Cult-Favorite Korean Skincare Products For Beginners

From putting snail mucus on one’s face to testing the Korean 10-step skincare routine, the internet and the US market have recently gone crazy for Korean skincare. Having just spent a summer studying abroad in Seoul, I allocated a fair share of my time to browsing beauty stores and trying out cult-favorite brands such as Skinfood, Innisfree, Etude House, Saturday Skin, AmorePacific, Cosrx, and more. With strange words such as “ampoule” and “essence” etched across the sides of products, the Korean skincare market can be incredibly overwhelming for first-time buyers. Here are the top Korean skincare products for beginners to start your collection and get you hooked.


  1. Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner, $16

People live and breathe by this toner. Meant for all skin types, this soothing facial toner leaves skin feeling plump and hydrated. While most toners are too harsh or drying, Klairs’ version hydrates skin while also balancing the skin’s pH levels and leading to a more even skin tone. This minimalistic toner has a cult-following and can be found again and again in people’s skincare favorites lists.


  1. Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, $23

While the title may seem more confusing to you than reading Middle English, this serum is simple in its lasting effects. Infused with snail mucus (yes, you heard that right), this essence moisturizes skin, fights acne, and calms and replenishes skin. It is a great option for those struggling with acne scars or hyperpigmentation as well, as the snail essence overall works to repair the skin’s barrier and leads to a more even skin tone. 

  1. Yuja Water C Whitening Ampoule In Serum 2X

This product built up such hype around its launch that it has been consistently out of stock online and in-stores everywhere. Infused with Goheung yuja extract to brighten dull, tired skin and fade dark spots and scars, this serum packs a powerful punch. Meant for all skin types, this serum works to hydrate and replenish skin, leaving it glowy and dewy all day long. Plus, it smells amazing!