The Koreans are known for their creativity in cosmetics, and nature-inspired products are abundant in every Korean beauty store you step into. Almost every product is named after a plant, fruit or naturally-occurring substance. From honey lipglosses to tomato creams to watercress toners, a beauty haul from your favourite store sounds very much like bringing home a bagful of fresh produce.
I wouldn’t go as far as to say that these products are 100% natural, because for the price, how much can be organic or natural, really? But what I like about Korean skincare is that they try to advocate the importance of nature, like how they source for ingredients inspired by Mother Nature or when they’re promoting the beauty of places in Korea like Jeju Island while introducing their new products.
However, if you’re thinking of making the switch to something more ethical, Korean cosmetics is a good place to start. The products are relatively inexpensive, the choices will boggle your mind, and the packaging will make you go weak at the knees.
After all, if eating clean is the new big thing, one can always extend her beauty regime to include products that contain more natural ingredients. Here are some of the bestselling Korean skincare to try:
Too Cool For School Egg Mouse Soap
Infused with egg yolk extract, this meringue-like cleanser also contains milk proteins and amino acids to gently purify skin while you cleanse. There are a lot of imitation products doing their rounds at night markets and on the internet, so only buy yours from authorised stores or websites.
Mizon Honey Black Sugar Scrub
Formulated with 35% black sugar powder, this face scrub gets rid of blackheads, whiteheads and dead skin cells. A blend of nourishing ingredients like glycerine, grapeseed oil, vitamin E, green tea, cacao extract and mango seed butter leave skin clean but never stripped of moisture.
The Saem Harakeke Toner
The Saem is one of the Korean brands that place a lot of emphasis on being eco-friendly. For some reason, there is an outlet in Kuching, but not in KL. Harakeke is said to be a powerful ingredient that hydrates, balances and heals skin. The Harakeke range’s bestselling toner contains 92% harakeke extract, and is made from harakeke water instead of plain water.
Scinic All In One Honey Ampoule
These giant tubs of all-in-one ampoule gels have been really popular on the internet. And when we say giant, we’re not kidding – this Scinic one is 250ml. We’re kind of ‘ummm’ about the hygiene factor, but according to the good people of the internet, this makes a wonderful gel mask and body hydrator because you can use it liberally without feeling the pinch.
Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum
Made from organic Jeju green tea, this serum is one of the many, many choices you’ll find at Innisfree. Innisfree makes a lot of products which focuses on one single star ingredient, like this Green Tea Seed range, so that you can enjoy the entire experience, from double cleansing all the way to body exfoliation.
Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb
Every self-respecting K-beauty junkie knows about Belif’s Aqua Bomb. Although slightly on the pricey side in terms of Korean skincare, many people swear by Belif’s products, especially the moisturisers. The paraben-free formula floods skin with hydration while nourishing it with a blend of apothecary herbs, which Belif is famous for.
Holika Holika Good Cera Super Cream
You wouldn’t normally associate Holika Holika with its skincare products, what with its quirky makeup products and all, but Holika Holika actually has quite a number of decent skincare items, like this one here. Ceramides are said to be a great anti-ageing and repairing ingredient, and this thick cream (better suited for night time) smells pretty amazing.
Cosrx Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
If mochi-mochi skin is what you’re after, smooth a thin layer of this night mask on your face and neck before going to bed. You can also opt to use it as a wash-off mask. It boosts hydration levels immensely without weighing skin down, so you can wake up to face the day with renewed vigour!
Tony Moly Banana Sleeping Pack
Okay, I admit, this product is in the list because it’s too cute. Banana and chamomile extracts soothe skin and pump up hydration. If you’re obsessed with Korean banana milk, this is a must-have because you get to breathe in the scent of banana milk while enjoying the benefits of this mask. However, if you’re like me and have no love for banana milk, I leave the decision up to you…
Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel
With 92% aloe vera gel, this is one of the pioneers of the huge tubs of aloe gel products that saturated the market last year. Whenever I walk past the outlet at 1 Utama, I can’t help but notice that Nature Republic also sells the Aloe Vera Soothing Gel in packs or 4 or 6. 300ml is a long way to go; some people must really use a lot of it at one go to buy in bulk!
(Images: koreanclicks.net and from respective websites)