I've spent so much time lusting after French beauty secrets. The ever-alluring je ne sais quoi, an effortlessness that French women flawlessly emit is chronically on my to-do list. That, and learning the ins and outs of a 12-step Korean skincare routine. Two wildly different worlds, yet both yield impeccable beauty.
So, when I was introduced to Erborian, a brand founded by French skincare expert Katalin Berenyi and Korean scientist Hojung Lee, I was immediately intrigued. Can you think of anything better than products joining together French and Korean beauty secrets? I didn't think so.
Just in case you're not familiar with this magical brand, I thought I'd include a quick rundown to get you up to speed. Since its inception in 2007, Erborian has developed a few cult-favorite products that continually sell out. And believe me, they are great.
Founded: Hojung Lee, Katalin Berenyi, 2007
Based In: Paris, France
Best Known For: A fusion of traditional Korean botanical ingredients with French luxury
Most Popular Product: BB Créme, CC Créme
Fun Fact: Erborian's iconic BB créme was the first of its kind introduced in Europe.
Other Brands You’ll Love: Glow Recipe, Peach & Lily, And Then I Met You
Berenyi and Lee met while working at a different skincare company and bonded over their love of quality products. Erborian adapts Asian skincare expertise and rituals into an easy, palatable routine for modern women. The inspiration is Korean skincare, and the carefree sensibility and luxurious scents are borrowed from the French.
"When I created Erborian with Hojung, it seemed the obvious thing to do," Berenyi muses. "Women all over the world have one thing in common: a beauty that is unique, genuine, and natural." The formulas are developed in a laboratory based in Seoul to combine sophisticated new skincare technology and Korean herbs. The result is smooth, silky emulsions jam-packed with really great ingredients.
"Erborian continues to remain unique to the market in that our consumer promises are delivered through products that harness the power of both ingredient and science. Multi-tasking hybrid formulas combine with traditionally beneficial Korean specialty ingredients to create user-friendly skincare products, in a full assortment to take you through all steps of your skincare routine," says Miranda Fogel, Head of PR and Communications, North America. "Our products are some of the first of their kind, like our BB Cream (first ever on the western market) and CC Cream (uniquely made with color-adapting pigments—one sells every minute worldwide!), and capitalize on the much-needed in-between space of the beauty market that tackle both skincare and makeup, all in one."
Keep scrolling to find out more about Erborian's most popular products.
This balmy wash is made with seven good-for-you herbs (including green tea and chamomile) to gently and efficiently remove all your makeup. Based on the Korean method of double cleansing, its texture is a combination of oil and cream. The formula starts as a cleansing oil when you first apply it to warm skin, then when you rinse with water, it transforms to a silky lotion. It even leaves behind a protective film to moisturize.
Enriched with ginseng to visibly plump your skin, this BB cream blurs the lines between skincare and makeup. It protects your face from harmful UV rays while also quickly and easily covering any redness or blemishes. It's unbelievably velvety and gives your skin that ever-elusive baby skin effect.
Konjac sponges are popular in Korean beauty for their gentle exfoliation powers. This natural sponge is made from an Asian plant and effectively cleanses your face and body of dirt, oil, and impurities. It's soft enough not to harm your skin but textured enough that it gently exfoliates each time you use it. To use, soak in warm water for three minutes (or until it's soft), apply your gentle cleanser of choice to the sponge, and gently glide across your skin. After you're finished, rinse clean and let air dry completely.
With skin-matching technology, this perfecting cream uses a sneaky blurring effect to give you soft, glowy, even-looking skin. It is formulated with Centella Asiatica, a popular Asian skincare ingredient that can help calm inflammation, soothe irritated skin, and is rich in antioxidants to help fight free radical damage. Plus, it has an SPF of 25, so it keeps future wrinkles at bay while flawlessly covering and hydrating your skin. It comes available in three shades—Clair is for fair skin tones, Doré is for medium to tan skin tones, and Caramel is for medium to olive skin tones.
Filled with yuzu (a citrus fruit rich in antioxidants that smooths and refreshes your skin), this lotion combines the aqueous and oily phase from a Korean regimen to wake up dull, sallow complexions and reveal the supple, gorgeous-looking skin underneath. You can use it both morning and night after cleansing but before your moisturizer. Since it's a bi-phase toner, you'll need to make sure to shake it well before applying to mix up the oil and water.
If you have oily skin, this is the product that's going to possibly change your life. This lotion (aka toner) is super lightweight and has a powder-like texture. It's made from bamboo, so it really hydrates your skin. First, the water phase moisturizes. Then, the powder phase reduces shine and absorbs any excess oil on your skin (without drying it out). Essentially, this is a must for the sweaty summer days ahead of us. And it even does double duty as a makeup setting product—simply apply to a cotton pad and gently press against your skin to help absorb any excess oil.
When you feel like you need a quick refresh—this product is just the ticket. It’s watery and cool, so it leaves behind the glowiest skin after you pat it on. The best part? It's made with ginseng root (which pulls nutrients from the soil as it grows), so it soothes, smooths, and moisturizes without feeling heavy. For an even more refreshing moment, store it in a skincare fridge for a delightful treat after a long day in the sun.
If you have dry skin and need a bit more hydration than the Eau Ginseng provides, this is the product for you. This milky lotion uses ginseng to improve the appearance of your skin's texture. It's thicker than water but lighter than cream, and it works to smooth and tighten your skin each time you apply. It's best to use after cleansing your face during both your AM and PM skincare routine. If you need even more hydration, you can apply multiple layers, gently tapping in the lotion between each layer.