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10 Best Korean Beauty Brands For 2022

When you come to Korea how you do know what skincare and beauty products to buy?  Do you know that Korea is like the beauty and skincare mecca of the world?

They have the most cutting-edge and state-of-the-art beauty products but it’s really confusing and overwhelming because they are just so many brands and so many things.

If you walk down that main street in Myeongdong you’ll get accosted by a lot of people outside of beauty stores handing you a sheet mask and trying to lure you into their store that way to buy Korean beauty products and it can be really confusing and overwhelming or at least it was for me.

I am going to try to break down ten different Korean skincare brands and tell you what the most popular products are and also make some recommendations on what you should buy.  So there are several different categories of brands. There are the I’ll just say lower end but there are brands that are marketed towards teenagers and people in their early 20s.

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These are brands like Tony Moly, Etude house, Holika Holika. These really colorful bright packaging. They have kpop models and collaborations with brands like wine friend, The Cow Friends, Sanrio, and Peko Chang and they’re just really flashy and really pretty and very attractive.

I think that they’re definitely worth buying but a cute factor.  Then there are the mid-range friends like Laneige, Missha Aritaum which carries Iope, Laneige, Mamonde, and other mid-range brands like that.   A lot of them are owned by conglomerate called AmorePacific and they’re marketed toward people in their 30s.

Then there are the really high-end brands like Terra and Ohui and Sulwhasoo and a lot of those friends are also owned by the AmorePacific conglomerate and you can find those brands at department stores l and then there are a lot of independent brands and that’s what I’m going to be talking about.

You might not be aware of them they’re not just out there in your face but a lot of these brands focus on natural ingredients and they focus on the ingredients rather than the packaging. The marketing and they just focus on producing really effective high-quality products.

These brands I’m going to talk about may not have a store in Myeondong do a lot of them you will find in Korean drug stores like Olive Young or Lalala or you can find a lot of products at Aland which is my like mecca for Korean skincare products. 

1. Neogen

So let’s get started Neogen is a pretty well-known brand they seem to always be on top of the latest beauty trends. I do try to keep some of their exfoliating bio peel gauze toner pads on hand because I think that they’re good for exfoliating.  I think that’s their most famous product but they also have a lot of other popular products like the Real Ferment Micro Essence and the Green Tea Cleanser. It’s supposed to be for oily combinations or acne-prone skin.

 I have dry skin but I still wanted to try anyway. This has a pH of 8 which is one notch higher than neutral and the active ingredient here is fermented green tea extracts.  If you’re sensitive to ferments you might want to avoid this one. My skin loves fermented ingredients though and green tea has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-aging properties.

So after using the Cosrx Low PH Cleanser, I  haven’t really found another cleanser that I liked but Neogen Dermalogy Real Fresh Foam Green Tea is really nice. It’s really gentle and it leaves my skin feeling clean but not squeaky and dry.  Yet it still feels like it’s effective it’s not really suited towards my skin because my skin is dry but I tried it anyway and it performed really well and  I really liked this cleanser.

 2. I’m From

I’m from uses natural ingredients like ginseng, honey rice, and sea buckthorn leaf and it lists the origin of its primary ingredient right down to the name of the farm where it was harvested. I’m from a manufacturer all of its products in Korea and I believe that the honey mask and the ginseng serum are really popular. 

But I’m not actually a fan of wash-off masks and I really don’t like the smell of ginseng. Yet I still want to try some products from this brand so I decided to order the Rich Pure Essential Toner and the vitamin tree water gel.  I use them together and I really liked both of them. 

The Rich Pure Essential Toner contains a brightening blend of rice extract and other natural ingredients that helps to reduce the appearance of dullness, uneven skin tone, and balance of oil-water content.

 The toner itself is unscented and it’s very watery and if my skin is in good condition it takes this toner really well. But if it’s dry then it can sting a little bit but if it’s in good condition it’s a really nice hydrating toner. 

The vitamin tree water gel is ideal for oily skin but it’s suitable to all skin types the active ingredient here is sea buckthorn leaf which is an antioxidant that contains malic acid and acetic acid which are Ajay’s and chemical exfoliants.

A little bit of it goes a long way use too much of it it won’t really absorb into your skin very nicely. It’s really light yet still hydrating so I think it’s a perfect summer moisturizer.

3. Iunik

Iunik is a relatively new indie Korean skincare brand and I believe it’s only a couple of years old.  It stands for ideal unique natural ingredients know-how and it calls itself a minimalist skincare brand because it has simple packaging and minimal ingredients.

They try to simplify skincare steps. I looked at their ingredient lists and it looks kind of long but I decided to try this anyway.  I’ve seen this brand at Aland but I decided to order the Black snail restore serum because I love all things that have a snail in them and I think the propolis one is the most popular one but since I  like a snail I just decided to get this one.

 So the first thing I noticed was the size and the price. It is a huge bottle for serum and it costs less than most serums costs. This particular product focuses on nutrition, anti-aging, brightening, and wrinkle care and also claims to provide elasticity to the skin whilst moving in nourishment. It contains 70% snail secretion filtrate which is less than the Cosrx so the texture of the serum is quite watery and thin.  While it’s very hydrating, I would kind of consider it more as an essence in this serum. When I think of serum I think of something that’s super  concentrated and gives you a powerful dose of nutrients and goodness and I just don’t feel like this serum feels like a serum.

 It does have a nice hydrating effect though but I think I prefer the Cosrx essence to this serum because it has more of a plumping effect on the skin. There’s nothing wrong with this product though and I do plan to try the propolis serum next it was just not as thick as I would have expected but the price is also quite low so you get what you pay for.  

4. Cosrx

Cosrx, this is my favorite k-beauty brand and I like this brand because I  feel like their products are super gentle yet effective and I actually haven’t tried a Cosrx product that has irritated my skin.

My favorite products from this brand are the aloe soothing sunscreen and the honey ceramide eye cream and of course the snail mucin essence. I also like the Balancium cream for wintertime. I also find the Corsx toner pads to be quite nice.  

So I decided to try the snail shield fit sunscreen and I actually found that this was my least favorite Cosrx product. I didn’t really like the texture and I think it felt kind of sticky like sunscreen the type of sunscreen that you would use when you’re going to the beach on your body. I’d much prefer the texture of a low soothing sunscreen which feels like a light lotion so I  think I will stick to using my snail products and my sunscreen products separately.

5. The Plant Base

The plant base makes products that are free of parabens mineral oils, pigment, and synthetic fragrances. They produce hyper allergenic products that are formulated with natural plant extracts and certified organic ingredients and they’re against animal testing. I believe that their time-stop collagen ampule is the most popular product and I  really wanted to try this. The main ingredient is a whopping seventy-six point 53% Hericium Erinaceum mushroom extract is supposed to strengthen skin and promote collagen production and the packaging is really cool and unexpected. 

It looks like a regular bottle but there’s actually this medicine dropper attached to the top and it just feels so high-tech and unique. So I have been using this for a couple of weeks and I really like it it has sort of a plumping effect on my skin and it doesn’t seem to leave any residue and it just feels really nice.

So this is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks and I have not noticed this happening to any of my wrinkles or fine lines. However, maybe you have to use it for a longer period of time it does have a plumping effect and it’s very moisturizing. So I will give it credit for that.

6. Heimish

Heimish is a really chic brand. It launched in 2016 and it focused primarily on makeup and neutral shades that are suitable for everyday wear. All Heimish products are cruelty-free and they are made without parabens and they’re manufactured in Korea. I already used their cleansing balm but I’ve wanted to try these Bulgarian Rose Hydrogel Eye Patches that I really like. Let’s start off with how lovely they look the packaging is really nice and there is a  tight seal so then you’ll get dehydrated and it comes with a little spatula which is really handy to scoop out the patches because they’re quite sticky.

The eye patches are light pink and shimmery and they’re just so pretty when you put them on they have a nice cooling sensation and they just feel really nice. They adhere really well to the skin and they definitely have a moisturizing effect. My under-eye area felt very plump and well hydrated after using it and I can’t say that they helped with dark circles or wrinkles but maybe you have to use them for a longer time period in order to see the effects.

7. Wishfriend

Wishfriend is a parent company to a lot of k-beauty brands including Dear Claire’s.  They also make some of their own  products under the Wishtrend brand and  their most popular products are the Vitamin C Serum and the Mandelic Acid Toner. When I first opened the Mandelic Acid Toner and smelled it I felt a  little apprehensive because it actually smells like acid and it’s scary but it’s supposed to exfoliate and remove dead skin cells and also brighten and improve your skin texture.

So it’s a gentle AHA, that’s just really good for removing dead skin cells. I tend to get a lot of dead skin hanging off the side of my  nose right where it hits my face and this is good for getting rid of that after a couple of uses. I use it as the step right after cleansing and not every day maybe I use it about three times a week or so.

8. Paparecipe

Paparecipe is famous for its honey masks and these masks are really nice.  They are super hydrating and they stick to your face really well. After using them my skin feels and looks plumper and it’s very well hydrated.

9.Isnt Tree

Isnt tree is a combination of the words Island natural and tree together to inspire its the brand name and guiding philosophy the brand’s products are all made in Korea and they’re free from animal testing.

I tried their hyaluronic acid toner which is one of their most popular products and they’ve definitely delivered. The texture of the toner is very thick and it’s almost as thick as some of the snail mucin essences that I used.  It’s also very hydrating and it just leaves your skin feeling nice and bouncy. It has 50% hyaluronic acid and I think it’s one of my favorite toners

10. 3CE

3CE is a makeup brand by Stylenanda which is a super popular brand in Asia among millennials. Last year it was acquired by L’Oreal.  3CE or 3 concept eyes is a makeup brand.

They have great packaging but their prices tend to be higher than a lot of other Korean beauty products. I think that their velvet lip tints are the most popular products but I decided to try one of their blushes and I thought it was really pretty.

The blush itself was just okay and it can be very pigmented depending on how you use it, especially if you get just the pink color but it looks a lot more natural if you mix the colors and I think it’s just really pretty but honestly I prefer American blushes to this.

I hope you enjoyed my recommendation for my best Korean beauty products. Let me know what you think!


Tea loving gal bringing you a women's focus lifestyle blog that covers beauty, food, health, personal finance, and more!

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