Where To Start With Korean Skincare

Time to get gorgeous.

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk / Pexels

Ever thought about adding snail slime to your bedtime routine? Or fancied glowing from the inside out before applying any makeup?  

Let us introduce you to the wonderful world of Korean skincare!

As with most trends these days, Korean beauty has been snatched up by TikTok users across the globe, with #koreanskincare having 6.8 billion views on the app. 

So, why the popularity, and what makes it stand out? 

While western skincare largely focuses on exfoliants and retinoids to treat blemishes, the Korean method is a lot more gentle. With simple, often natural, ingredients, Korean skincare is known for being kind to sensitive or dry skin. The focus is on moisture, making sure your skin is as plump and smooth as humanly possible! 

According to research carried out by the beauty and wellness site Fresha, Google searches for ‘glass skin’, a common Korean beauty term, have more than doubled in the past five years. 

With all the buzz in the skincare world around ‘healing your skin barrier’ from the exfoliants and chemicals we often use, Korean skincare appears to be here to save the day – here’s how you can get involved.

While there are A LOT of great products to choose from to create a 10-step nighttime routine (yes, that’s a lot of steps), we think it might be better to keep it simple while starting off. 

Here are some products we’ve heard a lot about that we’re only dying to try out.


Every tutorial for Korean skincare starts out with a mild cleanser. 

TikTok has a lot of love for the Mugwort Gel Cleanser which contains 60% extracts from the mugwort plant – great for sensitive skin. 


The next step is a toner or serum. Korean skincare revolves around toners, and there are so many to choose from depending on your skin goals. 

And no, we weren’t joking when we mentioned snails earlier. It turns out that snail secretion filtrate is one of Korea’s best kept beauty secrets and can be found in most hydrating products.

The COSRX Snail Mucin is a very popular choice, and not just because of the snail slime, but because it really works! Social media users praise the serum for its protective and moisturising qualities, and their glowing skin really speaks for itself.

If snails are not your thing, the I’m From Rice Toner is also a favourite in Korea, as it balances your natural oils while brightening and evening out any dark patches. 

Moisturise + SPF 

For moisturiser, the Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Skin Barrier Moisturiser is ideal for dry skin. 

And make sure you don’t forget your SPF for the daytime! They really do suncream right in Korea, with a wide range of moisturising, lightweight products with little to no white cast. 

The Beauty of Joseon Sun Cream has SPF 50, but you wouldn’t know by how seamlessly it soaks into the skin. 

If you’re wondering how you can get a hold of these products here in Ireland, Boots and Beauty Bay both have sections of their websites dedicated to Korean beauty, and an Irish website specialising in Korean and Japanese skincare, Incandeskin.ie, also carries a wide range of popular products. 

So, why not join the millions of TikTok users? They seem pretty into it.

Words by Sorcha Lynch