9 Beauty Products That Started In Korea And Are Now Mainstream

by Stephanie Montes

Korean beauty, which was initially viewed as a niche market of outrageous ingredients, adorable packaging and affordable prices, has quickly blossomed into a worldwide phenomenon, and for good reason. The innovative products—and their even better results—have inspired legions of fans and, consequentially, the international skincare and makeup industry. Here, nine beauty buys that started in Korea but are now available stateside from some of our favorite western beauty brands. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.


K-Beauty-Inspired Buys

Cushion Compacts

The cushion compact gained popularity for its flawless finish and fun approach. Since then, cushion products have expanded to blush, eye shadow and even eyeliner.

Sheet Masks

The affordable-yet-mighty sheet mask quickly became a skincare staple for any beauty junkie. Now, almost every skincare line carries their own.


Essence—serum's sophisticated big sister—has long been an important part of the famous ten-step Korean beauty routine. Now that they're available everywhere, you too can incorporate them into a lengthy regimen.

BB Creams

It's difficult to remember life without BB cream, isn't it? Korean beauty is all about a glowing complexion, so it's no wonder they were the first to create a product that gave you great-looking skin without looking like you're wearing makeup.

Carbonated Masks

Our favorite part about Korean skincare products is their innovative textures. It's easy to see why familiar skincare brands are getting behind the carbonated bubble masks.

Face Cleansing Sticks

The SU:M37 cleansing stick was a hot commodity last year. We're glad to see there are finally more options of the travel-friendly face wash available stateside.

Gel Lip Masks

Getting your hands on the popular gel lip mask—which come packaged with a single mask—is no easy feat. Luckily, these versions are easier to stock up on and come in a pack of 24.

Moisturizer Sticks

Leave it to Korean beauty brands make a daily moisturizer feel less mundane. The stick moisturizer has already begun surfacing across the board.

Konjac Sponges

This vegetable-fiber puff is made of 100% konjac root, naturally grown in Jeju Province, Korea. Our favorite beauty brands have begun outsourcing this natural skincare tool.