My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, & more

June 19, 2017
My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.



It's not all snail slime* and animal face sheet maskshere is my ultimate Asian Beauty haul and my suggestions for beginners wanting to get into Korean and Japanese skincare (and then some), featuring some of the latest most-loved skincare from the Far East.

Sometimes, the greatest finds are right under your nose. It took me nearly three decades of having a skincare routine of water and nothing, then an 'end of my 20s' crisis to scare myself into moisturising my face with something other than Creme de La MEH (aka apathy and last night's makeup), and now finally I've come full circle with Asian Beauty. My last skincare haul back in Winter was inspired by suggestions on r/SkincareAddiction, whereas the this haul are recommendations from r/AsianBeauty: hero products from South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Singapore - all of it easily available in the likes of Watson's, Guardian, and Sasa (drugstores commonly found in my native Malaysia). Incidentally, I'm in Kuala Lumpur right now and am sure to load up on even more skincare. For now, let me just get through my latest haul and share why these hero products are must haves for every enthusiast and beginners looking to hop onto the AB (Asian Beauty) skincare train.

*which, BTW, is soooo 10 years ago - it's now all about starfish and horse oil...

MY SKIN TYPE: NORMAL, SOMETIMES SENSITIVE



My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.



CLEANSERS

The first commandment of Asian Beauty is thou shall double cleanse - first with a cleansing oil to remove makeup so you can use a gentle foaming cleanser to get to your face. The BIO-ESSENCE Miracle Bio Water Jelly Makeup Remover is not strictly oil-based but its phenomenal gel formula of 60% Miracle Bio Water moves even the most waterproof makeup, earning this Singaporean firm favourite a spot on Cult Beauty. For a truly oil-based makeup remover HADA LABO Gokujyun Cleansing Oil is formulated with high purity olive oil and enriched with the Japanese brand's signature boosted version of that moisture attracting ingredient, Super Hyaluronic Acid. The key with foaming cleansers is: the finer, the denser, and the more abundant the bubbles; the better the cleanse. For a gentle, thorough cleanse after I remove my makeup I love the BIO-ESSENCE Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Foamy CleanserHADA LABO Deep Clean & Pore Refining Face Wash, and Hada Labo Gokujyun Super Hyaluronic Face Foam for squeaky clean skin.

SHOP MY CHOICE OF CLEANSERS:



My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.



MOISTURISING TONERS, SERUMS, 
EYE CREAM, AND SPOT RELIEF

The middle of the famous Korean 10-step cleansing routine (between cleansing and moisturising) is where it gets confusing for AB newbies because of different names for the same products. What the East calls lotions, softeners, and refreshers are moisturising toners, which like their Western counterparts soothe and restores PH balance, but also preps the skin for moisture. For this, I'm using the Aqua Refreshing Toner from the Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action range and the Aqua Cubic Hydrator with New Rose from Naruko, the new Taiwanese skincare brand that's taking the skincare scene by storm. 

Then there is essence, or serums as they're called in the West (emulsion is a lighter, watered down essence, and ampoules are concentrated versions for a quick fix of whatever ails your skin). For essence/serum I alternate between the Raw Job's Tears Essence for brightening and pore-minimising, and the luxurious Shu Uemura Sublime Beauty Oil enriched with geranium oil and the active ingredient Pro-xylane to stimulate collagen expression for skin elasticity and minimized wrinkles.

I use the Moist Eye Cream from the Hada Labo Super Hyaluronic Acid range that's so popular, there is "1 sold in every 4 seconds" in Japan for a small but potent boost of added moisture where the skin is thinnest, thirstiest, and shows the first sign of aging. Acne or breakouts are few and far between, but if I have any spots of trouble I dab on some Spot Gel from the Trouble Relief range by Laneige, the Korean skincare brand famous for their water sleeping packs and BB cushions.



My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.


MOISTURISERS (DAY CREAMS), SLEEPING PACKS (NIGHT CREAMS), & SUNSCREEN

Instead of a big, thick slab of cream that won't completely penetrate to the epidermis, Asian Beauty is all about lightweight layers of product for the most efficient hydration as opposed to. For this reason I prefer light gel-type moisturisers as day creams. I'm currently alternating between Hada Labo Shirojyun Water Gel and Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Moisturising Gel

Optimal skin healing time is between 10pm - 2am, so for this reason I prefer richer product for night cream, or as it's called in Asia, sleeping packs. The Propolis Deep Moisture Pack from Korean brand CNP Laboratory is extremely hydrating and ideal for drying environments, with a gooey and thick yet clear and smooth consistency thanks to its namesake ingredient, propolis (also known as bee glue or bee resin). On occasions when I don't need as much moisture I use the Bio-Essence Hydra Tri-Action Aqua Droplet Sleeping Mask which has a lighter consistency but no less humectant properties.

The holy grail product that keeps making an appearance on r/AsianBeauty is the Biore UV Aqua Rich, and no wonder, with SPF 50+ PA++++  your sunscreen needs are all covered. Everyone raves about the non-alcohol formula of the Watery Gel, but that's harder to come by in Malaysia so I use the Watery Essence which does have a bit of a strong smell, but the alcohol doesn't bother my sensitive skin so I'd say its a safe bet for all but the most delicate complexions. I discovered a new addition to the Biore UV family in the form of Perfect Spray, which I keep in my handbag for touch ups throughout the day that won't smear my makeup.



My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.


My 'Asian Beauty' Haul: Hero Skincare products from Korea, Japan, and the Far East. Hada Labo, CNP Laboratory, Tony Moly, Bio-Essence, Naruko, Shu Uemura, Laneige, Biore, and more.


ARE THESE PART OF MY 5 A DAY? IF SO, FILL ME UP BUTTERCUP!

Are you into Korean, Japanese, and East Asian skincare? If you'd like to dip your toes into the water, I hope this post and my recommendations have helped. For even more useful advice, head straight to my source r/AsianBeauty! x

SHEET MASKS 

...so I came back to London from Kuala Lumpur with what could be accurately described as a sheet mask haul. Bear in mind that these sheets masks come in boxes of 5 -10, so I have at least 5 times as many more than what you see here. Many of these I grabbed simply because the packaging or the ingredients looked appealing, but there are a few true standout sheets masks I'd like to recommend.

 I'm really enjoying Hyaluronic Acid as an ingredient to plump my skin, and I do find that the Japanese Dr Morita Hyaluronic Acid Essence masks and Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Facial masks really do make a difference to how bouncy my skin feels afterward. Just as moisturising is the popular Belif Aqua Bomb Mask although I personally find it quite fiddly to use. 

On the dark side of the moon, there are 2 black-coloured sheets masks from this haul that I'm enjoying - Charcoal Mineral Black Ampoule Mask from the Korean brand famous for their 'animal face' masks, SNP, and the hilariously named My Scheming Squalane Moisturizing Black Mask from Taiwan. Both have a purifying and detoxing effect on my skin, and I like to use these after a particularly decadent night out. Another fantastic purifying product I bought and isn't pictured here isn't a sheet mask but rather the 'scoop out of the jar' variety - the Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask made from the volcanos of Korea's Jeju islands.

 For an experience of sheer joy there's nothing like the Tony Moly I'm Real sheet masks, with at least 13 varieties whose real and fresh star ingredients are the centre of attention on their colourful and descriptive packaging. My personal favourites are Avocado for nutrition, Red Wine to tighten pores, Tea Tree for soothing, and Seaweed for purifying. I have seen these going at TK Maxx in the UK for less than £2 a pop!












































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