Unlock your best skin yet with these 9 favorite Korean skincare brands that can elevate your beauty routine to the next level!
Are you ready to discover the ultimate Korean skincare brands that will transform your skin game? Look no further, because I’ve got you covered!
As a skincare enthusiast, I’ve tried and tested countless Korean brands over the years, and today I’m sharing my absolute favorites with you.
From well-known brands that have been around for years to rising indie companies, this list has got it all.
But be warned – it wasn’t easy to narrow it down to just nine! I’ve selected the brands that I use on a daily basis and trust to deliver the best results.
Get ready to take your skincare routine to the next level with these top-tier K-beauty brands!
In this post, I’ve rounded up the best Korean skincare brands.
The History of Korean Skincare Brands
Let’s start by delving into the history of Korean skincare brands.
Korean women have long been admired for their beautiful, youthful skin, and they’ve been using natural ingredients like rice water, ginseng, and honey for centuries to keep their skin looking radiant.
In the 1960s, the Korean skincare industry began to take shape with the launch of the first Korean skincare brands such as AmorePacific and LG Household & Health Care.
Korean skincare gained popularity in Asia in the 1990s, and in the early 2000s, it became a global sensation thanks to the popularity of Korean pop and drama culture.
Today, Korean skincare is all the rage, with a wide range of brands offering unique and effective products that use natural ingredients.
Whether you’re a skincare fanatic or just starting to explore the world of K-beauty, there’s a product out there for everyone.
The Rise of Korean Skincare Brands
Korean skincare brands are taking the world by storm, and it’s not hard to see why.
With a focus on natural ingredients, multiple steps, and targeted solutions for specific skin concerns, K-beauty offers a holistic approach to skincare that has captured the attention of many.
But it’s not just the approach that makes Korean skincare brands stand out.
Their innovative and effective formulations that deliver visible results have earned them a reputation as leaders in the skincare industry.
And with many affordable options available, K-beauty is accessible to anyone who wants to try it.
Social media and online beauty influencers have also played a huge role in the rise of Korean skincare brands.
With their help, the word about K-beauty has spread rapidly, leading to a surge in global interest.
From Seoul to New York and beyond, people are incorporating K-beauty products into their daily routines and seeing the benefits firsthand.
With its unique approach and effective results, it’s no wonder Korean skincare is here to stay.
The 6 Best Korean Skincare Brands
Now that we’ve talked about how Korean skincare became so popular, let’s dive into the best brands out there.
Innisfree is a beloved K-beauty brand known for its eco-friendly approach to skincare.
Their products are made with natural and botanical ingredients, making them an excellent choice for those looking for clean and gentle skincare options.
One of the things I love about Innisfree is their wide range of products. From cleansers to toners to moisturizers to UV protection to lip care, Innisfree has everything you need for a complete skincare routine.
Some of Innisfree’s most popular lines include the Green Tea line, the Blueberry line, and the Volcanic Cluster line.
I’ve personally tried products from each of these lines, and I have to say, they all live up to the hype.
If you’re looking for some Innisfree products to try, here are a few of my favorites:
- Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask 2X ($14 at Style Korean, $12 at Stylevana, $16 at Amazon)
- Blueberry Rebalancing 5.5 Cleanser ($9 at Style Korean)
- No Sebum Mineral Powder ($6 at Style Korean, $16(2P) at Amazon)
Overall, Innisfree is a fantastic K-beauty brand that offers high-quality, eco-friendly products at an affordable price point.
If you haven’t tried anything from Innisfree yet, I highly recommend giving them a try!
Sulwhasoo is a luxurious Korean skincare brand that exudes elegance and sophistication.
Their products are on the pricier side, but for good reason – they use high-quality ingredients and cutting-edge technology to deliver outstanding results.
One of the standout features of Sulwhasoo is their use of traditional Korean medicinal herbs, such as ginseng and goji berries, which are believed to have powerful anti-aging and revitalizing properties.
I personally love their Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX, which has a rich texture and leaves my skin feeling incredibly soft and nourished.
Their First Care Activating Serum is also a favorite among skincare enthusiasts for its ability to enhance the effectiveness of subsequent skincare products.
If you’re looking to indulge in a little luxury and achieve radiant, youthful-looking skin, Sulwhasoo is definitely worth the investment.
Missha is a K-beauty brand that has been making waves in the skincare industry with its commitment to quality and affordability.
The brand is dedicated to providing the best products by developing better formulas and meeting current market demand.
Their mission is to create products that are effective, affordable, and accessible to everyone.
What sets Missha apart from other Korean skincare brands is its focus on innovative technology and ingredients.
The brand’s signature ingredient is snail mucin, which is known for its healing and anti-aging properties.
Missha incorporates this ingredient into many of its products, such as its bestselling Time Revolution line.
I’ve been a fan of Missha for a long time because their products deliver results without breaking the bank. Some of my favorite products include:
- Time Revolution The First Essence 5X ($37 at Missha USA, $37 at YesStyle, $28 at Style Korean)
- Vita C Plus Ascorbic Acid Spot Correcting & Firming Ampoule ($28 at Missha US, $14 at Style Korean, $23 at Amazon)
- M Perfect Covering BB Cream ($19 at Missha US, $10 at YesStyle, $6 at Style Korean)
4. Etude House
Etude House is a popular K-beauty brand that offers a wide range of affordable skincare products with cute packaging.
Despite their affordable prices, their products are high-quality and effective, making them a go-to for many skincare enthusiasts.
I absolutely love Etude House as a budget-friendly K-beauty brand. I’ve tried out numerous products from their line and I have never been disappointed.
The Soonjung line and Moistfull Collagen line are my personal favorites, as they work wonders on my skin and come at an amazing price point.
I’ve recommended these products to my friends and family, and they’ve all had positive results.
If you’re looking for an affordable K-beauty brand with great products, Etude House is definitely worth checking out.
- Soonjung Whip Cleanser ($13(150ml) at YesStyle, $16(250ml) at Style Korean, $14(150ml) at Amazon)
- Moistfull Collagen Cream ($20 at YesStyle, $18 at Jolse, $18 at Amazon)
- Sunprise Mild Airy Finish ($11 at Style Korean, $12 at Amazon)
I have to admit, I have a soft spot for Laneige. It was the first Korean skincare brand that I splurged on, and it has a special place in my heart.
Their philosophy of “water science” really resonates with me, and their products always leave my skin feeling super hydrated and healthy-looking.
When I was in my 20s, I fell in love with their Water Bank line. It was a game-changer for my dry skin.
And now that I’m in my 30s, I’ve been using their Cream Skin line religiously.
It’s a toner-moisturizer hybrid that has become a staple in my daily routine.
I’m always excited to try out their new releases, and they never disappoint. Some of my top Laneige favorites include:
- Sleeping Lip Mask ($14 at YesStyle, $10 at Stylevana, $24 at Amazon)
- Cream Skin Refiner ($31 at Amazon)
Dr.Jart+ is a brand that has been a staple in my skincare routine for years.
I appreciate their approach to simple and effective skincare products.
They made BB creams popular around the world and many of their products have become go-to’s for people everywhere.
One of my all-time favorite products from them is the Ceramidin Liquid, which is a moisturizing toner that helps keep my skin supple and hydrated, especially during colder months.
If you struggle with dry skin, I highly recommend giving it a try. Some other products that I love and would recommend include:
- Cicapair Cream ($34 at Style Korean, $34 at Amazon)
- Ceramidin Liquids ($31 at Style Korean, $24 at Amazon)
- Vital Hydra Solution Mask ($9(5P) at Style Korean, $13(5P) at YesStyle, $14(5P) at Amazon)
The 3 Trending Korean Skincare Brands
If you’re looking for some fresh and exciting K-beauty brands to try out, I’ve got three that are currently trending and worth checking out!
Dr.G has been a go-to for me because of their dedication to using high-quality ingredients that work effectively on the skin.
They take a scientific approach to skincare, focusing on clinically tested formulas that provide real results.
I appreciate that they offer a range of products to address different skin concerns, such as anti-aging, hydration, and acne.
One of my favorite products from Dr.G is the Red Blemish line, which includes a calming cream and a spot treatment that work together to target blemishes and soothe irritated skin.
I also love the Green Mild Sun Up sunscreen, which provides broad-spectrum protection without leaving a white cast or feeling heavy on the skin.
Dr.G’s commitment to creating fragrance-free and gentle formulas has been a game-changer for me, especially as someone with sensitive skin prone to irritation.
I appreciate that they use natural ingredients whenever possible, such as green tea, centella asiatica, and calendula, to nourish and strengthen the skin barrier.
Overall, if you’re looking for a brand that prioritizes quality, efficacy, and gentle formulas, I highly recommend giving Dr.G a try.
These top recommendations are a great place to start exploring what they have to offer.
- RED Blemish Clear Soothing Cream ($29 at Style Korean, $19 at Stylevana, $25 at Amazon)
- Green Mild Sun Up+ ($18 at YesStyle, $18 at Style Korean, $18 at Amazon)
- RED Blemish Cool Soothing Mask ($28(10P) at Style Korean, $4 at Jolse)
I truly love these products and would highly recommend you give it a try!
COSRX has quickly become a cult-favorite brand in the world of K-beauty, especially for those with acne-prone skin.
I love how their products are gentle yet effective and how they are formulated to target specific skin concerns.
Whether you’re dealing with dryness, dehydration, oiliness, acne, aging, or sensitivity, COSRX has got you covered.
One of my favorite products from the brand is the Light Propolis Ampoule. It’s perfect for those with dry skin as it provides a boost of hydration and nourishment, leaving the skin looking plump and radiant.
I’ve been using this ampoule for years now, and it has truly become a staple in my skincare routine.
Apart from the Light Propolis Ampoule, I’ve also tried out many other COSRX products, and I have to say, they never disappoint.
Their Acne Pimple Master Patch is a lifesaver for those unexpected breakouts, and their Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser is gentle yet effective at removing impurities without stripping the skin of its natural oils.
If you’re looking to try out some new K-beauty products, I highly recommend giving COSRX a try. With their affordable price point and effective formulas, you can’t go wrong with any of their products.
- Propolis Light Ampoule ($17 at YesStyle, $15 at Style Korean, $21 at Amazon)
- Good Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser ($10 at YesStyle, $9 at Style Korean, $9 at Amazon)
9. ma:nyo (Manyo Factory)
I have to say, ma:nyo (Manyo Factory) is a hidden gem in the world of K-beauty.
What sets them apart is their use of clean, natural ingredients and their focus on the active ingredients that really make a difference in your skin.
I appreciate that they use natural preservatives as well, making them a great option for those who are mindful of what they put on their skin.
The Galactomy Niacin Essence is definitely a standout product for me. It brightened, hydrated, and improved the texture of my skin.
I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since. If you’re looking to try out some ma:nyo products, I highly recommend these top picks:
- Galactomy Niacin 2.0 Essence ($26 at YesStyle, $19 at Amazon)
- Pure Cleansing Oil ($26 at Stylevana, $29 at Amazon)
- Bifida Biome Complex Ampoule ($31 at YesStyle, $31 at Amazon)
After trying out countless K-beauty brands over the years, I can confidently say that these 9 brands are among the best in the game.
From high-end luxury to affordable drugstore options, there’s something for everyone.
Whether you’re struggling with dryness, acne, aging, or sensitivity, these brands have you covered with their effective, innovative, and gentle formulas.
Each brand has its own unique philosophy, ingredients, and target audience, but they all share a commitment to helping you achieve your healthiest, most glowing skin.
So if you’re ready to take your skincare routine to the next level, give these brands a try and see what they can do for you. With their powerful and proven results, you won’t be disappointed!
Further reading on KbeautyAddiction.com: Want to learn more about K-beauty?
If you enjoyed reading about these top Korean skincare brands, be sure to check out my other K-beauty articles on the blog for more tips, product recommendations, and skincare insights.
- Easy 5-Step Korean Skincare Routine for Dry Skin to Glow Up
- 12 Ultimate Korean Skin Care Products You Need to Try
- 14 Best Korean Skincare Products on Amazon for Under $10
Last Updated on 06/18/2023 by Elle Kim