Then, I Met You
Then I Met You, Charlotte Cho’s brainchild, is a skin care brand that is rooted in the Korean concept “jeong,” which loosely translates to deep, meaningful connections that strengthen over time. If you’re interested in learning more, Cho actually wrote a book about it. The collection was launched in late 2018 and has grown to eight luxurious, but not overpriced, products that can be used as your entry point into K-beauty.
Star Product: The Birch Milk Refining Toner ($32) is a great option for those who have ever felt that tightness after a morning or nighttime cleanse. Instead of water, the first ingredient is a powerful 70% concentration of birch juice. This will boost moisture levels and help to retain it.
A 1-percent mixture of AHAs (glycolic, lactic acid) with PHA is used to exfoliate the skin. This will allow for the most gentle exfoliation.
Amorepacific is a Korean version of Rolls Royce in skin care. Do you need proof? The green tea leaves are handpicked, and undergo a special brewing process and extraction to increase their natural amino acid levels and antioxidants. Are you still impressed?
Star Product: The Time Reserve Eye Reserve Crème ($260) is the best product for your eye area. It’s the most delicate part of your skin. Although it is a significant investment, you only need a tiny amount of the product to provide protection against environmental stressors and free radicals that can lead to wrinkles and other signs of aging. This product is the perfect way to end your night and morning routines.
Banila Co. is very serious about makeup removal. This brand offers everything you need for skin care including creams, toners, ampoules and toners. Dear Hydration is composed of soothing ingredients such as bamboo, fermented lotus oil, and neem extract. Hi Bye focuses on non-irritating exfoliation using a mixture of AHAs (many of which are derived from fruits like kiwi and citrus).
Star Product: Clean It Zero is the Banila Co.’s star product. Five versions of this iconic jar target specific skin problems. The Purifying ($23) version is the lavender one, which contains seven active botanicals such as brightening licorice or soothing centella. It removes makeup and impurities quickly and perfectly.
Beauty of Joseon
Beauty of Joseon’s core mission is to honor and interpret traditional skin-care products and philosophies in order for your complexion to shine and be healthy. Although it is most famous for its serums, don’t forget about the Ginseng Essential Water ($18). This skin-healing essence is a favorite of Han. It provides a boost of refreshing hydration due to its 80 percent antioxidant-rich concentrations of ginseng root waters. TikTok’s favorite sunscreen, The Relief Sun: Rice + probiotics sunscreen ($30 per two), feels more like a moisturizer than anything else.
Star Product: The gentle Glow Serum ($17), which is best for acne-prone skin, harnesses the power and anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric and propolis to treat skin conditions and promote healthy skin bounciness.
Peach & Lily
Peach & Lily is most famous for her Glass Skin Refining Serum, but this K-beauty-inspired line is so much more. You can be sure that you are getting value for your money with a brand that aims to create effective and barrier-supporting products for everyone.
Transparen-C Pro Spot Treatment, for example, melts dark spots and hyperpigmentation. Meanwhile, The Good Acids Pore Toner creates a perfect balance of mildly exfoliating AHAs and BHAs (glycolic, salicylic), while plumping the skin with soothing aloe and soothing allanoin.
Star Product: Using the dermatologist-approved KP Bump Boss Microderm Body Scrub ($28) is a surefire way to loosen dead skin, courtesy of a 10-percent cocktail of AHAs (glycolic and lactic) and PHA. Exfoliation sidekicks include Asian plum, apple and grape extracts as well as mineral extracts. This formula contains hylauronic, squalane and mugwort as well as cica to counter irritation.
Klairs eliminates the fancy packaging that is often associated with skin-care brands. Instead, it offers simple cleansers and moisturizers. For example, the Supple Preparation unscented Toner helps to rebalance your skin’s pH levels following cleansing.
Star Product: Enjoy the beautiful tint of Midnight Blue Calming Cream ($22) and its skin-soothing properties. Redness, sunburns, post-laser inflammation, and even redness are all out of reach for a team that includes guaiazulene (a soothing ingredient from chamomile oils that gives the cream its lovely hue) and cica. These ingredients are great for treating sensitive skin conditions.
Neogen Dermalogy is a household brand when it comes to Korean skin care. Neogen Dermalogy is a company that focuses on the most recent dermaceutical research. They offer simple formulas that are infused with botanical ingredients (e.g. rosewater, green tea, Canadian clay, etc.) You can solve any skin problem you may encounter. The Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Pads are a popular choice. They gently remove dead skin cells and excess sebum.
Star Product: The Pore Zero Peeling Moousse ($30) is a bestseller. This foam is infused with 83 percent whitewillow bark water. It excels in softening skin cells and removing any debris from pores. For maximum results, use this product only on dry skin.
Glow Recipe is another K-beauty-inspired brand. It’s a brand that has gone viral for its adorablely-packaged, dew-inducing products. Are you new to the brand? Watermelon Glow Pink Dream Body Cream is the Best of Beauty winner and Readers Choice winner. It nourishes the skin from head-to-toe without leaving any greasy residue.
Star Product: Glow Recipe had its humble beginnings back in 2017 with the launch of the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, which won skin-care lovers over with its complexion-brightening formula of AHAs and peony root. Five years later, the OG treatment is back in the form the Watermelon Glow AHA night treatment ($40). This features a 2.5 percent AHA complex that promotes cell turnover and gentle, yet effective, skin care.
You will also see the benefits of seven different weights of moisturizing hyaluronic acids, brightening Niacinamide, firming Quinoa peptide and moisture-boosting Hyaluronic Acid. This is how you look your best every morning.