The 10 Most Innovative K-Beauty Launches Of 2018, According To The Experts

Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
Before the K-beauty craze officially landed stateside, in a time where skin care sourced from Seoul had yet to appear on Sephora shelves from South Dakota to San Juan, there was Soko Glam. Launched by Charlotte Cho in 2012, the online mecca of all things K-beauty was one of the first retailers to bring skin essences, snail serums, and ampoules to the Western masses. So it's fair to consider the site, and the experts behind it, an authority in the industry — and therefore the right people to handpick the most innovative K-beauty products of the year.
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Today, Soko Glam announced the winners of its annual Best of K-Beauty Awards, and they're good. Each of the awards was hard-earned: For a product to qualify, it must have been curated by the site within the past year, received rave reviews from the community, deemed a "must-have" by the Soko Glam team, and achieved best-seller status. It's a tall order, but one that these 10 K-beauty skin-care products clearly had no trouble achieving. The best of the best, ahead — and through October 16, you can use the promo code SGBOKB18 to score 15% off every single one.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by the editorial team. If you buy something we link to on our site, Refinery29 may earn commission.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
This fragrance-free treatment — which is exclusive to Soko Glam — is formulated with over 93% fermented ingredients, along with birch juice and rice extracts, to deliver brighter, better-hydrated skin.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
The high concentration of mushroom extract in this skin-smoothing ampoule helps stimulate collagen production to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, while panthenol, sodium hyaluronate, and aloe hydrate and sooth irritation and redness.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
An intensive spot treatment with majorly potent ingredients (hence the relatively high price), this unique product is packed with EGF, a protein that promotes cell regeneration to target wrinkles and brighten dull, tired skin.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
Ideal for all skin types, this toner maintains a pH of 5.5, which works to balance the skin after cleansing. The star ingredient, licorice water, is known for its brightening power — and, paired with green-tea extract, it also works to calm irritation and reduce pigmentation.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
So it's not technically a skin-care product in that it's not for your face, but this innovative "hair essence" brings skin-care properties to your hair-care routine. Formulated with snail mucin, it works by coating hair — without stickiness — to protect from heat and boost shine, along with keratin to replenish protein.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
This AHA/BHA acne treatment is shaped like a jumbo-sized cotton swab, which allows you to cover even more terrain (like around the sides of your nose and cheeks). With lactic and glycolic acids, plus a blend of tea tree, lemon, and bamboo, it does the most for naturally exfoliating and nixing blemishes without causing redness or irritation.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
Why use cleanser and makeup remover separately when you can use both in one? Made with 70% tea-tree leaf water, this cleanser only includes 10 ingredients, all of which are key for removing makeup and impurities as well as gently treating clogged pores and breakouts with antibacterial properties.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
An overnight mask like no other, this pudding-like concoction clings to skin and absorbs on contact, so you don't have to worry about sacrificing a pillowcase in the name of good skin. The marquee ingredient of vitamin E gets a brightening boost from niacinamide, and because it's so lightweight, you can even use it off-label as a daytime moisturizer.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
This multitasking cream — which is packed with nourishing ceramides and an inflammation-fighting compound known as madecassoside — excels in strengthening the skin's natural moisture barrier, to hydrate, plump, and fend off irritation while also increasing the skin's ability to protect itself in the long-term.
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Photo: Courtesy of Soko Glam.
This cult-favorite lip mask uses a silky blend of deeply hydrating avocado, sweet almond, and apricot seed oils so you can get the softest lips ever while you sleep.
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