It’s no secret that Korean skincare has long been ahead of the game. According to insiders, the research that’s driving beauty innovation in Seoul is at least seven years ahead of the rest of the world, largely thanks to huge funding from the South Korean government.
K-beauty has already gifted our beauty cabinets with clever imports from skin-perfecting CC Creams and sheet masks to pore refining essence and cushion compacts. But while some industry forecasters have recently questioned the longevity of K-beauty’s influence over Western skincare regimes—it would seem the seven-step habit doesn’t come so easy to us—several new launches have just landed on Brit soil to blow doubt of the (skin-purifying) water.
From buzzy new brands improving on classic K-beauty formulas to all-new product lines tackling problem skin conditions; here’s the latest from the cutting edge of Korean skincare.
If you’re over too many steps, too many ingredients and eye-watering price tags, check out iUNIK. Focusing on “minimalist skincare”, the ethos of this brand is to make things simple, effective and affordable. Think pared-back bottles, natural ingredients and solution-driven products that you can use to build a routine as brief or as lengthy as you like.
Our latest K-beauty addiction, Saturday Skin has just hit Cult Beauty—and we’re super into it. Developed by scientists at renowned Seoul wellness centre Chaum, the whole line uses Cha-7 es Complex, a fusion of peptides developed to boost your skin’s regeneration process, for that glowy, well-rested weekend skin we’re forever chasing Monday to Friday.
If you’re a K-beauty obsessive, you may already be aware of famed Seoul skin clinic Pyunkang Oriental Medicine. Specialists in using traditional medicine to treat atopic conditions, the derms behind the clinic have now channelled their expertise into a product line geared towards protection and prevention. The formulas take a clinical approach—there’s nothing in there that’s not essential to getting results—which is especially appealing if you’ve got problem or particularly reactive skin.
Currently trending on Beauty Mart, Seoulista Beauty is a new mask-focused brand that’s all about getting the results of a pro facial while sprawled out at home in your bathrobe. There are currently eight sheet masks in the range (six for your face, one for feet and one for hands), with the Brightening Instant Facial, infused with vitamin C and exfoliating AHAs, currently topping our shopping list.
Landing in the UK for the first time at the end of last year, Touch in Sol may have its primary focus on makeup, but the skincare still packs all the innovation you’d expect from a K-beauty brand. Think advanced CC creams with SPF 30, colour-corrective primers that protect and perfect, a patent-pending cleanser enriched with herbs and proteins to protect against pollution, plus our favourite; the Toc Toc Toning Capsule Base—a moisturising gel infused with pearl crystals to brighten, tone and hydrate.