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5 Korean Beauty Products You Don’t Have to Buy


Korean skincare is well-known for its 10-step skincare routines to give you beautiful, glowing skin. But while the results speak for themselves (and they shout from the rooftops!), sometimes it feels like people are getting a little carried away. 


They’re making the routines more and more complicated, and even worse, some companies are pushing products that won’t make any difference at all. 


Making a routine more complicated doesn’t necessarily make it better, so we here at Glow Picks thought we’d have a look at five items you can probably skip in your daily beauty routine.


1. Stop eyeing that eye cream


Eye cream


Your eyes may be the window to your soul, but that doesn’t mean they need a special cream, not when a good facial moisturiser will do the exact same thing. And that isn’t just for Korean skincare routines, that’s the same for any skincare routines. 


How can this be? Well, if you look at the ingredients of most eye creams, they’re often the same as facial moisturisers, just with lower amounts of the active ingredients. This means you’re paying more for less product!


For example, if you compare the ingredients in the Sulwhasoo Essential Rejuvenating Eye Cream and the Sulwhasoo Essential Firming Cream, you can see that the first 15 products are very similar: a mixture of esters, humectants and fatty acids (highlighted in pink). The only real difference is two botanical oils in the eye cream (highlighted in green), yet the eye cream 3 times more expensive than the facial cream. Worth the extra? We don’t think so. 


Price $114 / 25ml ($4.56 per ml)


WATER / AQUA / EAU,BUTYLENE GLYCOL, BETAINE, JOJOBA ESTERS, PEG-75, GLYCERIN, HYDROGENATED POLY(C6-14 OLEFIN), COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, DIMETHICONE, HYDROGENATED OLIVE OIL LAURYL ESTERS, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, POLYGLYCERYL-10 STEARATE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, PEG-40 STEARATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, METHOXY PEG-114/POLYEPSILON CAPROLAC-TONE, PHENOXYETHANOL, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, ARACHIDYL ALCOHOL, PROPANEDIOL, C12-16 ALCOHOLS, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, BEHENYL ALCOHOL, ACRYLATES/C10-30 ALKYL ACRYLATE CROSSPOLYMER, PALMITIC ACID, ARACHIDYL GLUCOSIDE, HONEY / MEL / MIEL, FRAGRANCE / PARFUM, HYDROLYZED GINSENG SAPONINS (ENZYME-TREATED RED GINSENG SAPONINS), TROMETHAMINE, LILIUM CANDIDUM BULB EXTRACT, PAEONIA ALBIFLO-RA ROOT EXTRACT, REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA ROOT EXTRACT, NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT, POLYGONATUM OFFICINALE RHIZOME/ROOT EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1, DISODIUM EDTA, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, LIMONENE, PORTULACA OLERACEA EXTRACT, BETA-GLUCAN, GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, LINALOOL, TOCOPHEROL, GLUCOSE, ALPHA-ISOMETHYL IONONE, CITRONELLOL, BUTYL-PHENYL METHYLPROPIONAL

Price $100 / 75ml ($1.33 per ml)


WATER / AQUA / EAU, BUTYLENE GLYCOL,GLYCERIN, CAPRYLIC/CAPRIC TRIGLYCERIDE, CETYL ETHYLHEXANOATE, BUTYLENE GLYCOL DICAPRYLATE/DICAP-RATE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, POLYGLYCERYL-3 METHYLGLUCOSE DISTEARATE, GLY-CERYL STEARATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, CETEARYL ALCOHOL, PEG-100 STEARATE, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER,PHENOXYETHANOL, POLYACRYLATE-13, FRAGRANCE / PARFUM, POLYISOBUTENE, HONEY / MEL / MIEL, LIMONENE, LILIUM CANDIDUM BULB EXTRACT, PAEONIA ALBI-FLORA ROOT EXTRACT, REHMANNIA GLUTINOSA ROOT EXTRACT, POLYGONATUM OFFICINALE RHIZOME/ROOT EXTRACT, NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT, ETHYL-HEXYLGLYCERIN, DISODIUM EDTA, SORBITAN ISOSTEARATE, LYCIUM CHINENSE FRUIT EXTRACT, POLYSORBATE 20, POLYSORBATE 60, KAOLIN, LINALOOL, PUERARIA LOBA-TA ROOT EXTRACT, GLYCYRRHIZA URALENSIS (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, CITRONELLOL, CITRAL, GERANIOL, BENZYL BENZOATE, HYDROLYZED SOYBEAN EXTRACT, TOCOPHEROL


2. Look at sleeping masks with open eyes

Laneige Sleeping Water Sleeping Mask


Sleeping masks promise intensive hydration while you sleep, so you can wake up with plump, nourished skin in the morning. They’re typically only used once a week, even though you can use them every night. The thing is, all they’re really doing is moisturising your face. There’s no magic to it, in fact you can just replace them with moisturiser.We do stock a few sleeping masks at Glow Picks, but we definitely don’t sell them to put on top of moisturiser. In fact, we encourage you to pick one or the other as there’s no point in moisturising and then using a night mask. If you prefer sleeping masks, or you feel like it’s a nice way to treat yourself as part of your routine, then there’s definitely no harm in them, but they aren’t necessary, and you shouldn’t moisturise before putting it on. Speaking of moisturisers… 


3. Day and night cream? Not that different


If you’ve been following Glow Picks for a while, you probably know that we’re not huge fans of using too many products. We prefer to focus on products that do good things for your skin, rather than padding out a routine.Usually we recommend a cleanser, toner, ampoule/serum and then one moisturiser. When clients ask us about a night cream, we tell them to use the same moisturiser they do during the day. Let’s face it: a moisturiser’s job is to nourish your skin and create a barrier that prevents moisture loss. Whether it’s a day cream or a night cream, it’s doing the same thing. The only time we would recommend separate creams is if you use a lot of makeup products (i.e. primer, foundation setter) that won’t work well with your night cream. Otherwise, there just isn’t enough difference between the two to use both. 


4. Facial mist a must? nope!


Facial Mist


Facial mists are gaining a lot of popularity in Korean skincare routines, but are they really necessary? Like all skincare products, the ingredients are the most important part of deciding whether to include them in your routine. Often mists contain ingredients you’re already getting in hydrating toners so you’re really just doubling up instead of getting something new. 


Mists do have some benefits. They give even product coverage, you use the same amount of product every time, and you don’t have to rub it in. Unfortunately, because facial mists are so popular, companies are looking to make money, so the prices are sometimes higher than they would be for toners with the same ingredients. If facial mists work for you, there’s no reason to stop using them, but be aware of the hype, and make sure it’s not another step of your routine that’s actually doing the heavy lifting!


5. First Treatment Essence and Hydrating Toner: Twins, not sisters


Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence


Plenty of 10-step Korean skincare routines feature both a toner and a first treatment essence (FTE). But what are they actually doing? FTEs are watery products that are applied after cleansing that contain a high concentration of fermented ingredients. These extracts are good for skin brightening and have anti-ageing properties. Hydrating toners are filled with humectants (a water-binding ingredient to keep your skin’s moisture in) and anti-oxidants. As you can see, they basically do the same thing: provide moisture and prep your skin for the next step. You definitely want one, but you don’t need both. 


Which one should you use? It’s up to you! If you prefer FTEs, we recommend The Bio Therapy 1st Essence. If you prefer a toner, we recommend the Dew Skintoner. 




While it might be fun to talk about your 10-step Korean beauty routine, there’s no point in using ten items just to pad the numbers. The goal of your skincare routine should be to give yourself beautiful, healthy skin, and if you can do that in five products, then that’s all you need! Don’t buy into the hype and think that bigger is better, or that the more expensive your routine is, the better your skin will be! You’ll just end up buying expensive products that don’t do anything. 


Remember, Glow Picks are here to help you devise an efficient Korean beauty routine (without selling you a bunch of products you don’t need), so don’t be afraid to reach out for a consultation. Hopefully these tips will help you save money, time and shelf space!

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