The Best K-Beauty Products of 2017

This year, K-beauty wasn’t just about one-time fads (we’re looking at you snail slime and sheep oil). Instead, there was an explosion of new results-oriented innovations that are all geared towards helping us get (and maintain) dewy, bright, hydrated skin—day and night. But with so many options to choose from, how do you know what’s really worth your money? Behold: Our list of 17 standouts, all vetted and approved by our delightfully discerning staffers and a slew of our K-beauty-obsessed customers. From velvety pressed serums to fast-acting liquid exfoliators to a sleep mask that’s like a filter for your face—these are the most wanted products of 2017.

THE BREAKOUT STAR

Glow Recipe Watermelon Sleeping Mask, $45

The fact that this innovative formula gently exfoliates and moisturizes skin while you sleep makes it a no-brainer as the last step to everyone’s nighttime routine. It’s infused with pore-refining AHAs, amino acid-rich watermelon extract, and skin-plumping hyaluronic acid to refresh and brighten by morning.

What you say: “It’s one of those products that just feels [like] a treat to put on, and then I wake up with pillowy-soft skin in the morning to boot!” – Heather H.

THE RADIANCE BOOSTER

LJH Vita Propolis Ampoule, $38

Healing propolis is combined with soothing sea buckthorn extract, centella asiatica, and witch hazel to make one heck of a multitasking serum. It hydrates without irritation, evens out skin tone, and banishes dullness at the same time.

What you say: “At first it seems like a thin nothing-much serum, but the results come fast. My skin looked and felt like it was glowing from the inside. Remarkable!” – Stephanie M.

THE CULT CLASSIC

J.One Jelly Pack, $30

Achieving a dewy “gwang” (a.k.a. that signature K-beauty glow), while creating a flawless base for foundation is a cinch with this all-in-one gel. Its key ingredient is hyaluronic acid, which injects an intense boost of moisture to smooth and firm skin instantly.

What you say: “One of my all-time favorite products. I love the texture! I put it on at the end of my skincare routine [and] my face looks smoother, my pores [appear] smaller, and it glows!” – Patricia L.

THE HYDRATING CHAMP

Blithe Crystal Iceplant Pressed Serum, $49

Refresh dull skin and hydrate minus the greasiness with just a few dabs of this two-in-one serum and moisturizer. The cooling olive- and argan oil-infused formula melts into skin to create an instant glow that lasts.

What you say: “I use this pressed serum daily and my skin loves it. You can feel the cooling sensation immediately, calming any redness. It also absorbs fast leaving no tackiness [behind].” – Carmen T.

THE ANTI-AGING HELPER

Whamisa by Glow Recipe Chai Tea Eye Cream, $26

Incredibly smooth and comforting, there’s not much more you could ask for in an eye cream. Antioxidant-packed rooibos tea softens the look of fine lines, while turmeric brightens and helps fend off free radical damage in the future. Bonus points for absorbing right away, so you can get your concealer on and out the door.

What you say: “Being a sucker for chai, I ordered this eye cream. Love at first and subsequent uses! It is lightweight (perfect for daytime use too) and hydrating. [Plus, the] packaging is so cute and comes in a travel friendly tube.” – Christie J.

THE MULTITASKING MUST-HAVE

J.One Jelly Cream, $42

J.One is known for creating products that help you nail the luminous, poreless, glass skin game, and this jelly-textured cream is no exception. The mix of fullerene—a Nobel prize-winning wrinkle-busting ingredient—and brightening bergamot oil targets sallowness, dullness, and dark spots to give skin a smooth, soft-focus effect.

What you say: “I love this product SO much. I have combination skin and it’s absolutely perfect for me. I use it day and night and my skin is always amazingly hydrated. My favorite moisturizer I’ve ever used by far.” – Miranda

THE INSTANT SKIN REFRESHER

Blithe Patting Splash Masks, $45 each

If an exfoliator and toner had a baby, it would be this. It’s the best combination of brightening and moisture that refreshes skin with zero irritation or redness—in 15 seconds flat. Apply it in the shower or at the sink post-cleanse, wait a few seconds, then rinse. So easy!

What you say: “I have been enjoying the berry and the green tea splash masks, switching back and forth, every morning. I don’t know if it is because I have ditched the towel (thanks Christine!) or [if it’s] purely these masks, but OMG, the change in my skin has been kind of amazing!” – Mary P.

THE GR TEAM’S DAILY OBSESSION

Make P:rem Radiance Peeling Serum, $44

In our beauty books, multitasking products are always a good idea. That’s why we’re obsessed with this silky serum that exfoliates, hydrates, and helps makes glass skin a reality in one shot. A powerful blend of luxe botanical oils and cell-renewing niacinamide creates a protective barrier to lock in moisture and make skin glow.

What you say: “Heart emojis everywhere! My skin just drinks this up like nothing else! My skin was sooo soft and glowy the next morning. LOVE!” – Tammy L.

THE SURPRISE TWO-IN-ONE TREATMENT

Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Cleanser, $34

This luxurious serum-like cleanser with blueberry and seaweed extracts makes skin feel clean without sucking out all the moisture. Perfect for every skin type, this silky gel formula can also be used as a five-minute mask for those times when you need a quick pick-me-up.

What you say: “Best cleanser I’ve ever used! It effectively removes all my makeup, yet leaves skin feeling soft and thoroughly hydrated without drying.” – Vina O.

THE MINIMALIST’S GO-TO

Make P:rem Safe Me Relief Cream, $36

This pared-down cream with just 12 gentle ingredients proves that in the world of skincare, sometimes less is more. It manages to plump and smooth both instantly and long-term, while soothing even the most temperamental, irritated skin.

What you say: “This moisturizer is the only one that hasn’t stung my face or made me break out in months. It feels soothing going on and is a [skincare] basic in the best, healthiest way.” – Martha R.

THE DRY SKIN SAVIOR

ID.AZ Dermastic Essence, $50

We can’t get enough of this ultra-hydrating essence, which scores major gwang points for its ability to soften, smooth, and repair with Tremella mushroom and papaya fruit extract, especially on sensitive skin. A thin layer of this silky serum packs a hydrating punch even during the cold winter months. To put it in simpler terms: It works.

What you say: “This essence is exactly what my skin care routine needed as the weather is getting colder and drier. I really noticed a difference in my usually parched skin after a few uses. My dry patches around my nose were kept at bay, so I finally won’t look like Rudolph in this year’s Christmas card!” – Paige

THE LIGHTWEIGHT SKIN SOOTHER

Whamisa by Glow Recipe Green Tea Serum Toner, $22

Think of this as a superfood shot for your face, because there’s no better way to get your daily dose of antioxidants than with this green tea and vitamin C-laced toner. It offers intense hydration without the risk of clogged pores, making it a perfect choice for oily and combination skin types.

What you say: “I thought nothing could compare to my favorite toner until I tried this. With its bouncy liquid texture, it feels so refreshing on my skin. It sinks in quickly while hydrating deeply, leaving my oily skin balanced and soft. And it is perfect for the 7-Skin Method, because it won’t leave your skin tacky and can be layered with a treatment essence during the times when skin needs a little extra care.” – Jane O.

THE COMPLEXION PERFECTOR

Primary Raw DoYou 2-Step Milk Peeling Kit, $6

This innovative two-part system delivers the best bang for your buck, gently removing dead skin cells with a non-irritating water technology, then flooding your face with skin-softening goodness in the form of soy milk and chamomile.

What you say: “I’ve never tried milk peeling before so this was such a treat. Found it to be gentle, brightening, and it made my skin feel so soft and the effects [to be] so long lasting. If you’ve never tried this I recommend that you do ASAP!” – Anh

THE EVERYDAY ESSENTIAL

Make P:rem Blue Ray Sun Gel SPF 50+, $32

With good-for-skin ingredients like chia seed extract and niacinamide, this ligh-as-air sunscreen brightens, moisturizes, and provides solid protection against damaging UV rays, all while feeling completely weightless. Best part? It sinks right in with zero possibility of ghost face.

What you say: “Doesn’t smell like sunscreen, which I love. Also doesn’t leave my skin feeling oily, SUPER PLUS.” – Olivia C.

 THE ANYTIME STAPLE

Blossom Jeju Lifting Marine Collagen Essence Petal Mask, $6

Laced with brightening licorice, broccoli, and soybean extracts, this two-step product is sleep in a sheet mask—making you look well rested, even when you’re not. Apply a few drops of the nourishing camellia oil first, then lay the mask over your face, press lightly for maximum absorption, and kick back for 20 minutes while the treatment works its magic.

What you say: “This mask is my favorite for soothing, hydrating, and plumping. The results are noticeable especially around my eyes!” – Lacy M.

THE BRIGHT-EYED SECRET

Wish Formula Panda Eye Essence Mask, $2.50

These 100% cotton eye patches are loaded with vitamin C, fermented honey essence, and mistletoe extract to de-puff, hydrate, and brighten under-eye skin in a flash. And they’re affordable!

What you say: “This is the first eye mask that I have tried, and I am super happy I made the purchase. First of all, I want to say how easy it is to use. Unlike other masks (face sheets or nose masks), they really stay on. After 30 minutes or so, my eye area was hydrated and brighter!” – L. K.

THE ALL-TIME FAN FAVORITE

Blithe Tundra Chaga Pressed Serum, $49

This non-sticky, multi-purpose balm made with 60% Chaga mushroom extract is a classic for a reason: It nourishes and replenishes moisture without being greasy, making it the perfect alternative to heavy face oils. Warm some in your hands and pat it onto skin to brighten and bring it back to life. Run whatever’s left into cuticles, over hair to smooth down flyaways, pretty much anywhere you need a little moisture.

What you say: “Ever since I started using this product, everyone keeps telling me I have a glow to my face!” – Susan R.

Categories: Glow Recipe

425 replies

  1. I would love to try the blithe patting splash masks! I think it’d really refresh and remove any remaining substance off of my face after cleansing and prepare my skin for some chemical exfoliants and moisturizer.

    Like

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