I have been taking a real interest in skincare, more and more with each passing year. I stumbled upon Korean skincare by chance, through Renee’s skincare channel on YouTube – Gothamista. Ever since, I have been paying close attention to ingredients, what my skin really needs, while trying to focus on keeping it happy, plumpy, moisturized, and most importantly – clear!
I tried to incorporate some of the key “Korean skincare” steps in my daily routine- and I have been loving it! I intend to make a skincare ritual post, once I have fine tuned my routine. Until then, I would like to share with you the items in my Korean/Asian skincare hauls (there were 2 rounds of shopping), and give you a mini intro and review on everything I have picked up. This is going to be a long one.
Heimish All Clean Balm 120 ml | CA$23
This one is a k-beauty cult favourite. This is a cleansing balm which melts into your skin upon application. It’s made with natural, paraben-Free and Hypoallergenic ingredients, to be used your first step cleanser to melt off all your make-up, sunscreens, and basically just breaking down the oils secreted by your skin during day time. You just massage it onto your dry skin, watch your makeup melt off, take some water and massage and emulsify it further, and then wash it off. Then you follow it up with your favourite mild facewash. Mine is Forest Essentials Saffron and Neem facewash which I had reviewed on this post.
I love it, I’m almost at the very end of it. you only need a little of it for cleansing your face at the end of the day. Price-wise, it is one of the more affordable balms. I may not repurchase only because I will be trying other first cleansing oils and balms for now, just to explore more of what’s out there.
COSRX – AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner 150 ml | CA$ 16.98
AHA is used for resurfacing your skin by getting rid of dead skin cells, and BHA will help to lift any pore clogging elements on your facial skin. AHA/BHA acid toners may sound intense and scary, but the right concentration is really great for exfoliating your skin. This toner is actually really mild, and has a very low percentage of AHA/BHA acids as compared to some of the popular ones such as Pixi Glow Tonic.From the YesStyle website: The AHA/BHA Clarifying Treatment Toner uses mineral water rich in natural AHA and BHA instead of purified water to protect skin health and remove dead cells.
I thought this would be something that would help keeping the pores of my skin unclogged and happy. I was previously using FAB’s exfoliating pads as a light toner/exfoliant. I wanted to try this out as COSRX is another Korean brand that’s very ingredients focussed, and great value for money. Neither the COSRX AHA/BHA liquid, nor the FAB pads totally helped resolved my hormonal acne issue. I still get the odd-breakout. But, this toner does a good job of maintaining the PH balance of your face post-cleansing, and is a decently mild exfoliant. I will probably look into their BHA power liquid to help my skin out with those odd breakouts.
Pyunkang Yul – Essence Toner 200ml | CA$ 18.53
This is a clear, slightly viscous, amazing product which I usually apply after toning. The focus is on ingredients here – only 7 ingredients, and the first ingredient here is 91% astragalus root extract! Not water, but a root extract!
It is very calming on the skin, hydrating, adds that korean dewy plumpness to the skin. Loving it, and appreciating it more as the weather gets colder. Pyunkang Yul’s entire skincare line is clean, minimalistic, and very ingredient focused. Great value for money for superb ingredients. I would love to try more items from the brand, maybe something for a future haul.
TOSOWOONG – Propolis Sparkle Ampoule 100ml | CA$ 36.00
I tend to get lost in terminology such as ampoules, serums, lotions, essences in Korean skincare, but I picked this up as it is 80% propolis. Great to repair and maintain your skin barrier, I love honey in skincare!
This is a clear viscous liquid, it adds a lovely balanced feel to the skin. I am not blown away though, I would be honest. I expected something more dramatic here I suppose. The price point is nice for tosowong, but I went for this as a cheaper alternative to cult favourite LJH’s vita propolis ampoule. I would really like to try LJH, which has some great reviews to get that “glow”, but it’s so expensive, and I don’t see the point of ampoules anyway 😦
Hada Labo Gokujyun Lotion 170ml | CA$ 22
This is a beautiful light and runny liquidy lotion which contains different weights of hyaluronic acid which seep into your skin to help retain moisture. So from what I understand, this is actually a Japanese drugstore brand – but simple clean ingredients.
Hyaluronic acid based lotion is great to retain moisture in the skin, especially in these drier fall/winter months. This light, runny lotion is so easily spread and absorbed on the skin,making it plump and moisturized! I’m loving this, especially in the morning as my moisturizer.
Huxley Glow Awakening cream 50 ml | CA$ 34
This is a rich cream with amazing ingredients such as Prickly Pear Seed Oil, Niacinamide, Odeetox, and more. This is a much heavier cream than my Forest Essentials cream which I hauled from India and mentioned in this blog post. I used the forest essentials one all up and replaced it with Huxley.
I am very happy with this cream! It has the perfect richness for the drier months. Beautifully melts into the skin and certainly gives you the “glow” which is amazing. Prickly pear seed oil is a great ingredient for moisture retention, Niacinamide is wonderful for brightening the skintone, while Odeetox is anti-pollution and antioxidant ingredient.
Skin&Lab Dr. Pore Tightening: Glacial Clay Facial Mask 100 ml | CA$ 17.49
I picked this one up as I was running low on my Body Shop Himalayan clay mask. This is a nice wash off mask containing Canadian glacial clay and oatmeal. It’s a wash off kind of mask, and good for oily skin. I am not that oily, but I use this mask every 10 days or so, just to keep things running smoothly on the skin during breakout period.
I did like my Body shop Himalayan clay mask (except for the green tea leaves in there which I thought was hard to get off my face and a bit messy in the sink). It left my skin feeling super soft with a “turned over” freshness. The skin&lab mask is more moisturizing and soothing on washing off, and really does a fantastic job of cleaning out pores!
Nature Republic Real Nature 10-Piece Variety Mask | CA$ 25.42
I got this as this was at a good price for a set of 10 sheet masks. I have only used one and I liked it. The sheet mask fits well, is saturated in product, and my skin enjoys this little luxury session every now and then. The set comes with 10 different type of masks – rose, aloe, bamboo, tea tree, chamomile, green tea, cucumber, tomato, royal jelly, and orange.
They are a nice little delight for weekly use, and price point is good too. Always buy these facemasks in these variety or multi packs, which is cheaper than buying them individually, and you get to try an assortment of masks!
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask 20 g CA$ 17.49
I am a lip balm fiend, and I approve of this little gem. It has vitamin C and antioxidants, hyaluronic acid and minerals to form a protective layer over the lips to lock in moisture and lock in the active ingredients to work overnight.
It is great as my night time lip balm, I wake up with not-dried out lips. I prefer tinted lip-balms in the daytime, so I only use this at night. From someone who has perpetually dry lips, I think this is a solid lip balm.
I bought all the items from YesStyle, although there are many other websites that also ship worldwide. With YesStyle, I find that it might take quite long for the online order to arrive. A good Canadian website is BisouBeautyBar and good USA websites are Memebox and GlowRecipe. You’ll even find a host of k-beauty products on Amazon.
If you love Korean/Asian skincare, and have some recommendations for me, then I would love to hear from you in the comments below. I am still new to k-beauty, and looking to explore further. I want to incorporate some active ingredients in my skincare routine. Any recommendations on vitamin C serums are most welcome.
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Note: All reviews are honest, and are my personal opinion. I was not paid to write this review. All products were purchased by me, there are no affiliate links in this post. When trying a new product, always do a patch test first.