beauty

K-beauty: Everything you need to know about Korean beauty products

Sharnaz Shahid

It's the cult beauty trend which has taken over the world, with masses of makeup lovers doing everything they can to get complexion-perfect and blemish-free skin. K-beauty, aka Korean beauty, has fast become the huge phenomenon thanks to its focus on making products based on good health, hydration and a lack of pigment.

Known for their intense 10-12 step skincare regime, there's lots about the Korean outlook on beauty to be admired, while many of us in the UK use a maximum of three with the trusty mantra, "cleanse, tone and moisturise!"

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K-beauty, aka Korean beauty, has fast become the huge phenomenon

Serious about cleansing

Korean woman will never be found falling asleep with a full face of makeup. They double cleanse their face with an oil and water base cleanser to remove all traces of grime and dirt from their pores. maskorea sheets, a 3-step mask, sees the first stage sheet transform into a foam once rinsed to help declog the pores for a seriously flawless finish. The second step acts as a hydrating mask, while the third step is an overnight moisturiser. Whether you are looking for an instant glow, a hydrating wake-up boost or an anti-ageing firming treatment, these sheets have it covered. 

Hydration is vital

To keep their skin glowing and energised, many Koreans keep their faces hydrated by using mists and moisturizers as well as various sheet masks throughout the week. Keeping the sheet on your face for 20-30 minutes allows nutrients to be absorbed into your skin. Try Bioaqua's Egg Mask, which is packed with egg protein to intensely hydrate, brighten and control oil in troubled skin - the perfect beauty product can really boost your skin's moisture levels. The Golden Monkey glamour kit is perfect for sensitive lips, this exfoliates dead skin while the botanical extracts help with nourishment. The hydrogel mask, stage two, effectively provides a soothing and ultra-hydrating serum for the lips.

For the bold makeup fans, Korean beauty products often contain snail slime as it is packed with nutrients such as hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein and antimicrobial - all of which are proven to be beneficial for the skin. It's known for protecting skin from free radicals, soothe skin and repair damaged tissues as well as restore hydration. Celebrity make-up artist Kenneth Soh, who uses Dr Organic Snail Gel Facial Serum, said: "As the colder months arrive, wind, cold and heating dries out skin. I love a few drops of the face serum pressed into the face throughout the day using a sponge to rehydrate the face and it's also great used to refresh foundation at the end of the day!”

Of the interesting choice of ingredient, which is also used in the Oh K! range, Emma Adamson, Product Development Manager at NPW, said: "The main ingredient of mucin from snail is Chondroitin Sulphate, which is highly moisturising and has an incredibly powerful rejuvenating effect. Allantoin is also present within Mucin, which imparts a soothing effect particularly for the pores. On top of all this, snail mucin also perfectly plumps the skin, all helping to create a refreshed, healthy complexion – paramount to any skincare regime."

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Sometimes what’s on the outside rather than the inside can count

Cute makeup packaging

Sometimes what’s on the outside rather than the inside can count! Famous for popularising BB cream and sheet masks, the packing is just as important. Korean shoppers tend to be a lot more savvy as they like to try out many brands – so making them stand out and attention-grabbing has been behind the marketing force for many companies.

Speaking about the importance of packaging, BeautyMART co-founder Millie Kendall (formerly of Ruby & Millie) told HELLO!: "Korean Beauty products are renowned for having superb formulas housed in cute and quirky packaging. The products can be fairly reasonably priced too and this makes them massively accessible across a multitude of retail channels.

"Like Japanese products in the ‘90s this new wave of far eastern beauty brings about new technology and formulae that appeals to our experimental nature. Brands like Tony Moly, Too Cool For School, Holika Holika, Peri Pera, BioAqua, Etude House and quirky accessories such as Korean Spa Peeling Mitts and Fringe Stabilizers span all ages and we have found that the products are sold equally well online and in our Pop-up boutiques in TopShop and Somerset House."

Romantic Bear Peel Off Lip Stain sticks and BIOAQUA Hydrating lip mask come complete with sweet etchings and colourful block prints. Pretty Animalz sheet mask range by LOOK BEAUTY are sure to put a smile on your face, whilst tackling a range of skincare concerns quickly and effectively.

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