Admit it, you secretly dream of drowning yourself in the most expensive skincare money can buy. Who doesn’t want her own Princess Diaries moment, right? Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to buy a P10,000 moisturizer (and honestly, if we could, we’d spend the money on plane fare!).
That’s where K-beauty comes in. Although the term encompasses makeup and hair care, skincare is what really carries the weight of the Hallyu wave. Not only do these formulas work just as well as the pricy stuff, they’re also kinder on your bank account. And the packaging? Gorgeous. Below, find a list of Korean skincare products that give you luxury results without the hefty price tag. Go ahead and spoil yourself, princess!
If you like the SK-II Facial Treatment Essence…
TRY: Missha Time Revolution the First Treatment Essence, P2,700
There’s nothing quite as luxurious as SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence. It’s considered a Holy Grail for good reason. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids, the essence leaves you with a clear, bright, and youthful complexion. But getting the same luxe effect doesn’t have to equate to you skipping lunch. Missha’s Time Revolution First Treatment is a well-known dupe for this SK-II gem. It’s formulated with an 80% fermented yeast concentrate, which dramatically improves skin texture, controls shine, and keeps the skin bouncy.
If you like the Dior Hydra Life Jelly Sleeping Mask…
TRY: Mizon Goodnight Sleeping Mask, P618
Nothing fortifies skin quite like getting enough sleep, but Dior’s lightweight mask takes beauty sleep one step further. It offers super-intense hydration, which translates a few hours later into an ethereal glow. If you want to achieve that J.Law radiance without emptying your wallet, try Mizon’s Goodnight Sleeping Mask. Powered by hyaluronic acid and glycerin, it gives pretty much the same amount of hydration. The niacinamide in the formula also soothes redness and fades dark spots.
If you like the Eve Lom Cleanser…
TRY: Banila Co. Clean it Zero (Classic), P890
The foundation of any great skincare routine is a good cleanser. Eve Lom’s cleanser contains some of the finest ingredients in the world, so it goes above and beyond ordinary soap and water. It’s fit for all skin types, good for double-cleansing, has a softening effect on the face, and also costs thousands of pesos. Want the same type of clean without going broke? Check out Banila Co.’s Clean It Zero, a K-beauty superstar. This hypoallergenic substitute has a sorbet-like formula that removes every speck of dirt from your face. We can’t wait for you to see (and feel) the glow.
If you like the Leejiham Vita Propolis Ampoule…
TRY: COSRX Propolis Light Ampule, P1,224
The Leejiham Vita Propolis Ampoule is a game-changing serum that truly disrupted the skincare scene. It’s one of the products that made the Korean dewy glow a thing. Formulated with 50% propolis extract, the essence is beloved for its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial benefits. A more affordable substitute that contains the same super-ingredient is COSRX’s Propolis Light Ampule. This serum has 60% propolis extract, which hydrates and protects your skin just like its chi-chi counterpart.
If you like the Diorsnow Brightening Makeup Base SPF 35 in Blue…
TRY: Dear Klairs Midday Blue Sun Lotion, P880
As much as we love to get bronzed, intense sunlight is one of the skin’s greatest enemies. Going out sans SPF can cause rapid skin-aging, dark spots, and even rashes. In fact, this is why CC creams, with their high SPF and subtle coverage, caught on a few years ago. For both protection and correction, the Truly Rich Lady would reach for Dior’s Blue Brightening Makeup Base, an illuminating cream with SPF 35. For a more affordable alternative, there’s always Dear Klairs’ Midday Blue Sun Lotion. This provides the same soothing, shielding effect, while subtly hiding redness with its unique blue tone. Just to be clear about this, though, the Dior is a makeup base with sunscreen, while the Dear Klairs is a sunscreen with color-correcting properties.
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