Among the other fun things about Korean beauty products: They make great presents. After all, who doesn’t want the gift of glowing skin, packaged in a container that’s either beautiful or shaped like a kitten?
Below, we’ve compiled the most innovative and entertaining ideas from the world of K-beauty, ranging from a panda eye cream to a toner that’s a dupe for SK-II. Read on for exclusive curated kits, great deals on sheet masks, and where to buy sold-out snail slime (it really works, just ask Reddit).
The Economy-Size Sheet Mask Pack
Name a skin-care dilemma, and there’s an Innisfree sheet mask for that. The 16-sheet pack covers all the bases, from moisture-boosting and wrinkle-smoothing to brightening and tightening using natural ingredients like açai berry, green tea, and manuka honey. At less than a dollar per mask, you can even share — or not.
The Cute Pack
The Shiny Diamond Kitten Mask
Korean beauty products are as fun as they are innovative. Memebox’s Disco Kitten mask went viral for the name and its transformative properties. It starts out white and turns silver as it dries. Let it set for about 20 minutes while trying to Kira Kira yourself, then peel it off in one piece for softer, brighter skin.
The Snail Toner
Korean beauty insiders swear by snail mucus (high in protein, elastin, and hyaluronic acid) for smoothing skin and fading scars and pigmentation. This one is popular for its pore-shrinking and oil-absorbing abilities and is a favorite on one of Reddit’s most active beauty boards, Asian Beauty. While some snail-infused products can be sticky in texture, this one is lightweight and velvet-y.
The Straightforward Pack
If snail mucus and rubberized masks are too daring a present, allow us to recommend this straight-forward facial moisturizing set by Dr. Jart+. The Ceramidin Cream and Cicapair Tiger Grass Cream are two of the brand’s top sellers because they soothe dry skin without causing breakouts. They’re conveniently packaged in this travel-friendly gift box.
The Dupe Pack
The real draw of this set is Korean brand Missha’s First Treatment Essence, which is considered a dupe to the much-pricier SK-II. Some people even like the Essence better. Most sets contain either travel-size or full-size products, but this one has both. Layer on the First Treatment Essence to hydrate the skin, followed by what’s called the Activator Ampule. Think of it as a serum for its moisturizing and firming effects.
The Sheet Mask Starter Pack
This is the stocking stuffer to get all your girlfriends. The canvas case includes three sheet masks which don’t contain any alcohol or essential oils, including the hydrating (Good Skin Day), firming (Chubby Cheeks), and brightening (Reset Button). It also comes with a dual-sided sheer lipstick and honey oil treatment.
The Snail Starter Pack
Benton’s snail toner is so popular that it’s sold out on Soko Glam’s site — except as part of The Essentials gift set. An edited selection by the site’s founder Charlotte Cho, it pairs the toner with a mist that’s also a serum and a water-based moisturizer. Consider this an introduction kit to Korean skin care.
The Good Zzzs Mask
This sleeping mask (an intense nighttime moisturizer) is so popular, one is apparently sold every 12 seconds. The lightweight jelly texture is beloved by fans (it has over 700 reviews on Amazon and 5-star reviews) because of its ability to make skin feel pillow-y soft.
The “I Really Love You” Sheet Mask
The illuminating serum contained in this sheet mask has been a cult favorite in Korea for over two decades. I like them even more than the O.G. of sheet masks, the SK-II. Unfortunately, they’re even pricier — but the effects are glowing and radiant, even with no makeup. I only pull these out for when I want to look truly incredible (and Korean skin-care bloggers agree). Give these to someone you really, really love.
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