It’s entirely possible you’ve gotten caught up in the Korean beauty products trend without even realizing it. BB cream, sheet masks, fermented essences, and even special ingredients like snail mucin (seriously!) are all Korean imports. But if you’ve skimmed ingredients lists on some of the most popular K beauty products and found some things you don’t love, I feel you. Plus, it’s not always easy to check out the ingredients lists of these products, many of which are still fairly new to the U.S. market. That’s a problem for a person like me who doesn’t just blindly trust that a brand that calls itself natural doesn’t also use some decidedly not-natural ingredients.
But don’t be disheartened! I’ve done the research. Here are 11 clean Korean beauty products you can try with exactly zero guilt.
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Yes, everyone is getting in on this one — from Chrissy Teigen to Lady Gaga to Adele — and they’re taking the selfies to prove it. (Side note: Great idea to use one on the plane, Chrissy. Flying is so dehydrating!) These single-use facial masks help your skin really soak in all the good stuff, and they’re an affordable luxury. But don’t think this trend is only for the ladies. Justin Bieber, Ricky Martin, John Stamos, and even GQ have all done it.
Try it: Andalou Naturals (they have clarifying, hydration, and firming facial sheet masks!)
BB and CC creams
Moisturizer + foundation = Get in my makeup bag. For real. I recently discovered the new CC cream from Andalou Naturals, but there’s some depth in the natural beauty world when it comes to this trend.
Try it: Devita Natural Skin Care Moisture Tint
Snail slime, snail goo, snail mucin — whatever you call it, this gooey stuff is a serious luxury for your skin, with claims of hydrating and firming skin while also helping to calm acne and lessen hyperpigmentation without feeling heavy or greasy.
Try it: Organic Doctor Snail Gel
Think kimchee for your skin. The same concept — that fermented foods promote a healthy gut (and therefore a healthy human) — applies to using fermented ingredients on your skin.
Try it: Whamisa Organic Flowers Olive Leaf Mist
The typical Korean beauty regimen is at least a 10-step process. (Really.) Essences are pretty unique to Korean beauty, with very light, easily absorbed ingredients. (Sheet masks are often soaked in essence.)
Try it: Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum, Cremorlab Mineral Treatment Essence
Essential to the Korean skincare routine, oil-based cleansers cling to makeup and oil-based impurities to clean your skin without drying it. You might even try the double cleansing method: an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser for extra-clean (and moisturized) skin.
Try it: Dr. Woods Tea Tree Facial Cleanser, Aster & Bay Cleansing Oil