While we look to Paris for fashion and Italy for shoes, the new beauty capital of the world is Korea. Known for their intensive skincare regimens, Koreans have perfected the soft, clean, blemish-free face, thanks to their use of unusual ingredients and good old fashioned discipline.
Want to put your best face forward? Try these six Korean beauty (K-Beauty) products to give your skin a Seoul-ful boost.
1. MANGO MILD SUN BLOCK
This lightweight lotion contains mango seed butter, apple, lemon, guava, banana, grapefruit, orange and papaya extracts. So not only will you smell fresh and delightful, you’ll also be adding much-needed moisture and nutrients to your skin, while serving up some UV protection. Apply liberally to the whole body and re-apply after prolonged exposure to the sun. This sunscreen goes on without any stickiness or white residue.
2. JEJU VOLCANIC PORE CLAY MASK
Jeju Island is the largest island off the coast of Korea. Along with its beach resorts, Jeju is known for its craters, caves and dormant volcanoes. Locals believe the clay from this area is a miracle worker for the skin, and this facial mask, with ingredients sourced from solidified lava caused by volcanic eruptions on Jeju Island, promises to absorb excess oil, then clean and clarify pores.
3. SNAIL SECRETION MASKS
One of the most popular K-Beauty products to penetrate the Western market, these facial masks are made from snail secretion – a.k.a. snail mucus. But before you turn up your nose at these masks, know this: snail mucus has been known to provide intense hydration, while helping to heal pimple scars and reduce the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines. If your skin is stressed after a long flight or long day at work, take 15-20 minutes to revive your face with this incredibly moisturizing and nourishing mask.
4. SON AND PARK BEAUTY WATER
Korean swear by their “beauty water” and this one, from Son & Park, is a best-seller. Working as a toner and cleanser in one, beauty water also helps to repair dullness and smooth out uneven skin texture and skin tone. This is the first product to use after you wash your face. Splash a little bit of this on your face after cleansing to create clean base for any skin care and makeup that follows.
5. TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL EGG MELLOW CREAM
This is a thick moisturizer, enriched with egg yolk and egg white extracts, omega oils and collagen to help promote younger-looking skin. The five-in-one moisturizer works as a serum, priming moisturizer, eye cream, neck cream and sleeping mask. Ideally suited for combination skin types, work this slightly gooey moisturizer over your face and neck, then use your fingertips to smooth out and massage into the skin.
6. TONYMOLY SHINY FOOT SUPER PEELING LIQUID
Okay, so this isn’t technically for your face or skincare routine, but there’s no denying the popularity of these Korean “foot masks.” Boosted with “snow lotus” and moisturizers, these wraps improve skin condition, soothe aches and repairs calluses. They promise to leave your foot feeling clean, sleek and shiny. We spend a lot of time on our feet, so doesn’t it make sense to take better care of them?
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