Asian Skin Care

I was first introduced to Asian skin care by watching some YouTubers that used Asian products in their skin care routine. At first I was skeptical, but as I researched a bit, I realized it's a cutting edge technology driven industry that actually sets up a lot of grounds for Western brands.

Their skin care products seem to claim only what they can deliver, which is exactly how I like it. On some Western creams you'll find claims that will make you think it will be paying morgage for you as well. 

In Asian skin care you'll find preferred ingredients that you'll come across in many different ranges and brands - like hyaluronic acid, ceramides, niacinamide and snail mucin. Their packaging can be either simplistic or super cute and almost childish looking. They're known for changing up not only packaging, but also upgrading formulas every once in a while, but some staples will stay untouched. You can read more about Asian skin care in one of my posts where I reviewed The Little Book of Skin Care by Charlotte Cho

If you start researching must have Asian skin care products, you'll find some basics that are popular across all skin care lovers and I feel like you can't go wrong with those, if the description fits your needs. 

Here are some of Asian skin care products, mostly Korean, that I have used in the past and that have been either descent or I have really loved and repurchased several times since. I'm basically mentioning those worth checking out, if you're new to Asian skin care market.

COSRX is one of my favorite Korean skin care brands. You really can't go wrong with their products. I've tried a few already and some have quickly become staples in my routine. 

Their low pH cleanser was my favorite cleanser for summer, when I was dealing with excessive sebum production - oily skin and lots of sweating. This is transparent gel type cleanser that creates soft foam once you mix it with water. It has strong tea tree scent. because of the tea tree oil in it. It's slightly acidic cleanser with BHA which will chemically exfoliate - clean out pores and get rid of dead skin cells. It was gentle enough on my combination skin in the summer, when I tend to produce more oil and therefore have more clogged pores. 

I used it mostly in the evening. It removes any last traces of makeup, makes skin smooth, cleans out pores well and almost feels refreshing and cooling.

Best for: combination/oily skin with uneven texture and clogged pores
Price: 8-13€

Hada Labo Rohto Gokujyn Hyaluronic Acid Lotion

Humectants like hyaluronic acid have gained major popularity, because they are excellent ingredients for keeping skin hydrated. Many Westrern brands have been including hyaluronic acid in their products as well. Hada Labo is Japanese brand very well known for their hyaluronic acid products and this lotion is one of their most popular ones. 

It's transparent, watery liquid that contains four types (sizes) of hyaluronic acid in order to penetrate all levels of skin. It's just slightly thicker than water, absorbs fast and you almost can't feel it on the skin. It didn't clog my pores and made my skin well hydrated. This is excellent for oily skins, because it feels so lightweight on the skin, but it will work for any skin really. It has no fragrance to it. I got mini size which actually lasted me three to four months. It's nice that you can buy smaller sizes before committing to a whole new product and formula.

Best for: all skins that need hydration
Price: mini around 6€

Cezanne Skin Conditioner High Moist

Cezanne is another Japanese brand with very popular hydrating lotion. It comes in a huge bottle that contains 500 ml of product, so you can pretty much use it all over your body as well. It contains several hydrating and skin friendly ingredients like ceramide, hyaluronic acid and amino acids.

This is another type of slightly more viscose  than water liquid product that has murky white color to it and a good slip. It's very lightweight and absorbs well, but this one leaves a bit more nourishing layer on the skin than Hada Labo. It sinks into the skin quickly, so you can definitely layer this. In the summer this was all I used on my face through the day (apart from SPF). If you want your skin to be even more hydrated, layer a few layers of this on top of each other.

It feels hydrating and slightly nourishing. Formula is super lightweight and I never had any clogging of pores or irritation, because it also doesn't contain any fragrance. It will work great for dry to oily skin, it just depends on how much you use it.

Best for: all skin that needs hydration, especially nice for sensitive skin
Price: around 15€

Secret Key Aloe Soothing Moist Toner

Usually, my routine was always filled with exfoliating toners, because I didn't really like any of the traditional toners. Most of them were full of alcohol and not much else. This was the first classic hydrating toner that I liked.

It comes heavily recommended because of its big size at an affordable price. It's watery lotion that is light on the skin, but feels hydrating and moisturizing. It feels almost soothing after you wash your face and apply this on top. There is some herbal sweet scent to it, so it won't be best for sensitive skin.

I mostly used this in the summer months when my skin couldn't handle any heavier moisturizers, because my skin was getting clogged by all that sebum production. It's a very basic hydrating toner and you'll appreciate it, if you don't need anything too hydrating or nourishing. If you want something more effective than go for Hada Labo or Cezanne instead.

Best for: normal skin that needs very basic hydrating
Price: around 9€

I must have used about three to four bottles of this already. It's one of my favorite chemical exfoliating toners. COSRX uses very simple no-fuss packaging, but their formulas are great.

It's liquid toner with slight yellow tint to it. It contains BHA and AHA as well as black bee propolis. It's meant for problematic, but formulated also for sensitive skin. From my experience many exfoliating toners are too harsh for sensitive skin. Acids are irritating in general, but this formula is the gentles I have tried so far. If you have very irritated skin stay always from any acids in general or choose gentler ones like lactic acid. 

I almost never notice any sting with this formula on my skin. It feels light on the skin and just a bit tacky, which almost creates soothing feel on the skin. Acids in it make my skin smoother and if I use it daily, I notice my pores look better - cleaner. When I am dealing with pimples, this calms them down and helps them heal faster. It has strong tea tree scent to it.

Best for: uneven texture, clogged pores and breakouts (gentle enough for slightly sensitive skin)
Price: around 13€

While we're on the topic of COSRX, here is another amazing product from their range that I have been loving. Snail mucin or slime is one of the most popular Asian skin care ingredients. It may sound disgusting, trust me, I get it, but once you try it in a skin care formula, you'll see it doesn't look or feel awful at all. Snail slime contains ingredients like glycoproteins, hyaluronic acid and glycolic acids. It's great hydrator, antioxidant and produces collagen. It's also one of the best ingredients for healing skin with blemishes or acne scars.

I imagine essences being more liquid, but this is quite viscose gel type of formula that has a bit of that slimy slip to it. It's very smooth and spreads well. On the skin it feels hydrating and nourishing, but in a lightweight layer. It absorbs into the skin well. It's unscented, but there is some natural scent to it.

This is one of those lightweight products that hydrates the skin well and also nourishes it at once. It's great for healing any scars or blemishes. I notice my atopic dermatitis on the back healed faster as well as some blemishes healed up much faster, when using this every day. This is almost that soothing multi-tasker that does a bit of all. If you use it regularly, you might even notice some added sheen to your skin.

Best for: damaged skin that need healing and nourishment, sensitive skin
Price: around 14€

Mizon Snail Repair Eye Cream

When it comes to eye creams, I'll admit, I am not very fussy, because I treat it like a lighter moisturizer and don't expect much more from it. Both eye creams that I mention here have come up in my search for affordable Asian eye cream.

Mizon snail eye cream is that slightly white gel type of cream that feels very lightweight on the skin and it has a smooth glide to it. It contains 80% snail secretion filtrate which regenerates skin and therefore reduces fine lines and wrinkles. I especially liked lightweight feel on the skin and the fact that it felt moisturizing enough, but didn't cause me any milia or clogged pores. It doesn't contain any fragrance and works great under makeup. 

I believe this must be a small size of the cream, which actually lasted me pretty long time, because you need the tinniest amount. I have already purchased two of these in the past.

Best for: all skins, also sensitive
Price: around 6€

AHC Ultimate Real Eye Cream For Face

This is the most popular Korean eye cream brand and this particular eye cream has won several awards. I stumbled upon it while researching good Asian eye creams. AHC has some serious claims attached to it backed up by science, so it sound very impressive.

AHC Ultimate real eye Cream has about 7 different types of eye creams and I chose Ultimate Real, because it seemed to be one of the best universal ones. It's sold as super absorbent anti-aging eye cream with thermosensitive polymers. It contains 18 types of peptides that improve antioxidation and elasticity, 5 types of plant stem cells to regulate moisture and pure biotics water also for moisture. It should also be brightening.

Texture is almost like a gel cream hybrid and it has a smooth glide. I find it to hydrate well, but not feel heavy or look sticky. It wears well under makeup and I liked it a lot. My under eyes aren't too wrinkly, so I can't say how good it is for that and I also don't have a lot of discoloration, but I find it to be very pleasant to you. And you need very small amount of it. It has sweet sort of herbal scent to it.

Best for: all skins, except very sensitive (because of fragrance)
Price: around 6€

Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream

Because I was so satisfied with Snail Repair eye cream, I decided to try out mini version of all in one cream as well which should be, as the name suggests, for all parts of the body.

This formula also felt like a cream/gel hybrid, but with more of that typical slimy feel to it. It's very lightweight and absorbs into the skin fast. Behind it leaves almost matte finish, which leads me to believe this would be great for combination and oily skin types that don't want any added shine. 

It contains 92% of snail extract which is amazing for healing and hydrating. Despite light feel on the skin, it moisturized and nourished skin well. This would be my summer moisturizer. There is also no added fragrance. 

Best for: all skins, especially damadged and in need of nourishment
Price: mini around 5€

Tony Moly Panda's Dream White Magic Cream

Let's talk about cute, ha?! This is definitely the most cute skin care packaging I own. It's typical example of Asian skin care that has been packaged in a super cute format that just invites you to buy it. I actually bought it based on the testers that I got, but the packaging didn't hurt either.

It's a thicker looking white cream, but it feels surprisingly light on the skin and it's very spreadable. It's very white since it contains titanium dioxide, so it looks almost like a physical sunscreen, but without the heavy greasy feel. Niacinamide is also high on the list and brightening is one of its benefits. This cream will leave a white cast, but it will also even out skin tone. I was especially surprised by how this made my skin tone look so even, but also a lot lighter and brighter in tone. It's the main reason why I bought it. My skin around the mouth is sallow, but with this cream it actually looks all evened out.

It has a strong scent to it which smells sort of powdery and floral. 

You can use it as a moisturizer, but it's more appropriate for normal skin that doesn't need a lot of hydration, because it leaves sort of a velvet finish on the skin. You can also use it as a primer to even out skin tone and I feel like this is its best power. 

Best for: dull, light skin tone
Price: around 9€

My absolute favorite sunscreen for everyday that I have repurchased several tubes of. If there's one thing that Asians do well, it's sunscreen. And by that I mean that their sunscreens are always so nice to wear. Partly, because most of them use chemical filters which don't leave white cast on your face and are formulated in a much lighter way.

This is thin white cream that spreads with ease, absorbs quickly and leaves no white cast on your face. It leaves behind velvet matte finish with just a touch of sheen. It feels moisturizing on its own and I won't even use anything else in hot summer heat under it, apart from maybe Cezanne or Hada Labo. Cream has citrus scent which smells sort of refreshing, but doesn't feel irritating on me. It has SPF of 45 or PA+++ and isn't waterproof. 

It's so lightweight on the skin that I use it every day under makeup. It would also work great for all your men that hate sticky feeling of sunscreen on their face, because the finish is so velvet that no one will notice they're wearing it. If you have very sensitive skin, chemical filters may irritate you, so do some research.

Best for: All skins that deal well with chemical filters
Price: around 8€

OK, so this might look like makeup, but I think it belongs in skin care category as well. It's a true multitasker, being moisturizer, sunscreen and primer all in one. It's liquid white cream that spreads with ease and feels lightweight, but leaves slightly tacky layer which acts great as a primer. It contains chemical physical sunscreen filters and has high SPF of 50+ or PA+++.

It feels moisturizing and a bit nourishing on the skin and because it contains tiny pearl particles, it gives your skin beautiful luminous shine. It really is like a beautifying moisturizer, because it gives your skin a very healthy glow and it protects it from sun. You can just use it as a primer and put makeup on top as well. It has fruity scent to it.

If this wouldn't be as expensive, I would use it as moisturizer every day and especially on those no makeup days, because this gives skin such a healthy expensive sheen. Sometimes I also use it as liquid highlighter.

Best for: all skins, except very oily
Price: around 17€

This has to be one of the best products for anyone that deals with blemishes or acne. Let's face it, we all have those pesky days in the month where hormonal breakouts are inevitable or those weekends that we went ham on that pizza and cake. COSRX patches come in play here. 

It's basically a hydrocolloid patch that has a slight rubberized feel to it, but it's very thin. After looking up ingredients list, I really can't pin point which is the ingredient in it that would actually help with the healing, because it doesn't contain any active ingredient like salicylic acid and such. But it somehow works, probably because it isolates the blemish and keeps it moisturized.

In the pack are 24 patches of 3 different sizes, so you can apply bigger ones on bigger blemishes and smaller ones on smaller. Or do it like me and cut bigger one in half to get more uses out of this one pack. These patches come packed in an extreme hygienic way for something that is cosmetic. You may look like you're performing a surgery while opening these up, but hey, at least you know COSRX is not kidding with their products. 

I apply patch on a blemish and in time gel patch becomes whiter in the middle of the blemish and it looks like it sucked out all of the gunk from the blemish. I'm telling you, it looks magical and it works. My smaller blemishes tend to heal overnight with this. However, I can't not pick on them and those huge ones that look infected, they take longer to heal. You might need to use three of those patches on them. I find these patches to be especially good for those huge, deep rooted blemishes. 

I've tried similar patches from other brands and honestly, nothing comes even close to COSRX. 

Best for: problematic skin with blemishes and acne
Price: around 4€

This is one of those unnecessary products, but it works well and is great for pampering. It's a pot full of hydrogel patches that you can use around the eyes or lips to keep that area more hydrated. I like that it comes air tight and with a separate spatula, so you can scoop out each eye patch without touching the others. Very hygienic, again.

Olive green patches with apparently real gold sparkle in them have that elastic hydrogel feel to them. Patches are very moist and adhere to the face well. In the ingredients list you'll find many marine extracts - hence the name. 

They actually nourish the skin very well. Gold shimmer in it will transfer onto skin - be aware. These kind of products are a bit of a gimmick in itself, because you can just use a good moisturizing cream around the eyes and it feels the same, but I kind of like using them. It's that quick fix for tired or dry under eyes. It works great under makeup, because it makes the skin look nourished and moisturized plus it acts as a shield for eyeshadow falldown while you're doing your eye makeup. 

Best for: dry under eyes 
Price: around 20€

Sheet Masks

One of the most popular Asian products have to be sheet masks. They have become popular in Western world as well. I've done a whole post about Asian sheet masks in the past and you can read reviews of some of my favorites there.

I'll include list of type of masks that I have tried from different brands so far and all of these were nice and I would recommend. 

Etude House 0.2 Therapy Air Mask - Manuka Honey, Snail, Ceramide, Hyaluronic Acid,

Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask -  Ginseng, Green Tea, Bamboo

Missha Pure Source Cell Sheet Mask - Rice, Honey, Pearl

My Beauty Diary - Black Pearl

Papa Recipe - Bombee Whitening Honey Mask

Mizon - Enjoy Vital-up Time Calming Mask

Prices: 2-5€/piece

Where to buy?

So you've got some ideas on which Asian products might be worth trying out and adding to your routine, but where would you buy them?

In Slovenia you can buy Asian skin care on Missha (they also have physical store in Ljubljana BTC), All4skin, Skintrick and Healthyskin (not sure, if this is still available).

International readers can get it on Stylekorean, Soko Glam, Yes Style, Jolse, Beautynetkorea or Ebay.

If you already use any of Asian skin care products and they are your favorite or must haves, I would love to hear about. In the future I might also do the same post about Asian makeup products.


  1. Odlična objava <3 Imam podobno pripravljeno že nekaj mesecev, potonike so še na sliki tako stara je, pa se mi je ne da dokončat. Nekaj stvari imava enakih: Cezanne itak, COSRX obliži in skoraj vse sheet maske, ampak večino stvari imam drugih. COSRX pH cleanser moji koži ne paše, ker jo izsuši - ne vem po kakšni logiki. Hada Labo losjon je top in mi je res škoda, da mi povzroča mozolje, isto velja za COSRX Snail Mucin. A-Sol nisem še sprobala, ampak uporabljam Blackhead Power Liquid, ki je verjetno podoben. AHC krema me mika, jo imam na wishlisti za enkrat sprobat, čeprav je še višje Innisfree Orchid. Panda kreme so meni obe odlične. Moja wishlista je še dolga, imam tudi Heimish še gor, ampak sem nekako že pristala na neki pravi rutini: Cosrx 95 Galactomyces, Cezanne, nekaj zahodne kozmetike in za zaključek Beauty of Joseon krema in Laneige Balzam :)

    1. Hvala :) <3 Se že veselim tvoje. Veliko mojih favoritov itak pride iz tvojih idej :D.
      Cezanne je moje najboljše odkritje iz Azije. Sem naročila že drugega in mi res noro paše. Vse letne čase. Zdaj ga uporabljam še na mojem ekcemu in mu paše.
      COSRX cleaner je tak, da bi sklepala, da ni za suho kožo. Že za mojo mešano je bil kar "močan", ampak poleti mi je ustrezal :).
      Jaz sem držim tega A-Sola kot pijanec plota. Ne upam drugo preizkusit, ker ne vem, če mi bo ustrezalo. Čeprav me ta Blackhead tudi zanima. Iščem nekaj močnega - po močnosti BHA - ampak ne premočno za mojo občutljivo kožo.
      AHC krema ni slaba, pa tudi cena je solidna za preizkusit, sploh preko Ebaya.
      Heimish veš da priporočam :D. Res zanimiv izdelek.
      Jaz pa skoz kaj menjujem, imam pa veliko teh Azijskih zadev za obdobja - tako kot A-Sol in Snail Mucin - ko je obdobje mozoljev. Cezanne pa je tudi pri meni vsak dan v rutini zjutraj in zvečer.

      Se že res veselim tvoje objave, da spet dobim kakšne ideje za nove nakupe ;).