6 Trending Skin Care Products That Are Taking Over Seoul

By January 30, 2018

Ben recently took a vacation to the world’s best beauty capital and you can bet that he found some exciting trending skin care products in Korea!

When it comes to K-beauty, I love to scour Reddit, blogs, and YouTube videos to try and figure out what the hottest new K-Beauty products are. However, there is no replacement for actually putting your feet on the ground in Seoul and scouring the shops.

So, two weeks ago, I did just that. I spent a week shopping around the world’s beauty capital, and found a whole slew of products I fell in love with. Read below to discover the trending skin care products in Korea that I became obsessed with in my trip to Seoul.

Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule

Propolis is my favorite skin care ingredient out there. There, I said it. And, it’s really picking up steam in Korea. It’s so exciting for me to see how many brands are incorporating it into their products, because people are really seeing the benefits of this ingredient.

Thus, my shopping adventures forced me to be the judge of loads of propolis products. From the CNP Laboratory Propolis Energy Ampoule (one of Olive Young’s best-selling products with a 10% propolis extract formulas) to Skinfood’s  Royal Honey Propolis Enrich Essence (a reformulation of the original that bumped the propolis concentration from 50%-63% in celebration of it being Skinfood’s best-selling product), the choices were abound.  

However, one smaller, less shiny and heavily-touted product took the crown. When I was searching through the beauty shelves at Aland, I stumbled upon the Papa Recipe Bombee Honey Moist Propolis Ampoule. I had used—and loved—the Papa Recipe masks before, so I was curious. And after looking into the ingredients, it blew my mind. This powerhouse ampoule contains 95% propolis extract! This is a concentration the likes of which I have never seen before. It has a light, watery consistency that is super easily absorbed, and smells deliciously of honey. I would not be surprised if this becomes a major product in the coming year.

Heimish All Clean Balm

When it comes to oil cleansers, one of the biggest factors in whether I like them or not is their consistency. Few things annoy me more than oil cleansers that are greasy, too thick, or—worst of all—don’t rinse off easily. The first time I felt the Heimish All Clean Balm, I was obsessed. The texture is incredible (and this is coming from someone who almost exclusively uses liquid oil cleansers).

It literally melts on the skin and feels so blissful and soothing to massage in. Plus, its scent is so, so nice. This is due to the balm’s incredible blend of extracts, including rose, eucalyptus, lavender, bergamot, and shea butter. It’s pretty much like the most beautiful candle to ever be made but instead of lighting it on fire you rub it into your face.

However, those of you with acne-prone skin should use caution when trying this balm. It contains ethylhexyl palmitate, which is highly comedogenic. Obviously it won’t affect everyone, but if you know you can’t use that ingredient or are particularly sensitive to comedogenic ingredients, you may want to pass.

Iunik Black Snail Restore Serum

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Along with propolis, another incredible ingredient I swear by is snail mucin, which is especially great for those of us who struggle with both acne/acne scars and dryness. The Iunik Black Snail Restore Serum is a game-changer for me. It’s made with 70% snail secretion filtrate—a concentration few products can compete with.

However, it doesn’t stop there. Its list also boasts centella asiatica, niacinamide, and glycerin—basically all the best ingredients for calming and soothing irritated skin while also delivering powerful hydration. And as if that all wasn’t enough, every single ingredient on this list is ranked as a 1 or 2 by the EWG Skin Deep Database—a database that grades ingredients based on all the research that has been done on them on the safety of their use on the skin! 1-2 is the best rating of safety and cleanliness an ingredient can have, meaning the ingredients in this product are super duper safe and gentle for all skin types. Products with a perfectly scored ingredients list are incredibly rare, so this is a serious diamond in the rough.

Faith in Face Peace in Face + After Shower Look Hydrogel Mask

The Faith in Face After Shower Look Hydrogel Mask is one of Olive Young’s hottest products at the moment. A friend of mine brought me one from her last trip to Korea, and I was amazed by how hydrating it is. So if you’re looking for hydration, it’s a definite holy grail.

However, after using it and noticing some adverse reactions, I did some research on the ingredients, and discovered it has dimethicone, an ingredient my skin can’t stand. So, I was eager to try other Faith in Face masks that may be equally effective. That’s when I discovered the Peace in Face Hydrogel Mask. It’s formulated with tea tree oil, salycilic acid, and aloe, so it’s not only super hydrating and soothing, but also actively fights breakouts and blemishes. I tried it, and now it’s a total go-to for any time my skin is acting up.

Isntree Hyaluronic Acid Toner

After hearing the rave reviews of this product, I knew I had to try it. Hyaluronic acid is the very first ingredient, so if HA works for you, you have to try this product. Containing 50% hyaluronic acid, the toner includes only 15 other ingredients, so it’s super simple and gentle. And its consistency is astonishing—it’s the perfect balance of viscous and watery. It has a similar consistency to another toner we all love: the Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner.

Mamonde Everyday Sun Cream

I save this product for last because among all the incredible products I’ve discovered this trip, this one takes the cake. I had never tried anything from Mamonde, so I wandered into the store and started browsing the shelves. I put a few drops of a serum, and a few pats of an essence, but nothing really screamed to me.

Then, I tried the Everyday Sunscreen. The moment I put a drop on my hand, I realized I had just applied the best sunscreen I had ever used in my life. I whipped out my phone and checked the ingredients, desperately hoping the list would be good. Indeed, it was. Packed with super gentle ingredients and SPF 50+ PA+++ protection, it smelled amazing, I bought it on the spot.

The consistency of this sunscreen is just perfect. It’s the ideal middle line between watery and creamy, and absorbs so easily. It has no sunscreen smell, and the subtle white cast disappears in seconds. I now use this every single day, and may very well buy another round trip ticket to Seoul the moment it runs out just to re-stock.

The bottom line:

K-Beauty moves fast and can be super overwhelming. But that speed means there are constantly incredible new products emerging from Seoul, which is so exciting. Hopefully this list of products (which have all been cross checked with my list of ingredients I avoid), gives you some inspiration of new products that will keep you ahead of the trends.

+ Do you know of any other trending skin care products in Korea? Share them in the comments!

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