5 Affordable K-Beauty Brands That Will Give You Amazing Skin
There’s something about K-Beauty that we just can’t stop obsessing aboout, and it’s not just the amazing results, it’s the whole experience. As Sarah Lee, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Glow Recipe explains, “Korean Beauty is all about having a dialogue with your skin – listening to the skin’s needs with a holistic approach. Layering hydration while also preventing damage from environmental factors, pollution, and harmful UV rays is key.” And it’s not just this approach that works; innovation, gentle but tried-and-tested ingredients, and affordable pricing are all reasons we’re turning more and more to K-Beauty products.
So to help you find the perfect K-Beauty products to take your skin to the next level without the hefty price tag, here’re five K-Beauty brands we can’t live without.
South Korean brand Innisfree is fast building a portfolio of iconic and effective skincare products. Sourcing natural ingredients from the historically volcanic Jeju Islands and combining those with patented, dedicated research to create effective, concentrated formulas that deliver fresh nutrients, healthy amino acids and more to the skin. Some of their hero ingredients include organic certified green tea, volcanic clusters rich in minerals (and amazing for oily skin), orchid, lava seawater, Camellia, and bija, aka a potent blemish-treating and balancing fruit.
Products we love:
Blemish Care Spot Serum With Bija Seed Oil, $19: Formulated with Bija seed oil, Salicylic Acid, and Willow Bark extract, this is a quick fix for pimples. Pop it on overnight (it works well under makeup too) and your pimple will be drastically reduced by morning – we swear by it.
Enriching Body Oil With Camellia, $25: Apply this oil while your skin is still damp from the shower and prepare to experience the softest skin ever! We love the fragrance and the fast-absorbing formula that leaves your skin hydrated, not greasy.
Balancing Cleansing Oil With Green Tea, $21: A cleansing oil is the essential first step of every nighttime beauty regimen, and we love how soft and soothed this makes our skin feel.
Pore Clearing Clay Mask With Super Volcanic Clusters, $14: Packed with mineral-rich volcanic clusters that absorb excess oil and impurities, plus volcanic ash, exfoliating lactic and glycolic acid, this is basically a facial in a tub for oily, congested, and dull skin.
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One of the lesser known K-Beauty brands from the South of Korea, this predominantly online brand is your go-to if you’re forever looking for a solution for acne-prone, congested and oily skin. The ethos of the brand is less is more, so they use fewer ingredients, but their products are just as efficient and effective. We highly recommend this brand if you have either sensitive (their nourishing ceramide and honey creams are soothing-central!) or problematic acne-prone skin.
Products we love:
One Step Original Clear Pad, $19: Not only do these award-winning, pre-soaked toner pads make life SO much easier, but they’re the perfect way to balance, tone, and treat problematic skin. One side is more textured to ‘exfoliate’ the skin, and the other side (your second step) is a slightly softer side that picks up any remaining debris. Formulated with exfoliating Willow Bark extract, Tea Tree, and hydrating hyaluronic acid, this is the perfect way to keep on top of your skin.
Acne Pimple Master Patch, $5: If you haven’t tried pimple patches yet, where have you been? These overnight stickers literally suck out all the nasties from your pimples and whiteheads so that it’s flat by morning. These are a life-saver!
Natural BHA Skin Returning A-Sol, $18: Naturally balancing sebum and cleansing the skin of impurities and dead skin cells, this gentle chemical exfoliator will soothe, hydrate, and prevent blackheads all in one go. It’s formulated with 60% Black Bee Propolis (which has antimicrobial properties – perfect for acne-prone skin) and 1% BHA to exfoliate deep into pores. You don’t know you need it until you try it!
When some of the leading Korean scientists and beauty researchers come together to create a brand, you know you’re not going to be disappointed. Mizon knows what works best and stick to hero ingredients that have a huge effect on the skin. Their snail repair line is super popular in the K-Beauty world and among editors for its healing properties, while their collagen collection and other essential skincare products are everything you need to tailor a perfect skincare routine.
Products we love:
Acence Mark X Blemish After Cream, $9: Packed with centella (the essential ingredient in healing cica creams), licorice, lemon extract, olive oil, hydrating hyaluronic acid, and soothing propolis, this is like the ultimate remedy for healing scars and post-acne pigmentation. We recommend applying after toner and serums, morning and night.
All-In-One Snail Repair Cream, $19: A bestseller, this hydrating, repairing cream with 92% snail extract is anything but gross! Random fact: The healing properties of snail mucin for cosmetics was discovered by snail farmers who noticed the incredible healing properties the slime had on their hands. This lightweight cream penetrates quickly, leaves no greasy feeling, and helps to improve the appearance of acne marks and blemishes. It’s perfect for oily and acne-prone skin and works as a hydrating essence before a moisturizer.
Collagen 100, $42: Super hydrating hyaluronic acid and 90% marine collagen extract work to hydrate and help firm the skin. We love to use this after toner and before an essence for a hit of hydration.
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One of the best known K-Beauty brands, Dr. Jart was started by Korean dermatologist, Dr. SungJae Jung, and entrepreneur Chin Wook Lee, who work with a group of 15 other derms to create research-driven skincare. One of the first K-Beauty brands to hit shelves in Sephora, their extensive collection of innovative sheet and rubber masks, healing creams and ahead-of-their-time BB creams are cult classics.
Products we love:
Cicapair Tiger Grass Color Correcting Treatment, $52: It looks green in the pot, but this color-correcting treatment hides red marks and turns to beige when rubbed into the skin. Containing healing tiger grass, SPF 30 to fight against damaging UV rays, as well as minerals to restore skin’s moisture levels, it also creates a dust barrier to protect against environmental stressors. On ‘good skin’ days we like to use this by itself, but it also works perfectly under all types of foundations if you want a little more coverage.
Shake And Shot Rubber Masks, $12: We’re obsessed with these DIY rubber masks inspired by one of Korea’s most famous facials. Mix up a rubber mask and smooth it over your skin, then wait for it to set and peel away. Whether you want hydrating, brightening, soothing or firming, each mask is infused with potent actives, botanicals and vitamins to leave your skin radiant and refreshed. We love them!
Water Drop Hydrating Moisturizer, $36: Like a drink of water for our skin, this super replenishing formula is lightweight but packed with brightening and nourishing ingredients. The perfect hit of hydration to start your day that also preps skin perfectly before makeup.
In case the name didn’t give it away, this old school K-Beauty brand is all about feeding your skin with vitamins and nutrients that come straight from nature. Some of their hero skin food ingredients include eggs, royal black honey, French grapes, and Brazillian Black Sugar. We love their affordable sheet masks, clay-to-foam masks, and reasonable price tags. Shopping from their site also makes finding products that work well for your skin type really easy as they break it down by skin type and skin concern.
Products we love:
Egg white pore mask, $10.50: A pore-refining mask harnessing the power of eggs to tighten the appearance of pores and extract all the nasty stuff! It leaves skin so soft!
Bitter Green Clay To Foam, $15: This foaming cleanser contains detoxifying Bitter Green-5 complex, full or wheatgrass, celery, kale, broccoli, and cabbage to boost skin while Amazonian clay absorbs pore-clogging impurities.
Fresh Apple Toner, $24: Apples aren’t just great for eating; they contain pectin, which is found in a ton of cosmetic products for tightening skin and strengthening pores, normalizing sebum production. The water made to use the toner is sourced directly from South Korea, and this skin-friendly combo helps eliminate impurities on the skin.
Have you guys tried any of these products? Let us know in the comments below!
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