It's no secret that South Korea is home to some of the best skincare products in the world. Hyaluronic acid, fermented ingredients, and a 10-step skincare routine are some of the trends that originated in this Asian country.
As lovers of all things skincare, we’re always on the hunt for the best Korean brands. It can be tough to keep up with all the new brands popping up, so we've put together this guide to help you navigate the world of Korean skincare.
These are our picks for the best Korean skincare brands! Keep reading to learn more and get ready to shop!
But first, why is Korean skincare so good?
Korean skincare has become one of the most sought-after beauty sensations of recent times, for its efficacy and unique approach to skin health and beauty. This is largely due to the innovative Korean scientists and cosmetics companies who tightly integrate traditional Chinese and Korean medicine principles with modern science to craft effective solutions. Korean skincare products are formulated with natural ingredients, such as kelp, green tea, honey, ceramides, and amino acids which have been praised for their moisturizing and brightening capabilities.
Additionally, a major difference between traditional Western beauty routines and Korean ones lies in a concept known as "the 10-step routine." This long list of cleansers, toners, serums, essences, face masks, and creams can sound very intimidating at first glance, but its aim is to slowly introduce new products over time so skin can adjust in order to avoid irritating effects. And, as we've seen from the rising demand for K-beauty products around the world, this comprehensive approach certainly seems to be paying off!
However, what really sets apart Korean beauty brands from all the other options out there is their shared philosophy—the idea that treating your skin with kindness and care by using gentle and natural ingredients creates an overall healthier complexion. As such, it's no wonder why so many people are turning towards this popular approach for optimal skin health. It just goes to show that when it's about taking care of yourself, choosing natural formulas over synthetic ones can result in powerful results!
Now, it’s clear why Korean skincare is so good: generous amounts of carefully crafted active ingredients formulated for any skin type combined with reasonable pricing add up to an unbeatable package.
Top skin care brands from Korea
We all want healthy, glowing skin--and some of the best-regarded products in the world come from Korea. After all, many K-beauty cosmetics and skincare lines have an almost cult following amongst beauty influencers and aficionados alike. From gentle everyday cleansers to serious anti-aging creams, there's a popular Korean skincare brand for every need, and here are our top 10:
iUNIK is one of the best Korean skincare brands, and it's easy to see why. From its commitment to using natural and organic ingredients, to its highly individualized product lines, iUNIK offers an unparalleled level of quality when it comes to treating skin.
Their hassle-free approach to beauty also makes them a customer favorite: they keep ingredient lists brief while still providing powerful care options, they use fewer preservatives without sacrificing effectiveness, and most of their products are vegan and cruelty-free.
They've even developed separate ranges designed for both dry, oily, and sensitive skin types, allowing you to effectively customize your routine for your exact needs. Thanks to their amazing, natural products, the brand has become synonymous with quality — and we haven't even mentioned the gorgeous minimalist packaging!
Our Top 3 Fave Products from iUNIK
- CENTELLA CALMING GEL CREAM - Say goodbye to blemishes and irritated skin with this lightweight gel cream formula.
- TEA TREE RELIEF SERUM - Acne? Redness? Pimples? This is for you!
- VITAMIN HYALURONIC ACID VITALIZING TONER - The hydration heaven for dry skin.
2. Some By Mi
For anyone looking to improve their skincare routine, searching through Korean brands can seem overwhelming due to the sheer number of products that are available. Emerging from this crowded field is Some By Mi, a Korean brand that has been making waves in the skincare industry lately with their effective yet gentle formulas.
This brand stands out from competitors due to its commitment to natural ingredients backed by extensive preparations and research. From their signature AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Set for acne-prone skin to their Real Yuja Niacin Brightening Set for skin lightening, Some By Mi's formulas are packed with ultra-nourishing, but gentle, ingredients like natural antioxidants and probiotics that help restore skin barrier for a healthier complexion.
With its proven results, natural ingredients, and high-quality standards, it's no wonder why Some By Mi has become one of the best K-beauty brands today.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from Some By Mi
- AHA BHA PHA 30 DAYS MIRACLE STARTER KIT - The #1 Best-selling kit for acne-prone skin
- YUJA NIACIN 30 DAYS MIRACLE BRIGHTENING STARTER KIT - Glow on the go!
- SNAIL TRUECICA MIRACLE REPAIR STARTER KIT - The four-step starter kit that will give you the glass skin of your dreams
When it comes to Korean skin care, few brands are as beloved as Missha. Founded in 2000 and built on the values of 'xonomi' (appropriateness, balance and moderation, independence, and interdependence), the company has become renowned for its dedication to high-quality, budget-friendly products that are great for all skin types. With awards like Best of K-beauty by Allure and the Unpa Beauty Review, Missha produces a wide range of products that target aging skin concerns such as oily skin, skin tone, wrinkles, fine lines, pigmentations, and dryness.
Misha skin care recipes are crafted with natural plant extracts, minerals, and other compounds that offer anti-aging benefits without the use of harsh chemicals. In addition to confident customers, their products have been recognized by beauty industry critics for their effectiveness. For example, the Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence has won multiple awards from Beauty Insider magazine for its ability to reduce signs of aging such as wrinkles and fine lines. With a range of services from BB creams to facial masks, Missha offers an intuitive regimen suited to match any skincare need.
Our Top 2 Fave Products from Misha skin care
- GLOW SKIN BALM - The 5-in-1 product that won skin care lovers heart.
- SUPER AQUA CELL RENEW SNAIL CREAM - The luxurious Korean snail cream for skin repair
If you're looking for innovative and effective Korean skincare products, then a brand like COSRX should be top of mind. This cult favorite has made a name for itself as one of the most trusted K-beauty brands by using powerful ingredients to create formula that really works on the skin.
COSRX is unique in that its products seamlessly combine traditional South Korean beauty rituals with advanced science and technology in order to produce some of the most powerful skincare solutions out there. With its clean formulas, creative packaging, and derivatives of nature-based ingredients like Centella Asiatica, this brand offers something special and affordable to all types of skin types — from oily and combination to dry skin and sensitive skin. Not only are they free from harsh chemicals, parabens, phthalates and artificial fragrances, but also they contain natural preservatives such as honey extract, willow bark water, witch hazel water and green tea oil which are gentle yet thorough at cleansing your skin of impurities.
Whether it's moisturizers, serums, exfoliators to get rid of dead skin cells, or spot treatments specifically designed for acne-prone skin; COSRX has won over hearts (and faces) for providing the best Korean skincare products.
Our Top 5 Fave Products from COSRX
- Advanced Snail 92 All In One Cream - Repair, Recover, Rebuild on a budget
- Galactomyces 95 Tone Balancing Essence - The skin healing essence for dull skin
- The Vitamin C 23 Serum - The best Korean vitamin C serum to get rid of acne scars
- BHA Blackhead Power Liquid - The #1 exfoliator that excels at softening dead skin cells
- Low PH Good Morning Gel Cleanser - Let’s start your day bright, clear and clean
5. Beauty Of Joseon
Beauty of Joseon is one of the best Korean skincare brands on the market today. This top-rated brand utilizes over a century’s worth of ancient Korean beauty recipes to create natural and effective products designed to nourish your skin like never before. Beauty of Joseon combines the latest technology with classic formulas and high-quality, natural ingredients to bring you the perfect balance of modern and traditional methods. Their gentle formulas are tailored specifically for dry, sensitive, and combination skin types, ensuring that everyone can find something that works for them.
All products include proven herbal extracts for deep hydration and nourishment; green tea extract helps protect skin from environmental irritants, while willow bark extract gently exfoliates dead cells away. No matter what your skin needs, Beauty of Joseon takes body care seriously - designed thoughtfully to provide intense hydration as well as antioxidants that can help fight free radicals and damage caused by pollution in our environment.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from Beauty of Joseon
- Dynasty Cream - The secret to looking like a K-drama star
- Glow Serum: Propolis + Niacinamide - The glow recipe for glass, pimple-free skin
- Repair Serum: Ginseng + Snail Mucin - This is NOT a Facelift, BUT it Has Same Results as One
6. Etude House
For anyone looking to spruce up their skincare routine, they should look no further than Etude House. Established in 1966, this Korean cosmetics brand has continued to expand its portfolio of top-tier products.
From decades of research and development in the Korean cosmetics industry, Etude House has crafted a range of skin care products that go beyond simply keeping facial skin looking good. By combining cutting-edge science with natural ingredients, Etude House incorporates both traditional methods and modern innovations to holistically target issues like acne, aging, and sun damage.
Not only do their products effectively address skincare concerns, but they are typically gentle enough for even those with sensitive skin to use without worry.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from Etude House
- Etude House Face Blur Smoothing SPF 33 PA ++ - Get an airbrushed look without any filters necessary
- Wonder Pore Deep Foaming Cleanser - Deep cleanse clogged pores
- Glow On Hydra Base - One product, one step to look like a god or goddess
KAHI Cosmetics is a new skin care brand from Korea that was introduced in 2020. Their products have been featured in popular K-dramas like Yumi's Cells, Extraordinary Attorney Woo, and The King Eternal Monarch, and they are quickly becoming one of the hottest beauty brands in Korea.
What makes KAHI so special is that their products are made with precious ingredients from Jeju Island, like salmon collagen and moisture-boosting hyaluronic acid, which is known for its clean and natural environment. This means that their products are more difficult to produce in large quantities, but it also means that they're of the highest quality.
KAHI's brand philosophy is based on the Korean skincare philosophy: "Anyone can easily be beautiful." They believe that by making their products easy to use and habit-forming, they can help everyone achieve their goal of being beautiful.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from KAHI Cosmetics
- WRINKLE BOUNCE MULTI BALM - The K-beauty featured in dramas and loved by celebrities
- WRINKLE BOUNCE COLLAGEN MOISTURIZING MIST - Win the battle against wrinkles with this mist!
- HIGHLIGHTER BALM STICK - The highlighter that does more than just shine
When it comes to Korean skincare, Elizavecca is undoubtedly one of the leading brands. The company was founded in 1990 by Kim Hee Jun, a student in Korean Oriental Medicine who saw a gap in the market for high-quality skincare products. Since then, Elizavecca has strived to provide customers with top-of-the-line products that are not only effective but also pleasant to use.
Arguably their most iconic product is the Milky Piggy collection that ranks from masks to cleansers and their Hyaluronic Acid Pure 100 serum. These products have time and time again proven to be incredibly effective in brightening skins, aiding hydration and improving overall complexion.
Armed with this impressive arsenal of amazing skincare items, it's easy to see why Elizavecca is one of the top Korean skincare manufacturers on today's market. While there are many varying options out there when it comes to professional skincare, Elizavecca consistently produces outstanding results while keeping their prices more than reasonable— making them an undeniable standout among other Korean cosmetics brands.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from Elizavecca
- MILKY PIGGY 24K GOLD SNAIL CLEANSING FOAM -Take your skin to the 24K gold level!
- HYALURONIC ACID PURE 100 - Glowy, hydrated skin in a bottle
- CARBONATED BUBBLE CLAY MASK - A bubble pore-cleansing party for your face
9. Dr. Jart +
This cult-favorite beauty brand was founded in 2004 and continues to be at the forefront of the industry today. They specialize in high-quality skincare products and strive to stay up-to-date on the latest trends.
In addition, Dr. Jart+ only uses safe ingredients, so customers know they are buying a gentle, yet effective product every time they shop with this brand. What sets them apart from other brands is their combination of cutting-edge science and artistry in their formulas; they endow each product with a unique blend of rare Asian botanicals while infusing it with acute scientific knowledge.
Every product serves a specific purpose, targeting everything from acne to aging skin all the way to redness and sensitivity.
Our Top 4 Fave Products from Dr. Jart+
- CERAMIDIN OIL BALM - What dry skin always dreamed for
- VITAL HYDRA SOLUTION BIOME MOISTURE CREAM - The “it” Dr Jart moisturizer for quenching parched skin
- DERMAKEUP REJUVENATING BEAUTY BALM SPF 35 - Say goodbye to bad makeup days
- VITAL HYDRA SOLUTION BIOME EYE CREAM - The best Korean eye cream to ditch the dark circles
With the parent brand, Amore Pacific, which manages Korean beauty brands Laneige and Innisfree, Laneige is a brand that has set new standards for skin health. The reason why is simple: Laneige focuses on protein and moisture balance.
The brand's signature Water Science technology seeks to protect the skin's protective barrier while infusing deep moisturization with water-securing ingredients such as birch sap and hydro-ionized mineral water. In addition, many of its products are formulated with naturally derived extracts and vitamins that act as powerful antioxidants to protect the skin from environmental damage. This powerful combination of nature and science allows Laneige products to deeply nourish the skin without clogging pores or stripping essential oils.
At the same time, its products provide just enough coverage for an effortless daytime look or dramatic night-time glamor that will leave everyone wondering what your secret is. All this makes Laneige one of the premier Korean skincare brands available in today's market, allowing users to achieve incomparable skin health results with ease.
Our Top 3 Fave Products from Laneige
- Cica Sleeping Mask Mini - Deeply moisturize your skin while you sleep
- Water Sleeping Mask Mini - 100% poreless skin in the morning
- Lip Sleeping Mask Ex Apple Lime - Kissable confidence in the morning
The best K beauty products: Where to find them?
Now you know the best Korean skincare brands and why they are a cult favorite among beauty influencers, skincare aficionados, and the whole beauty world. So, it’s time to do some shopping!
If you already found your fave brand and want to start trying their best skincare products, or if you want to start your journey in the K-beauty world, you’ll find everything you need in our store: Asian Beauty Essentials!
Don’t forget to leave a comment below if you have any questions or want to chat about the best Korean skincare products depending on your skin type. We’re here to help you out make the best skinvestment of your life!