What’s the deal with Korean skincare anyway?

The wave is building, you’ve most likely seen Korean skincare products in Sephora, Urban Outfitters, Ulta, Forever 21, hell even Target carries a line of Korean skincare (Laneige), and certain Korean products are popping up on “Best of” lists in women’s magazines. Over on Youtube and Instagram Korean skincare fanatics are sharing their hauls and posting reviews.

I’d say people are falling for Korean skincare for many reasons, the best one being that a lot of these products get you results in a timely manner and they’re super fun to try. Also the packaging is cute and innovative, the ingredients are novel (hello snail mucin!) by American standards, and heck everyone loves novelty. 


But what got my attention were the ingredients, a lot of it is plant-based and as someone who’s always been drawn to more natural skincare this was a big selling point to me. Some people are skeptical of plant extracts and natural oils, as if they won’t have the potency of lab-made chemicals but this simply isn’t true. Plus as our skin is our largest organ we need to be cognizant of what we’re putting on it as that gets absorbed into our system.

Accessibility both in terms of in-store and online (yay Amazon.com) availability, plus varying and approachable price points has been key to the growing popularity of Korean beauty products. 


I was excited to see Sephora partner with Glow Recipe (a online retailer which curates mostly organic Korean skincare products) to curate a line of Korean products to be featured in-store and on their website. When Neogen’s Lemon Bio-peel and Son & Park’s very popular Beauty Water popped up at my local Sephora I squealed internally. 

Although I don’t use strictly Korean products in my routine, one thing about Korean products is the history behind the ingredients gives you confidence that they’ll actually work. In addition, the quality is super high, and as mentioned the varying price points allow for women with different budgets to have multiple entry points into this new trend.


In fact if you compare the ingredient lists on some stateside brands at Sephora (Fresh and Sunday Riley come to mind) with those of Korean brands you’ll notice many similar ingredients, but the price points can be two or three times higher for the stateside brands. While some premium Korean brands like Su:m37 and Sulwahsoo lean on the more luxury end of price points, there are others like Tony Moly which has products starting at $3. 

Korean products are here on our shores so let’s dive into this journey!

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