As skincare junkies, we have tried numerous skincare products. We continuously search for that perfect formula that will bring the best results for our skin. Trying-out skincare products has become a hobby for us. It’s fun, it’s relaxing, it’s a mantra and a lifestyle so to speak; and in our search for the best Korean skincare products out there we have made some great discoveries that we have and are continuously loving and enjoying. Upon our discovery of these products, they have become a staple in our respective routines.
Here is the list of products we love and enjoy at the moment:
ONE THING Propolis+ Honey Extract
It is what the name says it is – Propolis and Honey extract, no other ingredients, just that. It is what you would expect from a propolis and honey extract. It is very hydrating and very soothing to the skin with a little bit of nourishment. This is a staple in my night time skincare routine to help my skin rebuild from the stress and pollution throughout the day. It’s a no frills kind of product which you can mix with your other essences or serum as well as your creams. It comes in a 150ml bottle which would really go a long way. You will definitely have your money’s worth.
COSRX Blemish Spot Clearing Serum
I came across this product as a freebie when I ordered the Green Tea Aqua Soothing Gel Cream and the Aloe Soothing Sun Cream of COSRX. I incorporated it in my night routine and instantly it caught my heart. I love it. It’s hydrating but not too heavy on the skin. One drop goes a long way. It’s efficient in what it claims to do – clearing blemishes. The key ingredients for this one are: Ectoin which helps maintain balanced hydration and protects skin from the effects of UVA-induced cell damage that comes in 3000 ppm (0.3000%), and the Centella Complex (madecassic acid, asiatic acid, asiaticoside) in 500 ppm (0.05%).
It also has propolis extract, niacinamide, panthenol, and oils of sunflower, macadamia, and tea tree all of which will provide you with that hydration and soothing and calming effects. Because of the benefits of ectoin, I have changed its place in my routine and instead of the night time, I now use it during the day. I love it and I would definitely repurchase it.
IUNIK Beta-Glucan Daily Moisture Cream
This is the 6th moisturizer I have tried and used ever since I started my Korean skincare journey. I adore this cream so much that I don’t think I’ll be able to use other creams at the moment. It’s lightweight and melts easily once it gets into contact with your skin. It is nourishing without the sticky and heavy feeling. You’ll get that instant glow after application. This definitely helped my skin look brighter by the day. When I wake-up the next day, my skin looks nourished and plump.
The star ingredient is beta-glucan in 30,000 ppm (3%) which is known for skin repairing and wound healing properties. It’s also a mild antioxidant with promising anti-aging benefits. With regards to its claim on wrinkle care, I still get to see the extent of its effect in that regard though, especially because my wrinkles and fine lines in the forehead area are deep. It doesn’t function like retinol in that regard so I don’t really have high hopes in that area. But, with regards to moisture and nourishment, this moisturizer surely has your back.
COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream
Ever since I stopped using the Purito sunscreen and replaced that with this one, I must say that I certainly made the right replacement and choice. This one is a nourishing and hydrating sunscreen. It almost feels like a lightweight moisturizer. It absorbs quickly and leaves no white cast. This spf has 55,000 ppm (5.5%) of aloe barbadensis leaf extract which is soothing and hydrating and provides that amount of moisture.
What’s so good about this sunscreen is the fact that it contains five UV filters. It has Ethylhexyl Methoxycinnamite which absorbs UVB radiation, Phenylbenzimidazole Sulfonic Acid that provides strong protection against UVB radiation, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine (Tinosorb S) which is a broad spectrum chemical sunscreen agent that covers the whole UVB and UVA range, Isoamyl p-Methoxycinnamite which is an oil soluble, chemical sunscreen agent that protects in the UVB range, and the good old Titanium dioxide.
The good news doesn’t stop there. In a test conducted by the Korean Dermatology Research Institute and JS Hamiltan, the sunscreen tested an spf of 54.5 and 52.2 respectively. It’s not only a sunscreen with great formulation but it is also backed with clinical trials that yielded more than the spf on the label. If that’s not a selling point, I don’t know what is.
MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence
If you have read my review on Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Essence and Ampoule, I bet it’s no surprise that these products are in my list. Aesthetics-wise, these products have really great packaging that will make you instantly fall in love with them. But the formulation itself is even more impressive. Ever since I tried both, they became non-negotiables in my routine. Because I have an oily skin that’s terribly acne-prone, I enjoyed the chance of seeing how artemisia (or mugwort) can work wonders!
Let’s first talk about the essence. Like I mentioned in my review, it’s very lightweight and can be absorbed by the skin very quickly, leaving it very supple and hydrated. Because it’s made of a very simple set of ingredients with 100% double-fermented Artemisia Annua Extract as the primary ingredient, it’s very safe even for the most sensitive skin. I really love to soak my face with multiple layers of this especially on days when my skin feels extremely sensitized or angry and I can feel that any irritation is instantly calmed down and healed. I cannot express enough how my skin loves it. I am using it unsparingly day and night and I think I will continue to do so as long as Missha continues to produce them (please do forever!)
MISSHA Time Revolution Artemisia Ampoule
Another product from Missha that has become an essential part of my skin care routine is the Missha Time Revolution Artemisia Ampoule. No surprise, I know! It’s synergy with the Artemisia Treatment Essence is just exceptional, at least for my skin. Not only did they help calm and soothe my skin, but after 6 mos. of continued and generous use, I noticed that they have helped brighten my overall complexion as well. Because it has gone through a double fermentation process increasing its potency and penetration, it has maximized not only its anti-inflammatory properties, but has added a brightening factor to it too. I have not been using any brightening product like niacinamide, vitamin c or resurfacing ingredients for so long but I noticed that my skin tone has evidently become brighter with these products alone.
Etude House SOON JUNG pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser
This product was recommended to me by our cousin (yes, that one cousin we constantly talk about who literally brought us to the Korean skincare world, she’s basically our very own and personal skinfluencer) during a time when I was massively breaking out. Back then, I bought a set of Soon Jung products including the pH5.5 Relief toner, 2x Barrier Intensive Cream, Hydro Barrier Cream, and this pH 5.5 Whip Cleanser. While all of these products have generally helped calm my then awfully furious skin, this cleanser stood out for me. Finally, I felt that I found the right cleanser for me!
What’s great about this cleanser (and the entire Soon Jung line) is that it’s hypoallergenic skincare solution made to offer relief for irritated skin with main ingredients being Panthenol and Madecasoside. Per Etude House, this product is a “whipped cream-textured cleanser with weakly acidic bubbles for moisturizing facial cleansing”. Indeed, it feels very mild and gentle on the skin. It comes in a pump container which gives out a very lavish foamy bubbles. It smells very clean and nice as well. It feels so soft to lather over the face and neck and doesn’t leave the skin feeling stripped at all. It feels really clean afterwards, but soft and looking healthy. I just emptied my second bottle and am currently waiting for my third to be delivered!
ILLIYOON Mild Easy-wash Sun Cream SPF 50+/PA++++
The last on my list is my most recent discovery. Well, not really my discovery but another star recommendation by our skinfluencer cousin. I was in a desperate search for the mildest sunscreen for months as even the thinnest application of any sunscreen irritates my skin. I have been skipping it in my routine risking my skin to even more susceptibility. But thankfully, not anymore! This product from Illiyoon is a cut above the rest and the best that I have tried so far. Not only because I did not get any sort of adverse reaction from it but because of it’s great application and after feel! It’s very lightweight and can be spread very easily.
It absorbs unbelievably very quickly as well. Honestly, I am not a very fan of sunscreens ever since. For me they’re the most uncomfortable part of skincare – thick feeling, tacky, and can sometimes feel hot. So, despite knowing that double application during the day is ideal, I used to limit my application of sunscreen. But that is not a problem with this product at all. Applying and reapplying sunscreen has become a joy for me ever since I got it.
What makes this sunscreen even more phenomenal is that it contains 4 UV filters: Diethylamino Hydroxybenzoyl Hexyl Benzoate, Ethylhexyl Salicylate, Bis-Ethylhexyloxyphenol Methoxyphenyl Triazine, and Terephthalylidene Dicamphor Sulfonic Acid. This means you get the full protection that you need without compromising comfort. Seriously, everyone needs to try this out!
Finding the best product can truly be tricky especially so that the skincare industry has become very saturated. We are just very fortunate that these products have worked wonders for our skin at the moment. May this article become your vehicle in allowing you to find the skincare treasure that will transform your skin for the best.
Feel free to leave comments if you’ve tried these products as well or if you want to try them too and let’s have a discussion…