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10 beauty innovations from Korea with love

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A new beauty trend blazing on social media? Chances are it began in South Korea. This multi-billion dollar beauty industry has brought us some of the best loved beauty innovations for decades from facial sheet masks, 12-step regimes and fermented skincare to BB creams, cushion foundations and clever packaging. Scroll on for ten of our favorite Korean beauty products straight from Seoul. 
BB Creams
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Can’t imagine starting your day without L'Oreal Paris True Match BB Cream? The first BB cream out of Korea was the Dr Jart+'s Seoul-born formula in 2012. Designed to combine skincare benefits with sheer coverage, the now-ubiquitous BB has since been reincarnated by brands all over the world. We love the recently launched The Face Shop Power Perfection BB Cream.
Sheet Masks
Face masks are big in South Korea. In fact, there are stores in Seoul that sell nothing but face masks. Why? These single dose application masks are soaked with powerful ingredients that penetrate skin more efficiently because they're locked into the facial mask sheet (another Korean trend). There are masks for your face, eyes, lips and even feet. Take your pick of Innisfree's It's Real Squeeze Mask, Innisfree Skin Clinic Mask ranges or The Face Shop Real Nature Mask range. Other brands worth trying include Skinfood and Nature Republic.
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Fermented Skincare
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The new fermented line is being touted as the last word in skin care to combat skin sensitivity, redness and boosting cell renewal to fight acne, fine lines and wrinkles. Unlike traditional cosmetic processes that use high temperatures to blend actives and ingredients, fermented skin care is processed over several weeks in a sterile, oxygen-free environment where ingredients are gradually broken down and harmful toxins and bacteria naturally removed. So if you have dry or sensitive skin this is the miracle you’ve been waiting for!
Murad's Pore and Line Minimizing Hydrator and Origins's A Perfect World Antioxidiant Moisturiser containing a sugarcane ferment are especially popular.
Cushion Compacts
The cushion compact has attained legend status much like BB creams. This Korean makeup product is a staple in Seoul, whilst Lancôme was the first to launch a Western version. Check out The Face Shop CC Cooling Cushion SPF42 Pa+++ that combines the benefits of a CC cream in a cushion compact. And then there is Tony Moly Luminous Goddess Aura Angel Glowing CC Cushion with SPF 50 that offers three benefits: whitening, anti-wrinkle and UV protection.
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Essences
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Korean skin care is a multi-step skin care routine and essences provide just one of the many stages. Not to be confused with toners, essences are designed to provide moisture in a concentrated liquid form. The primary goal of an essence is to hydrate. Drenching the skin with moisture allowing for better absorption of subsequent products. Have you tried Innisfree White Tone Up Essenceyet?
Sleeping Masks
If a 12-step skin care routine sound too involved, get with a sleeping beauty mask that does all the work for you whilst you're asleep. Designed to be left on overnight rather than washed off like other masks, sleeping face masks tend to have a gel-like consistency designed to provide a boost of hydration ready for morning. Laneige's Water Sleeping Mask is legendary but till you can get your hands on it try Innisfree Wine Jelly Sleeping Pack.
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Splash Masks
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First off, they are not really masks. They look like toners, smell like fruit juice, and take about 15 seconds to completely retexturize your skin. Korean pop stars swear by it. Worth a try, obviously. How? Fill half of the cap with some formula, then pat all over your face for five to 10 seconds. Then do the same thing with your shower water. You’re done.
Powder Exfoliators
Yes, these are South Korean imports too! Based on the premise that active ingredients are most potent when ‘activated’ with water, powder exfoliators also provide gentler exfoliation thanks to their fine particles. The Etude House's Baking Powder Crunch Pore Scrub is very popular but until we launch it at Nykaa you can try Dermalogica's Daily Microfoliant.
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Facial Mist
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Not exactly revolutionary you think but wait, these Korean facial mists don’t just feel nice on skin (and are fun to spritz on), they actually get the job done. They hydrate skin but also tone skin, set makeup, act as a serum to nourish skin throughout the day, and even cool skin down on a hot day. Try The Face Shop Chia Seed Soothing Mist Toner to know what we mean.
Foam cleanser
So ,you've tried a foaming cleanser. What's special about a Korean one? Unlike regular foam cleansers, Korean foam cleansers are specifically designed to hydrate skin while leaving it squeaky clean. pH balanced to ensure the lipid layer is protected, K-Foam Cleansers are also imbued with fruit, grain and vegetable extracts to nourish and refine texture. Check out The Face Shop's Herb Day 365 Cleansing Foam in a range of flavours from Peach and Lemon to Mung Beans and Spearmint.
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