2018 Korean Skincare Favourites

2018 is almost gone! It has been a busy but not-sure-what-I-achieved year. In this post, I’d like to show you guys my absolute favourite skincare products for this year.

This year, barrier repairing and brightening have been the two main focus for me and I think I’ve achieved it to some extent. I feel my skin has gotten less sensitive and congested, more radiant and even toned.  I wouldn’t say it’s due to a certain product, but rather a combination of different products at different times of the year. Choose the ones that your skin approves, not what others say.

$26.00 $18.90 AUD (inc. GST)

1st Step Cleanser/Makeup Remover

Cosrx First Cleansing Milk Gel

I did a review of this product in the middle of the year and it has been my go-to first cleanser ever since. In the review, I didn’t give it justice but rated it as an okay-to-have product for the lazy people. But I’ve underestimated how lazy I’ve become. This cleanser is gentle, convenient and cleanses well. You do need a second cleansing step, but can skip it from time to time depending on how lazy you’ve become. It doesn’t remove waterproof eye makeup, so I’ve stopped wearing gel eyeliner and mascara. On days when I needed a stronger makeup remover, Banila Co has been my go-to.

2nd Step Cleanser

Sulwhasoo Herbal Soap

This soap has been my HG for a number of years now. My skin is extremely picky with cleansers. I am yet to find a cleanser that balances between cleansing and stripping as well as Sulwhasoo’s Herbal Soap. It’s alkaline, but my skin said yes. Let’s hope next year I could find a low pH cleanser that my skin likes better.

$32.00 AUD (inc. GST)


Some by Mi AHA BHA PHA 30 Days Miracle Toner

I regarded this as an exfoliator rather than a toner because I think it shouldn’t be used daily on a long-term basis. If you have congested skin, use it for 1 month and you should see visible results, then use it 2~3 times a week as a gentle exfoliator to maintain the clarity of your skin.

I reviewed this product not long ago. It’s a skin-changing treatment that clarifies and brightens, but at the same time very gentle and easy to use. Just be careful not to over-use.


Zymogen Houttuynia Cordata Ferment Mist

This is a late find of the year. I don’t like the pungent alcohol scent, but cannot overlook its effectiveness at clarifying and brightening. The market is full of hydrating products and it’s not difficult to find a product that gives a tonne of hydration, but for me, I needed a little extra and Zymogen didn’t disappoint.

Full Review

$45.00 $37.00 AUD (inc. GST)


Hyggee One Step Facial Essence – Fresh

This is a no-brainer for me. It’s hydrating, soothing and brightening. The hyped-up effects of Birch Sap is well translated through this product. It also has an elegant formulation with just the right amount of oil and water balance that gives its smooth and easily absorbing texture, and at the same time providing long-lasting moisture.

There are many products that are marketed at “simplifying your skincare” in the past year, but Hyggee’s Essence is the only product that I’ve tried which actually worked as a one-step product. It’s so important to not only inject loads of hydration but also able to keep it for as long as possible, and at the same time be not overly occlusive. It’s not that simple, and Hyggee has done it well.

Full Review

$36.00 $28.00 AUD (inc. GST)


Natural Pacific Fresh Herb Origin Serum

Another cosmetically elegant, effective and full of goodness product. It’s an oil-essence that has split layers of essence and oil in one bottle. You shake together the two layers before applying. The shaking motion infuses the oil into the watery essence, making it a hydrating and nourishing essence, but not as heavy and oily if you were to apply each layer alone.

This serum is highly potent and effective at brightening and hydrating. The effects are noticeable after only 1 week of use.

Full Review

$68.00 $64.00 AUD (inc. GST)


Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream

Dr Jart+ Ceramidin Cream is a cream that no matter what you’ve applied or not applied beforehand, it’ll give you sufficient hydration and protection for the entire night. The best part is, it doesn’t feel heavy or greasy. It’s like a premium winter quilt giving you warmth but doesn’t make you sweat.

Full Review

Eye Cream

Klavuu White Pearlsation Completed Revitalizing Pearl Eye Cream

Despite its long name and the almost-cheatingly-large box, it’s an eye cream that I want to use for the rest of my life. It has a whipped cream texture that’s long-lastingly hydrating but not heavy. It brightens, hydrates and protects the delicate eye area. It smoothes out the fine lines and prevents wrinkles from developing. It sits well under makeup without balling up or going patchy. It’s not cheap, but great value for what it is.

Full Review

$6.50$25.00 AUD (inc. GST)

Spot Treatment

Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch

After years of use, it’s no longer a miracle weapon but a trustworthy old sword. I know exactly its strengths and limitations and it has never disappointed. I always have a pack open at hand, because it is handy.

$25.00 AUD (inc. GST)


Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask

This hasn’t changed from my last year’s favourites, because I haven’t tried any other lip products this year and I didn’t feel the need to. I use this lip mask daily before going to bed and sometimes during the day when I feel dry. It has been keeping my lips peel-free. Best part is, this pot has lasted me over 3 years, amazing value for money.

Sheet Mask

Abib Gummy Sheet Mask – Heartleaf Sticker

There have been a number of great sheet masks this year. The market is going towards cleaner and simpler formulation. Many have removed fragrance from the ingredients list. Abib is one of the cleanest sheet masks in the market right now. It’s not only clean but also effective. It’s brightening, soothing and literally gives the “wow effect” after using.

Special Mention

Secret Key Pink Racoony Hydrogel Eye & Cheek Patch

I’d like to give a special mention to these Hydrogel Patches from Secret Key. They don’t really belong to any category but they’re another must-have in my bathroom. There are many hydrogel eye patches in the market, I’ve had some that stinged my eyes, but these don’t. They’re very comfortable to use and are great for keeping the eye area protected especially if you’re doing a clay mask or any mask that cannot be applied to the eye area. All three of them do the same thing, I just picked the prettiest to show here.

That’s it for this year. I look forward to share more new products with you next year and I hope you all have great skin in 2019.

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