The Best K-Beauty Skincare Products On The Market, According To Top Derms
There are plenty of beauty trends that come, go, and resurface again, but Korean beauty (or K-beauty, for short) will always be around. Maybe it's because K-beauty, which rose to mass popularity as early as 2011, places emphasis on natural formulas and ingredients that provide nearly immediate results — or because the vast market offers a product for every skin tone and type. Whatever the reason, the best K-beauty skincare products all have the seal of approval from dermatologists, meaning that these goods are far from a fad.
“The Korean culture is obsessed with skincare and looking younger. But think of it as a more holistic approach to embracing your skin,” says Angela Kim, founder of Savor Beauty. “They'll to great lengths to protect and nurture their skin and prevent premature aging.”
The effectiveness of the products, according to Kim, starts with embracing your inner glow, focusing on skincare products that get at the root of conditions, and treating problem areas before they start. "All of our K-beauty ingredients are inspired by nature and ancient Korean beauty rituals designed to work long-term,” she notes.
For dermatologists, the focus on hydration and sun protection — the two main pillars of skincare, according to Dr. Gary Goldenberg, founder of Goldenberg Dermatology — are a bonus, but that's not the only difference between K-beauty and Western beauty. "In 2016, Bloomberg rated South Korea as the most well-rounded innovative country," says Dr. Raheleh Sarbaziha, dermatologist and anti-aging expert. "Having been to South Korea myself, I can attest to the country's efficiency and innovative qualities. It's quite common for a doctor to create a slimmer jawline, whereas in the West we may take a more conservative approach to our facial aesthetics and beauty."
If you can't take a quick trip to South Korea like Dr. Sarbaziha, check out some of the most innovative and effective derm-approved K-beauty tools and products, ahead.
Dr. Rahi suggests this facial massager, which helps remove wrinkles and lift your skin.
"Koreans always look tidied up in public and do this by keeping things fresh, like with this facial mist," Dr. Rahi says.
This cream is packed with adenosine to offer anti-aging benefits, as well as ceramides to lock in moisture.
"Sunflower seed and olive oil are natural emollients that soften rough cells on the surface of the skin. They also offer hydrating benefits," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City, tells TZR.
"You must be religious when it comes to sunscreen," Dr. Rahi says. This one is meant to be applied liberally, thanks to the complexion-friendly sunflower oil and Jeju green tea extract in the formula.
Kim recommends this set if you have sensitive skin. The cleansing cream removes makeup and dirt while removing all excess oil from your pores.
This cleanser is recommended by Dr. Goldenberg because of the green tea extracts, which help to brighten the skin.
"This powerhouse product deeply moisturizes without feeling greasy, while it works to diminish fine lines, reduce brown spots, and brighten skin. Plus, it smells amazing!" Kim tells TZR.
"This product contains avocado extract to hydrate the skin along with poly hydroxy-acids to provide an extra gentle, exfoliating benefit," Dr. Zeichner notes.
Kim explains that this mask works wonders for all skin types, especially in the colder months when your skin is dry. Simply apply during your shower and let the steam help the formula melt into the skin and gently exfoliate your dull skin cells.
"Tomato extract is rich in antioxidants like vitamin C and lycopene, which protects the skin from free radical damage and promotes healthy collagen production," Dr. Zeichner says.
"This peeling mask is full of alpha hydroxy acids to enhance the exfoliation of dead cells from the surface, even skin texture, and improve radiance," says Dr. Zeichner.