Cult K-Beauty Products...I Don't Like
It may surprise you that I don't love the vast majority of products I try. When it comes to cult K-Beauty products, there are plenty that I don't rate for a whole range of reasons. What are they and why didn't they work for me? Tune in to find out.
It may surprise you to hear that the majority of products I try never make it into my skincare routine on a permanent basis. There’s a variety of reasons for that - not only do I have extremely sensitive, reactive skin that responds poorly to a whole lot of products, I'm also acne prone. Not only that, I get dermatitis really easily (especially at the moment thanks to COVID face masks) and my skin is on the dry side.
As a K-Beauty expert and also someone running a Korean Beauty store, I try a lot of different products. I go to a lot of expos, work with a lot of brands & manufacturers and also live in Korea, so I'm able to test a lot more products than most people.
However, the vast majority of products I use I patch test or briefly try but never work into my routine on a permanent basis (don't worry; they all go to very good homes and none are wasted).
A bunch of those products, however, go onto become very famous, if not cult Kbeauty products for other people.
At the outset, I want to point out that the point of this episode is not to rag out on a bunch of products. Instead, I want to talk about how just because a product is a cult favourite for many or gets a lot of good press doesn’t mean it works for everyone.
The reason a product becomes a cult beauty product are many and varied.
Many of the products on this list are owned by conglomerates or wealthy beauty companies with giant marketing budgets. They have enough money to open offices in other countries, open branded stores overseas and enough money to pay PR and marketing teams, do huge send-outs to influencers, arrange beauty box collaborations with famous YouTubers and other things to stay in the headlines.
Unfortunately, in the beauty industry, that’s often what propels a product to the top of the best-sellers list. It has little to do with the formula, ingredients or anything else being inherently better than everything else. It’s just marketing, pure and simple.
So what cult Kbeauty products or brands was I not impressed with? Or just didn’t work for my skin? Let’s take a look:
STYLE STORY was one of the first Korean Beauty stores to start stocking COSRX when the brand launched. COSRX's Snail Mucin Essence was one of the first releases and is a beloved Korean Beauty for a lot of people.
Unfortunately, I had a bad reaction to it years ago that caused acne. I had similar issues with a popular Japanese product, Hada Labo Premium Lotion.
Both products caused me to break out and get whiteheads.
This is not the case for the vast majority of people who try and love the product, but it was for me.
Many people adore this moisture cream for compromised skin barriers and people who react poorly to other moisturizers.
Unfortunately for me, after the product got reformulated last year, I found that the latest reformulation really didn’t agree with my skin.
I got red bumps almost immediately and found that it caused my dermatitis to flare up.
Innisfree's Green Tea Seed Serum is a beloved product for many people both in Korea and around the world.
The brand markets it as a good option for dry skin.
Unfortunately, I found that this was not hydrating enough. I therefore always make a point of telling people that i don’t think this is a great fit for dry or mature skin. It’s much better for oily skin.
I was so excited about Blithe's collection of Pressed Serums because I absolutely loved the first one they released.
Unfortunately the others were nowhere near as good and the Gold Apricot variety made me break out like anything.
For me, there was absolute nothing wrong with this product, i just didn’t think it was anything special.
I think I am particularly picky because I've tried so many styles of toners and toning methods over the years and I've worked out exactly what I like and don't like.
For me, I find really watery textures harder to work with. I don’t like having to use a cotton round on my face because of how sensitive my skin is. I prefer something with a thicker texture because it’s easier to work with. Thicker textures are also much better for traveling with because you don't need to take a whole bunch of extra stuff to easily use them. If you forget to bring your makeup wipes, it's not the end of the world. Also, hate the sensation of watery products dripping down my arms or the feeling that I'm wasting them.
At the end of the day you don’t need to like the same products that everyone else likes. In fact, you don’t even need to try them all. The most important thing is listening to your skin and what it’s telling you. If less is more for your skin, then stick with that. If you have particularly textures you really like or don't like then keep that in mind when making new purchases.
Try to avoid buying products just because everyone else is buying them.
If there are certain trending ingredients that don’t work for you then steer clear of them.
STYLE STORY - Your Go-To for Kbeauty
"Just because a product is a cult favourite for many or gets a lot of good press doesn’t mean it works for everyone."- Lauren Lee, Kbeauty Expert
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