Pretty much the whole world is hooked on Korean beauty products, and it’s no surprise. After all, who doesn’t hanker after clear, glass skin that we see on our favourite K-actresses?

And while the options are endless, we’ve spotted some under-the-radar brands in Singapore that everyone needs to know about.

Their formulations are gentle and botanicals-based, and their ingredient list is short and simple enough such that you know for sure they don’t contain chemical nasties. Plus, they are friendly on the pocket.

Pyunkang Yul

Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic created this brand with products that contain minimal ingredients.

Using plant extracts as the main actives, the products enhance skin and repair the skin barrier.

Their popular Moisture Cream has just 14 ingredients that you can read and understand, all with a low-risk Environmental Working Group (EWG) rating. The brand carries a small but substantial line with just the necessities – cleanser, toner, and moisturiser.

Available at Lazada.


For those prone to acne, Cosrx is a must-try. Their pimple patches (and a host of other blemish-targeting products) have gained a cult following over the years all over the world.

Fans like the brand for the simple formulations and most importantly, affordable pricing. Most items are below the $20 mark. Other best-selling products include the low pH morning cleanser and snail cream.

Available at Lazada and Watsons.


Troiareuke is pricier than the other brands here but people still love it for good reason. Their makeup is touted as 99% skincare, so you’re getting extra bang for your buck.

Even while wearing their BB cream or cushion foundation, your skin will be treated on the inside with ingredients like centella asiatica, tea tree, and calendula extracts.

They also have a wide variety of skincare, including a hydrating clay mask that is suitable for sensitive skin, and the Acsen (acne-sensitive) UV protector essence that can be used on all skin types.

Available at Troichoi and The Cult Culture.


Klairs made its name as a gentle, cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly K-beauty brand as products do not contain colourants, alcohol, parabens or fragrance.

Each range serves a purpose – from calming redness to anti-ageing, hydrating, brightening and more – and contains just a small, curated stack of products so you won’t need 10 different steps in your routine. 

Popular products include the Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum for hyperpigmentation and Midnight Blue Calming Sheet Mask to cool irritated skin.

Available at My Beauty Moments and Althea.

Unpa Cosmetics

Photo: Unpa Cosmetics

Unpa Cosmetics cuts to the chase when it comes to developing products. Their philosophy: why make products that people simply don’t need? Instead, they analysed keyword searches and concerns (such as dry lips, stained teeth and dull skin) from over one million community users to create formulations that cater to what buyers are really looking for. They pride themselves on using all-organic and natural ingredients that are beneficial to the skin, making it suitable for just about every skin type!

The best selling Bubi Bubi Lip ($19.90) is a gentle bubbling lip scrub that works as a chemical peel to slough off dead skin cells, leaving you with soft, kissable lips. But before that, try the naturally activated coconut carbon toothpaste, the Cha Cha Toothpaste ($19.90), to brighten teeth and prevent cavities.

Available at selected Watsons stores.

Nakeup Face

Photo: Nakeup Face

Nakeup Face is a makeup label that espouses the  ‘no makeup’ look. Their formulations are made to improve skin health so you need only minimal cover-up.

The popular One Night Cushion ($46.90) is a foundation cushion compact contains 24 calming skin-friendly ingredients that are suitable for use even after dermatological treatments and for pregnant women. It doesn’t contain common skin aggravators such as talc, parabens, artificial fragrances and ammonia.

Formulated with deep sea water which contains 10 times more minerals compared to regular mineral water, this will enhance the skin’s moisture retention.

Available at selected Watsons stores.


Photo: 9cc

Dedicated to finding marine skincare ingredients from unpolluted sources, 9cc products are as reassuring to use as they are friendly on your wallet.

One of their best-sellers is the Collagen Ball ($5.90) that contains key ingredients extracted from the Tongyeong Sea in South Korea.

The ball has a blend of marine collagen, hyaluronic acid, and sweet potato oligosaccharide to improve the skin’s suppleness, elasticity, and hydration levels.

Available at selected Watsons stores.

This story was first published on Shape.