South Korea is famous for many things: delicious hot and spicy food, tear-jerking romantic dramas and, not to forget, a plethora of beauty goodies that might just overwhelm you. Don’t know what exactly you should be popping into your basket? We’re here to help – by introducing to you eight of the most highly raved products from the country you might not be able to find in Singapore.
Fresh Pop is a natural haircare brand with products designed to revitalise stressed hair and scalp. The Green Herb Recipe Shampoo is formulated with lime, carbonated water and green tea to remove impurities and deeply cleanse your scalp.
This anti-ageing facial oil strengthens skin barrier functions. Rapeseed oil keeps skin moisturised by maintaining an optimum oil-water ratio while green tea water calms and soothes any irritation. You can blend it with other facial oils, your moisturiser or even use it on your dry hair ends and nail cuticles.
One of the best-sellers from this Korean eco-friendly, natural skincare brand, the Serum Super Sprout helps firm up skin and improve its radiance. The serum is also free of artificial fragrance, synthetic colorants, animal ingredients, and mineral oil.
This vibrating device works both as a face massager and foundation or BB cream applicator. It has three applicator heads — Aircell puff to help makeup go on smoothly, Skincell puff to improve skin radiance, and Ceramic Messager to increase the penetration of your skincare products.
Klairs is an environmentally-conscious beauty brand that prides itself on creating effective, yet gentle products that are free from nasties like artificial colouring, alcohol and fragrances. The plant-based Supple Preparation Facial Toner is a fantastic starting point if you want to give Klairs a go. The highly raved toner is said to balance the skin’s pH level to improve and boost the absorption of skincare products that follow.
Pronounced as “make prehm”, this Korean skincare brand understands the importance of hydrating the skin, evinced by that distinct slant on each one of its products, from the popular double sheet masks, to its UV Defense Me Capsule Sun Gel. The latter is a SPF 50 sunblock that is formulated with moisturising plant-based ingredients like birch sap, sea buckthorn, ivy leaf and sunflower seed extract. It doesn’t leave a white cast and has a smooth velvety finish so it’s perfect for those looking for an alternative to claggy, thick and cloying sunscreens.
Son & Park is an eponymous skincare and makeup brand established by two of South Korea’s hottest celebrity makeup artists Son Dae Sik and Park Tae Yoon. The duo have dedicated their entire lives to the beauty industry and they boast an impressive clientele to prove it, serving as the exclusive makeup artist of leading Korean stars like Jung Ji Hyun. The Son & Park beauty line is an extension of the pair’s passion for makeup and skincare. One cult-favourite from the brand is the Son & Park Beauty Water. Unlike traditional alcohol-based astringent toners that can dry out the skin, the Beauty Water is carefully formulated with humectants and skin-loving ingredients like rosewater to protect the skin’s barrier and make sure it stays plump and dewy all day long. Besides hydrating the skin, it also contains willow bark and papaya extract that gently exfoliates and cleanses the skin.
Troiareuke is an in-house skincare brand developed by a team of medical experts from the Troiareuke aesthetic clinic. This cushion is targeted at those with acne and sensitive skin. Like with all of the products from their H+ (healing) line, this cushion is also said to contain 99 per cent skincare and only 1 per cent makeup (pigment). This cushion has a lightweight texture and offers a medium to high coverage, along with UV protection, brightening and anti-ageing properties. It also contains ingredients prized for their soothing and healing properties like calendula water, tea tree leaf water and centalla asiatica extract.
This popular creation by famous Korean actress Ha Jiwon is a multi-tasking treatment, mask and primer all rolled into one unassuming bottle. The star product of the actress’ beauty line, this hybrid product is meant to replace your entire morning beauty routine and helps to lift, prime and moisturise. Need more convincing? This product has even been endorsed by Vogue.
This best-selling cream has sold over millions of tubs and even appeared on Buzzfeed. The main attraction? Undoubtedly the 92 per cent snail extract. Don’t let the foreign ingredient deter you though, as this affordable moisturising cream reportedly helps to promote skin repair and fight problems such as wrinkles, blemishes and acne scars, while keeping your skin bouncy and bright.
This is another K-beauty product that took the whole beauty world by storm when it was first released. This foundation/BB cream provides anti-ageing, moisturising, skin-evening coverage and SPF protection benefits, and can be reapplied throughout the day. Several beauty junkies, bloggers and vloggers swear by this product and its natural coverage and hydrating effects.
This cleansing stick was born out of a collaboration between Neogen and Charlotte Cho, the founder of popular online K-beauty retailer Soko Glam. Due to her hectic travelling schedule, Cho wanted a travel-friendly cleanser that is easy and quick to use. Infused with 13 natural oils that help to break down makeup and exfoliate, this gentle cleansing stick (no liquids!) is ideal for travelling.
Lazy (or busy) girls, rejoice – this is the ultimate product for you. This five-in-one hydrating and skin-firming moisturiser acts as a toner, serum, eye cream, neck cream and sleeping mask all in one (yes, you read that right). The collagen-enriched formula helps to restore elasticity to the skin, while the high concentration of egg yolk and egg white extracts helps to brighten and nourish.
This set of three nose strips specifically target blackheads. The first step is to open up the pores, the second step is to remove the blackheads while the third step is to minimise the pores. Many online reviews have applauded the effectiveness of this product, even though the whole process might take up to 45 minutes. Bonus points for the incredibly cute packaging too.
This soothing gel has 92 per cent aloe vera leaf extract which explains its ultra-refreshing and moisturising effects on skin. This multi-purpose skin-firming gel can be used to moisturise the face, arms, legs and hair, or you can even use it as a sleeping pack, hair serum, eye mask, lip moisturiser, soothing aftershave, hydrating nail essence and also a treatment for sunburn.
This much-raved acne treatment is a pack of differently sized patches that helps to make whiteheads, blackheads and picked zits disappear. Similar to a ‘band-aid’ for pimples, the patches adhere strongly to your skin (even through showering and washing) and absorbs the gunk and pus out of your pimple – pop one on overnight and your pimple will be flattened by the next morning.
A version of this article was orignally published on www.femalemag.com.sg