These Are The 3 K-Beauty Brands That Helped To Resolve Our Skin Woes
The beauty crazed South Koreans are famous for their flawless, dewy glass skin and are the envy of every lady. That is partly because the South Koreans have virtually limitless options and access to high quality skincare products that fit every skincare need.
But here in South East Asia, apart from the big K-beauty brands you have probably already heard of and tried before, discovering new brands and products from around Asia can be a challenge with poorly translated product descriptions, long delivery times and dubious sellers abound.
We recently spoke with Asian Beauty X (ABX), a new entrant in the market who aims to change that with their well curated range of indie brands from around Asia. We were also lucky enough to get a hold of some samples from three new brands now available here and personally try them out to see if they could resolve our skin woes.
Read on to find out more!
Simplicity is at Lagom's core and the brand aims to deliver quality products that work at an affordable price. After all, it's hard to feel good when you are spreading half your pay check on your skin.
Forgoing the fancy and elaborate packaging that has long been a hallmark of many K-beauty brands, Lagom's product line is straightforward and comes wrapped in simple, humble packaging that belies its true quality.
The key ingredient in many of Lagom's products is Aqualicia® - a unique dermatological grade ingredient that activates skin cell proteins to act as water channels in the skin, ultimately filling the skin cells with moisture and promoting overall skin health.
The Cellus Deep Moisture Cream ($52) is suitable for sensitive and dry skin as it provides intense hydration without clogging pores. It contains Jojoba Seed Oil, Vitamin E and Plant Callus Culture that encourage natural skin regeneration and strengthen the skin's moisture barrier.
"The cream is hydrating without leaving a sticky feeling which I really like. It is a tad rich for me when I use it in the day but using it as a night cream makes my skin bouncy and supple the next day, especially when I sleep in an air-conditioned room which means I'm constantly surrounded by dry air. For those with oilier skin or looking for a moisturiser that isn't too rich, try the Cellus Mild Moisture Cream ($56) or Cellus White Moisture Cream ($50)."
- Rachel, Senior Digital Editor
We also tried the Cellus Revive Essence Toner ($49) which was launched earlier this year. This time saving skincare hero is a triple-action essence toner that helps to moisturise, nourish and firm the skin for a more youthful, radiant glow all in a single step!
Three types of Hyaluronic acid, along with the patented Aqualicia®, work together to rapidly fill skin cells with skin-loving moisture. The added moisture not only helps to promote skin health but also plumps your skin up, reducing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
"The toner is soothing and gentle on my skin and doesn't leave a stinging sensation (unlike some toners which are chemical-laden or with alcohol). My skin feels smooth, clean and fresh after using! One thing to take note of is that it has a rather masculine scent as it's infused with sandalwood, but the smell will not linger long after application."
- Rachel, Senior Digital Editor
With prices starting from around $20, Lagom has an affordable and uncomplicated skincare line that offers quality products suitable for both men and women looking to upgrade their skincare routines from typical drugstore brands.
The Pure Lotus
Something cool to note about The Pure Lotus is that it's one of the only eight Korean brands that have received special certification and dispensation from the Jeju government to bear the "Made in Jeju" mark on their products!
What immediately struck us when we received the test products was the beautiful packaging recreated from original oil paintings done by the founder's mother. We were told that the original paintings are still on display at an art gallery in Jeju-si.
The brand uses all natural ingredients with a focus on White Lotus Extract. The White Lotus Extract along with all the rich botanical extracts that go into this luxury brand - that won't break the bank - are sourced exclusively on Jeju-do, a pristine volcanic island set in the middle of the East China Sea.
A serum is a must-have in every skincare routine! The Lotus Leaf & Aloe Calming Serum ($49) is great for our tropical climate. Infused with Lotus Leaf Extract, this serum will soothe and calm sun-irritated skin as its name suggests and is great for daily use or as an after sun facial serum (you really shouldn't use aloe vera body gel on your facial skin).
Rich in powerful antioxidants, the serum also moisturises and helps to fortify and protect your skin by neutralising environmental free radicals that can cause damage and result in signs of premature ageing.
"The serum is lightweight, absorbs quickly into the skin and feels comfortable without leaving behind any sticky feeling. This lightly scented serum is great for my sensitive skin as the fragrance did not irritate or cause any breakouts. It also minimises the flaking and improves any dry rough spots on my face."
- Karmen, Digital Editor
The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step and where good skincare routines are concerned, choosing the right cleanser is the most important first step to refresh your skin and keep you looking forward to the rest of the day.
The award-winning Jeju Botanical pH Balancing Cleanser ($36) comes in a generous bottle and is formulated with botanical extracts from eight plants - lotus flower, aloe vera, green tea, rice, citrus peel, rosemary, lotus root and prickly pear - all found on Korea's famed Jeju Island.
Probably the gentlest cleanser we have ever tested, this cleanser has a pH level of 6.5 and is sulphate-free, and cleanses effectively without stripping your skin of its natural protective oil layer making it ideal for all skin types including sensitive skin.
"The cleanser is gentle on my dry skin and lathers into a creamy foam that feels luxurious and soothing on the skin. My skin feels moisturised and soft rather than dry and rough as compared to using other cleansers."
- Karmen, Digital Editor
With its focus on all natural botanical extracts, this clean and vegan beauty brand stands out for being effective and yet gentle on the skin. The products look and feel premium while delivering a luxury skincare experience at an accessible price.
Aromatica is a clean and vegan K-beauty brand that strives to improve the lives of people and wildlife while living happily in harmony with nature. With an array of certifications from all over the world, Aromatica only uses natural botanicals and never uses animal-derived or animal tested ingredients!
The Reviving Rose Infusion Treatment Toner ($55) is a duo functional toner with organic rose water and rose essential oil to give intense hydration for dry and sensitive skin. It revives and restores the skin to a bright and dewy state.
Long sought after for its soothing, smoothing and anti-ageing properties, Damask Rose Oil also has a pleasant floral scent. After all, which girl doesn't love roses?
"My first impression of the toner was that the packaging is 10/10. The frosted (recycled) glass bottle and minimalist design made me excited to add this to my skincare routine. The toner feels light on the skin and after applying, I feel my skin drinking up all the nutrients and softer to the touch. I apply another layer on days I require more hydration and feel that this helps to make my makeup go on smoother. It has a pleasant rose scent that doesn't smell artificial at all and I feel like I'm at the spa whenever I use it!"
- Wei Yin, Digital Editor
The Organic Aloe Vera Gel ($24.90) is made with 95% organic aloe vera to calm irritated skin. It moisturises while soothing the skin and has completed the non-irritant test so it's safe for those with sensitive skin. Great for daily use, this is an awesome skincare product to have handy after those sunny days by the beach or pool.
"I apply the aloe vera gel to any rashes or inflammation on both my face and body and it almost instantly calms the redness. I like that it doesn't leave a sticky feeling despite being moisturising. The texture changes from gel to water when it touches the skin and gives a cooling sensation. I'm not a big fan of the scent (it smells really natural) but that just goes to show how Aromatica only truly uses natural ingredients in their products. I love how well it works too!"
- Wei Yin, Digital Editor
Inspired by aromatherapy concepts that have been acquired through the course of 6,000 years, Aromatica focuses on apothecary-inspired formulas that seek not just to help you achieve beautiful skin but to also find balance in mind, body and spirit.
If you are interested in trying any of these products yourself, you will be glad to know that these indie brands are now available at Asian Beauty X.
ABX is the authorised distributor for these indie brands in Southeast Asia so purchasing from them will give you the assurance that you are getting authentic products and the best after sales support. ABX also retails products from other unique brands such as Flesette, Thank You Farmer and more.
There's even more good news! First time shoppers get a $5 cash voucher with no minimum spend when you sign up for ABX's mailing list on their website. Shipping locally, you can get delivery within one to three working days so getting access to quality skincare products is never far away.
Getting glowing and healthy skin is just a few clicks away!
This post is brought to you by Asian Beauty X.
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Text by: GirlStyle SG