The best new K-beauty products of 2019

These ampoules, masks and oils should be on your beauty radar
By Kristina Manente    Published on 01/30/2019 at 12:18 PM EDT

Famous for launching and popularizing skincare products such as BB creams and sheetmasks, Korean beauty has certainly made a name for itself globally. Even if you don’t know what the steps actually are, you’ve probably heard of the country’s famous 10-step routine. There are endless amounts of products; and with such a saturated market of dozens, if not hundreds, of brands, the competition is stiff. The world of Korean beauty is always expanding. Finding the newest “it” K-beauty product or ingredient can be difficult—especially when you’re not in Korea.

Getting new products from South Korea used to be difficult, and some are still hard to find, but K-beauty curation sites like BeautyTap and Be Mused Korea provide these beauty products internationally. And while Amazon doesn’t have a base in Korea, some brands have created their own Amazon stores, in order to better serve the Western market.

“Many companies are actively researching and creating products that cater to people outside of Korea,” Lisa Kim, the CEO of Be Mused Korea, says. “Korea is a very beauty-conscious and skin-sensitive country with a beauty industry that has always been forward thinking.”

Because the products are always changing and evolving, Be Mused has a strict set of standards for curating the website. “We carefully select brands and products,” Lisa explains. “When bringing in new products on our site, we offer our own product description, usage instruction, and tips that are based on not only information provided by the brand, but also from real experience with the products.” Best of all, the products they offer must be cruelty free, have no harmful ingredients, and be 100 percent made in Korea.

All natural ingredients are also important to Dot Moore, an American expat living in Seoul, where she is an Instagram influencer. She pays attention to Skin Deep scores (a scale of 1-10) run by EWG, an American non-profit group.  A product that ranks 1 or 2 on the scale, gets the EWG green certification. Korean brands are becoming more transparent about what’s in their products—especially with a global base—and the EWG certification helps with that effort.

Below are 7 new products that she and Lisa have recommended as ones to watch … and try!

Steambase Ginsengberry Premium Lifting Mask

Apart of a new line from Steambase—which contains spring water from Onsan Hot Springs in Korea—the Ginsengberry mask is an innovative two compartment red ginseng berry and thermal spring water mix. Before use, you fold and roll the mask in the package, and pop the bottom compartment of ginseng to saturate the product throughout. The result is firmer, healthier feeling skin. Plus, it goes great with the Roseherb Perfect Build Up Serum from Steambase.

Purchase the mask on BeautyTap for $5.

Vegan Glow

Moore also recommends a new product that’s meant to help those intimidated by the infamous 10-step Korean skincare routine. “Vegan Glow does away with the ultra-confusing long-winded names for K-beauty products and multiple steps,” she explains. Available in simply “Good Morning” and “Good Night Products,” all you have to do is remember the time of day and apply. “They’re EWG grade, simple, vegan, and magical!”

Purchase both Vegan Glow products on My Korean Makeup starting at $28.

Wonjin Effect Vita Moist Ampoule

An “ampoule,” essentially a high-concentrated serum, is perfect for people who don’t want to fuss with multiple products. The Wonjin Effect Vita Moist Ampoule is an innovative bi-phasic oil that works as both serum and essence. Chock-full of natural ingredients—such as pearl, brown algae, sea water, aloe vera, oatmeal, bamboo water and kelp)—this formula will provide an ultra light barrier to protect you face from free radicals which cause skin damage.

Purchase on Be Mused Korea for $43.

Purito ABP Triple Synergy Liquid

Purito’s ABP Triple Synergy Liquid harnesses a blend of AHA, BHA, and PHAs to deliver a next level chemical exfoliation product. This powerful but gentle concoction also utilizes natural skin conditioners such as panthenol and sodium hyaluronate to keep your skin plump and dewy fresh without the feeling of tightness.

Purchase on BeautyTap for $21.

Bonair Blue Smoother Face Oil

BONAIR Blue Smoother Face Oil is formulated with fermented oils that have smaller molecules than their non-fermented counterparts, which means it will absorb deeper into skin, and the face oil itself feels like “skin” rather than your typical face oil. Bonair contains elixirs such as Blue Tansy Flower Oil and Marula Oil; think luxury face oil at an affordable price range.

Purchase a 1 oz. bottle from Be Mused Korea for $53.

Urang Pink Everlasting Ampoule

Made with 99 percent natural ingredients, URANG Pink Everlasting Ampoule boasts the most refreshing scent of grapefruit and lavender. Its signature cotton candy hue is from cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B12); plus it contains hydrolyzed marine collagen, is rich in silk amino acids, and is loaded with Everlasting Flower oil/water. It forms a sheer barrier over skin for a smooth, taught feel without the added annoying stickiness of similar products. All ingredients are 1-2 rating on EWG scale as non-toxic.

Purchase from Amazon for $63.99.

Labno Idebenone Serum

Idebenone is currently one of the hottest ingredients in anti-aging products. It has 10 times the power of Coenzyme Q10, which has been the go-to ingredient for the past few years. This Labno serum utilizes Idebenone along with borage seed oil and ceramide to visibly improve wrinkles. Rosehip fruit extract, which is known to have natural retinols, helps to improve overall tone and firmness. Not only is every ingredient in this product EWG green grade, the formula is water filler free as well.

Purchase on Beauty Box Korea for $32.99.

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