Q: I had to comment because I have had an interesting past two years in skin care: stopped harsh cleansers and moving toward all natural stuff. Washing my face with straight up oil totally improved my skin. But it still hasn't been totally clear. I've been dabbling in the Korean skin care stuff (an exfoliant and toner and skin masks) and while I have seen some improvements I'm hesitant in dropping tons of money on this! Recommendations for products that work for you that won't break this soon-to-be student's bank?
You will be happy to know that Korean skincare does not cost a fortune (I'm measuring "a fortune" as $100+) until you get to brands for older women such as THE HISTORY OF WHOO, O HUI, and SULWHASOO. More affordable brands like ETUDE HOUSE, NATURE REPUBLIC, THEFACESHOP, INNISFREE, TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL, TONYMOLY, etc. provide quality skincare at reasonable prices.
One of the biggest reasons for why Korean skincare is so affordable is because the beauty market is super competitive in Korea. Companies are always looking to make breakthrough products because Korean consumers are always demanding very high quality products to achieve flawless skin. Smaller pores, a white face, a more even complexion, and a super attractive V-line are among a few things that Korean consumers want. It has to be perfect for them, and so perfect and almost-very perfect products/brands are always battling each other for sales. There are very high quality products for less than $20 in Korea. The interesting packaging for certain brands also make certain brands stand out. Trust, it's super affordable and the quality is there!
To illustrate affordability, below is a list of some of the products that I currently use (keep in mind that I've accumulated this collection of products, and it is not a bare and basic skincare routine). Look at this list as individual units rather than as a whole.
IT'S SKIN Mangowhite Peeling Gel: $16.38
SON & PARK Beauty Water: $30.00
NATURE REPUBLIC Snail Solution Skin Booster (Toner): $20.20
MISSHA Time Revolution Essence: $27.78
NATURE REPUBLIC Snail Solution Cream: $39 (this is a set though, so the cream on its own is probably less than $30)
FACE MASK: $2-8
Yes. Really. No $50 eye creams. No $100 serums. AND! Everything really does a great, great, great job.
With Korean skincare, I find that if you have a really effective set of basic items (I'm talking about one cleanser, one exfoliator, one toner, one essence, one eye cream, and one cream), your skincare routine is set. If you want to fine-tune certain things after getting the basics down, that's when I think supplemental products - such as face masks and face mists - are useful. From there, you can grow and confine your skincare products to the ones that really work for you. Luckily, many Korean skincare products target many different areas of concern and are "smart". For example, many acne formulas are made to target the acne problem, which can sometimes be drying for the skin, but also include supplemental formulas to moisturize your skin as well. Also, Korean products are really thorough, meaning that the companies have thought about many things already. For example, pore strips come in 2 or 3 steps to prep, treat, and tighten your pores. Directions also tell you that face yoga is recommended before applying the product, showing you photos as a guide. Spatulas are provided so that you can prevent contaminating unused product. V-line masks include cheek masks to multi-task while you are lifting your line (I'm talking about Banila Co.'s VV line for this one). My point is - I find that you get more bang for your buck in this skincare realm with these multitasking, "smart" products.
To sum it up, if you're on a budget, I highly recommend the following brands: INNISFREE, NATURE REPUBLIC, THEFACESHOP, ETUDE HOUSE, HOLIKA HOLIKA, BANILA CO, TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL, SKIN FOOD, and TONY MOLY. If you find a product that you're not sure about, please let me know and I'll do my best to try it first and write a review. :)
Have any of you been satisfied (or even more-than-satisfied) with your Korean skincare products? Do you agree that Korean skincare is very affordable and effective? Since I'm so solid on my opinion, I'd definitely love to hear what you think. Please, do tell!
See ya next time, or see you on Instagram if you're #facemaskingtofriday with me!