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These K-beauty products can change everything
K-beauty may be a certified trend in the West, but in South Korea, skin care routines that include moisturizers, masks, serums, and sunscreens have always been considered as basic as brushing your teeth. “In South Korea, skin care is considered a fundamental part of self-care,” says Alicia Yoon, CEO of K-beauty brand Peach & Lily. “It’s not a vanity thing or an afterthought but about long-term skin health.” And while it’s taken Americans a little while to catch on, they’re finally understanding exactly why Korean beauty products are so amazing.
“Traditionally in the U.S., there was less focus on skin care and more on makeup,” explains Ju Rhyu, CEO of Hero Cosmetics. “But the skin care culture is changing.” Consumers are catching on to the K-beauty philosophy, which takes a more holistic, preventative approach to skin care.
Yoon equates the famous 10-step K-beauty routine to a balanced diet: Just as the body runs best on a mixture of complex carbs, lean protein, and good fats, skin will also be its most radiant when fed the vitamins and nutrients it needs. “It’s not about the number of steps but about making sure your skin gets the 360-degree support it needs,” she says.
How we chose the best Korean beauty products
The Korean beauty products from South Korean and Asian American businesses that made our list are beloved by K-beauty fans overseas and in the United States. They made our list for their cult followings, proven results, stellar ingredients, and overwhelmingly positive user reviews. Whether they’re skin care products or makeup, they’ll help you achieve the luminous, dewy, “glass skin” K-beauty is famous for. And while K-beauty may be on your mind during AAPI Month, you’ll be using these products and tips in your beauty regimen all year long.
Best lip balm
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
This isn’t your ordinary lip balm. Laneige’s overnight lip mask consistently tops “best of” beauty lists for making even the angriest chapped and cracked lips soft and supple by morning. Hyaluronic acid and minerals work to lock in moisture, while vitamin C and berry-based antioxidants repair the damage caused by dryness. It comes in an unapologetically artificial but cheerful berry scent (as well as a bunch of others like gummy bear, sweet candy, and apple lime), and you can slather it on your lips with the included mini spatula applicator.
- Uses the brand’s exclusive Moisture Wrap technology
- Packed with hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and more good-for-you ingredients
- Strong artificial fruit scent