Best Asian and Korean beauty products to buy now

Glow is the buzzword here.

Beauty. Smiling women with perfect face skin and natural makeup portrait. Beautiful happy asian and african girl models with different types of skin on beige background. Spa skin care concept
(Image credit: puhhha/Getty Images)

It's always time to celebrate the best Asian and Korean skincare products but especially now in the wake of hate crimes against the Asian community. 

These beauty heroes sometimes fly under the radar but are the brilliant and notable finds on display in editors' bathrooms.

There's undeniably a certain pleasure in running to the corner store to pick up those tried-and-trusted beauty favorites for just a few bucks. And drugstore staples like CeraVe Moisturizing Cream and La Roche Posay Anthelios Ultra Light Sunscreen will always have a place in our beauty regimes. Skincare by Hyram wouldn't forgive us if they didn't.

But here's the thing: the best Asian and Korean skincare products will raise the bar on the anti-aging and glow-galvanizing results of that regime, even those jam-packed with the best vitamin C serums.

This wonderful raft of products may have fun names and whimsical packaging, injecting a bit of personality into the hum-drum role call of cleansing, moisturizing and masking. And we're all for beauty taking itself a little less seriously. After all, who doesn't want to play with a magical skin-illuminating serum or a snail-based sheet mask in the name of beauty? 

But don't be fooled. All importantly, they also contain science-backed ingredients influenced by eastern medicine and take the approach that healthy skin is the non-negotiable basis for everything that comes next. 

Take Shiseido, for example. This Japanese brand is celebrating its 150-year anniversary in 2022, during which time it has developed technology like a polymer that adapts and lets in more moisture according to the amount of humidity in the air. Or the Responsive Sensory Technology for its best non-comedogenic foundation where the amount of mattifying powder released onto the skin depends on how much oil it detects. Pretty clever, no?

Here's our pick of some of the best Asian and Korean skincare products on the market today. Trust us, once you've tried them, there's no going back as you realize exactly what you've been missing out on.

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil

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Erborian Black Cleansing Oil

(Image credit: Feelunique)

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil, $29 Ulta [£24, Feelunique]

Once you get past the idea that a sooty-looking cleansing oil is actually going to clean your skin, you can begin to appreciate how the charcoal in the formula hoovers up make-up, oil and daily grime.

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil

Image 1 of 8

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil

(Image credit: Feelunique)

Erborian Black Cleansing Oil, $29 Ulta [£24, Feelunique]

Once you get past the idea that a sooty-looking cleansing oil is actually going to clean your skin, you can begin to appreciate how the charcoal in the formula hoovers up make-up, oil and daily grime.

Fiona Embleton
Fiona Embleton

Fiona Embleton is a multi-award-winning beauty editor who has tested over 10,000 products in her 10 years +  of writing and shooting beauty stories. For the past four years, she was the Senior Beauty Editor at Marie Claire, having previously worked in the role of Beauty Editor at both Stylist and Cosmopolitan. She has recently gone freelance and alongside My Imperfect Life, she has written for titles including ELLE UK, ELLE Canada, Buro 247, Harper's Bazaar Arabia, Vogue Scandinavia, and ES Magazine. Beauty journalism allowed her to marry up her first-class degree in English Literature and Language (she’s a stickler for grammar and a self-confessed ingredients geek) with a passion for make-up and skincare, photography, and catwalk trends. She loves jumping on the latest internet-breaking beauty news, dissecting the best red carpet looks, and having the crème de la crème of dermatologists, make-up artists, and hairstylists on speed dial so she can tap them for the best advice. She’s a discerning beauty shopper and knows it can be confusing trying to navigate what’s hype and what really works. So if she really likes something, you can trust that she has reached that opinion by vetting it against everything else she’s ever tried. Her career highs? Interviewing Cate Blanchett and winning a Jasmine Award for the deeply personal feature Cancer Stole My Mother’s Scent.