2016 K-Beauty Skincare Favourites

2016 came to an end (thank the lord I hear you say?), so I thought it was time for a predictable round up post of my skincare favourites.

This is a post on the top skincare products I tested for the first time in the last twelve months. I’m not counting old favourite staples such as my Su:m37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick or Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence. I’ll be doing an updated morning and night time skincare routine post so you can see my full list of skincare choices when I write that! But for now, here’s my top 10 (in no particular order) of my new tries in 2016.

Some of these products were provided by companies/individuals for my consideration to review. Products that I was provided will be specifically disclosed in the text.

1. G9 White in Milk Toner (provided courtesy of my friend Brenda at Berrisom)

Why? I recently wrote a raving review on this milky goodness. Not only does it provide an immediate hydration layer to cleansed skin, but it also has fantastic brightening and evening effects on my uneven skintone and PIH. The packaging is damn cute too and the amount of product in the bottle will last foreverrrrr.

2. Shangpree Black Pearl Eye Masks (provided courtesy of Shangpree Spa)

Why? These aren’t a life changing product…but sometimes a slice of luxury is just what you need. These are eye masks that I use every morning to soothe and calm puffiness. The material is beautiful glittering hydrogel and they feel lovely while I potter around for 15 minutes. Whilst the effects I’ve noticed to this point are temporarily reducing puffiness and the appearance of fine lines, I’m hoping that with long term use, they will have an anti-aging effect. I recently compared these eye masks to others here.

3. SkinrxLab MadeCera Express Sheet Mask (provided courtesy SkinrxLab)

Why? This is the mask that turned me onto creamy essence masks (I’ve always been more of a fan of clear gel or liquid essences). It has a good adhesive material, and although the scent is a little odd, it dissipates quickly. I’d always found creamy masks too heavy, but this provides deep moisturising without any greasiness, and that’s why I love it. It gives a serious intensive moisturising, and my skin feels totally nourished afterwards. Gimme all the moisture masks.

4. Berrisom Real Jeju Skingel Mask line (provided courtesy my friend Brenda, at Berrisom)

Why? I’ve included the whole line here because I find them all faiiiiirly similar and love all three- the Hanrabong brightening mask (omfg the smell of this tangerine mask is INSANELY good), the Green Tea moisture mask, and the Cactus firming mask. There are four reasons why I continue to pick these masks- the essence is thick and the scents are gorgeous, the material is thin and adhesive, they last for a long time, and most importantly for me, all three of them work incredibly well at soothing the redness I frequently deal with.

5. Olivarrier Hyaluron Essence (provided courtesy Olivarrier)

Why? This is a super simple product, and I just find it so comfortable and easy to use. It’s not a crazy skin changing essence, but it has become such a staple in my routine. It’s full of emollients as well as anti-inflammatory extracts, and these ingredients produce soothing, and deeply nourishing hydration results. I’m reaching for it every day after cleansing/acids because of the great overall healthy feeling it gives my skin.

6. Goodal Waterest Lasting Oil

Why? I first got into this when Fiddy Snails posted about it way back at the beginning of 2016, and it’s exactly what she promised- an oil for those who are kinda intimidated by oils. The texture is gorgeous and glides over skin before absorbing quickly. It gives my skin a fantastic moisture boost and helps maintain supple, bouncy skin, WITHOUT ANY OILY RESIDUE. Yes girl. Despite being called an oil, it’s not heavy or scary and works fantastically well with my normal/combo skin. My face feels significantly different after using this and I can’t see myself without it in my stash!

7. Goodal Moisture Barrier Liquid

Why? I recently wrote a review for this product too which thoroughly explains why I’m fully dedicated to it. But in short, it’s a lovely gel/liquid hybrid that gives instant moisturising and softens my skin, with a delightful scent and great dispenser for easy application. The moisture really sinks into my skin, and I notice the difference when I don’t use it, particularly in these winter months.

8. Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One Cream (sidenote I can’t believe I only starting using this at the beginning of 2016?! Feels like I’ve been relying on it for years…)

Why? Why not is more the question. This cream is everythingggg. Snail mucin works like a charm for my skin in terms of soothing redness, calming angry outbursts, softening skin texture, and making skin feel all round fantastic. So a cream with 92% snail mucin, much like their essence (96% snail mucin) which I’ve been non-stop purchasing for about two years, does wonders for me. It’s a lovely almost gooey lotion that spreads easily and leaves no heavy residue. My skin feels immediately softer and soothed. There’s loads of reviews out there about this cream so I won’t bore you, but it’s a gooden.

9. Belif The True Cream Aqua Bomb (provided by the Korean Economic Review for my column)

Why? This cream is actually the bomb guys (that was a corny one I know…). Light, fresh, wonderfully moisturising, quick absorbing…it just works so well for my skin type, and continues to keep my skin moisturised throughout the day. I use it as a day cream- it’s perfect for a quick morning routine, and sits well under sunscreen and makeup. I feel like I get all the moisture I would from a heavier cream, but without the potential greasiness and comedogenic risk (remember I’m talking about my own skin, your results may differ dramatically!). I’ll 100% repurchase this.  

10. Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF 50+ PA +++

Why? Again this is a well reviewed product, so I’m not gonna go on and on. I’m kicking myself that I didn’t try it earlier- I would have been way stricter with my sunscreen application back in the day had I know about this baby. I’ve tried a lot of sunscreens, and am continuing to test more, yet have still to find one I love more than Biore. It’s so light, absorbs incredibly quickly, leaves literally no white cast or greasiness, and has such great SPF/PA coverage. I’m trying hard to find a sunscreen that functions as well in all of these categories, but honestly I feel like I’m always gonna come back to this one!


So those were my newbie loves this year. A lot of them weren’t necessarily groundbreaking, and are well known, popular favourites in the AB community- but for good reason as I found out! As you can see, I’ve recently been leaning towards less decadent, more simplistic and functional skincare. I’ve been particularly focused on basic hydration and skin conditioning, and I think this is reflected in my choices for this post.

What have been your star products over the past year? Watch out for my 2016 K-Beauty makeup top picks later this week! Happy 2017, and here’s to a year of glowy, healthy, fresh skin all around!



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  1. I love this blog! I go to Seoul in 10 weeks and I can’t wait to fill my suitcase with all the goodies!!

    I have really dry eyes … do you find the eye masks drying? They sound good for my puffiness but I don’t need anything else drying me out!

    1. Thanks so much! Hope you have an awesome trip!
      No not drying at all, they’re for hydrating and soothing so they’re covered in essence. They help me moisturise under my eyes!

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