My green J-beauty company, [EDO BEAUTY LAB] is getting underway, but I’m still very much in the K-beauty game! Here are my 5 current K-beauty obsessions. This list includes products from LAGOM, Sulwhasoo, Innisfree and SECRET MUSE. The theme of this list is preventative skincare, with a focus on UV protection and fighting hormonal blemishes.
You’ll notice that these products may fall into the category of “natural/clean beauty,” meaning they use ingredients that are safe for people/ the environment; however it’s really important to note that “chemical” ingredients can also have an important role in a proper skincare routine, too. (My daughter’s skin, for example, has shown incredible improvement since adding topical and oral steroids to her skincare routine!)
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My 5 Current K-Beauty Obsessions
1. LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Cream
First up is a cica duo from Lagom. I collaborated with them in 2019 and was pleased that they’d reached out to me again in March 2021 to promote their latest offerings.
They sent me the cutest PR package, and I especially liked that it was simple packaging with no unnecessary inserts. And, the Korean coins were a very thoughtful touch. To tie it all together, the PR package arrived right around my birthday!
I admit I was late to the “cica party” having only first incorporated cica into my skincare routine in the summer of 2020. Nearly a year later, cica has become one of my trusted ingredients because it will effectively deal with hormonal acne.
Cica, if you haven’t heard of it, is Centella Asiatica, a popular K-beauty ingredient used to calm inflammation, redness, & irritation. And, LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Cream does wonders as a night cream to ease painful pimples!
It’s a very rich and smooth cream that doesn’t feel heavy at all. It leaves a translucent layer on the skin which turns into a nice velvety feeling in the morning. (FYI: one of its ingredients is beeswax, so LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Cream is not vegan.)
2. LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Powder
Related to the above entry is LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Powder, another cica product that I’ve come to love. It comes in a simple bottle, about as tall as my thumb. I mistakenly thought it was a facial washing powder.
However, this product is meant to be mixed with a toner/other products or as “spot treatment” in the final step of an evening skincare routine. I also use it as the final step in my daytime skincare routine if I’m going to be wearing foundation.
Mixing the LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Powder with other skincare products can be messy at first. But, I’ve since figured out the best way to add this powder to another product is to put the powder on the back of the hand, then add drops of your desired mixing agent. (Of course, using a small dish works too!)
If you often get breakouts after using sunscreen, LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Powder is an excellent way to reduce irritation. I’ve personally noticed a difference in my skin when I add LAGOM Cellus Sensitive Cica Powder to my sunscreen!
For a detailed look at LAGOM as a brand, please read my post: Lagom Korean Beauty Skincare Review
Available on Amazon
3. Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask
Sulwhasoo has long been one of the K-beauty brands I wanted to try, but I always felt that they were a bit out of my price range. However, I received a trial size of the Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask in the May 2021 Raxy Beauty Box, and I’m now eager to try out other offerings from this reigning K-beauty giant.
(I’m required to note my status as an official Raxy Beauty Box ambassador when mentioning it on social media, so just throwing that out there in case someone from RAXY ends up on my blog!)
Formulated with traditional Korean Medicinal Herbs, the Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask purifies and clarifies dull skin by nourishing and improving skin tone and texture. It has an unusual but beautiful brown color with exfoliating granules that look like coffee grounds.
What makes this product stand out to me is its unique fragrance, similar to black licorice coffee, if that were a thing. (Is that a thing? Y’all… a quick google search reveals that it is a thing!)
This is overall a fun product to try for #maskingMonday, #textureTuesday, or #selfcareSunday. However, I will be honest and say that I don’t leave this product on for too long because it feels tight and uncomfortable. 2-3 minutes is as long as I can last! After a bit of research I discovered that this is a peel-off mask, so ooops @ me and my gross oversight.
Still, after nearly 2 weeks of using Sulwhasoo Clarifying Mask twice a week, I see noticeable results immediately after application.
4. Innisfree Black Tea Youth Ampoule
Innisfree is K-beauty’s leading natural-skincare brand which uses naturally derived, responsibly sourced ingredients harvested on the island of Jeju. (Innisfree, I should mention, is one of the inspirations behind [EDO BEAUTY LAB]!)
This is an “aging care” product that aligns with my views on “anti-aging” skincare — that prevention, along with acceptance of the aging process, is the best aging care out there. (For more, please read this post: Learning From the Japanese Approach To Anti-Aging Skincare)
Innisfree Black Tea Youth Ampoule doesn’t promise to erase the signs of aging. But, it uses a formulated “reset concentrate” made from naturally fermented organic black tea, which is rich in antioxidants.
It also uses hyaluronic acid and niacinamide to plump, nourish, and soothe the skin overnight. Dryness can lead to premature signs of aging, and this is an excellent product to have in your preventative arsenal!
Available on Amazon Japan
5. SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk
If you don’t like the smells of most sunscreens, you’ll definitely like SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk. As far as the fragrance goes, the best way I can describe it is to imagine a product that you’d apply to a baby or toddler’s skin.
That’s what this smells like, something you’d find in the baby section of a drugstore, if that makes any sense. It’s a soft, gentle scent that’s not overpowering, and it certainly doesn’t smell like sunscreen.
Korean sunscreens, like Japanese sunscreens, use the SPF and PA rating system to show how well a product protects against UVA and UVB rays. SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk is rated SPF 50+ PA+++ (out of the highest possible rating of SPF 50+ PA++++).
You may wonder if this product leaves a white cast but SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk blends in flawlessly.
Here’s a comparison clip that I made reviewing SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk and the hit Japanese sunscreen Allie:
View this post on Instagram
SECRET MUSE UV Protect Sun Milk easily joins Lagom and Anessa as my top 3 sunscreens EVER.
I also like the ergonomic, hands-free, one-touch bottle which makes (re) application super easy. Plus, it’s perfectly sized for pockets!
For more sunscreen recommendations check out this post: 7 Japanese Sunscreens To Try This Summer
Available on Rakuten Japan (couldn’t find it on Amazon, sorry!)
My 5 Current K-Beauty Obsessions
I hope you’ll enjoy my 5 current K-beauty obsessions as much as I do! While I will be shifting focus to [EDO BEAUTY LAB], I will continue to work alongside K-beauty brands as a consultant for the Japanese market, particularly for “natural” brands.
Stay tuned for more K-beauty reviews on The Wagamama Diaries!