When we binge on K-dramas, it’s impossible to overlook the fact that the actors and actresses on our screen appear to possess impeccable, glowing skin.
Moreover, if you’ve had the opportunity to visit Korea, you’ve probably noticed that this isn’t limited to just celebrities. In fact, many locals you encounter on the streets also sport equally flawless complexions.
Ever wondered how Koreans achieve their healthy, glass-like skin? The key is to shop for the products that Koreans themselves actually use. Thankfully for us, TikTok creator @juchoii has shared the top three skincare products that are currently trending and selling out in Korean pharmacies.
Keep reading to learn more, and find out where you can purchase them online.
Stieva-A creams have been touted as the holy grail treatment for acne spots, and according to the beauty community in Korea, the most popular Korean version of it (스티바에이크림 by the manufacturer GlaxoSmithKline), is near impossible to find these days.
They first rose to prominence in the U.S. a few years ago for their medicinal properties, and started gaining popularity for their ability to treat acne and sun-damaged skin. Apart from that, the product has also been found to be effective in reducing the appearance of fine lines, surface wrinkles, and dark spots.
They contain an active ingredient known as Tretinoin, which is also known as retinoic acid, the generic name for synthetic vitamin A.
While they’re getting harder to find in Korean pharmacies, you can still purchase Tretinoin creams under prescription from local pharmacies if you’re interested in trying it as a potential solution for acne.
Stieva-A® 0.025% (Tretinoin Cream) retails for S$43 at Siena Health.
Another skincare product that has achieved viral status in Korea as of late is urea cream. In particular, the Hanmi Urea Cream has been trending for its hydrating benefits!
The main ingredient, urea, is primarily used to treat dry or rough skin, serving as a remedy for conditions like eczema, psoriasis, corns, and calluses.
It breaks down the protein keratin in the outer layer of skin to promote new cell growth, soothe irritation, moisturise skin cells, increase product penetration into the skin, and enhance skin texture.
Experts recommend using urea products that contain 10% or less active ingredients if you intend on using it on your face, as the viral urea cream was designed for use on dry hands, elbows, and feet.
A gentler alternative if you’re looking to reap the hydrating benefits for your facial skin is Eucerin’s Urea Repair Replenishing Face Cream, which contains 5% urea.
Eucerin Urea Repair Replenishing Face Cream retails for S$25.90 at Shopee.
You might have heard of centella asiatica, otherwise known as cica or tiger grass, a popular ingredient in anti-ageing and anti-inflammatory skincare products.
Well, madecassoside is simply an active ingredient in centella asiatica. Its benefits include accelerating the process of wound healing, reducing inflammation and acne, soothing skin redness, and improving fine lines and wrinkles.
In its powder form, madecassoside is also an ingredient Koreans are well familiar with. Growing up, whenever a child would get a cut or wound, their parents would apply some madecassoside powder on the affected area to speed up the healing process.
Many Koreans have started incorporating this powder into their regular skincare routine by mixing it with their existing products like essences or serums.
Dongkook Madecassol Powder retails for S$29.28 on Ebay.sg.
Wondering what pairs well with this ingredient?
There was a study done on the efficacy of pairing madecassoside with vitamin C, which revealed that using these two ingredients together improved skin firmness, collagen production, and elasticity, as well as the reduction of wrinkles and rough, textured skin.
And if you aren’t keen on using madecassoside in its powder form, there are cream-based options out there that offer the same benefits!
A’PIEU Madecassoside Cream 2X retails for S$14.84 to S24.30 on Shopee. A sale is on at the time of writing, click in to see the latest price!
Featured image credit: @juchoii/TikTok and Ebay.