25 Best-Selling Korean Skincare and Beauty Products For Your Routine

Beauty Products
k beauty


The hashtag #koreanskincare alone generates 1.3 billion views on TikTok (at the time of writing), with rows and rows of videos on how to achieve glass skin, what products are great for hyperpigmentation, and which sunscreens won’t leave a pasty white film behind. Everyone is on the hunt for smooth, filter-like, glass skin and we have the rise of K-Beauty brands and education surrounding Korean skincare practices to thank. Scroll through enough videos and you’ll learn the number one rule of K-Beauty: skin comes first.

“K-beauty has a ‘skin-first’ philosophy, which [prioritizes] caring for your skin and getting to the root of the condition, instead of covering it up with makeup. K-beauty has gained so much popularity in the US in recent years because of its high-quality ingredients, innovative products, accessible price points, and the fact that it is based on a lifestyle that is focused on having good skin care habits,” Charlotte Cho, esthetician and founder of popular K-Beauty e-tailer Soko Glam tells ELLE.com.

With the help of e-tailers like Soko Glam, healthy, clear skin is not only attainable but accessible. Now, skincare obsessives have an arsenal of products to choose from to help them achieve their skin goals—but which ones are actually worth it? Below, the 25 best Korean skincare products to add to your cart, plus some of Cho’s favorites.

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1Best For All Skin Types

Then I Met You

Living Cleansing Balm

2Best Soothing Mask

Dr. Jart+

Cicapair™ Tiger Grass Sleepair Intensive Mask

3Best Snail Essence


Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

4Best Gentle Cleanser


Sulwhasoo Gentle Cleansing Oil

5Best Lightweight Serum


Glass Skin Refining Serum

6Best Powder Cleanser


Treatment Enzyme Peel Cleansing Powder

7Best For Stressed Skin


Time Revolution Artemisia Treatment Essence

8Best For Waterproof Makeup

Banila Co

Clean It Zero 3-in-1 Cleansing Balm

9Best For Inflamed Skin

Beauty of Joseon

Glow Serum

10Best Glow Serum

Glow Recipe

Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops Brightening Serum

11Best For Mature Skin


Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream

12Best Pimple Patches


Acne Pimple Patch

13Best For Damaged Skin


Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Cream

14Best Lip Mask


Lip Sleeping Mask

15Best For Textured Skin

The Klog

Snail Mucin Energy Essence

16Best For Makeup Prep


belif Moisturizing Eye Bomb | Gentle Eye Cream Boosts Elasticity | Soothing & Hydrating Herbs Reduces Fine Lines & Puffiness for Dark Circles | Anti Aging with Comfrey Leaf & Tiger Grass | .84 Fl Oz

17Best Daily SPF


Daily UV Defense Sunscreen Broad Spectrum SPF 36

18Best For Oily Skin


Pore Cleansing Oil – BHA

19Best For Deep Moisture


Rich Moist Soothing Serum

20Best Calming Sheet Masks


PibuWang Mask – Rest

21Best Gel Exfoliator

Saturday Skin

Rub-A-Dub Refining Peel Gel

22Best For Combination Skin

Schwanen Garten

Antioxidant Foaming Cleanser

23Best Sunscreen For All Tones


Day-Light Protection Airy Sunscreen

24Best Soothing Cleanser

Then I Met You

Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel

25Best Matte Sunscreen

Thank You Farmer

Sun Project Light Sun Essence


What products are in a typical korean skincare routine? (AM and PM)



Charlotte Cho, the founder of popular K-Beauty online retailer Soko Glam, suggests following the SG 10-step Korean Skincare routine, a process she coined in 2012 which focuses on targeted treatments and ingredients instead of a lengthy list of products. When it comes to Korean skincare, quality takes precedence over quantity.

– Oil cleanser
– Water-based cleanser

– Exfoliator

– Essence
– Sheet Mask
– Serum/Ampoule
– Eye Cream

– Moisturizer
– Sunscreen


How does Korean skincare routine differ from others?



“The number of steps is truly personal as it depends on your skincare goals and concerns,” Cho says. In a Korean skincare routine, it’s really the products that set it apart from others. “The idea of the Korean 10-step skincare routine is to carefully pick and choose products that are going to give maximum benefit. Every step has a purpose. It’s about having the right products that are doing the right things and using them in the right order,” she explains.


What are the benefits and main goals?



One of the main benefits of Korean skincare is providing results without using harsh ingredients or practices to achieve healthy skin. Cho says the step you can benefit from the most is double cleansing.

“When I first started skincare, I barely even washed my face, so the thought of using two cleansers was daunting, to say the least. But after incorporating an oil cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser into my routine, my skin started to clear up and glow. The results spoke for themselves, and now I’ll never look back,” she says.

29Why trust ELLE Beauty?

Nerisha Penrose is the Beauty Commerce Editor at ELLE.com. Since joining ELLE.com in 2017, she has interviewed countless skincare professionals and has personally tested the latest and greatest products across makeup, skincare, and hair care.

Nerisha Penrose
Beauty Commerce Editor
Nerisha is the beauty commerce editor at ELLE.com, covering all things beauty (and fashion and music).

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