key ingredients are volcanic clusters from Jeju Island and lactic acid. Thanks to Jeju volcanic cluster, the clay mask helps absorb excess oil and cleanse the pores. The lactic acid works to gently exfoliate the skin.
It’s easy to apply and needs only 20 minutes once or twice a week. One thing to keep in mind is it will dry out in the jar over time because it has a clay base.
BEAUTY OF JOSEON Glow Serum
As you may guess from its name (if you are not a Korean history buff, Joseon is one of the Korean dynasties), Beauty of Joseon combines modern technology with historical Korean beauty recipes. The brand’s glow serum is specifically created for acne-prone skin. Propolis extract and niacinamide in the serum heal flare-ups and brighten the complexion. Propolis extract is a natural antiseptic and anti-inflammatory.
One of its reviewers says, “It’s a light serum, non sticky that blends nicely with the sunscreen. I’ve used it for 2 weeks but it seems to unify my skin tone already.”
SULWHASOO Gentle Cleansing Oil
In K-beauty, it is a proven routine that washing the face twice with an oil-based cleanser and a water-based one. Sulwhasoo’s Gentle Cleansing Oil is fans’ favorite for this process. This product is less oily and yet it still wipes away dirt and makeup.
The lightweight formula with apricot kernel oil and tangerine-peel extract not only performs its main role to cleanse but also balances uneven skin texture and brightens skin.
THEN I MET YOU Living Cleansing Balm
Co-founder of Soko Glam and K-beauty expert Charlotte Cho founded Then I Met You and Living Cleansing Balm has been one of the best-sellers of the brand. Living Cleansing Balm is a great option for K-beauty’s double cleansing routine.
This buttery yellow balm removes makeup and grime while leaving skin soft and nourished thanks to its ingredients like vitamin E, olive oil, persimmon extract, fatty acids, and antioxidants. The balm melts away makeup very easily.
10 Best Korean Skincare Brands of 2023
While I was researching, I figured that some Korean skincare brands have a great signature product but some have a variety of products that are separately mentioned in the articles. Many of the brands below are already mentioned in the products list, but a few of them have more broad popularity. The list is ranked according to the numbers mentioned in all articles.
- Dr. Jart+
- Peach & Lily
- Then I Met You
- Beauty of Joseon
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