Korean skincare

My Korean Skincare Favourites

So, you know know the meme about influencers and skincare right? No? Here it is:

In my defence, people actually DID ask my about my skincare routine, and have been doing so for years. That, and makeup. In fact it’s the reason why I started this blog. I love talking about makeup and skincare, but sometimes it’s just as easy to point people to one of my reviews and then they can make up their own minds from there.

I’ve been using Korean skincare for a good three to four years now and love it. Those guys have they sh*t sorted, with ‘glass skin’ being one of their gifts to the humankind.

I’m always trying the new things that they bring to market – which can make it a little hard to narrow things down for a blog post like this. So what I’ve done is chosen favourites, that also happen to be products that I’ve repurchased. That’s pretty huge for someone like me and it means you definitely know that these are what we in the blog world call ‘holy grails’. I’ve also recommended these so many times that I can’t count. Even last week, someone that I work with was raving about the SPF I recommended to her, ending her years of trying SPFs resulting in her deciding just not to wear them.

That’s enough background though, let’s get into it!

The Face Shop – Rice Water Bright Oil Cleanser

I’m on my third bottle of this stunner from The Face Shop. Like many people, I like to do a double cleanse to get rid of the makeup I wear on the daily for work. And because I do love a cake face I need something that will dissolve it all, without clogging up my pores and making me break out. This cleanser is just perfect, so light, easy to spread, and dissolves all of the makeup to easily wash off. I just rinse with water. Now, I don’t use this on my eyes – I only ever use specific eye makeup remover to remove eye makeup – so I can’t give you feedback on that. But on makeup removal – it’s awesome. I bought mine from Hikoco.

Pyunkang Yul – Essence Toner

I think this brand is excellent. I’ve tried quite a few of their products and this is their hero to me. Recommended by my friend Hayley, this toner introduced me to the nourishing kind of Korean toners that prep your skin for the rest of your skincare routine. It’s incredibly hydrating and smooth. Pyunkang Yul is a brand that only ever uses a minimum of ingredients and I love this simplicity of approach. They often come out with some lovely gift packs that often feature this toner. The brand was developed by Pyunkang Hospital in Korea, known as an institute that specialises in treating atopic skin disorders.

Korean skincare face

COXRX – Advanced Snail 92 All in one Cream

This cream is an absolute must – a game changer. If you don’t want to put snail mucin on your face, get over it, and do it! You will see immediate benefits. It’s one of those products that if people ask me for just one k-beauty product to try – this is it people! To quote The Lion King, ‘it’s slimy, but satisfying’. I use this as a serum, underneath my moisturiser to make it sink right on into my skin layers. It’s absolutely spectacular. I always have a tub and when I’m close to finishing it, I head back over to Hikoco to repurchase it. If you’re worried about the snails, don’t be. Head on over to 50 shades of snail’s blog (or FiddySnails if you’re on Insta) and read how she visited Cosrx and witnessed in person the VIP treatment these little snails receive.

Mizon – Collagen Power Firming Eye Gel

Now, I know that this isn’t going to make the collagen under my eyes miraculously take my eyebags back to my pre-teen years, however it’s a lovely product. It’s a thickish water gel consistency that is so smooth under the eye. I think because of this, the formula it doesn’t interfere with my under eye mascara – it stays put, and is a lovely base for my concealer and setting powder. It also gives a nice burst of hydration under my eyes without it feeling greasy. I’m interested in trying the Mizon moisturiser too to see if it’s as good as this eye cream.

Laniege – Lip Sleeping Mask

A cult classic, this almost needs no introduction, unless you’ve just heard about it and haven’t actually tried it. If that’s you, you must try it! It is a superb lip balm. It is good if you use it for it’s original intent ie. putting it on at night so that you can wake up with juicy hydrated lips, but if you’re a lip balm addict like me, you’ll use it in the daytime too. It stays and means business. It’s non-greasy, but super moisturising, and did I mention it stays on? It comes in so many different delicious flavours. My favourite at the moment is grapefruit (because I love the smell of anything citrus), but next on my list is choco-mint. You can buy this from lots of different places, but Sephora often carries gift packs and minis so it’s worth checking them out there.

Etude House – Moistfull Collagen Emulsion

This pretty bottle from Etude House holds an emulsion – I can tell you that before I bought this I hardly ever said emulsion. I mean, it’s not really something you refer to regularly is it? What I found is that this is a lotion. In terms of consistency it’s a lot like the original Oil of Olay lotion that some of your more mature queens in your life may have purchased in the past. Let’s get the packaging out of the way. It’s pretty, but not the best to use because the bottle is glass and you can’t squeeze the lotion (or emulsion) out. Basically you just have to smack the bottle down on your palm to get it out. Once you get a technique though, you’ll be away laughing. This light emulsion (ding, said it again) packs a lot of punch, and adds lots of moisture given it’s consistency. I was skeptical when I first tried it, but now, we’re in a re-purchasing relationship. In fact, when we went on holiday recently, my partner asked me for some light moisturiser because he’d gotten a little sunburnt and anything remotely oily breaks him out. In all of our years together he has NEVER asked me for a skincare product. EVER. So, I tried not to make a big deal and nonchalantly handed this to him and walked away. A few days later he said that it was nearly finished (to be fair, I’d given him a bottle that was around quarter full). He said that maybe I needed to order some more. ORDER. SOME. MORE. I honestly felt the earth shift on its axis. He now has his own pink bottle in the bathroom. Oh and by the way, this one is fragranced. I really like the smell and I’m not usually a fragrance gal, and besides the smell wears off shortly after you put it on – BUT if you are sensitive to fragrance, then I wanted to let you know.

COSRX Aloe Soothing Suncream SPF50

I can’t count how many of these I’ve bought myself or recommended to people who have then bought this. This Cosrx SPF has no white caste. None. For a brown girl like me this is everything! It also doesn’t go greasy on you (I’ve had some that have turned me into a pallid looking greaseball). The Aloe in the formula makes this feel like a beautiful light moisturiser. If you don’t believe me then just go on YouTube and see what Hyram or James Welsh say. This is the best facial sunscreen I’ve ever used. I use it everyday underneath my makeup and it performs beautifully under anything I put on top. I had a wee panic last week because the place that I usually buy it from had run out. No problem! I ended up finding it on Lady Bonita – a new fave site of mine.

So, there you go, my Korean Skincare Favourites. Now you’ll see I haven’t included masks in here. That’s because that’s a whole different blog. Don’t worry, it will be coming up soon!

In the meantime, I hope you and yours are doing as well as can be in this new year.