Seven Korean Beauty Trends I Wish Would Come To The UK

This year I’ve really been struggling to get excited about the beauty industry. Although there are more launches than I know what to do with, the majority are either extensions or reinventions of something that already exists, or drill down to essentially ‘just another face cream’. After so many years of continual innovation and more trends than you could shake a stick at, it’s a hard situation to get your head around – especially when it’s your job to write about beauty. I’ve just been writing an article for Cosmetics Business (a trade magazine) about my beauty lethargy, and as part of my research I was looking at what was going on in other parts of the world that was so much more exciting than what was happening on UK shores. We may have been adopting Korean ideas and big trends over the last couple of years, but they extend to the rather safe and relatively dull products by Korean standards; why aren’t we getting the cool and exciting stuff?! After perusing the sites (and to be honest the English articles I can actually read,) I’ve found seven trends and innovations I would love to see on UK shores… Come on Big Beauty Brand, sort it out!

These lightweight face masks utilise the power of ‘reactive technology’ to bubble up when applied to the face, infusing the skin with oxygen for an immediate hit of radiance. Essentially the ingredients react to the natural oils or heat of the skin, causing a bubbling reaction that not only feels super tingly and a touch pleasant, but looks cool too. Bubble masks would definitely inject some much needed fun into the face mask market, and encourage consumers young and old to get on board with the benefits of a great treatment. I’ve tried one before and loved every minute; it’s a regime we’d all embrace wholeheartedly – because skincare can be fun too! 
In the meantime, try: PoreTox Fruit Soda Bubble Mask £4.00 

Half cream half gel, these blushers help to create a super natural and long-lasting colour result on the cheeks. The formulas tend to be incredibly blendable and much more flattering than a harsh powder or stain, making them perfect for ‘no makeup makeup’ looks. Models Own launched their own version via a limited edition collection last year (read my feature here,) but I’ve yet to see them anywhere else. Come on Makeup Revolution, you know you want to…
In the meantime, try: Much Real My Cushion Blusher £11.40

You’ve heard the old wives tale that says applying egg whites to your face brings out your inner glow? Well the Koreans have taken that one step further by infusing whole skincare lines with the benefits of egg – and not even in a novelty way. From moisturisers and masks, to treatments and mousse-like concoctions, they’ve got it all covered. Could this be the hot skincare ingredient of 2018? You heard it here first…
In the meantime, try: Too Cool For School Egg Mellow Cream £22.80

A mega trend in Asia thanks to their time saving abilities, ‘splash masks’ are essentially a fluid that can be mixed with warm water and splashed onto a clean complexion and then patted to aid absorption. It turns a fifteen minute ritual into a quick ten second job, infusing skin with goodness without overloading. Perfect for those with more sensitive skins (you don’t get the dry feeling or crunchy texture that’s hard to clean off,) I can see these taking off if enough brands get behind them like they did sheet masks.
In the meantime, try: Blithe Soothing & Healing Green Tea Splash Mask £43.00

A combination of a moisturiser, SPF and primer, these also provide a ‘blurring’ effect on the skin that conceals imperfections and ensures a flawless finish. I’m all over one-step skincare products and feel like this could be big news if it launched in the UK. BB Creams became popular because they were so easy and face blurrers offer the same benefit: wack it on and you’re done. A handful of Western brands have tried similar things, but nobody has yet to corner this market and launch something that’s truly as ingenious.
In the meantime, try: Etitude House Face $18.00

So many of us apply sunscreen in the morning underneath makeup, but then actually need a top-up throughout the day. It’s impossible to do so without removing your makeup or, worse, messing it up by trying to apply over the top; although spray SPFs have had limited success in the UK, they’ve not really garnered the attention they perhaps should’ve. The Asian market is far more concerned with sun protection than us, so it’s unsuprising to see that they’ve created something to get around this – a compact sunblock that looks, feels and applies like a compact powder. So when you say you’re off to ‘powder your nose’ you can also be topping up your sunscreen. 
In the meantime, try: Hera UV Mist Cushion $45.00

With one bottle of the leading brand sold every 12 seconds in Japan, water exfoliators are big news for a reason. They apply just like a melting gel to skin, gently stripping away the bad but leaving all the good, meaning they’re suitable for even the most sensitive of skins. Traditional exfoliators can be harsh and cause irritation (while gentle acids aren’t always suitable for those with sensitive or eczema/rosacea/psorasis,) but this seems to be the solution for everything. I want some. I need some. Somebody get on this stat? 
In the meantime, try: Cure Natural Aqua Gel £24.29 

Which of the seven big Korean trends would you love to see over here? Have you discovered any others that you wish were available on our high streets?  

PS: Because these products aren’t really available in the UK yet I can’t take any photos of them. So enjoy a picture of my face instead. Lolz. 

 Features PR samples unless otherwise stated. To read my full disclaimer, click here.  



  1. Rachael Dickinson
    May 9, 2017 / 11:05 am

    The compact sunblock sounds amazing! I am so concerned about the SPF!Rachael xox

    • Hayley Carr
      May 9, 2017 / 11:30 am

      It's such a good idea isn't it!

  2. Vivian Yuen
    May 9, 2017 / 1:45 pm

    I LOVE using bubble masks! I wish they were more readily available in the western market~Vivian | LIVE . IN . LOVEIG | @VIVIYUNN_~

  3. Paula Holmes
    May 9, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    Peter Thomas Roth have a bubble mask and it is the best thing ever, so good and also very entertaining!

    • Hayley Carr
      May 10, 2017 / 8:08 am

      It's very entertaining in the bathroom for ten mins eh!

  4. Sarirah
    May 9, 2017 / 7:23 pm

    Ah, those bubble masks – always good fun. I'd like to see the "capsule skincare" trend pick up more in the UK. I love the J.One Hana cream where one little ball = a portion and also the May Island Bubble bean cleanser.

    • Hayley Carr
      May 10, 2017 / 8:07 am

      So skincare is all in little individual capsules? That sounds cool!

    • Sarirah
      May 11, 2017 / 7:27 pm

      Yes essentially "naked capsules" so the product is just in ball form so there's no extra packaging/waste etc.

  5. Trish S
    May 10, 2017 / 3:08 am

    Oh there is a sunscreen that you can spray on over your make up! I'm a New Zealander and I use it because the UVs here are CRAZY bad. It's Cosmedix Reflect, literally you can re-apply over make up, and it absorbs into the skin.

    • Hayley Carr
      May 10, 2017 / 8:07 am

      Yep there's a few of those here already – but I what I meant is that they've not really been picked up or done that well! A compact would be way better.

  6. Anonymous
    May 11, 2017 / 5:09 am

    I am not sure if it's just me that's been missing out, but compact sunblocks is the best! Sofia ⌲

  7. Beccah
    May 15, 2017 / 6:05 pm

    I love how in Asia they have well-formulated, non-sticky sun protection at a very affordable price. Drugstore sunscreens in the UK are just pants! It would be really good if I could just pick up something similar to Biore Watery Gel in Superdrug. I haven't tried a UV compact but now you've mentioned it I'm curious to try!Beccah

  8. Joanne Mallon
    May 16, 2017 / 9:00 am

    One good thing about the growth of online shopping is that we don't have to wait for this stuff to come to the UK, we can order it online easily enough. There are lots of great Korean beauty eBay shops and websites I order from all the time. As long as you're patient and don't mind waiting a few weeks, it's all pretty straightforward and reliable.Two trends I would like to see more of in the UK: More imaginative and fun packaging couple with quality ingredients. Cute packaging isn't just for teenagers. Also I would like to see more peeling gels, as they are great, gentle way of exfoliating. Though I suspect the word 'peeling' puts a lot of people off.

  9. Sciencekoekje
    May 18, 2017 / 2:54 pm

    Totally agree with the compact sunscreen. I am so happy some japanese and korean brands like e.g biore are launching in europe and i hope they will extend their range soon. If you are into cushion blushers i can recommend the lancome ones. They are pretty amazing.

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