Above: a display of sheet masks at a Korean cosmetic store not far from my house (in NYC!!)
The world really has been taken over by Korean cosmetics, & Americans have just woken up to it recently. It used to be that the Japanese dominated many products in Asia, from technology, fashion, & beauty products. But no more! Samsung is giving Sony a run for its money, and Asian women are clamoring for Korean skin care just the same as the Japanese. Haven’t heard of any? In NYC Korean skin care stores, as well as beauty shops that carry them are popping up everywhere. AND they are slowly creeping into Sephora & Urban outfitters. And they have lots of them on Amazon! If you check out urbanoutfitters.com, they offer a wide range of skin care, including Korean. Why should I buy some you ask? First of all they have some of the most advanced products in skin care & many of them are very affordable. They like to use an abundance of natural ingredients, from volcanic rock, rice, eggs, green tea, caviar & even snails! Also they offer lots of products that are like 2 or 3 in one. Which I think is amazing, because it cuts a lot of junk out of your cabinet, & it saves you time and money. And why not have products that your friends don’t have? I will list some products here, but if I listed them all my post would never end. I will list some links below for you to browse the products yourself.
TONY MOLY is famous for gel eyeliner, & their cute little containers, all shaped like animals and / or fruit. Here I will list some products I think that are worth getting.
Are your hands dry, or chapped? Feel like they could use a makeover? You give them a boost by getting this anti-aging hand cream. Heck, I would use this on any part of my body. Cute & affordable!
TONY MOLY’S Intense care Snail Hydro Masks, $23 for 5 masks
Extract from snails? Yes, I know it’s weird. But stranger things have been put on women’s faces. (There are placenta creams out there!!!) And actually skincare products with snail extract is actually very common in Korea. But combined with plant extracts, it supposedly has great anti-aging properties. I tried a snail lotion myself, (& when I was in Boston I tried on a goat milk lotion) and honestly they’re just like any other lotion. No strange smells! This is a great deal, considering it’s not even $5 per mask. Get some, & you will end up with great looking skin!
This is probably 1 of TONY MOLY’S most popular products. It looks like a lip balm, but it’s not. It’s actually an eye serum in the form of a stick, to treat fine lines around the eyes. Cool & refreshing, you can put it on anytime during the day! The fact that it’s shaped like a panda just makes it cuter.
TONY MOLY’S Red Wine Face Mask Sheet, $4 for 1 mask
If you ever get the chance to walk into a Korean cosmetic store, you will see that they have a wealth of one time use face masks. I guess they have a fascination with them. This is a great mask, for it’s pore minimizing, skin tightening & purifying. All in one mask!! This is one of the best anti-aging masks I’ve ever tried. LOVE IT! Will be buying it again!
A moisture cream that’s great for the face & the body!
Skin Food has been making skin care products since 1957. Most popular for their honey line, they’re an inexpensive line of cosmetics, with all different kinds of scents, the great thing about them is they offer them in a variety of different products.
Russian caviar & gold in a bottle! Anti-aging, this actually meant to be put on AFTER your serum. Who could ask for more? They also have it in a mask if you would like: Gold Caviar Mask
I guess they jumped on the Argan oil bandwagon before we did. An oil that comes only from Morocco, this mask would be great if you have dry, or damaged hair. You would use it after shampooing; it says to leave on for 5 min (I say to leave on longer) & then rinse off.
Made from honey & jelly extracts, this is a gel mask that’s meant to hydrate skin. Put it on after washing your face, leave it on for 5 min, & then rinse off. It also comes in a serum, & night cream as well.
Made of raspberry extract & herbs, it comes in a large jar, meant to tighten the skin around the eyes.
A great gel mask that helps soften skin & exfoliate dead skin cells.
This is a light moisturizer great for people who have combination / oily skin. A great night cream that’s not greasy! Click here for the Aqua Watery Cream for Dry Skin.
Sounds interesting, doesn’t it? This is actually supposed to be a cleanser for acne prone skin. If you would like to try, they also have a roll on spot corrector, if you would like to try that too.
Innisfree has been making skincare products for the past 15 years, being Korea’s first all natural brand using organic ingredients. They are actually one of the few Korean brands certified by France’s ECOCERT organization! Unfortunately, they don’t have any stores in the US at the moment. However, you can get lots of their products online!
I think is a great deal! Using volcanic capsules from Jeju Volcano, this clay mask draws out impurities, exfoliates, tightens pores, & cleanses! All in one jar! They also have a daily cleanser: Jeju Volcanic Foaming cleanser
Made from green tea from Jeju Island, this is a thick facial cream meant for dry skin. If you would like they offer it in a serum, also.
These are actually popular among Korean cosmetics; lip tints. They come in nail polish-like bottles, where you can use them on your lips or cheeks. If you click on the link, you can find other colors available as well.
Made from a torreya seed extract also from Jeju Island, this is a great facial wash for acne prone skin.
These actually all travel sized versions, of the collagen skin care kit, that’s meant for dry skin. It comes with a facial freshener, pore minimizer, cream & collagen essence. At $20, it’s a good way to sample each of the product, and a great deal!
Etude House Missing U Hand cream, $8 each
This adorable little jars actually contain hand cream; but they are a bit small, 1 oz each. Adorable, & small enough to fit in your purse!
This brand generally aimed at skincare, you can find in your local Target. If you shop at Amazon, you can find some makeup as well! They’ve been making skincare products for the past 20 years! This lovely mask is infused with many things such as raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, strawberries & yogurt to help soothe skin. Click on my links if you want to explore more products from them: Target & Amazon!
This is a really high end brand that you can find in your local Sephora. Here I’ve listed one of the more budget friendly items that they have, a moisturizing spray mist that is both oil & water free! When you’re feel a little dry, give yourself a spritz whenever you want! Click here for more Amore Pacific products.
I hope I’ve gotten you excited about Korean cosmetics! Why not use some of the best skincare in the world? I have a co worker who’s Korean, & she told me lots of Chinese & Japanese tourists love to go to Korea on to stock up on their beauty products! While you can have it shipped right to your house, or pick it up at Target! Also there are several websites that will ship them right to your mailbox; not just Amazon. You can check the links below to shop around for more!
To shop more:
These websites sell lots of things including clothes & skincare. Here you will find a wealth of Korean & Japanese cosmetics. (You will also find some Western brands mixed in there) But the spectrum of products they offer is HUGE. Check them out:
Other related articles:
Articles recommending Korean skin care products, & an interview with the founder of Peach & Lily: