I always emphasize that skincare is more important than makeup. When you take care of your skin, makeup application is easier and you can wear less makeup (if you choose to, that is). Also, I typically spend more time without makeup than with it so I enjoy caring for my skin and experimenting with different products. Taking preventative measures in terms of skincare has been taught to me growing up. I have a special affinity towards Korean and Japanese beauty; these two countries put a lot of value in pristine, youthful skin. Because of this, a lot of skincare research and innovation stem from the two countries. I find a lot of Asian products that are unlike any other found in the Western countries; they are unique in their ingredients, effectiveness, and purposes. Today, I will be sharing just 10 of my favorite Korean and Japanese skincare products. Some of these are repeats that I have sung their praises in previous posts, however, each one is thoroughly enjoyed and delivers results. Keep reading for the full breakdown!
Prior to the Heimish All Clean Balm, I opted for oil cleansers purely due to convenience. However, I have heard so many positive reviews of this cleansing balm that I decided to test it out for myself. I use this as my first cleanse to remove makeup. It has a light, citrus scent. I use the provided spatula to remove a small bit and rub it onto dry skin; the solid balm transforms to an oil. Then, I wet my face and it becomes a milky fluid and then I rinse off completely. This balm does a good job at removing face and eye makeup without irritating my eyes. I do, however, still use a micellar water-soaked cotton pad to remove eye makeup more thoroughly.
This facial cleanser is a discovery thanks to my fellow skincare-obsessed sister, who purchased this in Japan. When I initially used the Shiseido Senka Perfect Whip Cleansing Foam, I thought it was just okay. I made the mistake of using too much product so it was really thick and took a while to fully rinse off. I use this as a second cleanse intermittently in the evening or in the morning when my skin is feeling dry (which is often during the cold months). If used daily, I recommend switching this out with an exfoliating face wash about 2 to 3 times per week. No exaggeration, all you is a pea size for your entire face. The texture of this cleanser is slightly viscous and sticky; I can best compare it to marshmallow whip. It creates a good lather to effectively but gently clean the skin.
The SU:M 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick is my go-to cleanser when I travel. The twist-up, solid format would be perfect for a post-gym refresh and for trips. This solid cleanser is made from 90% natural ingredients and is free from artificial dyes and synthetic preservatives. This would be great for all skin types. Made with rose extract, it has a pleasant but not overpowering scent. I just simply wet my face, run the stick across my face and it will lightly exfoliate with infused rose petals while creating a lather, and then wash it off. It leaves the skin clean and hydrated without feeling tight.
The Too Cool for School Egg Cream Mask is one of my favorite sheet masks, because it is effective upon one use. I pull out this long-time favorite whenever my skin is feeling and looking dry and dull, and when my regular routine is not doing the trick. This mask has egg extract (for hydration), coconut water, niacinamide, and other botanical extracts to deliver a boost of hydration and softness to the skin. The material of the actual mask is quite soft and flexible and adheres to the face extremely well. The packet that the mask comes in is loaded with serum so I apply the excess on my neck, decolletage, and hands.
What’s the big deal about cotton pads? Aren’t they all the same? The answer is an unequivocal “NO” after trying the ones from Muji (P.S. I also LOVE their pens/pencils, stationery, clothing, and organizers as well). I’ve never tried the Shiseido Facial Cotton, but I can imagine these are very similar, except they come in a 180-count with a price tag of $3.50 (even more inexpensive than my Target cotton rounds!). AMAZING. Made of unbleached cotton, these squares are thick in order to hold liquids such as toners and makeup remover. The cotton is not scratchy but soft so it is gentle on the skin, which is especially important around the eye area during makeup removal. It does leave tiny fuzz on the face when used or disintegrate with moisture. It’s just a small luxury (with an equally small price tag) that makes the biggest difference in the ease of your skincare routine.
This toner and essence combo is not a big surprise to those who have be following along here regularly. I have mentioned them in my Sephora recommendations and Trash Talk blog posts. As a skincare junkie, I experiment with various toners and essences, but I always come back to this duo when I just want something reliable that my skin responds well to.
The Son & Park Beauty Water is a K-beauty cult product that is refreshing to the skin and helps to nourish. Made with willow bark and papaya extract, it mildly exfoliates skin for smoother, brighter skin. In a pinch, it removes residue makeup well.
Another K-beauty favorite! The May Coop Raw Sauce is made with maple tree sap and helps the absorption of following products (i.e. serum) and boost hydration. More viscous than water, it absorbed into the skin easily. This really made a big difference in moisturizing my skin especially in the wintertime, and it did increase the effectiveness of serums. I like to pair the Raw Sauce with the Sunday Riley Luna Oil in the PM.
These two sunscreens have both been featured in my most recent Trash Talk series.
The Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence is an excellent sunscreen that is lightweight, affordable, and does not leave a white cast or residue. Upon application, it absorbs into the skin almost instantly and layers underneath makeup very well. This is a good daily SPF to use during the summer or for those with oily, combo, or normal skin.
The Face Shop Natural Sun Calming Sun Cream: This Korean sunscreen has eco-certified organic ingredients and is formulated for sensitive skin. Its texture is as its name states, a cream. It has a thicker texture than the Biore SPF, but it does a great job moisturizing my dry skin. Plus, it does not leave a white cast.
Acne-prone and chronic pickers rejoice! The CosRx Acne Pimple Master Patch are translucent, stick-on patches that are placed on top and treat ongoing breakouts. I stick them on during the day if I am at home or sleep with it on overnight. The patch stays in place, and the next morning the inflammation of the breakout is reduced significantly. For small blemishes, they almost entirely disappears. The patch absorbs the gunk in the blemishes and decreases my own tendency to extract them myself, thus causing further irritation and scarring. For just $5, there are 24 patches that come in 3 different sizes.
There is it! My top 10 favorite Japanese and Korean skincare products. Let me know your favorites or if you’ve tried any of these products! Wishing everyone a stress-free and joyful time as we are quickly rolling into the holidays!