Over the last few years, K-beauty products, treatments and routines have gone mainstream in the U.S. skincare scene. As someone who’s been working to become more knowledgeable in skincare, I was excited to explore the K-beauty world during a recent trip to Seoul, Korea.
When I first started my pre-trip research I was pretty overwhelmed by the amount of Korean beauty brands so I familiarized myself with a handful of names and started marking their storefronts on my Naver Map iPhone app. We ended up staying at a hotel in Myeongdong, Seoul which so happens to be one of many meccas of shopping and K-beauty brands.
If you ever find yourself in Seoul, below are my recommendations of K-beauty brands to start with:
Now you don’t have to be in Korea to actually shop these brands, all of them have expanded into the US with e-commerce sites. Half of the fun though was being at these stores in-person to test out and see all the products. I’ve also noticed there are some items that I saw or bought while there that are not available to purchase online (like the bee venom acne treatment).
Nature Republic was one of my favorites, there I bought sheet masks, collagen and vitamin c ones (only $1.90 per mask online) an acne spot treatment with bee venom (it works pretty well!) and a rose foam facial cleanser. Another favorite purchase was the clean it zero cleansing balm from Banila Co. It literally melts makeup off your face (including heavy eye makeup).
If I could I would have brought back a lot more but my suitcase was already on the verge of being overweight before I bought anything :) This experience skincare shopping in Seoul was just the tip of the iceberg, there’s so many brands and stores it can be a bit overwhelming but also so interesting to see products that are unlike many things that we use in the US.