Perhaps that’s why effective and affordable Korean beauty products have exploded in recent years — both in South Korea itself, and in the countries that they export to. It’s estimated that Korean women use twice as much of their income on skin and hair products than American women, according to BBC.
Consequently, they’re one of the leading researchers ofnew beauty products, and they’re constantly trying out new and innovative ingredientsto find the best Korean beauty products for clearing up acne, tightening up pores, reducing redness, strengthening hair, and easing under-eye circles. I have a slight obsession when it comes to reading ingredients labels, so when I can’t — because, for instance, it’s in a different language — it admittedly makes me a little nervous. However, the recent market has been flooding with affordable Korean skin care and beauty products that are seriously effective, and there’s a very solid reason as to why.
While the ingredientscan be a little unconventional (like snail slime and ultra-hydratingmushroom fungus), there seems to be a tendency toward natural and organic — something that I really value, even if I can’t read the labels. Want to knowwhich popular Korean products are way more effective than they are expensive?Here are nine of the best.
Cleanse Away Blackheads And Impurities With This BubblingFoam
MilkyPiggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask, $10, Amazon
This fun and bubbly MilkyPiggy carbonated bubble clay mask is a huge seller right now because itcleanses pores by pushing dirt and impurities to the surface of the skin. Ituses all-natural ingredients to create a five-minute mask that foams up andleaves your face looking clear, smooth, bright, and fresh. Reviewers areabsolutely thrilled with this stay-at-home spa night addition, saying thingslike, “This mask was SO much fun, and it actually did make my skin gorgeouslysmooth and glowing when I washed it off.”
Ease Under Eye Circles With ThisCooling Serum
TonyMolyPandas Dream So Cool Eye Stick, $9, Amazon
If you wake up with particularly bad under eye circles inthe morning, this TonyMolyeye stick might just be a life-saver. Theeasy-to-apply serum is formulated with cooling and hydrating ingredients (likebamboo extracts) that ease dark circles, lighten skin, and reduce puffiness.Reviewers love the way it smells and feels, and it works wonders for just aboutany skin type.
A Lightweight, Long-Lasting Foundation That Looks Matte AllDay
MisshaMagic Cushion Foundation, $9, Amazon
The Korean cosmetics company Missha came out with this MisshaMagic cushion foundation, and it’s going over wonderfully. The lightweightand long-wearing powder achieves a flawless, smooth look without any build-upor caking, and it absorbs sweat and sebum to keep your face looking matte andclean all day long. It also has moisturizing and sun-protecting qualities — no wonderit’s got great reviews.
Pick Your Personalized Mask For Any Skincare Issue
I’mReal Mask Sheets, $12, Amazon
These I’mReal mask sheets come in a pack of 11 different masks for all differentuses — lemon for tighter skin, tomato for sebum control, rice for even skin tone,red wine for smaller-appearing pores, avocado to nourish cells, and more. The sheetitself is made from natural pulp, and totally transforms your face in as littleas 20 minutes. Reviewers say they love the spa-level quality, and their facesfeel nothing short of amazing after removing these masks.
Pull Out Blackheads With Activated Charcoal
MyScheming Activated Charcoal Blackhead Removal Mask, $11, Amazon
This 3-step blackhead removal system called MyScheming activated charcoal blackhead removal mask is trending like crazyon YouTube right now. Simply soften pores with the sebum cream, apply agenerous amount of the bamboo charcoal mask to your face, let it dry, peel itoff, and see all the gunk that was stuck in your pores. Then apply thefinishing pore clarifying essence, and you’re good to go. People say it’spainless, effective, and you know it’s working because you can see the resultsstuck to the mask.
Strengthen And Nourish Hair With This Self-Heating Argan OilMask
KoreanArgan Oil Thermal Steam Hair Mask, $9, Amazon
This Korean argan oil thermal steam hair mask hydrates and heals limp strands withmoisturizing and natural ingredients. Its main ingredient is argan oil, whichpenetrates deep into hair and roots to nourish and strengthen with fatty acids,antioxidants, and vitamins. Simply apply to wet hair, allow the self-heating maskto soften hair from the inside out, wash out after ten minutes, and style asdesired. Your hair will look and feel much more silky and manageable.
Cleanse Away Impurities And Discoloration With Rice Water
RiceWater Bright Cleansing Oil, $10, Amazon
To brighten and cleanse your face without drying it out,there’s this rice water bright cleansing oil. It cleans away makeup, impurities, and dirt,both for oily and dry skin alike, and is especially effective when it comes toclearing up acne or breakouts. Reviewers say it smells nice, is super gentle, feelslightweight and absorbent, and leaves skin looking incredible.
Remove Hair From The Root With This No-Hassle Epilator
GoHo FacialHair Epilator, $13, Amazon
This Korean invention is a no-hassle alternative to waxingor tweezing. The GoHo facial hair epilator is essentially an easy-to-use spring that clasps around hairfollicles and pulls them out by the root with little to no pain orinconvenience. It leaves skin smooth for weeks on end — much longer thanshaving — and because it’s durable, flexible, easy to clean, and great fortravel, this might just replace your favorite pair of tweezers.
Tint Your Lips For Long-Lasting Color
PeriperaPeri’s Tint Water Lip Stain, $7, Amazon
To get extra long wear out of your lip color, there’s PeriperaPeri’s lip stain. Rather than a gloss or a stick, this oneensures a natural-looking long-lasting color. It’s super lightweight and can belayered to alter your tint, and it’s formulated with hydrating and nourishingfruit complexes to keep your lips looking smooth and healthy.
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Images: Fotolia (1); Amazon (9)