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Post in Skincare Aware

🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

As part of my New Year's resolution, I promised myself I would explore the world of Korean beauty a lot more than I have. I would love this to be a place to discuss and share your experience!


I am currently practicing the "7 Skin Method" every morning. This will help hydrate dry skin as well as balance sebum production is oily skin. I was a grease factory and am now very normal. This method is simply applying a hydrating toner 7 times in a row. You can use a cotton round, but I prefer to apply 5/6 drops to the palm of my hand and press it into my skin. I am currently using:


  • Missha First Treatment Essence 2X ($49)
  • Amore Pacific Single Extract Vintage Essence 1X ($145)
  • ElishaCoy Moist Up Hyalurone Ampoule Essence 4X ($10)

Results are immediate! My skin is plump and glowing. Now, I could NEVER give up my Good Genes and Luna, but this will definitely take the place of some very expensive skincare products I use like my Vintner's Daughter. I would love to hear about Korean Beauty products you have discovered. I'm all for spending in the name of great skin! ❀️❀️❀️

Korean Skincare Saved My Face

Within the past year, my skin has changed drastically due to medication. And for nine months, I was able to work with this new, dry face -- until about two weeks ago. It snowed 14 inches in Chicago and my face began screaming in pain because of severe dehydration. I couldn't even wear foundation because my face would slurp up any water that came close to it, leaving me with greasy skin and flakey, creasy makeup.

Luckily, the ladies of mountainous Korea knew my struggle and had my back.

I introduced K-beauty products into my routine, and holy smokes, my skin looks incredible after just two weeks.


So, I thought I would share my discoveries with you guys as well as ask you for some recommendations.




MISSHA First Treatment Essence - While I enjoy this toner, I'm up in the air about whether I'll repurchase it. I think I'm looking for something more hydrating. Maybe the "moist" version? You ladies also seem to be super into the Pyunkang Yul Toner ( @fieldsofclover hilariously so), so I may check that out.

Dear Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Serum - This essence is basically just hyaluronic acid gel with Centella Asiatica and leaves me with plump baby-like skin. I didn't even recognize myself after two days of using it because my usually sallow face was full and fresh. This has been so relieving for my winter skin, especially since it has a wonderful cooling effect.

Lee Ji Ham (LJH) Vita-Propolis Serum Ampoule - This honey-based serum not only hydrates but seals in moisture, too. I have to be careful with it because it is quite sticky and heavy, so sometimes I just put a drop into my moisturizer.


Belif Moisture Bomb Moisturizing and Firming Eye Cream - My under eyes are sad and creasy and this helps them not be so sad and creasy. It also doesn't cause milieu, for which I am thankful.


Make P:rem In-Shower Face Pack - You're meant to cleanse your face, put this on while you shower, and then rinse it off right before you step out. It protects your face from the damaging hot water while also nourishing it. I expected this to get all in my eyes, but to my surprise, it doesn't. As long as I don't have my face under the shower stream it stays on quite nicely. I even got some of it in my mouth once by accident and it didn't taste bad either. My one complaint is its strong fragrance, but luckily, the smell fades after only a few minutes.


CosRX Oil-Free Ultra-Moisturizing Lotion with Birch Sap - My skin is fussy and sometimes, despite being constantly parched, it can't do the heavier substances, like the LJH serum, my regular moisturizer, or face oil. On those days, I use this. It feels wonderful, and is comparable to the Belif True Cream Aqua Bomb, though less cooling and long-lasting.


IMG_7697 (1).jpg


May Coop Raw Sauce Sheet Masks - Made with 100% maple water and licorice and ginger extracts, this mask is just gorgeous. Super quenching and leaves me with the dewiest skin.


Laneige Water Sleeping Mask - I don't know if I'm on board the Laneige Sleeping Mask train yet. I used it for the first time last night and it was...fine? Just fine. My skin felt nice the next morning but I didn't find it any better than my usual nighttime moisturizer and oil. I'll continue to use it, but overall "fine" is my general opinion.


All this to say, I have fallen down the rabbit hole of Korean skincare. I do not want to be rescued.



Alice In Wonderland GIF



Western Items in My Routine

  • CeraVe Gentle Hydrating Cleanser
  • Drunk Elephant C-firma Serum
  • Clinique Pep-Start Eye Cream
  • Embryolisse Lait Creme Concentre Moisturizer
  • The Ordinary Organic 100% Squalane Oil
  • Peter Thomas Roth FIRMx Peeling Gel
  • Fresh Lotus Youth Preserve Rescue Mask 
  • Supergoop! Everyday Sunscreen SPF 50 


Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face


This is great!  Thank you for your post - it is very helpful. I have the  P:rem face pack but have yet to use it, but after hearing your thoughts on it, I took it out of the box and put it in the shower. Smiley Happy   I've also been trying out different K-beauty hyaluronic acid products and will be sure to give the Klairs one a try. 


For essence/toners, I think you'd love the Pyunkang Yul Essence Toner - it's amazing! I'm on my 2nd bottle and it's the primary essence I reach for these days - to use as a toner, for the 7-skin method, etc. I've also been using Naruko La Creme Face Renewal Miracle Essence - similar to the Missha First Treatment Essence but I found it more brightening and hydrating than the Missha one on me. 

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

Thank you for your detailed reviews, @fringebride!  They help everyone!

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

@fringebride What an amazing post! I use Missha as well and love it, though, it may be because I tend to run more on the oily side. Pyungkang Yul has been my favorite addition thanks to @myinsidevoice. Do you ever layer your essence? It’s bee working wonders for me. 


The one Essence I believe everyone should splurge on us the Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract. I use one application in the morning after my Missha. When I don’t incorporate it, my skin is not as bright and bouncy as is usually is. 


After you finish Pep Start, I highly, highly suggest you look into Whamisa Chai Tea Eye Cream. I’ve been layering it in the mornings, usually 4 times. My undereyes are as plump and hydrated as the rest of my face! It’s been a wonderful find. 


Lastly, I understand your side of Laneige. Now, the Lip Sleeping Mask lives at my bedside, along with Bite Agave, but I prefer Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask. I do think my skin drinks that up more than Laneige. 


Again, thank you for giving us such detailed insight of your routine! Have you thought about Sunday Riley? She’s my Goddess. Lol. πŸ’—πŸ’—πŸ’—

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

I haven't tried layering as of yet, I am very nervous about the method. It seems as though it might tear down the water barrier if I use too many toning products and my skin is pretty upset and fragile as it is. But considering how many people enjoy the technique, my reservations are probably unwarranted. Have you had good luck with it?


I may have to save the Amore Pacific Vintage Single Extract for a VIB sale, as unfortunately, it is out of my price range. But, it sounds effective and luxurious!


Clinique's Pep-Start is great because it contains caffeine which helps to wake up my tired eyes, but the ingredients in the Whamista cream look wonderful, so I may have to check it out. I noticed it was by Glow Recipe, too, and I really like their skincare philosophy.

Sunday Riley gets a ton of good press, but I haven't found a product of their's that would be useful for me. Good Genes, what everyone raves about, is something I can't use because my dermatologist has me on Epiduo Forte, which is a synthetic retinoid. Juno or Flora look like might work but they don't treat anything I don't already have a product for. Maybe I'll splurge on a bottle one of these days, though. Smiley Happy

Also, +1 for Bite Beauty's Agave Lip Mask, that stuff is life-saving. I'll save the Glow Recipe Watermelon Mask for a later purchase as well! Your recommendations have been awesome!

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

I've been deciding between the Belif Peat eye cream and the moisture bomb eye cream. I went with the Peat but will definitely try out the moisture tom next.  @fringebride

Asian skincare is such an interesting range of products but yes you should definitely try the Pyunkang Yul Essence - maybe my favourite product discovery last year and I discovered a LOT of new products.

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

@fringebride awesome post! Love hearing your thoughts on Korean skincare. I recently bought the Pyunkang Yul toner because of all the lovely ladies here and their recommendations. I also bought the Secret Key Essence which I heard was a dupe for the SKII one. I haven't tried them yet (they just got here yesterday) but I'm looking forward to experimenting with them. 

I had looked at the Dear Klairs Serum you mentioned and I'm glad you're liking it. It's definitely on my to-buy list.

I'd never heard of the the P:rem power pack but it sound interesting!

I feel the same about the Laneige Sleeping Mask. Good not great for me. 

Re: Korean Skincare Saved My Face

You'll have to let us know how the Secret Key Essence went once you've had some time to experiment with it!

The Dear Klairs Soothing Serum is great if you have sensitive skin. It just calms everything down and gives the face a moment of peace.

Ah, the Laneige Mask. I willing to bet it's better for the summer, but yeah, I agree. It's just okay.

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

I have been doing something similar but with a DIY spray toner by Gothamista on youtube. I don't do the 7 skin method at once every day, I just spray my face with this hydrating toner throughout the day. and once a week I do the 7 skin. I just sit there watching TV and spraying my face every 3-5 minutes

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

There's a new Korean beauty brand at Ulta- Mamonde. Has anyone heard of it before? Their sheet masks are $7 which seems excessive (although Dr.Jart and Karuna are more). Any thoughts? Also, my K-beauty order is on the way and should be here Friday! Yay!!

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱


I've heard of Mamonde and have seen some of their products on Korean and Asian ecommerce sites, but have never used any of their products...yet.  If they are in Ulta, it's just a matter of time before I try something from the brand. Smiley Wink  I think someone, I want to say maybe @ZombieMetroAnt?, posted detailed info about the brand, but I can't remember which thread I saw it.  If I find that post, I'll let you know.


Ooooh, a K-beauty order? Looking forward to seeing your haul and hearing your thoughts on your purchases.

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

Oh, you have a good memory @itsfi Heart  it was on the Beauty News thread. 


Here is the article @makeitup305 - this is a line from Amorepacific Smiley Wink


Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

@ZombieMetroAnt thanks! That might partially explain the price!

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

So, fellow skin voyagers... I love sheet masks and all, but I am not super fond of how much waste they generate. I know some of you DIY sheet mask, or skip the sheets altogether.


Do you have serums you like to use in a thicker mask-style application? Do you buy empty sheets, or just paint it on with a brush?


(I'm sure this could be its own thread, but it's already so hard to find anything here!)

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

Finally made my Daiso run! Probably just going to start out by cocktailing things I already have at home that I know are ok for me, like The Ordinary hyaluronic acid and various serums/essences.


Hopefully this way I can get more of the things I like about sheet masking (waking up with great skin, using less makeup) and less of the things I don't (excessive trash, feeling bitter about tossing leftover serum, spending $3-10 a pop).


I'm also more inclined to buy and try some more expensive essences if I can use them in this way, especially if I'm using a mask cover to slow down the evaporation. πŸ€”πŸ‘©β€πŸ”¬


Thanks for the tip @itsfi! Sometimes it's just nice to go to the corner store instead of ordering everything online.




Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

DIY Mask Recipe as promised @fieldsofclover


I started into DIY masks first with some random skincare serums/toners/lotions etc I had  around for a long time that weren't bad but I just wasn't reaching for. I first got my compressed masks from Muji and now another Korean brand (mentioned bellow).



  • Pyunkang Yul: its not too exensive and I think I can justify using it to thin out serums a little and it adds a lot of moisture on its own
  • Water/Distilled Water: I used water if I'm adding lots of other hydration serums/oils
  • Mists/Essences: Any of these style of products should
  • Fresh Aloe Vera blended: This even on its own with a little water to this it out is great. Added Bonus: I've used this formula in my hair too for great results


  • TO Hyaluronic Acid 2% + B5: This goes in pretty much all my sheet masks. I always need hydration and for the price this just can't be beat. I will use 2 pull droppers of it and sometimes 3 if I'm not adding much else
  • TO Niacinamide: I love this, my skin feels plumper, brighter and it helps with congested skin. I'll add between 1-2 droppers full
  • I haven't tried yet, but want to try squalane


  • TO Marula/Rose HIp/Argan Oil: Really any oil of your preference. In winter I've been putting 4-5 drops, you can vary how much you want/need depending on your skin condition of the day
  • Kiehl's Midnight Recovery Oil: Sometimes I add this, I've grown to love the scent at if I'm tired I find this really relaxing



  • Make sure you don't add any products, ingredients you can't mix with water
  • I wouldn't add any Retinol, Vitamin C or Acid (I do use acid before and retinol after)
  • If you like sheet masks, I find this works just as well, you are controlling the ingredients so you don't have to worry about things like Alcohol and it works out a lot cheaper. I use the lid of a Caudalie Grape Water to mix everything in
  • I like a 'wet' mask, so in the end I have about 2-3 tablespoons of product that I will mix and then add the mask too. After a few mins I like to flip the mask to ensure it absorbs everywhere. If the mask isn't absorbing properly, try opening it up and then re-soaking it. Any leftover product in the container goes on my neck, hand and elbows
  • Lastly, I have been loving massaging my face with the Herbivore Jade roller after I apply the mask, it helps really push the product into my skin.

IMG_1103.jpgMassage Tool



Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

This is fantastic, thank you so much @Aaliaa! πŸ™‡

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

@fieldsofclover So jealous of everyone near a Daiso 😭 those compression masks look so cool! I’ve heard people using Unicharm cotton pads from Japan as sheet masks.

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

@fieldsofclover awesome!

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱

Ohhhhh @fieldsofclover I have a Daiso up the street from me! That’s where I buy my brow pencils! It’s the EXACT same shade as ABH’s soft brown for $1.50! I literally bought them all. Like 30 of them. Lol. I’m set for life!!!

Re: 🌱 Korean Beauty: East Meets West-Skincare Edition 🌱


Yaay, happy you were able to find some at Daiso. That store can be dangerous - they have a lot of great finds in there. Keep us posted on your homemade mask recipes.

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