Confession time: I never really got into K-Beauty. My beauty routine is way too time-consuming as it is to add even more steps to it. I've dabbled here and there, as I'm a sucker for cute packaging and a sheet mask, but I've yet to find a brand to convince me.
When beauty insider fave BeautyMART (who was well-known for having crystal ball-like vision for spotting trends) launched Korean brand It's Skin a few years ago, I was intrigued. The cult Cookie & Hand Cream became one of my desk staples, and It's Skin have recently caught my attention again.
Founded: Lee Juh-Yeong in 2006
Based In: Seoul, South Korea
Best Known For: Clinical skincare solutions (in fun, colorful packaging) at an affordable price
Most Popular Product: Power 10 Skin Serums
Fun Fact: The super popular K-Pop boy group, TXT is one of the faces of the brand
Other Brands You’ll Love: cosrx, Dr. Jart
It's Skin is dedicated to providing skincare solutions for all skin types and a wide variety of skin conditions. The brand's motto, “Come face to face with the most accurate ‘you’ through the combination of skin research technology and individuality” is a testament to their commitment to providing skincare solutions for any and everyone. The brand's incredibly popular Power 10 Formula serums (which have sold over 21 million units worldwide), packaged in signature rainbow colored bottles, are tailor made to a variety of different skin conditions. There's the green tea extract serum meant to calm inflamed skin, the vitamin B6 serum meant to soothe fine lines, the brightening licorice root extract serum to fade scars and calm redness—the list goes on...well, six more serums to be exact. The brand also makes a variety of sheet masks and their ultra-popular concentrated cream capsules.
With all this said and the fact that the hand cream made me very happy, I thought I'd try out the rest of the It's Skin range to see if the skincare could deliver results and convince me to give Korean beauty another shot.
Read on for my honest thoughts on the rest of the It's Skin range.
At certain points in my cycle my skin just doesn't want to work with me and this vitamin B6-enriched formula came to the rescue at just the right time. It helps to balance skin and sebum production but crucially, it kept enough moisture in my skin too. If you're following a K-beauty skincare routine, you'll want to apply this serum day or night, after washing your face and applying your hydrating toner, then follow up with your moisturizer (and sunscreen) of your choice.
Dry, dehyrated skin? The Power 10 Formula Ginko Leaf Water Moisture Replenishing & Soothing Facial Serum is going to be one you want to add to your skin arsenal. This hydrating serum combines Ginkgo leaf water and Tremella mushroom extract, two ingredients widely used for their moisture boosting and anti-aging powers. This serum has a lightweight gel texture that just sinks into the skin, adding instant hydration. Use this product third in your skincare routine, right after cleansing and toning.
I'm a hand cream connoisseur and I wasn't convinced that this adorable packaging would contain a cream that's rich enough for me. I was wrong. Full disclosure, mint chocolate chip is my favorite flavor ice-cream so the scent alone was pretty game-changing for me.
The real surprise here is the consistency, it's much lighter than I usually go for but it managed to keep my hands hydrated for hours without any stickiness. Seriously impressed. Plus, it seriously smells like mint chocolate chip ice cream, so I truly have to give it 10/10.
Sheet masks aren't made equally and I have zero patience for navigating drips and masks that are too big. Goldilocks would agree with me that this one is 'just right'. The material is thick enough to absorb the nourishing essence and clung to my face to allow the formula to really get to work. Speaking of the formula, this mask is formulated with vitamin E, a rich antioxidant that helps protect your skin against environmental stressors. If you want an extra special treat, wear your sheet mask in the shower—the steam will help the sheet mask essence penetrate more deeply, resulting in super soft skin.
Cica, also known as Centella Asiatica, is a super popular ingredient that's taken the K-beauty world by storm. It's a multi-use plant extract known for it's hydrating, skin soothing, anti-inflammatory properties. Tigers have been known to roll around in this healing plant to help soothe their wounds, which is where you get the name "tiger" in the name of the serum. This serum rescued my skin from the after effects of a recent trip to NYC, dry air, and one too many bagels.
Moisturizing gel cleansers are just what my skin needs in the morning and thanks to the foaming action a little blob of this goes a long way. It gave my skin a thorough but gentle cleanse without leaving it feeling stripped or annoyingly squeaky clean. And the best part? At just $8, you don't have to worry about breaking the bank.
I have a soft spot for pineapple flavored things. There was a limited edition tropical milkshake at McDonald's when I was a child and I've been chasing that high ever since. I was sold as soon as I got hold of this patisserie-inspired packaging, but one sniff and I was hooked. Pineapple addiction aside, this is a seriously good balm—one that keeps lips pillow soft overnight.
I've joined the army of fans pledging allegiance to this powerhouse of a serum (Lisa Eldridge being one of them) as it gave my skin some added bounce and firmness. Heavy-hitting ingredient coenzyme Q10 is the star of the show here and makes it extra beneficial for mature skin. Coenzyme Q10 has been used in Japanese and Korean beauty for years and is known for effectively reducing sun damage, increasing collagen production (that's where the skin-plumping goodness comes in), and reducing damaging free radicals. Use before your heavy moisturizers, but after any toners or essences.
If you're looking for an intense (in a good way) targeted ampoule, the Single Origin Ampoule's are a godsend. There's an array of formulas to choose from: collagen boosting, acne reducing, skin brightening, etc. that are designed to address your very specific skin concerns in a short amount of time. How short? Just seven days. Crack open one of the adorable, tiny vials, and apply in place of your serums for a powerful dose of ingredients.
Shen T, Duan C, Chen B, et al. Tremella fuciformis polysaccharide suppresses hydrogen peroxide-triggered injury of human skin fibroblasts via upregulation of SIRT1. Mol Med Rep. 2017;16(2):1340-1346. doi:10.3892/mmr.2017.6754
Keen MA, Hassan I. Vitamin E in dermatology. Indian Dermatol Online J. 2016;7(4):311-315. doi:10.4103/2229-5178.185494
Ratz-Łyko A, Arct J, Pytkowska K. Moisturizing and antiinflammatory properties of cosmetic formulations containing centella asiatica extract. Indian J Pharm Sci. 2016;78(1):27-33. doi:10.4103/0250-474x.180247
Knott A, Achterberg V, Smuda C, et al. Topical treatment with coenzyme Q10-containing formulas improves skin's Q10 level and provides antioxidative effects. Biofactors. 2015;41(6):383-390. doi:10.1002/biof.1239