When Korean skincare products first came on the market in the United States, there was a small handful of brands to choose from—and only a few more words (like essence and ampoule) to add to your beauty lexicon. Now, K-beauty is more accessible than ever, and we’ve familiarized ourselves with the 11-step routine, the skip-care trend and everything you need to get the coveted “glass skin” glow.
It’s a lot to wrap your head around—and the faster Korean brands innovate, the more there is to discover and love. To make that overwhelming process a bit easier, we went ahead and nominated some of our tested-and-approved favorites. Below, six bottles worth adding to your everyday routine.
COSRX Two in One Poreless Power Liquid
This alcohol-free toner is an essential step in our daily routine: 0.1% BHA provides gentle chemical exfoliation while tannin minimizes the appearance of pores. It’s particularly beneficial when used after extractions—and the refreshing effect makes it an instant summer staple.
Glow Recipe Pineapple-C Bright Serum
The second I saw Glow Recipe’s latest fruit-packed serum, I was sold. The pineapple bottle references the fragrant gel inside, which brightens and plumps skin with three forms of vitamin C (including one derived from the fruit’s juice, rich in AHAs and bromelain enzymes). Use 3-4 times per week for simultaneous polishing and hydrating.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Serum
This highly concentrated formula is meant to be used both morning and night and ideal for sensitive skin types. Five herbal extracts (peony, lotus, Solmon’s seal, white lily and rehmannia) comprise what the brand calls their “JAUM Balancing Complex,” which balances the skin’s moisture levels and resilience. Use it as a boosting step right after cleansing.
Amorepacific Time Response Skin Renewal Fluid
To produce their patented green tea species, Amorepacific cultivates the plant in their own Dolsongi tea garden. Apparently, the results are good enough to bottle for beauty. Dispense a small amount onto your palms and apply daily—the green tea extract is rich in antioxidants and provides the optimal oil-moisture balance for your face.
Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
I’d heard the hype around this lip balm, tried it and promptly understood. Laneige’s lip mask can be applied before bedtime, but also throughout the day—we’re never without a tub. The lightweight formula moisturizes and smooths like nothing else, thanks to berry extracts, hyaluronic acid and minerals.
Dr. Jart+ V7 Antioxidant Serum
Remembering to take your vitamins just got easier: This dual-phase serum neatly packs in your skin’s daily dose of vitamins B3, C, F, K3, B5, E and H. As for what that cocktail does, use it daily and you can expect plenty of glass-skin glow.