I noticed that Korean skincare and cosmetics have become increasingly popular in the last few years. I first became aware of Korean skincare products when visiting a friend in the US, who swore by one the Innisfree products and insisted I try it. but now you can find them almost everywhere, even in our local pharmacies here in Israel (although the selection isn’t as impressive as abroad).
I read and watched on youtube numerous reviews of the different products available, specifically tailored to normal/combination skin. At first I felt overwhelmed, but then I realised there were certain products that appeared over and over again on the review lists, and narrowed my selection to the best 8 products that seemed worth trying.
Ready? Here’s my round-up:
The Face Shop’s Rice Water Foaming Cleanser is enriched with natural brightening rice water, a gentle cleansing foam suppose to improve the appearance of skin pigmentation. The cleanser has a nice texture and spreads evenly on the skin. However, I didn’t like the scent, and even though I used it quite regularly I’m not convinced it fights pigmentation. My verdict: 7/10
Made with rice sake and peach extracts and rich in vitamins A and C, Skinfood’s Peach Toner promises to minimize shine pore size. I’m not sure about the pore size, but it definitely minimizes shine, smells nice and has a refreshing effect on the skin. The only disadvantage I can think about is that it contains alcohol, so if your skin is on the dry side this isn’t the toner for you. My verdict: 8/10
I read a lot of rave reviews about this product. The online product description on Soko Glam site states: “This multi-tasking toner and cleansing water has quickly become a cult favorite, as well as a 2015 Soko Glam Beauty Award Winner”. The product is suppose to be a cleanser/daily refresher, boasting willow bark and papaya extract, Lavender water, rose water, and orange fruit extract. Sounds like you shouldn’t go wrong? right??
Well I’ve got to admit I don’t understand the hype. Using the product didn’t feel much different to me than using the Thayer’s good old basic witch hazel toner you can get online for a third of the price. Bottom line- nice, but definitely not a must for your skincare routine. Final verdict: 7/10
Skinfood’s facial mask contains mineral-rich organic black sugar, along with strawberry seeds and strawberry seed oil. The mask is suppose to both exfoliate and moisturise the skin simultaneously. I first tried applying it as a mask, leaving it on for 10-15 minutes, but I’m not a big fan of un-drying masks, and sort of lost my patience real quickly. I then tried using it as an facial exfoliator in the shower- first rinsing my face with soap, and then massaging the mask paste in circular motions around my forehead, cheeks and chin to help exfoliate dead skin. I didn’t wait the 10-15 minutes but rather rinsed the mask off immediately. I found this just as effective and not as time consuming, although it does defeat the purpose of applying a mask and turns the product into a sort of scrub. Still would give it a thumbs up. My verdict: 8/10
An overnight moisture-rich gel mask, this was the first all-night mask I ever tried, and so far has been the best one! The Non-comedogenic formula is lightweight and quickly disappears when applied to the skin before going to bed- meaning you don’t need to worry about it clogging your pores or staining your bed linen. Sometimes it’s easy to forget you had even applied it! What reminds me is the wonderful feeling my skin has when I rinse it in the morning- the skin has a supple, super soft texture to it. This product is a must. Also available in a Lavender scent. My verdict: 9/10.
Also a Laneige product, this lip sleeping mask both smells (and tastes (:) delicious, however I have to admit I didn’t see a major difference using it compared to other ordinary lip balms. I’ve seen at least 3 other scents online (grapefruit, vanilla, apple lime), but berry seems to be the most popular scent. My verdict: 8/10
So I’ll start by saying that I credit Innisfree for introducing me to the world of Korean skincare. Innisfree is a naturalistic brand, with an emphasis on green and eco-friendly products. The first Korean-made product I ever tried was the Innisfree’s Daily UV Protection Cream , and I was so impressed that I went on to purchase a few more of their products to try at home. One of these products was the volcanic clay mask. There are 7 different masks in the volcanic clay mask range, each offering a different effect (brightening, hydrating, purifying, etc) and they can be combined together (for example- purifying on the T-zone area, hydrating on the cheeks) according to your personal needs. While I only tried the purifying one, it was hard for me to tell the difference between this mask and any other clay mask I have tried in the past. However, at a 10$ price tag, it’s hard to go wrong. My verdict: 7/10.
I have one word for you. WOW!!! from all the products I reviewed here today, this by far is the most impressive one. I’m fair skinned and live in a super sunny climate, so I’ve tried countless different sunscreens over the years from all the different name brands. Even brands that are supposedly non-comedogenic, caused me to break out terribly and had a greasy feel to them. Not this sunscreen. This sunscreen is like magic- once applied, it absorbs into your skin without leaving a trace, with an almost mattyfing effect. With a 50 SPF, I feel safe tracing around town without having to reapply the sunscreen all the time, and can’t recall getting burnt once. I’m in love. My verdict: 10/10!!!
And it’s a wrap! Let me know if you’d tried any of these products and your impression of them.