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    42 Korean Skincare Products You'll Probably Wish You'd Known About Sooner

    "How did you know this was just what I needed?" —your skin

    We hope you love the products we recommend! All of them were independently selected by our editors. Just so you know, BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. Oh, and FYI — prices are accurate and items in stock as of time of publication.

    1. Mighty Patches answer your pimple anxieties with their special hydrocolloid material that draws out all of the gross (but oddly satisfying) pus and other impurities inside whitehead-showing pimples — stick 'em on those suckers and watch them deflate before your very eyes!, Amazon

    Promising review: "Now that I have to deal with 'adult acne,' it's sent me scurrying in every direction, from drugstore to dermatologist, to try and clear it. Unlike my teenage years, the problems I deal with now are not straightforward zits. My pores get clogged, but they're stubborn buggers and don't like to be extracted. The Mighty Patch has been great because it actually succeeds in bringing all that grossness to the surface. From there, it's easy just to extract and blast off. I'm also guilty of that cardinal sin in zit care — constantly poking at the blemish and this keeps me from myself. I've already gone through one sheet!" —Karen Lee

    Get a 36-pack of regular patches from Amazon for $12.50 or a 72-pack for $20.89.

    P.S. You can also buy a 39-pack of the Invisible+ patches (designed with daytime wearing in mind) from Amazon for $17.99.

    2. Papa Recipe Honey Moist Sun Essence feels barely there (like a super lightweight moisturizer) and soothing from the very first touch (hello, honey and propolis extract!) and gives your skin a healthy glow, while arming your face with SPF 50+, never leaves a white cast, and sits beautifully under makeup.

    Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    I finally found a SPF to rival the love I feel for my Bioré Rich Watery Aqua Essence. While I was in Seoul a few months ago, I snatched up this Papa Recipe Honey Moist Sun Essence without a second thought. Why? It contains SPF 50+ PA+++, which is my happy number, and it was on sale. But truthfully, as soon as I saw “essence” in its name, I knew it would be a winner.

    Spoiler: I was totally right, because this texture is SO lightweight and fast-absorbing, doesn’t leave a white cast at all, doesn’t affect makeup/provides the perfect base, and overall feels super hydrating and nourishing — hellooo, honey extract, propolis extract, and royal jelly extract! I’m so glad they sell it at Soko Glam here in the states, so I can immediately re-up once I run out!

    Promising review: "Feels so nice on my skin and it gives it a healthy glow, instead of the chalky white residue from your usual sunscreen." —Joyce H.

    Get it from Soko Glam for $19.

    3. Dr. Jart Cicapair Tiger Grass Gel Cream is unbelievably lightweight and smoothes away any lingering redness I have on my face (due to diet, lack of sleep, stress, etc.), so my face appears visibly soothed, hydrated, and ready for a restoring night of sleep or day of makeup and activities!

    Sephora, Sarah Han / BuzzFeed

    While the Color Correcting Treatment (below) is probably better for concealing heavier redness, I find that this gel cream also blurs any redness I have without feeling heavy, sticky, or taking a long time to absorb. I get redness around my nose and sometimes scattered on my cheeks, so this is a quick fix — and since it's a lot lighter than the treatment and hydrating enough for my skin type, I've been applying it day *and* night.

    Promising review: "I haven't really found something that calms redness but also doesn't make me break out from being too heavy, and then I got a sample of this with an order and was pretty happy with it. My skin was super soft, stayed clear, and looked slightly less red. Then, I went on vacation to New Hampshire. I spent four and a half hours hiking in 20 degree windy weather with snow and ice blowing in my face. My skin was bright red and stung from windburn. I put some of this on after I showered, and then a little more before I went to bed. After the first time I put it on my face, it no longer stung, and by morning, my skin wasn't red at all. Normally I would be red for a few days and then peeling afterwards. I am definitely going to purchase a full size of this, and I think it will be really helpful for the New England winter and beyond." —cayjay

    Get it from Sephora for $48.

    4. Dr. Jart+ Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment instantly calms down rogue redness with color-changing capsules that blend into your skin tone, protect against UV light (SPF 30) and environmental aggressors, and boost fatigued-looking skin — one and done!

    @drjart / Via

    If you feel like going sans makeup, you can simply wear this alone! Since it minimizes blemishes, scars, and redness, it's a great alternative to BB cream or foundation~

    Promising review: "My face is pretty much always red for some reason. I also have some acne scars that are healing ever since I started seeing a dermatologist. This stuff is AMAZING. It really does neutralize all of my redness and scars. I haven't really worn makeup since I started using this stuff. Makes your skin hydrated and flawless!" —kt1709

    Get it from Sephora for $52.

    5. Mediheal x BTS Bio Capsulin Love Me Mask Set harnesses the all-encompassing, chart-topping powers of K-pop sensations, BTS, into a skincare product! Ok, just kidding, but Mediheal is Korea's best-selling sheet mask brand — so they know how to keep your skin lookin' dewy and plump!


    In case you're confused (like I was), the masks are rolled up in a donut shape inside each heart capsule! There are three types of masks (Moisture & Animation, Glitter & Gloss, and Soothing & Moist), which contain natural ingredients such as avocado oil, rosehip oil, and tea tree leaf oil.

    Promising review: "Not only is this amazing because of BTS, but Mediheal really knows what they are doing with skincare. I love to use these twice a week for the perfect finish to my daily routine. —Kate Deshotels

    Get it from Amazon for $19.50.

    P.S. If you want more traditional sheet masks, try their N.M.F. Intensive Hydrating Masks!

    6. Then I Met You Skin Balancing Duo is the toner-essence duo you absolutely need in your life. It'll help you achieve the glowy complexion you've been dreaming of by gently exfoliating away the bad stuff and locking in the good stuff (think: high levels of hydrations and moisture retention).

    @thenimetyou / Via

    Let's go deeper, shall we? The toner contains 76% birch juice, which helps skin retain moisture, on top of squalane, marshmallow root extract, and a 1% concentration of AHAs and PHAs — so it's definitely safe for everyday use!

    Then you go in with the essence, which has a gorgeous, velvet-like texture and a natural pink hue that I literally can't get enough of! it contains 80% naturally fermented ingredients, plus ultra-hydrating polyglutamic acid, brightening ellagic acid, red algae, and licorice extract. This bb will ensure your serums and moisturizers penetrate as deeply as possible, and really go the extra miles for you!

    Get the set from Soko Glam for $78.

    7. My Skin Mentor Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel is a physical exfoliatior that flippin' works — the gel instantly forms into little balls of cellulose that sloughs off way more dead skin cells and surface debris than you thought possible for a smoother, brighter (hello, vitamins C and E!) complexion.

    Soko Glam

    And despite its intense nature, it's totally gentle enough for sensitive skin and it's packed with calming ingredients like honey, black willow, and aloe.

    Promising review: "My skin is visibly smoother and brighter, and I feel like the rest of the products I use are working better because there’s less dead skin cells to get passed. I have been doing the 10-step routine for six months with wonderful results, but I felt like I had hit a plateau. Now with this exfoliating gel added to my arsenal, I have hit a new level of skin happiness." —Piano L.

    Check out our full review of the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel for all the deets!

    Get a 4.2 oz bottle from Amazon for $11.60 or an exclusive two-piece set (one 4.2 oz and 2.1 oz bottle each) from Soko Glam for $28.

    8. Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Synergy Toner gives skin a nourishing boost with a combination of 72.6% propolis extract and 10% honey extract, which have natural anti-inflammatory benefits. Cold, harsh weather doesn't stand a chance against this!


    This is one of my personal favorite finds of 2019! It has the perfect, slippery texture that, despite its appearance and formulations (ahem, propolis and honey extract!), isn't tacky on the skin at all!! It absorbs and sinks in so quickly, and since it's winter right now, I actually find myself applying an extra layer or so — and still no heaviness! I can't live without this.

    Promising review: "This toner is perfect to use during winter when your skin is dry. It’s not too thick so you can wear it before your makeup, but it's still hydrating and nourishing. I also sometimes use a thick cotton pad and soak it with this toner to use as a quick sheet mask before my makeup. This makes my skin glow during the dry season." —Cosrx customer

    Get it from Amazon for $22.

    P.S. The Cosrx Full Fit Propolis line also includes a Light Ampoule and Light Cream!

    9. Belif Aqua Bomb has a ridiculously satisfying ~water burst~ formula, which means its gel texture disperses into water droplets you can feel as it's being rubbed into your skin — and alongside a blend of apothecary herbs, it calms down normal, oily, and combination skin types and smooths everything over without leaving any residue or unnecessarily heavy texture behind.

    @belifusa / Via, @belifusa / Via

    Promising review: "I absolutely love this! I've been using it I think for almost three years now and do not plan on changing it anytime soon. I used to live in Boston, which meant I needed a super-hydrating product to survive the winter, but I truly cannot stand oily and heavy creams (plus they tend to break me out). It felt super light and refreshing, but still sooo hydrating! I have since moved to Panama, which is the complete opposite in terms of weather, and I still love this product since its lightweight texture is perfect for the extreme humidity we have here." —ngade29

    Get it from Sephora for $22+ (available in mini and full sizes) or Amazon for $37.50 (full size only).

    The Aqua Bomb line also includes a sleeping mask and mist.

    10. Peach & Lily Glass Skin Serum is your K-beauty "super juice" in a bottle — aka, its powerful formula of peach extract, niacinamide, Asian mountain yam extract, hyaluronic acid complex, and peptide complex leaves your skin looking like a plump, poreless dream — while penetrating skin cells deep within for the *long-term* health of your skin.

    @peachandlily / Via

    Promising review: "I am fully obsessed with this serum and it has totally changed my skin game. I had a lot of problems before with random small whiteheads, pigmentation, and texturized skin. I also have dry skin but this serum has really turned it around for me! My skin is evening out, I have no breakouts, and it looks suuuuper hydrated. Please never stop making or stocking this!!!" —Chloe

    Get it from Ulta for $39.

    11. Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2X contains real Jeju Island volcanic clusters that use their naturally porous features to absorb all that excess oil you produce — and it contains twice the amount of volcanic ash as the original formula!


    Promising review: "This mask is to die for. It has the same effect as GlamGlow Supermud, but is almost nine times cheaper. Very effective on acne, clears up my skin from blemishes, and leaves it feeling fresh and squeaky clean. This one is my holy grail from now on, and just a little of this mask goes a long way!" —Aliya

    Get it from Amazon for $11.80.

    12. Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream provides both immediate and long-term moisture that has the right amount of ~richness~ but doesn't feel like it's clogging up your skin — thanks to a nourishing and skin-cell-and-barrier-strengthening combination of yeast-derived beta glucan, jojoba oil, and ceramides. / Via

    Promising review: "I've finally found a holy grail moisturizer I will never be able to let go! I have very acne-prone skin, so anything can trigger my skin and make me break out. :/ After discovering Klairs products last year, my skin has completely changed! This moisturizer is super great for my dry patches, but isn't thick. In fact, it's very thin and leaves a very nice glow on my skin!" —Angie

    Get it from Amazon for $18.05.

    13. Cosrx Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence contains a whopping 96% filtered snail mucin to replenish dull, stressed, and dehydrated skin — talk about a glow-up, ladies and gents!, Amazon

    Promising review: "I started a Korean skincare routine, and this was the final product I added. When I started using this essence, I feel like it took my skin from looking 'pretty okay' to 'wow, that actually looks a lot better.' I have combo skin — mostly dry but with areas of acne. It's helped to add moisture to the dry sections without breaking me out in the oily sections, and my redness is also reduced the next morning. The immediate effect is my skin feeling/looking plump and healthy. There is not much of a scent and there's so much product in this bottle, it's going to last a long while." —Annalisa H.

    Get it from Amazon for $18.20.

    14. Sweet Chef Serum Shots are perfect on their own or for layering (à la the popular K-beauty "double serum" method) to target your specific skin issues! For example, combining a drop of Beet + Vitamin A (smoothes, refines pores) and Ginger + Vitamin C (reduces hyperpigmentation, helps even skin tone) each is the perfect recipe for "glass skin." Bye bye, pores!

    @sweetchefskincare / Via

    They have a lightweight gel essence consistency, which makes them SUPER easy to mix together, or just apply on their own.

    Get them from Target for $19.99 each: Beet + Vitamin A, Kale + Vitamin B, and Ginger + Vitamin C. Each serum also comes with matching, Instagram-friendly sheet masks!

    15. Earth's Recipe Waterful Sun Gel SPF 50+ PA+++ wins the award for least annoying sunscreen ever, because it's so incredibly lightweight (it's formulated with ~harrogate sparkling water~) that there's literally no chance of greasiness, heaviness, or white cast — it's sunscreen that applies as seamlessly as a light lotion.

    P.S. It's free of parabens, synthetic dyes and fragrances, and mineral oils. Woo!

    Promising review: "I have vitiligo, which means I have patches of skin with zero pigmentation. I get a raised, itchy rash and instant skin damage within 10 minutes of unprotected sun exposure, so I have tons of experience trying out sunscreens. This product has been a bit life-changing for me, as it doesn’t resemble sunscreen in the least and yet it does its job exceptionally well. Sometimes I wear makeup over it and sometimes I don’t, but either way it is creamy but not too greasy, and soaks in like regular lotion. I only wish it came in bigger sizes because I have been using on my arms and neck and chest as well as my face. It is expensive for such a little bottle, but it is the best I have found in my 38 years so I will pay the price and be happy to do so." —A. Rhodes

    Get it from Amazon for $24.27.

    16. Hanskin PHA Pore Cleansing Oil not only melts away every bit of makeup and dirt that your skin has accumulated throughout the day, but it also does double duty as a gentle exfoliator that nips blackheads and rough texture in the bud.

    @hanskin_official / Via

    Double cleansing (an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser) is a must for me, and this cleansing oil has become one of my **fave** makeup removers, period. It really melts away all of my eye makeup *and* has the added benefit of lightly exfoliating my skin and keeping blackheads and dead skin at bay — all in the very first step of my skincare routine! Thanks to PHAs (polyhydroxy acids), which are one of my new favorite ingredients, since it's gentle enough to use every day for a dose of exfoliation without going overboard. If you're not impressed yet, it also contains tea tree leaf oil to help fight breakouts (I have random, occasional ones), while jojoba oil hydrates.

    Promising review: "Perfect way to end my day. Cleans the impurities from my day while restoring moisture. I use it daily and would highly recommend this as an evening cleanser." —Jewel S.

    Get it from Soko Glam for $25.

    17. O.R.G Skincare Mineral Peel Face is the perfect physical exfoliator for impatient people. You just spritz it on, and within a second of rubbing it in, a powerful but non-abrasive blend of fruit enzymes, mugwort extract, and natural brightening agents like milk thistle and licorice roots, gently lifts away dead skin and deeply-rooted makeup remnants within your pores.,

    Fair warning: your foundation will literally GLIDE ON LIKE A DREAM afterwards.

    Promising review: "I LOVE this product so much! I put like five squirts on my face and when I rubbed it in, giant clumps/rolls of dead skin just peeled off. I was shocked and amazed at how smooth my skin was afterwards — I'm addicted to it. I have glass skin on my face now! I also used it to get rid of the hangnails and dead skin around my nail beds and now my cuticles are gone! Put it on my elbows and knees. Ashiness gone! I will definitely be buying the big bottle in the future." —Rosa

    Get it from Amazon for $33.

    18. Cosrx One Step Green Hero Calming Pads are soaked with green tea leaf water, centella asiatica extract, and witch hazel leaf extract for a ~gentle~ targeting of pores, excessive oiliness, redness, and dehydration. Think of it as a refreshing toner whenever you need it! Just swipe a few times for better skin!


    Promising review: "This pad is my favorite out of all the Cosrx pads. It definitely helped clear out my skin. They are not as moisturizing as the moisturizing pads, but it's good enough to keep your skin hydrated during the cold season. The pads are very light, and your skin feels clean after one use!" —Cosrx customer

    Get a container of 70 from Amazon for $16.

    19. Belif Aqua Bomb Cleanser is one of those rare cleansers that makes me love washing my face. If that's not enough to convince you, it lathers up beautifully and envelops my entire face in a gentle formula that washes away any remaining makeup and dirt post–oil cleanse.

    @belifusa / Via

    After I've gone in with my oil cleanser, this Aqua Bomb Jelly Cleanser cleanly takes off any subsisting grime and makeup (I'm looking at you, stubborn eye makeup and liquid lipstick!) and leaves my face feeling soft, not stripped (or stirred). I suspect that's due to the Napiers Aqua formula, which boosts and supports an already hydrating hero ingredient, hyaluronic acid. So, it's like, hydration doubled! Lathering from jelly to foam is very pleasant and kinda feels like a facial bubble bath! And It's helped clear up my face over the last few months, and it always leaves my skin feeling super soothed and hydrated.. Consistent use is key, which is why I can say I have this confident hunch!

    Promising review: "After using Cetaphil facial cleanser for about three years, I started to wonder if it was stopping the tiny, pesky closed comedones on my forehead from going away. Cetaphil was always my 'safe' cleanser, but I read that it has can be pore-clogging for some. I got a sample of the Belif cleanser with some points, and instantly fell in love! I have sensitive skin and this doesn't irritate it at all. My face feels so soft and clean, AND my forehead looks a lot better. The sample lasted me a while (using it every day at night), but I recently bought the full size. Highly recommend if you're looking for a new cleanser!" —sriiiii

    Get it from Sephora for $28.

    P.S. I also like using the cleanser in conjunction with its complementary toner, Aqua Bomb Hydrating Toner.

    20. Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Retinol Sleeping Face Mask and Eye Mask wrap extra dry skin in a nourishing blanket of deeply hydrating and soothing avocado oil, kaolin clay, and PHA (a super gentle exfoliator that's easier on the skin than AHA and BHA), so your skin gets the softening re-up it needs while you're snoozing away.

    Glow Recipe, @glowrecipe / Via

    It's mostly meant to be used as a sleeping mask, but if it's a little too thick for your skin to absorb, it also works great as a 10 minute wash-off mask!

    Promising review: "I've had this for a week now, and it's just so much better than all the other eye creams I've tried. I use it only at night and I wake up in the morning to the softest under eyes I've ever had. I've never had particularly dry under eyes, so I can't speak to how it would work for someone who does, but for my normal/combo skin, this is wonderful." —hlittle87

    Get the face mask from Sephora for $49 and eye mask for $42.

    21. Benton Snail Bee High Content Essence loads up on snail mucin to support natural cell regeneration and replenish all the moisture you need and lose throughout the day — plus bee venom has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, so you know you've really protected your troubled skin from further ~dangers~.

    @bentoncosmetic / Via

    Promising review: "I am so scared to try new products because everything breaks me out, but my skin was suffering from dehydration so I knew I needed to add another hydrating layer. This essence is like a gel, not greasy or heavy at all but very hydrating. For about a week, I watched my skin carefully for any signs of irritation/acne and instead was surprised with a glowy, even skin tone. I even think that this may have helped calm some preexisting acne as well. This is one of those products that improves your skin ever so slightly that many people probably wouldn't notice the changes until they stopped using it. But believe me, I cannot live without this product anymore. My skin is less red, more clear, and it has even helped with some acne scars. If you are on the fence, TRY IT." —Amazon Customer

    Get it from Amazon for $12.99. The Snail Bee line also includes a toner, steam cream, lotion, and sheet masks.

    22. Dr. Oracle A-Thera Tea Tree Peeling Sticks are super easy one-and-done cotton swab applicators that are soaked in acne-fighting lactic and glycolic acids to get rid of breakouts and gently exfoliate every nook and cranny of your face — just do a few swipes, and you're done!

    Soko Glam

    The gentleness comes from a blend of tea tree extract, lemon extract, and bamboo extract. Everything works to speed up the blemish recovery process *and* prevent them from popping up in the future.

    Promising review: "I was a little nervous to try this product because it seemed like it could be harsh. I was incredibly amazed when it wasn’t at all harsh on my skin and it helped my blackheads and whiteheads on my chin (problem area) overnight! The texture of my chin has been really off as well (dry patches, yet blackheads and whiteheads) and it immediately rectified that. I was super pleased with this purchase and will definitely be buying it again." —Julia A.

    Get a 10-pack from Soko Glam for $24.

    23. Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Splash Mask only takes 10 seconds to work its magic, but still manages to have a huge payoff — namely, its organic Brazilian black sugar and PHA formula effectively scrubs away dead skin cells, restores your skin's pH, leaving your skin oh-so smooth and soft.

    @skinfood_us / Via

    Promising review: "I LOVE that I can use this product in the shower! I have combo/sensitive skin and this product does not irritate it at all! I would describe the scent as fresh and clean with herbal/floral notes. It leaves my skin feeling smooth and supple — I can actually feel it sinking into my skin, and it's the coolest feeling ever." —Jacoya E.

    Get it from Ulta for $12.99.

    If you want to learn more about shower-friendly splash masks, check out "If You're Lazy But Want Nice Skin, 15-Second Splash Masks Are The Perfect Skin Care Hack."

    24. Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum brightens your skin tone over time, fades brown spots, and prevents further pigmentation from ruining the glow party that is your face.,

    Important: Make sure to store it away from sunlight in a cool place, like your fridge! It's natural for Vitamin C to have discoloration and turn yellow — if it's a light yellow it'll still be effective, but if it turns dark yellow then it won't be as usable. So again, fridge!

    Promising review: "I've been using it for just over a month and two large freckles (um, age spots) on my cheek are faded to the point that they're barely visible. At this rate, they'll be pretty much gone by next month. It does have a slightly oily feel that makes it easy to smooth into skin, but it doesn't clog my pores or irritate my very sensitive skin. UPDATE: I used this product for a few months and then switched to one with a higher percentage of Vitamin C only to find that it didn't work nearly as well. I'm back to using Klairs and am so impressed by the positive change I see in my skin when I use it — it's brighter, smoother, and more even, even though it's a mild product." —Elisa Q.

    Get it from Amazon for $20.49 (originally $22).

    25. Cosrx Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream, with continued use, visibly brightens your under eye areas, diminishes puffiness, and douses any dry patches with much-needed moisture, thanks to a formula of 72% snail secretion filtrate, five types of peptides, and niacinamide.

    @cosrx / Via

    This winter was the first time I experienced a drier-than-usual eyelid (yes, just one). It was all patchy and I'd even wake up to a slightly discolored/pink eyelid, but I swear this reformulated snail eye cream helped my patchy eyelid heal just as well as the prescription cream I got from the dermatologist — and it was much gentler and didn't sting at all during the first application. It seems thick, but absorbs super quickly. It's a dream!

    Promising review: "Easy on the skin with no fragrances, which I’ve found can cause irritation. Has been helpful for problem areas and dry patches to really lock in the moisture." —bg_21

    Get it from Amazon for $25.82.

    26. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask lulls you into a sweet, relaxing slumber of intense skin repair by sealing in all of the hydration in your skincare routine with a big dose of Hydro Ionized Mineral Water™ — in other words, goodbye, parched skin!


    Promising review: "I apply this right before bed and pat lightly to push the product deeper into my skin, and I just love how light and quick absorbing it is. Compared to other sleeping masks I've used, this one does not feel as greasy or heavy. The scent is really light and calming. When I wake up my skin has such a wonderful, dewy feeling, and I've notice my acne is less inflamed too. I have been using this mask every three days for the past month and I have barely made a dent in the product! This sleeping mask works wonders for the price point and I love it!!" —lilianle

    Get them from Sephora for $25 each — in lavender and original.

    27. Neogen Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine sloughs off your dead skin cells using a unique three-layer pad technology and lactic acid to deep, deep clean those pores — and it contains Resveratrol (which comes from red wine and is naturally fermented!) has naturally-occuring AHAs that help exfoliate and protect your skin against free radicals.

    @neogen_global / Via

    Promising review: "I kept seeing this product on beauty channels so I finally decided to try them and see what all the hype was about. Now I understand!!! These pads are now a staple in my ever-growing Korean skincare routine. I have sensitive, acne-prone, combination skin (that’s more on the dry side), with lots of hyperpigmentation and textural issues. I’ve been using these pads twice a week, and what a change! My skin is smoother, brighter, and my dark marks are fading. I got the wine version and it does have a strong, fruity scent, but I personally like it. The first couple times I used them, my skin was a little irritated, but that went away. Don’t rub too hard, and make sure to follow up with a really good moisturizer. This has replaced the harsh scrubs I was using that I knew were damaging my skin, but I couldn’t let go of. These pads are gentle but effective." —Jamie E.

    Get a container of 30 from Amazon for $27 (available in wine, lemon, and green tea).

    P.S. They also come in travel-friendly individual packs of eight for $10!

    28. Etude House Moistfull Collagen Cream puts your face on full hydration blast with super collagen water and baobab oil (which comes from a desert-thriving tree that's capable of storing 120,000 liters of water!), and its watery gel texture absorbs quickly so your skin looks dewy, plump, but doesn't feel heavy at all.,

    Promising review: "As far as I'm concerned, it's my holy grail of moisturizers, and I've tried Clinique, SK-II, La Prairie, La Mer, La Roche Posay, Avene, etc. I'm on my second jar, and my only regret is that it doesn't come in a giant economy size, so that I could literally cover myself in it during the cold months. It absorbs fairly fast and it is really, really soothing in the winter. In the winter my skin will reach the point where only avocado oil doesn't make it sting, but of all the moisturizers I've used, this one stings the least and for the shortest amount of time. It's such a relief to have finally found a product that moisturizes, plumps up fine lines, and doesn't cost a small fortune!" —Kelly V.

    Get it from Amazon for $17.

    29. Cosrx Low pH First Cleansing Milk Gel gently removes makeup for even the most sensitive skin types, because its low pH helps restore *your* pH balance and prevent moisture loss. It works especially well with skin that doesn't play nicely with cleansing oils and balms.


    Payaya extract is key in breaking down and removing makeup and sunscreen! If your skin can handle mild acids in a cleanser, try Cosrx Good Morning Gel Cleanser.

    Promising review: "I have combination, oily skin, so I really found it difficult to find a first cleanser that I loved. Most formulas were too oily and still didn’t get all of my makeup off. Decided to try this on a whim, since my skin loves everything Cosrx. I was left floored after the first use. I’m still trying to figure out the wizardry behind something so gentle being such a powerhouse cleanser. I really wanted to hate the gel, 'cause most gel cleansers pull the skin when applied on dry skin, but this formula is so pleasant to use! I've been using it for almost a month, and it’s becoming a favorite in my routine." —Nicola Pollard

    Get it from Amazon for $10.90.

    30. Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist can be used in place of a heavier essence, as a midday TLC pickup (because our skin needs constant hydration!), and as a makeup setting spray — basically, you'll need one stationed at your desk *and* in your purse for mist o' clock anytime.

    Sarah Han

    It doesn't contain your average ingredients either, but rather proven nourishing and brightening ingredients like saccharomyces ferment filtrate, bamboo water, algae extract, licorice root extract, centella asiatica leaf water — and absolutely no alcohol, parabens, or artificial fragrance.

    Promising review: "This essence is brilliant. The mist is so fine and it's so quick to use in the morning when I'm in a rush. Leaves my face feeling fresh and hydrated, and I feel like my skin has been producing way less oil than it usually does." —Alice B.

    Get it from Soko Glam for $24.

    P.S. This product was created as a result of the Acwell pH balancing toner's popularity/effectiveness, which is obviously great as well if you'd like to pair the two!

    31. Neogen Vita Duo Cream is the two-in-one moisturizer that makes it impossible for you to forget this crucial skincare step — it's made up of surprisingly lightweight, calming, and redness-reducing Joan Day (green tea and Vitamin C) and Joan Night creams (lavender and Vitamin E), perfectly nestled together for literal 24-hour hydration and protection.

    @neogen_global / Via

    Promising review: "I'm always skeptical of 'influencer' lines of popular brands, but being a big fan of Joan Kim's I had to try. And I am so happy I did! I have combination skin with hormonal breakouts and rather sensitive/partially dry skin. It's hard for me to find a moisturizer that will hydrate me all day *and* won't break me out. I have finally found my holy grail product. The duo pack is genius. The day cream calms down my morning redness and feels so creamy and hydrating on the skin but is so lightweight at the same time. And the same with the night cream! All in all, I would recommend this to anyone with any skin type, but especially for people like me who have a hard time finding the perfect moisturizer for troublesome skin. 10 out of 10." —Delaney Spicer

    (BTW, did you know Vitamin E helps stabilize Vitamin C and make it work even more effectively? I learned that recently, and now you know too!)

    Get it from Amazon for $30.

    32. Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum is a results-driven "first-step serum" with five of the best Korean herbal ingredients meticulously curated from over 3,000 years' worth of ancient studies. What that boils down to: your skin looks glowing and supple, and your subsequent skincare products absorb faster and more thoroughly. / Via

    Most people use it right after cleansing, since it's more of a "booster" for skin. Jude Chao's (aka "Fifty Shades of Snail") gave this a glowing review (spoiler: she's rebought it multiple times and thinks the price is worth it), which is why I knew I had to try it myself. And daaaaang, it's

    Promising review: "First tried this during my trip to Seoul. Now I’m on my third bottle! It’s more like a booster than a serum, so it’s important to use this right after cleansing. Then it will help your skin absorb the subsequent layers in your routine. I love the spicy herbal scent — it is not overpowering and fades after it is absorbed. The texture is very light and absorbs quickly. After the first few days of using it, my skin tone appeared more even and balanced. It’s important to note that there is a high alcohol content, so if you are sensitive to alcohol, then this might not be for you. I’ve always been fine, so this works for me. The alcohol is there to help with absorption, and most likely the herbal extracts. This is a bit pricey, but I think it is worth it. My skin glows, and I definitely feel the difference when it is missing in my routine. I can see why it is a bestseller for Sulwhasoo." —littlemiss604

    Get the original 60 ml bottle from Sephora for $84, or get the 120 ml limited-edition Lunar New Year Bottle from Sephora for $140.

    33. Innisfree Youth-Enriched Cream With Orchid is not only one of the brand's global bestsellers, but it's been revamped with a new and enhanced formula featuring Orchidelixir 2.0, which extracts actives from every part of the Jeju Orchid (which even blooms during the winter!) and addresses early signs of mature skin.


    Promising review: "This cream is great. I use it before bed and when I wake up my skin feels bouncy. I have oil-prone skin and I love that this product moisturizes me but doesn’t leave my skin oily. I love the smell! It is very light and floral smelling and it relaxes me before bed. I also put on a little in the morning. My skin feels so fresh and renewed after using it." —nataliapumpkin

    Get it from Sephora for $29 (also available in a gel-cream version).

    34. Neogen Super Hydra Aqua Capsule Masks are unlike any sheet masks you've used before — there's a capsule filled with hyaluronic acid ampoule that you snap at the center so it can drench your mask in real time, so you know your hydration is ~fresh~ and evenly distributed (because you're doing that work!).

    @neogen_global / Via,

    Appreciated bonus: The bottom part of the mask is long enough to wrap underneath your chin, which helps keep it in place (if you're like me and can't sit still) and, most importantly, hydrates a neglected area! (P.S. Speaking of neglected areas, def rub some of that extra essence from the pouch onto your neck and décolletage!)

    Promising review: "Best mask ever! I have combo and problem skin, and this soothes my face like no other sheet mask has. I don't think I can go back to a different brand after this. And the pill concept is super cute too." —Fallon

    Get a set of five from Amazon for $25 (available in Hydra and Shiny versions).

    35. Peach & Lily Pore Proof Perfecting Clay Mask uses the power of yummy-sounding ingredients, like wild cherry, strawberry, and licorice extracts, to draw out all of the impurities nesting deep within your pores — but it leaves your skin feeling soft to the touch, never tight. It's like a spa experience from start to finish!

    @peachandlily / Via

    I've personally never been a fan of clay masks (like the reviewer below!), but Peach & Lily totally nailed the texture on this one. It feels buttery as you apply it,

    *and* makes your skin feel super buttery once it's washed off. It's just 10/10 soft all around, and the mask's pore-sucking qualities *don't* leave my face feeling tight as heck!

    Promising review: "I hate clay masks! I said what I said. However, after using this one last night, I cannot say that anymore. So powerful, but gentle! My skin felt so great afterwards. Shea butter is a perfect complement to the clay! I used the new Overnight Starnight Sleeping Mask afterwards, and this morning I had a GLOW. I am recommending this product to anyone who will listen." —Michael

    Get it from Ulta for $43.

    36. Mamonde Petal Spa Oil to Foam Cleanser combines the beloved double cleanse formula into one convenient bottle — the oil formula emulsifies into a creamy foam when activated by water — so you can still get your deep cleanse on even when you're in a rush (whether that's to work or to bed).

    @mamonde_us / Via, Soko Glam

    And hello, calming rose scent! Who says you can't create a spa-like experience at home?

    Promising review: I never thought I would find a oil cleanser that worked so well for my oily, acne-prone skin. Mamonde is slowly becoming one of my favorite brands. Not only does this cleanser take off all makeup, sunscreen, dirt and excess oil, but it does so without stripping the skin of its natural moisture *and* while still being hydrating. My skin doesn't feel dry or tight afterwards. And I think it has even helped even out my skin tone more. Maybe the rose is the secret to all our skin issues — or at least mine. Definitely repurchasing, as a little pump does so much." —CallMeFafi

    Get it from Ulta for $14.70.

    37. Nooni Applebutter Lip Mask protects your vulnerable pout from the elements by packing in mint extract and a blend of nine oils with loads of vitamins A, C, and E to lock in that moisture! Bye, peeled and chapped lips — you have no business here!

    @nooni_official / Via

    Promising review: ""This product is the only thing I have ever found that completely relieves my extremely dry lips all day. I used to hunt for chapstick, Vaseline, and even Neosporin all day long, or my lips would literally have chunks falling off of them. Now I can just use this once in the morning and once at night, and have no peeling or dryness all day long. It is honestly a miracle. Do not hesitate to purchase this. I think the jar will last a while too, and I end up saving money compared to all the chapstick I was buying/losing." —Caitlin Godwin

    Get it from Amazon for $15.

    38. Sweet Chef Ginger Kombucha + Vitamin D Chill Mist does exactly what its name implies: chill my face out and give it a refreshing spritz of hydration and brightening.

    @sweetchefskincare / Via

    I've been using it a lot during the winter, since my overly warm and dry apartment feels like it's sucking the life out of me, as well as to set my makeup, since I like that ~dewy~ lewk.

    Promising review: "I love this mist. It soaks into my skin almost immediately. My skin just feels like it’s glowing." —Maria D.

    Get it from Target for $17.

    39. Benton Tea Tree Cleansing Water goes beyond the call of a makeup remover (aka my favorite lazy skincare product), because it's made up of 70% tea tree leaf water, which we know fights acne and keeps excess sebum in check.


    Promising review: "Yay, this product is compatible with my reactive/sensitive/combination skin and rosacea! I use this morning and night and it leaves me skin feeling sooo supple and soft. I have some enlarged pores and oiliness in my cheeks, but since incorporating this product into my routine a few weeks ago, I've noticed my skin looking better (less 'slick,' lol) for longer throughout the day." —Gabrielle

    Get it from Amazon for $13.94.

    40. Re:p Bio Fresh Mask With Real Calming Herbs works overtime to soothe and calm skin, thanks to a formula that contains calendula and chamomile flowers, on top of many other natural extracts, oils, and kaolin clay. P.S. All re:p products are clean, sustainable, and designed for sensitive skin types!

    @rep_beauty / Via

    Promising review: "My T-zone gets very dry and flaky, as well as underneath my eyes. Since I've been using this I've seen a huge improvement, especially on my nose, which is the worst. It leaves my skin feeling soft. I always follow with a toner and oil, and my face has never been happier. I highly recommend this to anyone dealing with dry skin." —Sierra

    Get it from Ulta for $32.

    41. The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid 100 only nourishes your skin with the best, and by best we mean 100% pure sodium hyaluronate, a stable, water-soluble form of hyaluronic acid (our winter dryness savior) with smaller molecules that more easily penetrate and plump up your skin.

    Soko Glam

    Promising review: "I recently switched from a hyaluronic serum to this ampoule and I'm loving it. I really like that it's 100% sodium hyaluronate and there are no filler ingredients. It absorbs really well and leaves my skin feeling very hydrated, smooth, and balanced. My only complaint is that I wish the bottle was bigger!" —Dana S.

    Get it from Soko Glam for $23.

    42. Glow Recipe Banana Souffle Moisture Cream resets my ruddy, winter-inflamed skin and extracts all of the calming benefits of banana (yay, magnesium and potassium!), centella asiatica, and turmeric to strengthen my skin's barrier — and feels so soft and luxurious while doing it.

    @glowrecipe / Via

    FYI, magnesium and potassium are power ingredients when it comes to restoring your skin’s hydration, as well as calming and re-balancing irritated and inflamed skin caused by external stressors..

    Promising review: "I normally don't like moisturizers, as they feel heavy, but this feels so lightweight! My skin instantly feels smoother and super soft after using it. Plus, it smells like a sweet banana candy/dessert." —Evaisbored

    Get it from Sephora for $39.

    You after you've done your Korean skincare routine:

    Get it Beauty

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    The reviews for this post have been edited for length and clarity.

    Need more for your skin? Check out Korean skincare products you need to know, cheap skincare products that are even better than luxury brands, products to help deal with adult acne, or check out all of our beauty content for even more great stuff for your hair, skin, and more.

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