It’s called “K-Beauty” and it’s more than just a fad. Korean skincare products have taken over Bangkok’s cosmetics market and for good reason—affordable prices (most of the time) and an understanding of the Asian complexion.
What: Bangkokians may not be too familiar with the name, but it has quite a cult following not only in Korea, but also in the USA. Overnight masks, cleansers, alcohol-free toners and acne pimple master patches tout key natural ingredients like snail mucin and yeast ferment. Is this our answer to Jun Ji Hyun’s translucent complexion? We certainly hope so.
Try this: The One Step Pimple Clear Pad (B850) is for eliminating blackheads, clearing up existing pimples and unclogging pores.
Aland, 2/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-251-9750. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.cosrx.kr
What: Just one look at the packaging and you’ll fall in love with these cotton-candy-pink lotions and mint-green hydration masks. Fresh to Southeast Asia, this brand uses natural ingredients such as lemon (helps exfoliate and brighten the skin), peach (helps regenerate skin tissue and lighten dark circles) and avocado (helps keep skin hydrated and supple) to achieve radiant looks.
Try this: The Daily Dew Hydrating Essence Mist (B1,220) with kiwi and grape extract to help withthat perfect, dewy complexion.
Sephora, G/F, The EmQuartier, Sukhumvit Rd., 02-003-6400. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.saturdayskin.com
What: The “inter” vibe looks like Aesop’s meets Kiehl’s, while the brand promises friendly-to-the-environment practices in addition to gentle-to-the-skin products—no colorants, no alcohol, no parabens and no artificial fragrances. Soothing masks, deep cleansing oils and youth-activating drops are upfront about their powers: we can delay the effects of aging, says Klairs, but we can’t stop them.
Try this: Gentle Black Sugar Facial Polish (B800) helps remove dead skin cells and blackheads, and adds a glossy, smoothing complexion to your skin. Goodbye foundation! Goodbye concealer!
Aland, 2/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-251-9750. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.klairscosmetics.com
Too Cool For School
What: Playful and fashionable, this brand made its name through artist collaborations. Each makeup line has its own, creative packaging theme. “Art Class” offers highlighters, blushes and shadings inspired by vintage art supplies; “Pumpkin” features products made from pumpkin extracts that promise plump-looking skin.
Try this: The Egg Mousse Pack (B750) is a five-minute wash-off mask made from real egg white and egg yolk extracts—radiant and moisturizing.
2/F, Siam Square One, Rama 1 Rd., 02-279-8166. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.toochoolforschool.com
What: Do you desire baby-soft hands and feet? Kocostar’s Nail Art Starter comes in a hand glove that helps nourish and moisturize your hands, while the Foot Peeling Pack’s botanical extracts are for exfoliating dead skin. It also specializes in masks boasting of natural Japanese ingredients and hair packs that will give you the salon experience at home.
Try this: Tomato Slice Mask Sheet (B90) is a piece-by-piece application mask for hydrating and refreshing skin.
Aland, 2/F, Siam Center, Rama 1 Rd., 02-251-9750. Open daily 10am-10pm. www.kocostar.com
What: Anyone serious about their Korean skincare knows Glow Recipe. Like Cosrx, its cult following spans not just Korea but also America, France and Hong Kong. The specialty here is natural ingredients such as rice water, kelp, honey and camellia. The bestsellers are sheet masks, pressed serums and rich essence toners.
Try this: The Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask (around B1,440) is a bouncy, breathable sleeping mask that smooths and perfects your skin overnight, made from watermelon extract and hyaluronic acid.
www.shopee.co.th or Sephora US www.sephora.com