As a skin care blogger, I have tried my fair share of products. My skin care journey started in high school when I was first introduced to K-Beauty through YouTube and I can safely say that after discovering what double cleansing, essences and sheet masks can do for my skin, I never looked back! I have now tried a plethora of products, not just from the K-Beauty scene, but also conventional and green beauty, but there is something about Korean formulations that keeps pulling me back in.
In a world where we are constantly being bombarded with hundreds of new launches daily, it is tough for products to stand out amongst the competitors. But there are just some products that have been around for years and have garnered so many stellar reviews that they have reached cult status. Today, I will be reviewing some of the "cult" K-Beauty products that I have tried over the years, so keep on reading if you want to know if they live up to the hype (spoiler alert: they all do)!
Whenever I see a tube of this iconic cleanser, I immediately get hit with such a strong feeling of nostalgia. I’m sure many of you are familiar with this cleanser, and many of you have probably tried it yourselves. This is just one of those trusty products I can always rely on. I think I’ve been through about three bottles at this point! What’s nice about it is that it makes the skin feel thoroughly cleansed, but never stripped. I think this is the perfect gel cleanser for normal/combo skin, but it may be slightly too much for extremely dry or sensitive skin, as it does contain citrus oil to scent it. But other than that, this cleanser definitely gets my tick of approval!
This is undoubtedly one of the most popular snail products out there, and is one of the pillars of the COSRX lineup. It took me a while to pick it up, though. I only recently picked it up after so many people either recommended it to me or asked me questions about it. Let me tell you, it did not disappoint! It has that quintessential snail mucin texture, but what I love about it is that as you pat it into the skin, it becomes super watery and is absorbed right into the skin, no sticky residue at all! I’ve been using this pretty consistently for the last few months, and I think it's done wonders for my hydration levels and for healing my breakouts. I’m beginning to think that snail mucin is on par with centella asiatica and mugwort for me in terms of acne fighting and hydration, so I really need to explore more snail products on the market. Needless to say, this is definitely worth the hype!
Related article: What Is Snail Mucin & What Can It Do For Your Skin?
Chances are that you have seen this pretty purple bottle floating around social media for years! Missha’s Time Revolution line has gone past "cult" status and is an icon in the K-Beauty world. Like probably many of you, I was introduced to this line from the treatment essence (when I went through four bottles in high school), but up until a few months ago, I had never tried the ampoule. There have been a few iterations of this ampoule over the years, as Missha is one of those innovative brands that is constantly finding new and ground-breaking ingredients to improve their products. This current formulation claims to hydrate, energise, repair, and restore elasticity to your skin with a formula that is packed with 50% Bifida Ferment Lysate, as well as other plant extracts. This product has completely replaced one of my holy grail products, Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair, and is only a fraction of the price!
This product always makes me feel nostalgic as well because it was the first product from Klairs I ever tried! This is a vitamin c serum made with 5% ascorbic acid, centella and tea leaf extract to brighten, soothe and hydrate the skin. This serum stood out to me for two reasons; first, most vitamin c serums, especially those containing pure ascorbic acid, can leave my skin feeling quite sensitised, so I really appreciate how this has been formulated with the perfect amount of vitamin c for those who can only tolerate a small amount. Secondly, the texture is so lovely! It has a sort of dry oil texture that my dry skin loved. Be careful with this though, as products with ascorbic acid are notorious for oxidising (turning brown and losing efficacy) after around the 6 months mark, so make sure you stay loyal to this vitamin c once you open it up!
This product had been on my wishlist for such a long time and I was so happy when I finally picked it up, and I am so glad that I did because I love it! This mask is packed with honey, 38.7% to be exact, and it also contains propolis and bee venom for some extra bee goodness. Gracing the ingredients list is also macadamia nut oil, shea butter, snail secretion filtrate and aloe to create a wonderfully hydrating concoction. This mask feels like a warm hug: it's so nourishing and comforting, and it immediately puts my dry and tight-feeling skin at ease. This is also perfect for acne prone skin, as honey is antibacterial and antimicrobial, so it will fight acne-causing bacteria while providing hydration at the same time! I use this about once or twice a week after cleansing and before my leave on products, and my skin definitely has a nice, healthy glow afterwards. I cannot recommend this enough!