12 Korean Beauty Brands You Need to Try in 2021

By now, we are almost all aware of Korean beauty products and their infinite benefits (if you’re a reader of this magazine, you know what I mean).

Still, navigating Korean beauty brands’ jungle is not an easy task, especially considering how many K-brands are available today. If you are a newbie to K-beauty, this list of the best Korean beauty brands to try in 2021 is perfect as a starting point.

If you are a veteran, this may help you confirming your choices or helping in trying something else.

12 Korean Beauty Brands You Need to Try

So far, these are the best and must-try Korean beauty brands and their top skincare and/or makeup items: you have 12 months to try all of them, so why not challenging your competitive side?

COSRX

COSRX

Cosrx is probably the Korean brand everyone has tried, at least once. The biggest asset of this brand is definitely its formula, which effectively targets specific problems that can hardly be beaten; together with a minimalistic packaging, Cosrx has a plethora of lovers Worldwide, and it’s easy to understand why.

We have got a full article on the best Cosrx products to try, but on this occasion, I want to focus on three really effective ones that should be in everyone’s beauty cabinet:

Dear, Klairs

Dear, Klairs

Like Cosrx, Dear, Klairs has also been loved for so many years that it cannot be forgotten to compile a list of the best Korean beauty brands to try in 2021. Once again, the packaging is essential, and the goal is to provide good and effective products to target specific skin’s needs and, in particular, hydration and acne.

These are the two must-have Klairs’ products in 2021.

Check out our article on the best Dear, Klair products to better overview the brand and its products.

Laneige

Laneige

Laneige’s goal is to provide hydration and firmness to any skin. In fact, water is the main ingredient used in Laneige’s products, which translates into high-quality products that can be used at any age. We have a full article on the best Laneige products, but if you’re looking for a quick recommendation, I suggest you try these two items:

The Face Shop 

The Face Shop

The Face Shop is well known in South Korea, perhaps a little less around the World, but its products are something to try at least once. They’re proud to use old recipes and ingredients and adapt them to modern times.

That’s why the best selling and absolutely must-tries are the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Oil and the Rice Water Bright Cleansing Foam.

Nature Republic

Nature Republic

If you want to stay true to nature, Nature Republic is the brand you need to choose. Despite being less famous than the others, this is a brand to look out for closely because of its simplicity and effectiveness.

On top of everything, the famous Aloe Vera Soothing Gel can be used in multiple ways and really help target skin’s problems of various types.

Mizon

Mizon

Mizon is a brand that K-beauty lovers cannot skip: once again, the packaging is essential because the focus is on the products and their formula. No fancy stuff, just ingredients that specifically work to take care of signs of aging and dehydration.

Mizon has an entire snail product, but overall the best one, the one everyone should have in their cabinet, is the All in One Snail Repair Cream. Read our review of the cream!

Innisfree

Innisfree

Very few people still don’t know Innisfree, one of the most famous and loved Korean beauty brands. Any Innisfree product’s signature element is its provenance: in fact, everything is specifically sourced from Jeju Island, and the products contain typical ingredients from the island, such as volcanic clay and green tea.

It’s hard to pick the best Innisfree products, but for sure, the Innisfree Green Tea Serum (read our review) makes a list for its effectiveness.

Missha

Missha

Missha’s mission is to help to achieve glowing and flawless skin. The products cover any needs, and the Time Revolution line, and especially the Essence, is definitely the one to watch out for.

In this specific case, I have to recommend one of the best make up products out there, the Magic Cushion, which has been created to give a glass-skin complexion, and it really works!

Neogen

Neogen

Neogen is yet another essential K-brand that must make its way into your beauty routine. From serum to sunscreen, Neogen has everything for a complete Korean beauty routine.

The star is definitely the Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze, 30 single-use exfoliating pads to exfoliate your skin and remove dead skin cells (read our review).

Check our list of the best Neogen products for a better overview.

Etude House

Etude House

If you like “kawaii” stuff, pink and cute packaging, and products that do exactly what they’re meant to do, then Etude House is the brand to try in 2021.

Aside from the makeup products, some of the best on the market, Etude House is famous for the Moistfull Collagen line, including various products to target wrinkles, dehydration, and a general loss of tone.

3CE

3CE

3CE may not be the first Korean brand you think of but trust me, if you’re into good makeup and especially nude palettes, 3CE will make a perfect choice. The brand’s concept is classically Korean, so it all focuses on minimalism and essentiality, but it’s funny, smart, and colorful.

I’ve written a whole article on the best 3CE products to try, but I would definitely go for the Velvet Lip Tint and the Mood Recipe Lip Color if I have to pick a couple.

Sulwhasoo

Sulwhasoo Cushion

Sulwhasoo is definitely one of those Korean brands that, despite how expensive they are, never disappoint. The biggest characteristic of the Sulwhasoo products are the ingredients; in fact, Sulwhasoo products are made from fermented herbs used in traditional Korean medicine. All contain polyphenols, antioxidants, and anti-carcinogenic agents with the goal of improving the overall texture of the skin taking also care of the underlayer.

The Perfecting Cushion is a must-try, and it’s hard to change products once you’ve tried this!

Korean beauty products

Best Korean Beauty Brands: FAQ

What’s the best Korean beauty brand?

Answering what’s the best Korean beauty brand is not easy. In fact, personal preferences have to be taken into account strongly, and what one person can consider the best another one can consider the worst. The list above includes well-loved brands that can satisfy every users’ needs; some are cheaper, others a bit more expensive, but overall they’re all incredibly good at doing what they promise to do.

What is the most popular makeup brand in Korea?

Same as above, this question cannot be answered comprehensively. Some of the brands are famous among the young, others among the adults, but they all share a big slice of the market overall, and, in many cases, they’re now also well-known outside of South Korea.

What makes a Korean brand better than a Western one?

First of all, there’s no better and worst because every brand has its pros and cons, no matter its provenance. Surely, K-beauty brands have the advantage of using natural ingredients and to spend a lot of time researching the best combinations and the best ingredients. This results in a range of products and brands, each with its own main feature, to target specific needs at its best.

Where can I buy Korean beauty products online?

Korean products can be easily found on Amazon, but their prices can be inflated, and items can be limited. We tend to recommend products on YesStyle because of the availability and overall offer; sometimes the prices are a bit higher than other marketplaces, but the service, the offers, and the inventory are just too good to be compared to other online stores.

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