With the advent of “glass skin”, skincare junkies everywhere have become fixated with the detail and efficacy of Korean skincare routines — us included! We’ve heard about the big players in the industry; but deeper in the belly of the beast, cult Korean skincare brands are slowly, though surely making a mark with one game-changing product at a time. To save you the trouble of seeding out these small but mighty players, here’s a comprehensive guide to 9 of the best cult Korean skincare brands and their top-sellers — that you can get in Singapore! 

1. I Woke Up Like This 

Relatively new to the game but one to watch! I Woke Up Like This has gained quite the following with its commitment to natural ingredients and mild botanical formulas. The brand believes in uncomplicated skincare that caters to all skin needs, including that of ultra-sensitive skin and pregnant women. 

K-Sisters Images-3

You’ll want to try the: Protective Base Sun Cream SPF50+/PA+++ (S$47). This super lightweight, lotion-type sunscreen absorbs quickly and adheres firmly to guard against UVA and UVB rays. The moisturising formula plumps and hydrates without greasiness, while also giving your skin a tone-up boost. (It’s perfect as a makeup base!) 

Where to find it: Available exclusively on Ksisters

2. BY ECOM

BY ECOM was founded by South Korean beauty influencer, Ecom, who was inspired to launch her own skincare brand after trying over 5000 products! Focusing on troubled skin, BY ECOM is dedicated to developing honest skincare, using safe and high quality ingredients for proven results.

K-Sisters Images-1 

You’ll want to try the: Pure Calming Ampoule (S$43). A refreshing ampoule that absorbs quickly to moisturise, calm and protect the skin. Formulated with naturally soothing ingredients like Centella Asiatica and Tea Tree, this low pH complex alleviates skin irritation while rebalancing skin.  

Where to find it: Available exclusively on Ksisters

3. Bonabella

A combination between “Bona” meaning good and “Bella” for beautiful, Bonabella strives to create high-performing skincare for your best, most beautiful skin forward! The brand believes that beauty begins with great skin and safe, effective skincare products. 

You’ll want to try the: Tea Tree Calming Moisturiser ($48). An Allure Editor’s Pick (July 2019), this moisturising gel cream is a must-try from Bonabella! With a concentrated dose of Tea Tree Leaf Extract and Houttuynia Cordata Extract, the moisturiser is a saviour for dehydrated and irritated skin. The formula is also made up of 96% natural ingredients (EWG Green graded) to soothe and protect even the most sensitive skin. 

Where to find it: Available exclusively on Ksisters. 

4. Commonlabs

Commonlabs’ brand philosophy lies in the belief that true beauty comes from overall well-being. The brand focuses on using vitamins to nourish and stimulate optimal skin health. Their gender neutral approach and straightforward labels also makes Commonlabs especially popular among men! 

K-Sisters Images-2

You’ll want to try the: Triple Vita Balancing Mask ($38/10 sheets). A concentrate infused with Vitamin B, C and E, the mask nourishes, brightens, as well as firms skin. Perfect for treating fatigued/stressed skin, the combination of Honey Extract and six layers of Hyaluronic Acid also works to promote moist and supple skin! 

Where to find it: Available exclusively on Ksisters. 

5. KraveBeauty

Founded by beauty influencer Liah Yoo, KraveBeauty is on a mission to #PressReset on your skincare routine. Devoted to keeping skincare transparent, effective and always functional, KraveBeauty believes in empowering you to make informed choices based on your skin’s real needs. The less-is-more range features only 5 core products that promise to deliver without compromising your skin. The brand is vegan-friendly, cruelty-free and formulated without fragrance, essential oil, colorant and potentially allergic sensitisers. (I’m personally a huge fan of KraveBeauty!)

Great Barrier Relief

You’ll want to try the: Great Barrier Relief (USD28). A skin-soothing serum that restores and strengthens damaged skin barriers. The ultra-nourishing formula is enriched with skin-loving plant-based oils like Tamanu, Safflower and Rosehip Seed Oil. The versatile serum can be used before or in place of a moisturiser, or however and whenever your skin needs it. (Psst! 2% of all sales from Great Barrier Relief will also go towards the Great Barrier Reef foundation!) 

Where to find it: Available on KraveBeauty’s global site global.kravebeauty.com, which offers shipping to Singapore. 

6. Huxley

Huxley aims to provide gentle, minimalistic, but effective skincare solutions for skin stressed by harmful environmental aggressors, particularly in urban climates. The main active ingredient across Huxley’s products is the certified-organic Sahara prickly pear cactus seed-oil that hosts anti-aging, antioxidant and ultra-nourishing properties. 

9adc31f9f8c1add0abf6872d67e2b062

You’ll want to try the: Oil Essence; Essence-Like, Oil-Like (S$59). A synthesis between an oil and essence, this lightweight formula provides the ideal blend for reinvigorating skin. Enriched with Prickly Pear Seed Oil and Cactus Extract, the oil essence promotes lasting hydration and nourishment. 

Where to find it: Available in selected Guardian stores and online on huxley.sg

7. AHC

With its roots as a professional skincare line exclusive to spas and dermatological clinics in Seoul, AHC believes in developing aesthetics-based skincare solutions that are both effective and affordable. The brand has a particular focus on anti-aging concerns and is committed to delivering optimum results through continued cutting-edge skincare innovation.

AHC-The-Pure-Eye-Cream-DP-1

You’ll want to try the: Pure Real Eye Cream For Face (S$26). Formulated from natural ingredients and boasting an advanced ultra-fine micro-emulsion system, this multi-functional cream can be used as both an eye and facial treatment. Active ingredients like Oleanolic Acid and Rice Extract promise to moisturise, while effectively mitigating skin aging.  

Where to find it: Available in selected Watsons stores, as well as online on watsons.com.sg.

8. Dr Jart+

From the vision of a dermatologist and architect, Dr Jart+ is a fusion between dermatological science and art. Research, design and efficacy are the backbone of the brand’s mission to produce breakthrough skincare using safe ingredients. Dr Jart+’s scientifically-backed formulas promise visible results and a creative experience — from its innovative products to bold packaging! 

Cera_Cream

You’ll want to try the: Ceramidin Cream (S$73). Supercharged with Dr Jart+’s 5-Cera Complex, this ultra-moisturising cream is one of the brand’s longest running best-sellers. The deep moisturiser hydrates, protects and fortifies your skin barrier, making it particularly suitable for irritated skin and extreme climates.  

Where to find it: Available at Sephora and in selected Watsons stores. 

9. Pyunkang Yul 

Developed by Pyunkang Oriental Medicine Clinic (one of Korea’s most prominent hanbang institutions), Pyunkang Yul adopts a stripped-down approach to skincare; with a focus on traditional instead of trendy ingredients. Their careful, clean and ultra-gentle formulas focus on hydration and achieving perfectly balanced skin. 

ESSENCE_TONER_100ML_1_-_550x725_-_PYUNKANG_YUL__53261.1557970781

You’ll want to try the: Essence Toner (S$16.90, 200ML). An intensely hydrating formula that boasts superb moisturising and nourishing properties. The toner is made up of 91.3% Milk Vecht Root Extract (Not water!) — so you’ll get a concentrated dose of the extract’s antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and nutrient-boosting properties. 

Where to find it: Available online on Hermo, Hush, Lazada and Shopee. 

This article is brought to you in partnership with Ksisters.

Take care,
Melisa

Melisa Goh

Melisa Goh

up up and away

WATCH

GRWY #2: Actress Nurul Aini

In the second episode of our Get Ready With You (GRWY) series, we have TV presenter and actress Nurul Aini (@annurul) — or Durrani from Lion Mums in reel life!

Buy Or Bye #3: Reviewing Japanese Beauty Products

In this episode, Andrea reviews beauty products she bought from Kyushu, Japan. Powdered soap and clay masks? Are they a 'Buy' or 'Bye'?

DIY #1: Traditional Pineapple Tart Recipe: Quick, Easy & Sooo Good

Chinese New Year is just round the corner (literally in one week) and Andrea decided to try her hand at baking pineapple tarts!

WATCH MORE