What You Should Know About Korean Skin Care Before You Try It

Every girl knows the struggle of finding that one skin care product that truly works. Sure, it might add a million additional steps to your routine, but it’s worth it to see your face smooth and wrinkle-free. Korean beauty is all about taking care of their skin, and Korean beauty products are known to be gentler, natural and sometimes a bit…interesting. So here’s everything you need to know about Korean skin care products (and where to find the best ones!)

The gift of FLAWLESS skin

Korean beauty products range from the most unusual things you’ve ever seen to your more basic face masks and creams. But what they’re best known for are products that won’t burn or harm your skin. Instead of just cleaning the surface of your skin, they usually focus on making it look glowy and renewed. So we reached out to collegiettes to share their must-haves with us. Rachna Shah, a freshman at Dartmouth, shares her favorite routine: “Some of my favorite products are the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask and the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask.”

Valentina Rodriguez-Zapata, a student at Parsons the New School of Design, says “I go to a school that's predominately Asian, more Korean than anything. Eighty percent of students are international university-wide so I hear all of their obsessions with the beauty brands. [They have] alternative ingredients, gives a glow and aims for soft but glowy. American brands are meant to build an endurance to need even more product; Korean products just helps maintain and not build a tolerance.”

Although Korean beauty has a lot of perks, it does come at a price. Some brands can be kind of pricey, thanks to shipping costs. Additionally, you need a bunch of different products due to a detailed step-by-step process.

So where can you buy these magical products?

You can buy these products virtually ANYWHERE ,from Amazon, to Wish, to questionable sites online. But don’t risk going on these sites for the sake of better skin; make sure you double-check the site is legit before purchasing anything! Instead of dredging the internet for options, try out some brads that already have a good reputation. Glow Recipe and Soko Glam are the largest retailers for Korean beauty products, so if you’re looking for the good stuff straight from the source, definitely check them out.

Valentina says, “Nature Republic is like the best go-to for me on Korean skincare. I use their silk cocoons for my blackheads and it’s great as it's an extended purpose after the cocoon is boiled and making silk,” she says. “I use so many cell activators for my scars and it's amazing for me especially for my skin (it's like a ghost so I get a lot of biopsies), the sheet masks are always amazing, personally the caviar one from NR is the most nourishing and glowing, and the feet masks are out of this world.”

And yes, feet masks are totally a thing. Who says skin care has to stop at your face? The feet mask eliminates dead skin cells and make your feet baby soft. And speaking of weird products…

Related: 5 Summer Beauty Products You'll Be Surprised You Haven't Tried Yet

Weird products you’ll be oddly obsessed with

From salmon egg cream to fermented grain makeup remover, Korean beauty has it ALL. Here are some weird products you might enjoy, (If you DARE!) 

 1. Donkey Milk Holic Sleeping Mask Pack

This sounds kinda weird—Okay, REALLY weird—but, animal milk is constantly used to rejuvenate your face. Donkey’s milk is a bit of a stretch, but hey, if it works, it works. This mask is specifically targeted at anti-aging. It's also not too pricey at just $19.99 plus shipping cost. 

2. Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

You know that weird slimy trail snails leave behind when they move around? Well some Korean beautician decided “Hey, let’s put this on our face” and it...works? It’s made of 95 percent mucin, or snail secretion, and it works to moisturize and keep your skin healthy and smooth for a longer period of time than most moisturizers.

3. Bubi Bubi Bubbling Lip Mask

At least this product isn’t made with animal secretions! But this ain’t your momma’s lip mask. Without the need for micro beads or plastic products, this mask uses natural ingredients found in papaya and grapefruit to eliminate you lip’s dead skin cells. Bubbles – who knew, right? The best part is it's only $14.90, plus everyone's favorite two words – FREE SHIPPING.

4. Disco Kitten - Illuminating Diamond Peel-Off Mask

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend—and sometimes, our best friend must be rubbed up against our skin to keep us youthful. Sounds just like an episode from Game of Thrones. Pearl and diamond powder are used in this 20-minute face mask to boost elasticity and deliver moisture. Might not be the weirdest thing you’ve had on your face, but who can they they’ve had their skin rejuvenated by diamonds? This one does come with a hefty price tag at $23.00 plus shipping. 

5. The Crème Shop Detoxifying Charcoal Foot Mask

Last, but not least, the foot mask. The last possible place you’d think needs some TLC. This charcoal infused sock-like mask removes odor and leaves your little piggies feeling soft. There’s plenty of options for Korean foot masks out there, but so far this is the cheapest option at just $4.99, and if you want to skip the shipping cost, you can treat yo’self to more skin stuff on Hollar and receive free shipping of $25 or more!

Are all the steps worth it?

Although it may include five or more steps, the results are amazing and long-lasting. In fact, Her Campus writer Claire Biggerstaff tried the ten-step process herself, and she said the process helped improve her skin a ton. Usually with American products, there’s only a three-step process that can still leave your skin dry and can fail at keeping acne at bay.

Rachna says, “Korean skin care regimes may often seem quite intense since they often involve anywhere from six to 10 steps, but I've heard that they bring about great results.”

The best advice to make time for all these steps is to probably do it after you shower or before you go to sleep. You don’t want to rush skin care and possibly irritate or harm your skin if you’re in a hurry.

If you need proof of the miracle of Korean skincare, just check out some Korean beauty icons online. Yea, once you stare at CL’s face, you’ll be adding these products in your cart faster than you can say K-Pop. May the Groupons rain upon your glowy face.