Korean Beauty Trend (& Review): The Face Mask

Since BB Cream made its first appearance in the Western market, the South Korean beauty industry has seen phenomenal growth here in North America, and for good reason – the products actually work. Whether your skin is dry, red, oily, or chock full of blackheads…Korea has a solution for you.

The industry has developed such a presence overseas that companies have cropped up here in order to market these products, like SoKo Glam, C&C Cosmetics, and The Face Shop. It’s clear to see that once we got our first taste of Korean skincare, we just couldn’t give it up.

Among the most popular of Korean beauty trends is the sheet mask. A quick, easy-to-use treatment that can be tailored to any and all potential skin concerns. They’re typically made of cotton or gel sheets, which are infused with serums and a variety of natural ingredients. While many American brands may be trying their hand at the trend – from Sephora to Estée Lauder – they just can’t seem to outshine their Korean competition, for a few reasons.

Firstly, Korean women have high standards, which the industry is forced to keep up with. In Korea, establishing a beauty routine is not a tool for treatment after problems have surfaced – their philosophy is to take action before such problems even begin. In an interview with Glamour Magazine, Charlotte Cho, co-founder of SoKo Glam, said that, “It’s never too early to start taking care of your skin…[its] taken for granted as part of overall health, like brushing teeth.” Skincare is not an afterthought, it’s a lifestyle. Second, Korean masks are infused with a variety of unique ingredients. From seaweed and rice to snail mucus and bee venom, these natural and uncommon formulas are unrivalled. Finally, Korean skincare is affordable. Products are comparatively cheaper than their Western alternatives – you really do get a better bang for your buck.

As someone whose experience with “proper” skincare is mediocre at best, I decided to really test this trend for myself. So, I visited my local C&C Cosmetics, and with the help of the staff I walked away with five new products to try. I also decided to grab one of the Korean face masks available at Sephora for a mild comparison. You can see them all below.


Left to right, top to bottom: Dr. Jart+ Water Replenishment Cotton Sheet Mask (Sephora), Purederm Deep Cleansing Peel-Off Mask, TONYMOLY I’m REAL Seaweed Skin Purifying Mask, Purederm skinRecovery Rice Bran Collagen Mask, TONYMOLY egg nose pore strip, MEDIHEAL S.Q.S Midnight Capping Pack

Three sheet masks, two peels, and one pore strip. A variety of different ingredients and skincare brands, all rooted in South Korea.

Overall, I was very happy with the results. After using the products together for about three weeks, I really noticed a difference in my skin. And my friends did, too! It feels smoother, healthier, and a lot more hydrated. Obviously it’s going to take some effort on my part to establish an actual regimen (wish me luck), but my first taste of Korean skincare has left me feeling optimistic. You can see my full review of all 6 products in the video below.

If anyone has any suggestions for more masks or particular ingredients I should try, please leave your recommendations in the comments! I’d love to know what you’ve been loving recently. What’s your go-to product?

Categories: 2017

5 replies »

  1. Now I’m intrigued! I want to try the seaweed mask! I think I need to plan a little trip downtown. Didn’t even know they had this in Montreal. Thank you for honest the review!

    • Hi! C&C Cosmetics does not have a website, but you may be able to order them through the websites of each brand. I know that the Tonymoly masks should also be available through either Sephora or Urban Outfitters as well.

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