The Best Korean Face Masks That Pros Actually Use on Themselves
At Byrdie HQ, it's our MO to celebrate beauty from every corner of the world. The beauty customs of different cultures are so unique and steeped in history, and by learning about them, we're able to expand our own perspectives (not to mention pick up a life-changing new tip or two). That's why we're proclaiming this week Global Beauty Week and paying special homage to women far and wide, from Thailand to Russia and beyond. Each day, we'll honour the beauty practices, trends, and traditions of our sisters around the globe—complex, intriguing, and versatile as they are. Enjoy!
You've heard of the 10-step Korean skincare routine, which is evidence enough that Korean women take their skincare very seriously. In some cases, though, 10 is a liberal number, considering many Korean women essentially spend seven steps on essence alone. Surely, K-skincare isn't for the faint of heart.
While we can't always muster up the strength to apply seven layers of essence (let alone wash our makeup off some nights), we can get on board with a good Korean face mask to help turn our skin's fate around. These formulas, whether in sheet or liquid form, are laden with enriching ingredients that give the culture's most sought-after translucent and even-toned "glass skin." The best part? You can put them on while you take care of other errands, forget about them, and then take them off when you're done. Easy.
To find out the best Korean face masks out there, we polled Charlotte Cho, the founder of Soko Glam, as well as compiled our tried-and-true favourites for your viewing pleasure. Keep scrolling to find out what they are!
Ultru Black Mud Mask ($7)
"This is a tightening clay-based sheet mask that makes clay-masking quick and easy," Cho says. "It's recommended for all skin types, but it's best for those who have oily skin. It's made of natural clay, volcanic ash, and bentonite to purify, decongest, and draw out dirt and impurities from pores while infusing skin with minerals, vitamins, and antioxidants. The cooling and soothing sensation comes from its star ingredient, kaolin clay. As the mask hardens, it lifts impurities, like excess oil, sebum, and blackheads, without leaving skin dry, thanks to nourishing ingredients like lavender, lemon peel, and evening primrose root extracts.
"The best part about this mask is the convenience and little to no cleanup. Unlike other clay masks that tend to get goopy and messy, this clay mask has a thin layer that lays on top of microfibre for a clean application."
Goodal Black Charcoal Mask ($33)
"This mask comes in a pack of five, and it has the effects of a deep tissue face massage," Cho says. "It uses charcoal powder to fully remove impurities and excess sebum from pores, and it lifts away dead skin cells. It has great benefits, like carbonated bubbles that provide more oxygen, which allow skin to remove toxins more efficiently. The mask itself is made out of black charcoal, so it is extremely effective in getting rid of oil and sebum from the skin."
Goodal Refine Pore Modeling Mask ($12)
"This is a modeling mask that is packed with niacinamide (or vitamin B) to reduce the appearance of large pores, tea tree leaf powder to deeply clean skin, and willow bark essence to calm skin," Cho says. "When you mix the powder and essence together, it turns into a rubbery mask formula that will allow your face to be cocooned with skin-benefiting nutrients."
Eco Your Skin Face Blanket Mask ($16)
Unlike your typical wet sheet mask, this hydrogel mask is purposely made dry so it sticks onto your face like a glove (you can even sleep with it on). We're in love with its plumping and brightening abilities and the fact that it comes with both top and bottom pieces to fit the contours of any face.
What's your favourite Korean face mask? Please tell us below!