Korean Beauty 101: Skincare faves.
This will officially be my first beauty post. A few friends have asked me to write about beauty since I lived in a country famous for cosmetics and skincare. Although it's not one of my hobbies I do appreciate a decent skincare routine, as long as it's as low maintenance as I am. I lived in South Korea for well over a year and a half. Being a person of colour in a very pro-white society means that it has been incredibly difficult to find make up for my skin tone. Particularly foundation. That doesn't exist in South Korea. I have to bring foundation and not drop the glass bottles on my tiled floor 3 times over smashing it and having the hopes of a year of flawless skin leak out across my bedroom floor. (Yeah, that happened to me in Taiwan).
So this year in Korea I resolved to fix the problem. I decided if I can't buy foundation for my skin tone in Korea (Taiwan is the only Asian country I've lived in to cater to dark skin tones). I decided I should make my own skin so flawless I don't need to wear foundation. It's still work in progress but these are some of my favourite Korean skin care products. I think most of them are available online through their official websites and stores like www.yesstyle.com.
Innisfree Green tea seed serum ₩22,000
I have been using this one for years and it's the gift that keeps on giving. Using a serum instead of a moisturiser on my face has stopped me getting extra spots due to heavy grease being applied to my face. Serums are lighter and sit well on the face giving you a dewy complexion and acting as an almost primer for your make up. This is defintiely one of the best products I've ever tried.
Cosrx One Step Pimple Clear pad ₩17,500
This is another Miracle worker. Since using this product spots disappear overnight and new ones rarely pop up. I took a one month break from using this product while I was moving back from South Korea to Europe and since then my skin has been on the downward spiral. I'm back to using it again however and hoping for the best. This product is great if you are too lazy to remove your make up after a night out. I just go over my face once with a make-up remover or wet tissue and once more with the pimple clear pad and voila! the next morning my skin is absolutely fine no matter how late I was out. It's available in Watsons, Olive Young and other select Korean beauty brand stores. I also think Amazon stocks them too. I don't know much about this brand but it's amazing. Shout out my friend who first showed me this miracle!
Cosrx Salicylic Acid Exfoliating Cleanser ₩6,500
Another cosrx product. This exfoliating cleanser is so cheap but it works a treat. Great value for money and it really does help your skin breathe. My skin has improved so much since using this face wash. It's a great pick and it's available online and I also saw it in the Myeongdong branch of A-land. (Picture from Ohlolly.com where they sell it for $10)
Etude house Baking soda cleansing foam ₩8,000?
I forgot the price of this one nor do I have a good picture of it but it's another old favourite. It's about $9 on the American website for etude house. It's great - fairly cheap and it lasts quite a long time. It's a great daily face wash. I've been using this one for about 4-5 years. I always stocked up when I was in vacation in Korea and while living there, my house was about 7 minutes away from an Etude House store so I was very lucky. Highly recommend this one for any other low maintenance girls like me out there.
Innisfree Perfect UV protection Essence SPF50+ ₩14,000
No, I'm not trying to be white, and I don't have an aversion to tanning! I've learned after using so many exfoliating products on your skin, to avoid scars darkening in the sun and your skin exposed to UV rays you need to use a sun cream on top to protect the new layers of skin that have emerged after using products such as ones which include salicylic acid, lemon etc. Innisfree often do great promotions and I bought this one after it was buy one get one free (1+1). It ended up being great. It blends well and it's not filmy like many other sun creams I've tried.
N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask REX ₩2,000-3,000 for 1
Finally this gem was a present for my 25th Birthday. My Korean friend Dani, the goddess of Korean beauty in my opinion, bought me a huge box of these face packs. Hands down the best sheet masks I've ever used in my life. And living in Korea you try loads. (I haven't used the rubber masks yet though). This mask really does clear up my skin and leaves me feeling moisturised and revitalised after every use.
Finally, I'm going to end this blog post by pointing out what works for me may not necessarily work for everyone. However, these were my saviour products that helped my skin greatly during my time in South Korea. I have most of them now with me in Italy and I'm hoping my wonderful friends who are in Korea can hook me up and keep my supply in stock over here!
I hope this gave you some ideas of Korean beauty products to try! Happy Cleansing!