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holiday gift guide for k-beauty newbies

The Holiday Gift Guide for K-beauty Newbies

Thinking about introducing someone to K-beauty? Here’s our holiday gift guide for K-beauty newbies.

Falling in love with Korean skin care is easy. Use an oil cleanser once, and you’ll never go back to scrubbing your face with a drugstore foam cleanser in the shower. Use an exfoliator once, and you’ll never want to think back on the years you spent with your skin feeling dull, flaky, and dehydrated.

As we know, Korean skin care can be life-changing. But introducing our loved ones to K-beauty can be a serious challenge, especially if they believe that Korean skin care is too complicated to follow or only meant for Asian skin. 

Luckily, there are many easy-to-use products that will convert your loved ones to K-beauty. Whether you’re dealing with a friend who loves going to bed with makeup on, a significant other who never wears sunscreen, or a sibling struggling with breakouts, here’s what you can get them this holiday season to help them achieve healthier skin. 

Oil cleanser

klavuu oil cleanser

The Klavuu Pure Pearlisation Divine Pearl Cleansing Oil feels luxurious and gentle on the skin. Just a couple pumps of it melts away any makeup and impurities. Also, this cleanser isn’t just for makeup wearers: Thanks to jojoba and macadamia seed oils and pearl extract, it deeply hydrates and brightens skin, making this suitable for a wide range of skin concerns and ages.   

leaders cleansing tissue

But if you don’t trust the person receiving your gift to properly double cleanse every night (and let’s be honest, the worry is real), then help them take baby steps. Instead of the cleansing oil, give them the Labotica Argan Oil Deep Cleansing Tissue, an oil-based makeup wipe that effectively and gently removes makeup and impurities. She’ll never go back to the abrasive traditional makeup wipes that simply push makeup around on the skin.

Water-based cleanser

neogen cleansing stick

Oily, acne-prone skin and dry skin alike can benefit from switching to a low pH cleanser. The Neogen Green Tea Cleansing Stick is easy to travel with and to bring to the gym. Winner of Teen Vogue’s 2017 Teen Acne Awards, this stick contains green tea extract to calm inflammation caused by acne and 13 natural oils to hydrate the skin. It doesn’t dry out the skin and it’s fun to use, which makes it suitable for your significant other who doesn’t like to cleanse. 


son and park beauty water

The Son & Park Beauty Water is a Sephora favorite for a reason: It’s a versatile toner, makeup remover, and exfoliator that has up to five different uses. For someone who only uses two products, a foam cleanser followed by a moisturizer, Beauty Water is the perfect introduction to smooth, clean skin, especially if she normally deals with pesky breakouts and bumps. Gift this to your best friend, and you’ll feel better knowing that she’s finally going to bed with clean skin!

Pimple patches

cosrx pimple patches

Everyone breaks out at some point in her life. These Cosrx Pimple Patches are like Band-Aids that you always want to have on hand. Stick on these patches on your zits and within a couple days, you’ll see that they have begun to disappear without a trace. It’s one of those magical products that you want to stock up on once you experience the effects. If you’ve ever noticed a friend or a family member popping or picking at pimples, hand them these patches, and you’ll quickly become their skin savior. Bonus: They only cost $5, so it’s a really budget-friendly gift that is worth every single penny.


peeling gel

There are many beginner-friendly exfoliators in the K-beauty world, but here’s why you should pick the Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel: It’s designed for the most sensitive of skin types, and it makes it hard for the person who receives the gift to go overboard with exfoliation to the degree that she destroys her skin. Given that it’s easy for total beginners to get hooked on exfoliation, this peeling gel is a safe choice that will give them the benefits of exfoliation without the risk.


missha snail cream

Despite the fact that snail mucin is a much-loved ingredient in the K-beauty world, for total newbies, the concept may seem disgusting and alien, especially if they don’t know where snail mucin comes from. The Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream is a gel-like moisturizer with 70% snail mucin that glides onto the skin, deeply hydrating the skin from inside out. The lightweight texture and the hydration effect will change any K-beauty newbie’s mind about products with snail mucin. This moisturizer is especially good for oily to combination skin and for those who struggle with acne scars. 


klavuu sun cushion

Telling someone that wearing sunscreen is important is one thing, but getting them to actually wear sunscreen every day is a whole other issue. For makeup wearers, the Klavuu City Defense Tone Change Cushion SPF50+/PA+++ is a great choice that makes putting on sunscreen less of a hassle. It doubles as a sunscreen and makeup base that instantly brightens skin. It’s even shaped like a cushion foundation, and it’s easy to take on-the-go inside a makeup bag.

missha all around safe block

For those who wear little to no makeup or enjoy outdoor activity, the Missha Waterproof Sun Milk SPF 50+/PA+++ provides much needed sun protection while still being lightweight and breathable. It doesn’t have that heavy, greasy feeling or the strong sunscreen smell many Western sunscreens are guilty of. It’s also on the affordable side, making this an excellent introductory sunscreen for anyone. 

Sleeping Mask

erborian sleeping mask

Exfoliators and sunscreens are great, but if everything fails because all these steps are ‘too bothersome’, the Erborian Bamboo Waterlock will be the gift newbies will actually try. That’s because using this is a no-brainer: Simply put on an even layer on top of moisturizer at night and wake up with dramatically softer, more hydrated skin. This particular sleeping mask is so lightweight that even the oiliest of skin types will find that it hydrates the skin without clogging pores.

….Or gift them the essential K-beauty experience

If you’re serious about getting someone to convert to K-beauty, instead of gifting them individual products, try giving them a curated routine they can’t resist. The Essentials Value Set includes a toner, a serum spray, and a gel moisturizer, products that will help them learn to layer products without making things too complicated. The products in the set contain superstar ingredients like snail mucin, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid that anyone interested in K-beauty needs to try.

+ What products would be in your gift guide for K-beauty newbies? Share below!

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