How exactly do Korean girls keep their skin so flawless? This is pondered over by many a Filipina while watching guilty-pleasure K-dramas in high definition. Expensive BB creams? Probably. Good genes? Partially. But one important truth Korea seems to understand better than the rest of the world is that beauty starts with a steadfastness to skincare. So for this week’s Splurge vs. Save, we’re going back to basics and highlighting the crucial first step in any solid routine: a good cleanser.
A facial cleanser worth its foam should wash away all impurities, leaving you with a blank canvas that can fully absorb the rest of your skincare. There are hundreds of Korean cleansers to choose from nowadays, but we’ve narrowed it down to two Seoulite superstars that are top-of-mind, top-shelf material. Check ‘em out!

SPLURGE: Laneige Pore Deep Clearing Foam, P1,100
Judging by its following not only in Asia but also in North America, Laneige’s philosophy of science-centered skincare is legit. The Pore Deep Clearing Foam is infused with Morocco clay to purify pores, as well as clove extracts that regulate sebum production. Hailed for its decadent yet surprisingly delicate lather, this foaming wash lifts away the slime and grime of a long day in full makeup. Yeah, the price might be steep—but the results? Priceless.

Shop it here.

SAVE: Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Cleansing Foam, now on sale at P584
For an equally effective, considerably more affordable option, we love the Jeju Volcanic Cleansing Foam from Innisfree. Formulated with volcanic scoria—a potent, purifying clay found only on Jeju Island—this creamy cleanser goes a long way. Half a pea-sized drop is enough to cleanse your entire face—and that includes de-clogging your pores, absorbing excess oil, and leaving you with a firm and supple skin-feel. Even with everyday use, we imagine a tube of the stuff could last you over a year! So worth it.

Shop it here.

So, will it be Laneige’s scientific sensation or Innisfree’s exotic foam? Oh, to have the spending power of a K-pop star!

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