10 Cult K-Beauty Products You Can Buy in One Trip to Myeongdong

Seoul’s Cosme Road, Myeongdong
Seoul’s Cosme Road, Myeongdong | © el_ave / Flickr
Mimsie Ladner

If you’re looking to pick up all the best K-beauty products in one go, look no further than Seoul’s Myeongdong shopping district. Home to Cosme Road, a street lined with hundreds of cosmetics shops selling both local and international brands, the centrally located neighborhood makes it incredibly easy to find the best in Korean skincare and cosmetics. Here are the top products to pick up on your visit to the area.

Innisfree Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam

Often considered a holy grail cleanser for acne-prone skin, the Innisfree Volcanic Pore Cleansing Foam utilizes volcanic rock from Jeju Island to absorb sebum and purify pores. Just a pea-sized dollop generates enough bubbly foam to clear all the dirt, grease, and residual makeup from the day. It’s also easy to rinse off, and leaves skin fresh and clean without any over-drying. Jal ga (bye bye), breakouts!

Where to buy it: Innisfree, 64-2 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-776-0117


Too Cool For School Egg Mousse Pack

This whipped foam facial mask is one of the bestselling products of the popular beauty brand Too Cool For School, and for good reason. Made from egg white, which extracts and purifies, as well as egg yolk extract, an ingredient that leaves skin hydrated and silky smooth, the meringue-like mask creates a brighter complexion in minutes. Massage a dollop of the foamy mousse into your skin, leave for ten minutes, then rinse to reveal a new, more radiant you.

Where to buy it: Too Cool for School, 54-30 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-2231-2710

Nature Republic Aloe Vera Gel

With almost perfect reviews across the board, the Aloe Vera Gel from Nature Republic is a staple in every cosmetic addict’s beauty arsenal. The versatile product can be used all over the body – even the hair and nails – to concentrate moisture where it’s needed most. The soothing gel formula goes on easily without a sticky or heavy feel, and provides relief from sunburn, razor burn, and dry, itchy skin. In addition, its paraben-, mineral oil- and artificial color-free formula makes it safe to use on just about any skin type.

Where to buy it: Nature Republic, 52, Myeongdong 8-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-753-0123


Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

K-beauty lovers in the know turn to snail slime to smooth their skin and fade scars and pigmentation. After all, the unusual but effective ingredient is high in protein, elastin, and hyaluronic acid. While many Korean beauty products contain snail mucin, the Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence is particularly popular for its oil-absorbing and pore-shrinking qualities. It’s also lightweight and ultra-smooth compared to similar products, making it a favorite on Asian Beauty, a top beauty board on Reddit.

Where to buy it: A-LAND, 30, Myeongdong 6-gil, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-3210-5890

Clio Waterproof Pen Liner (Kill Black)

Say goodbye to smudges and hello to beautiful eyes with the Clio Kill Black Waterproof Pen Liner. Jet-black and highly pigmented, the eyeliner allows for eyes that are as dramatic as your favorite K-drama. And with a waterproof formula designed to stay put all day, you can rest assured it won’t budge when things start to get emotional.

Where to buy it: Club Clio Professional, 54-4, Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-2296-9891

Laneige Water Sleeping Mask

Korean sleeping masks (or packs, as they’re sometimes called) contain the benefits of a face mask, but with an added dose of hydration to soothe dryness and dullness that conventional night creams can’t tackle. Perhaps the best on the market is the Laneige Water Sleeping Mask. With a lightweight texture and ability to make skin feel velvety soft, it has attracted a loyal fan base. It’s so popular, in fact, that the product is apparently sold every 12 seconds!

Where to buy it: Aritaum, 52-24 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-318-2784


Skinfood Tomato Jelly Tint Lip

While this sheer lip gloss-balm hybrid has the mysterious ability to look amazing on everyone, its formula is really what differentiates it from competitor products. Tomato seed oil works to hydrate your lips, keeping your pout as pretty as the four shades it comes in.

Where to buy it: Skinfood, 52-3 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-776-8688

Iope Air Cushion XP

Since it was first introduced, the IOPE Air Cushion – the first cushion compact on the market – has completely transformed the K-beauty industry. The unique, formula-soaked sponge has all the advantages of a BB cream (anti-aging, moisturizing, great coverage, and SPF protection), but with the added benefit of coming with a non-absorbing puff that wicks the formula off the sponge and applies the product evenly on the skin.

Where to buy it: Aritaum, 52-24 Myeongdong 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-318-2784

Sulwhasoo First Care Activating Sheet Mask

The iconic serum used in this sheet mask has been a cult favorite in South Korea for more than 20 years. Containing Sulwhasoo’s proprietary ingredient complex, JAUM Balancing Complex™, which features a number of skin-brightening herbs, the product helps to restore the skin’s balance of resilience, clarity, and regeneration, thus boosting the efficacies of the skincare products that are applied after using the mask. While K-beauty addicts swear by these masks, they do cost a pretty penny at about $60 a pop, so be prepared to splurge.

Where to buy it: Lotte Department Store, 81, Namdaemun-ro, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-772-2500


Missha The First Treatment Essence

This gotta-have-it skincare product is a favorite of Korean beauty addicts, who consider it a dupe to the much-pricier SK-II. Every night and every morning after cleansing and toning, dab this essence onto your face, let it soak in, and watch your skin get brighter and suppler in just a few weeks.

Where to buy it: Missha, 74-1 Myeongdong 1(il)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea, +82-2-775-6957

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