Are Korean Cosmetics Safer for Sensitive Skin?

While we are a little late for the craze, Korean beauty products have become the next big thing. The rest of the world has been importing and buying Asian beauty products for years, and many times it is for the more novelty and experimental treatments like lovely snail slime face masks. However, cosmetics are a huge industry in Asia, South Korea in particular.

South Korea is the plastic surgery capital of the world, with over 20 percent of women getting a quick nip and tuck done compared to five percent of American women. With so many people willing to go under the knife in pursuit of an aesthetically pleasing face and body, it is only natural that they would want to take care of their faces, and if you have ever seen any Korean actresses, they look absolutely flawless.

Unfortunately, many Asian countries are a little less than strict with what they allow to go into their cosmetics. China-produced products often have a number of dubious ingredients while the wrong Japanese product can be laden with chemicals that can harm your skin, but what about Korea?


Are Korean Cosmetics Safe?

Where to Buy
ETUDE HOUSE Wonder Pore Freshner
Etude House Beauty Shot Face Blur SPF33 PA Plus
Innisfree Green Tea, Pure Cleansing Foam
Etude House Play Color Eyes Cherry Blossom


Out of all Asian countries, Korea produces the safest and most effective cosmetics products. A large part of that is because Korean cosmetics, unlike cosmetics in the United States, are heavily regulated. Every and any new ingredient that is imported to South Korea for the cosmetics market is heavily researched by institutes under the employ of the Korean Food and Drug Administration that has a special division dedicated solely to cosmetics. Furthermore, even if the products were quality tested abroad, they must still pass South Korea’s strict quality assurance procedures. This is vastly from the American FDA where cosmetics don’t even need approval before going on the market.

However, not every cosmetic is perfect. Despite the backlash against them, some products are still allowed to use parabens as preservatives as well as fragrance and other additives. Fortunately, those products are vastly outnumbered by natural safer options.

What About for Sensitive Skin?

So Korean cosmetics undergo heavy government scrutiny before going on the market, which is great, but are they okay for sensitive skin? The answer is a pretty solid yes, but only if you drift to the right brands. As mentioned above, some brands market themselves as natural but use parabens and the like in their products which is no good.

However, because many South Korean cosmetic consumers drift towards natural and soothing product, guess what dominates the market? South Korean women want soft and radiant skin like the rest of us, so they prefer gentle cleansers, gel products, and those with soothing ingredients over anything else. As the Korean beauty process involves washing twice each time you clean your face as well as hyper-targeting problem areas, you get great coverage and gentle ingredients so that your skin isn’t rubbed wrong.

Still, much of how safe Korean beauty products are for sensitive skin revolves around the brands you pick. Our personal favorite is Innisfree because it has a strong emphasis in gentle, natural ingredients with minimum ingredients in all their products. However, other natural and soothing brands of cosmetics include Etude House, Mizon, NEOGEN, COSRX, and Beyond.

The unfortunate downside to all of this is while you can find tons of cleanser, masks, and lotions from Korea on the market, actual makeup can be a little more tricky to come across. Even on online markets like Amazon that feature global stock, you really need to know what you are looking for if you are looking to get into the world of Korean cosmetics. So if you go on that search, be sure to look for the brands we mentioned above.