My Top 5 K-Beauty Products

Image of Rachel Sheldon
Rachel Sheldon

I may be a little late in the game, but I've recently become obsessed with Korean beauty (or K-Beauty). It all started when I was on the search for a new sunscreen and discovered the superior filters and formulations of Korean sunscreens. This sent me down a rabbit hole of Reddit threads, TikToks, and YouTube videos learning all about the wonderful world of K-Beauty. So here are my top 10 products I've been using and loving lately (all purchased from YesStyle, which is a great resource for sourcing Asian beauty products that are authentic and well priced. Shipping takes a little while, but it's well worth it!)


1. Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics Sunscreen

My #1 favorite product that got me started on the K-Beauty trend is the viral Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun: Rice + Probiotics sunscreen. Not only does it have SPF 50+ PA++++ which provides superior sun protection, the formula is hydrating and silky. It leaves a glowy finish that looks great on its own or under makeup. I love using this sunscreen in the fall and winter especially, since it's extra moisturizing for my dry skin. Oily skinned folks may want to steer clear though, since the heavier formulation may be too much for them.


2. Skin1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum

After going through multiple tubes of my beloved BoJ sunscreen, I was on the hunt for something more lightweight for summer and discovered the Skin1004 Hylau-Cica Water-Fit Sun Serum. It provides SPF 50+ PA++++ protection, and has centella for skin-soothing properties. The formula is more lightweight than the BoJ one, though it's still hydrating enough that I can use it in lieu of a separate moisturizer in the heat and humidity of summer. It has a slightly glowy finish and works amazing under makeup, and I'd recommend it for all skin types.


3. Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner

My journey into K-Beauty also led to a rediscovery of toners. In my early 2000s brain, a toner was an astringent meant to strip your skin of any and all moisture in the name of acne-fighting. Now I know that toners can be magical moisturizing additions to my skincare routine when used before serums. The Anua Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner is made from heartleaf, as the name suggests, which has wonderful soothing properties and moisturizes while helping reduce redness. It's great for acne-prone and redness-prone skin, and is basically the texture of water. Because it's not overly moisturizing, I would recommend it for oily and normal skin types. I've been using it in combination with other moisturizing products for my dry skin. 


4. Beauty of Joseon Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide

Since I loved the BoJ sunscreen so much, I decided to branch out and try another one of their most popular products: their Glow Serum with Propolis and Niacinamide. This is a very gentle, lightweight serum that includes 60% propolis extract and 2% niacinamide, which is personally the maximum amount my sensitive skin likes these days. It definitely gives a glass skin effect but it isn't especially moisturizing on its own, so I've been layering it with other moisturizing products. 


5. CosRX Pimple Patches 

I've been a pimple patch fan for years, and there are tons of options out there now which range from nearly invisible to brightly colored and fun shapes. If you're an acne sufferer (especially if you have a habit of picking your skin), pimple patches are a great solution for not only helping your acne heal, but preventing you from picking and prodding at your breakouts. I always have a few extra sheets on hand and can't live without them.


Bonus: Pair Acne Cream

The last item I've been loving is actually a Japanese product, but I also purchased it via YesStyle so I added it here as a bonus! The Pair Acne Cream is ibuprofen-based, so it's a great anti-inflammatory for soothing active breakouts and helping them heal faster. It's best for small pimples, so it won't necessarily help with those painful under-the-skin hormonal breakouts that I used to suffer from. I particularly like it because it helps calm redness and inflammation from breakouts without drying out my skin like other acne-specific products do. 


I've been super impressed with the quality of the K-Beauty (and J-Beauty) products I've tried so far, especially at the low price point. It can be overwhelming to figure out which products to use since there are literally thousands of them - I know I spent hours upon hours researching and reading reviews, so hopefully this post helped someone find a place to start!



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