Beauty Tips

25 Best-Selling Korean Skincare and Beauty Products For Your Routine

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The hashtag #koreanskincare alone generates 1.3 billion views on TikTok (at the time of writing), with rows and rows of videos on how to achieve glass skin, what products are great for hyperpigmentation, and which sunscreens won’t leave a pasty white film behind. Everyone is on the hunt for smooth, filter-like, glass skin and we have the rise of K-Beauty brands and education surrounding Korean skincare practices to thank. Scroll through enough videos and you’ll learn the number one rule of K-Beauty: skin comes first.

“K-beauty has a ‘skin-first’ philosophy, which [prioritizes] caring for your skin and getting to the root of the condition, instead of covering it up with makeup. K-beauty has gained so much popularity in the US in recent years because of its high-quality ingredients, innovative products, accessible price points, and the fact that it is based on a lifestyle that is focused on having good skin care habits,” Charlotte Cho, esthetician and founder of popular K-Beauty e-tailer Soko Glam tells ELLE.com.

With the help of e-tailers like Soko Glam, healthy, clear skin is not only attainable but accessible. Now, skincare obsessives have an arsenal of products to choose from to help them achieve their skin goals—but which ones are actually worth it? Below, the 25 best Korean skincare products to add to your cart, plus some of Cho’s favorites.

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1

Best For All Skin Types

Then I Met You

Living Cleansing Balm

2

Best Soothing Mask

Dr. Jart+

Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask

3

Best Snail Essence

COSRX

Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

4

Best Gentle Cleanser

Sulwhasoo

Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil

5

Best Lightweight Serum

PEACH & LILY

Glass Skin Refining Serum

6

Best Powder Cleanser

AMOREPACIFIC

Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

7

Best For Stressed Skin

MISSHA

Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence

8

Best For Waterproof Makeup

Banila Co

Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm

9

Best For Inflamed Skin

Beauty of Joseon

Glow Serum

10

Best Glow Serum

Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Brightening Serum

11

Best For Mature Skin

Sulwhasoo

Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

12

Best Pimple Patches

COSRX

Acne Pimple Patch

13

Best For Damaged Skin

MISSHA

Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

14

Best Lip Mask

LANEIGE

Lip Sleeping Mask

15

Best For Textured Skin

The Klog

Snail Mucin Energy Essence

16

Best For Makeup Prep

belif

belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb | Gentle Eye Cream Boosts Elasticity | Soothing & Hydrating Herbs Reduces Fine Lines & Puffiness for Dark Circles | Anti Aging with Comfrey Leaf & Tiger Grass | .84 Fl Oz

17

Best Daily SPF

innisfree

Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36

18

Best For Oily Skin

Hanskin

Pore Cleansing Oil – BHA

19

Best For Deep Moisture

Klairs

Rich Moist Soothing Serum

20

Best Calming Sheet Masks

#17VDerma

PibuWang Mask – Rest

21

Best Gel Exfoliator

Saturday Skin

Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel

22

Best For Combination Skin

Schwanen Garten

Antioxidant Foaming Cleanser

23

Best Sunscreen For All Tones

NEOGEN

Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen

24

Best Soothing Cleanser

Then I Met You

Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

25

Best Matte Sunscreen

Thank You Farmer

Sun Project Light Sun Essence

26

What products are in a typical korean skincare routine? (AM and PM)

Charlotte Cho, the founder of popular K-Beauty online retailer Soko Glam, suggests following the SG 10-step Korean Skincare routine, a process she coined in 2012 which focuses on targeted treatments and ingredients instead of a lengthy list of products. When it comes to Korean skincare, quality takes precedence over quantity.

Cleanse
– Oil cleanser
– Water-based cleanser

Prep
Toner
– Exfoliator

Treat/Nourish
Essence
– Sheet Mask
– Serum/Ampoule
– Eye Cream

Protect
– Moisturizer
– Sunscreen

27

How does Korean skincare routine differ from others?

“The number of steps is truly personal as it depends on your skincare goals and concerns,” Cho says. In a Korean skincare routine, it’s really the products that set it apart from others. “The idea of the Korean 10-step skincare routine is to carefully pick and choose products that are going to give maximum benefit. Every step has a purpose. It’s about having the right products that are doing the right things and using them in the right order,” she explains.

28

What are the benefits and main goals?

One of the main benefits of Korean skincare is providing results without using harsh ingredients or practices to achieve healthy skin. Cho says the step you can benefit from the most is double cleansing.

“When I first started skincare, I barely even washed my face, so the thought of using two cleansers was daunting, to say the least. But after incorporating an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser into my routine, my skin started to clear up and glow. The results spoke for themselves, and now I’ll never look back,” she says.

29

Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Since joining ELLE.com in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.

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