While a handful of said products from big name Korean brands such as Glow Recipe and J.One are available to buy from places like Boots and Cult Beauty, many of us look to other, lesser known sites to get a slice of luxury brands such as Huxley (which you've no doubt seen all over Instagram thanks to its picture-perfect packaging) and MAKE P:REM – a brilliant choice for those with skin issues like acne, rosacea or eczema.
The only problem? Shopping K-Beauty online can often mean paying over the odds. We're talking extortionate shipping costs, custom charges and other tax (if you've been stung once before, you aren't alone), not to mention an extremely long wait. But there's a new K-Beauty hub on our radar, and it bypasses all of that because it operates right here in the UK. Enter: Tonic15.
The website, which only launched in August, is home to Aromatica, The Lotus and Klairs to name a few brilliant Korean skincare brands serving up everything from essences to sheet masks, moisturisers and exfoliators. The website sources each skincare product directly from Korea and imports it to their London warehouse, so when you make a purchase, you get to avoid all the fluff. In fact, delivery is free on orders over £15. Our products took the usual five days to arrive (not five weeks) but there's also an express delivery option if you're running low on skincare staples.
And because getting your head around Korean skincare can be a bit of a minefield, Tonic15 allows you to filter products depending on your skin type, whether it's dry, oily, sensitive, blemish-prone, or you're battling more specific concerns like pigmentation and fine lines.
For easily aggravated skin, R29 recommends MAKE P:REM's Safe-Me Relief Moisture Cleansing Foam, £15. It's formulated at a respectful pH of 5.5 so won't strip the good stuff. For acne-prone skin, Aromatica's Tea Tree Green Oil, £27, is potent on spots without being irritating or contributing to flare-ups (you can read more about the wonders of tea tree oil for acne here), while Huxley's Oil & Extract sheet masks, £20 x 3, are probably the most luxe buys we tried. The prickly pear seed oil is housed in a separate, ingredient-preserving pouch, which you need to fold and pop to saturate the mask.