About nine months ago, I went through one of the worst breakouts in my life. The stress of school, the fluctuating change in weather, and my bad eating habits had all caught up to me. Skin has always been such an important thing to me, so it really destroyed my self image for a while to see that I had let myself go and ruined in less than a week what I had been working on for about two years. When this occurred, I began researching what I had to change in order to clear my skin up again. During the countless hours I spent watching YouTube videos and reading skincare articles, I discovered the world of Korean skincare, and I am so grateful for it.
So what is K-beauty, you ask? This skincare philosophy (and even lifestyle) is a phenomenon that many have now become a part of, globally. This type of skincare originated in South Korea and consists of ten steps and several products — but since I like to keep my skincare routine on a more “minimal” note (five to eight steps), I took inspiration from the process and chose only the steps that seemed essential to clearing up my skin. By kind of taking part in this lifestyle, I found products that I cannot live without and that, frankly, my skin would not survive without.
1. Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence ($21)
This product is my Holy Grail! Before I began using this serum, my skin was extremely dehydrated and the crazy spring weather was not helping it one bit. This product gives the skin hydration and an intense and quick repair. The snail part confused me at first, but I later found out that snail mucin helps with dehydration, acne breakouts, and hyperpigmentation.
2. Laneige Lip Mask ($20)
This product didn’t exactly clear up my skin, but it did wonders for my lips. A nervous habit of mine is biting my lip and at times it gets to the point where my lips actually become dry and sore. I was first introduced to this mask when I got a tester at Sephora, and after the first night, I realized I needed to buy a full size version of this lip balm, quick. This leave-on lip mask is meant to be worn overnight for the full effect, but I tend to put it on way too much. The berry flavor is my favorite and it adds a natural gloss-like shine if you want to wear it during the day.
3. ACWELL Licorice PH Balancing Cleansing Toner ($18)
This toner has five star reviews for a reason. If you don’t know, when you wash your face there is still a considerable amount of makeup left over even after the second cleanse. After I found this out, I bought the most highly rated toner on Soko Glam, a popular Korean skincare website. This pH balancing toner was the answer to my prayers. Before it, I never realized that washing your face can only do so much. I either use some toner on a cotton pad to remove the remaining makeup at night, or I put some in the palm of my hand and rub it over my face in the morning to get an effortless glow. This toner has definitely helped me somewhat achieve the “glass skin” look.
4. Tatcha Violet-C Radiance Mask ($68)
More on the pricey side, this mask is worth every penny! I was reluctant to go through with the purchase at first because I thought of all the products I could buy instead of one mask, but I can say that I do not regret buying this at all. I suffer from bad hyperpigmentation after a breakout, so getting this mask was a good call. Rated five stars on Sephora, this mask is made to “Instantly reveal remarkably softer, smoother skin with this creamy rinse-off treatment mask.” I love it because it brightens my acne scars while giving me glowy and supple skin.
5. Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
This overnight mask has changed my skin dramatically. Because I had been using a topical spot treatment to get rid of my acne breakouts, my skin became super dry. After getting this mask, it only took about two uses to bring back my hydrated skin. This product is a must-have and works for every skin type, even oily!
6. Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patches ($5)
Topical treatments didn’t always do the trick for me when I was suffering from a big and painful zit. I decided to try a different method and use the zit patches I had seen many reviews on. Since I loved Cosrx’s essence I wanted to give their zit patches a try, and can I just say, I fell in love! They’re a best seller on Soko Glam because of how thin they are and how long they stay on your skin — and the price makes them even better. One of the best parts is that they are part of the clean beauty family, meaning they don’t have any proven or suspected toxic ingredients in them and they’re also vegan!
Getting a breakout can be so frustrating, and not knowing how to fix it is even worse. For me, I feel good when I look good and skin is a huge factor in the way I feel. By using K-beauty products after those horrible few months, my skin and outlook on skincare changed for the better. These products helped my skin in so many ways and I will forever be thankful. Try these products out and see how they can change your life, too!