You may have tested out a few popular K-beauty items to see if they match the hype, but do you truly qualify as a Korean skincare expert?

Spoiler alert: some of the trending brands you’ve come across aren’t actually big hits in Korea!

According to TikToker Julia (@juliaaakoo), internationally well-known names like Beauty of Joseon and Some By Mi don’t quite make the cut in the Korean skincare scene.

“Nine out of 10 Korean girls don’t know what Beauty of Joseon is,” Julia states, revealing that Korean beauty enthusiasts rely on a special tool to discover top-notch products – an app called Hwahae!

Interested to learn more about Hwahae and the hidden gems in skincare that are genuinely “Korean girl-approved”? Keep on reading for all the details!

How Does Hwahae Work?

@juliaaakoo

YOU’RE WELCOME #koreanskincare #skincare #kbeauty #kbeautyskincare #nogatekeeping #clearskin #serum #toner #beautyofjoseon #somebymi #skincaretips #skincareroutine

♬ original sound – Juliaaaak – Juliaaaak

For those not in the know, Hwahae is an app designed for reviewing beauty products. Users can input their skin types and rate products that they’ve personally tested!

So, you’ll be able to discover products recommended by others with similar skin types, based on their personal experiences.

Hwahae isn’t always entirely accurate, and results may vary even with the most popular skincare products.

Still, it’s fantastic for keeping track of what other beauty enthusiasts are currently obsessing over, along with their honest reviews and ratings!

Unfortunately, Hwahae is currently only available in Korean and does not offer language switching options for users. However, you can search for Hwahae rankings online to find summaries of the best makeup and skincare products for the month!

On Hwahae, rankings are constantly changing, almost every hour. However, we’ve gathered a few brands that consistently rank at the top, along with some bestsellers to keep an eye out for.

Torriden

Credits: @torriden/Instagram

Torriden is renowned as Korea’s leading brand for hydration, especially with their Dive-In line, which includes some of the most highly praised skincare products in the country!

One of their standout products is the Dive-In Serum, a potent hyaluronic acid serum that deeply nourishes and soothes dry skin cells.

Don’t miss out on their beloved Dive-In Toner as well, designed to improve skin texture and calm stressed skin with intense hydration.

The Torriden Dive-In Serum and Toner retail for RM99 and RM95 respectively at Watsons.

Round Lab

Credits: @roundlab.global/Instagram

Round Lab is renowned for their use of natural ingredients sourced from Korea, drawing inspiration from the pure beauty of nature. Birch juice and mugwort are just a few of the unique elements they incorporate into their skincare products!

Among their impressive lineup, the 1025 Dokdo Toner and Cleanser stand out as true fan favorites.

According to Julia, these Round Lab creations have consistently ranked in Hwahae’s top 10 every week since their debut, earning the admiration of Korean beauty enthusiasts!

The 1025 Dokdo Toner works wonders by gently exfoliating dead skin cells and providing deep, long-lasting hydration. On the other hand, the 1025 Dokdo Cleanser effectively purifies the skin and removes excess sebum, all while maintaining the skin’s natural moisture balance.

The Round Lab 1025 Dokdo Toner and Cleanser retail for RM56.90 and RM45.90 respectively at Guardian.

Illiyoon

Illiyoon is an expert in creating skincare products specifically designed for sensitive skin. After years of extensive research, they’ve developed gentle and efficient formulas that work for everyone!

One of their most popular products is the Ceramide Ato Lotion, which has a mild unscented formula suitable for all skin types. Plus, it works wonders in enhancing your skin barrier.

Best of all, you can use it on both your body and face. It’s so gentle that even the whole family, including infants, can benefit from it!

So, it’s no wonder that this product is currently the highest-rated lotion on Hwahae, and has consistently remained in Hwahae’s top 10 skincare products for months.

The Illiyoon Ceramide Ato Lotion retails for RM79 at Watsons.

Wellage

Wellage’s Real Hyaluronic Blue 100 Ampoule has been dominating the Hwahae rankings for quite some time!

Wellage’s products are backed by thorough research in skincare technology, boasting highly-concentrated formulas that have been proven effective through clinical tests.

With top ratings on Hwahae, this ampoule is currently hailed as the best in the market. It works wonders by helping your skin lock in moisture with pure hyaluronic acid, providing deep hydration to calm and tighten your skin.

The Real Hyaluronic Blue 100 Ampoule retails for RM88.04 on Shopee.

THE LAB by blanc doux

This often overlooked brand has consistently ranked among the best on Hwahae, thanks to one standout product – their Oligo Hyaluronic Acid 5000 Toner!

THE LAB by blanc doux prides itself on being a skincare brand created by “nerds” who have high standards for their products. They carefully select ingredients and rigorously test the effectiveness of their formulas.

Their lightweight toner is famous for its unique formula, which includes hyaluronic acid with a low molecular weight. This allows the toner to deeply penetrate the skin for maximum absorption!

Plus, it’s specially formulated for sensitive skin, and leaves no sticky residue.

The Oligo Hyaluronic Acid 5000 Toner (100ml) retails for RM65 on Shopee.

BEPLAIN

BEPLAIN prioritises sustainability in their product line, ensuring that their products are eco-friendly from start to finish, including ingredient sourcing and packaging design!

The Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam from BEPLAIN is highly praised on Hwahae for its calming and deeply cleansing properties.

It’s formulated with 33% mung bean extract to effectively remove impurities, while a small amount of mung bean powder gently exfoliates, resulting in softer and more radiant skin!

The BEPLAIN Greenful pH-Balanced Cleansing Foam retails for RM58 at Watsons.

LINDSAY

Experience a spa-like facial treatment at home with LINDSAY’s Modelling Mask Cup!

LINDSAY utilises over a decade of expertise in skincare, incorporating natural ingredients to provide a high-quality skincare experience.

This luxurious mask is specially crafted for those who enjoy DIY skincare routines – simply mix with water for the ideal mask texture!

You’ll get to choose from five variations of masks tailored to address specific skin concerns, such as firming, brightening, and more. The specific mask currently trending on Hwahae is the soothing Cool Tea-Tree mask, perfect for controlling sebum.

The LINDSAY Modelling Mask Cup retails for RM8.90 each on Shopee.

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