16 Asian Skin Care And Makeup Products That Go Beyond Korean Beauty

Try these J-beauty, T-beauty and F-beauty products from Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines.

When Korean beauty hit the U.S. a few years ago, it seemed a little quirky to many Americans: cutesy, animal-shaped sheet masks and novel ingredients and products like snail mucin and ampoules.

But its proven effectiveness made way for 10-step skin care routines, double cleansing, and face washing with fizzy water. K-beauty has since become a mainstay in the U.S. beauty industry, reaching an estimated $13.1 billion in sales in 2018.

Western beauty brands like Garnier, Beautycounter and Peter Thomas Roth have all adopted K-beauty concepts and incorporated them into their own products, while American retailers like CVS, Target and Walmart all have dedicated K-beauty sections. The success of K-beauty has also helped shine a spotlight on Asian beauty brands outside Korea, from places like Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines (known as J-beauty, T-beauty and F-beauty, respectively).

One possible reason Asian beauty brands are so popular is how they align with the clean beauty movement. “Asian beauty is very much about balance and using natural ingredients to heal the skin,” said Lauren Jin, founder of K-beauty brand CLE Cosmetics. “Clean beauty and Asian beauty share similar philosophies, such as nurturing the skin versus stripping.”

There has, however, been evolution in K-beauty. For instance, the 10-step skin care regimen has been replaced with simpler routines. But, according to Christine Chang, co-founder and co-CEO of K-beauty brand Glow Recipe, the whole 10-step thing may have just been a myth.

“This never reflected what was actually happening in Korea,” Chang said. “We’ve heard consistently from beauty editors, influencers and customers in Korea that women approach skin care by really listening to their skin and customizing accordingly instead of trying to reach an arbitrary number of steps.”

This more minimalist approach also falls in line with Japanese beauty beliefs, as Vicky Tsai, founder of Tatcha, explained. “Japanese beauty is rooted in minimalism, quality and innovation,” she said. “It is comprised of time-tested ingredients and rituals that have been perfected over centuries, and because the formulas are so spare it means the quality and precision of each ingredient is paramount.”

Another reason Asian beauty products are so appealing is that they speak to people long been ignored by the Western beauty industry. “We developed our colors specifically with our Southeast Asian warm skin tones in mind — color ranges that have been underrepresented in beauty for far too long,” said Martine Ho, co-founder of Filipino cosmetics brand Sunnies Face. “Inclusivity is such a big thing for us and the positive response and support we’ve gotten from women all over the world shows that we’re on the right path.”

That not only pertains to Asian makeup, but to hair care, too. Artemis Tsai, founder of Taiwanese hair brand SH-RD, said her brand has made efforts to support different hair types. “Many believe that Asian beauty tends to mainly appease those with a lighter complexion but there are many brands who are fighting that stigma,” she said.

Ahead, 16 Asian beauty products that will instantly elevate your hair, makeup and skin care routines.

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CLE Cosmetics Vitamin C Elixir
CLE Cosmetics
This Vitamin C Elixir is a multitasking product that cuts down on steps while providing a brightening effect that moisturizes the skin.

CLE Cosmetics Vitamin C Elixir, $45 at CLE Cosmetics
Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Face Sleeping Mask
Glow Recipe
Glow Recipe combined PHAs (polyhydroxy acids) with encapsulated retinol to help with effective yet gentle skin cell turnover.

Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Face Sleeping Mask, $49 at Sephora
Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder
Just add water to this face polish, which contains finely ground rice bran and papaya enzymes, and you’ll have a gentle exfoliant that will leave your complexion glowing and your skin soft and clean.

Tatcha The Rice Polish Foaming Enzyme Powder, $65 at Tatcha
SH-RD Protein Cream
For damaged hair that needs some rescuing, this protein cream from Taiwanese brand SH-RD is a dream come true.

SH-RD Protein Cream, $50 at SH-RD.us
Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick
Sunnies Face
This Filipino beauty brand only launched last year but has already become a favorite of makeup artists and beauty editors. It's worn by celebs like Christina Aguilera, Amandla Stenberg and Kate Bosworth.

Sunnies Face Fluffmatte Lipstick, $16.95 at PNYbeauty.com
Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation
This foundation by longtime J-beauty brand Shiseido is inspired by ki, the Japanese concept of life-force energy.

Shiseido Synchro Skin Self-Refreshing Foundation, $47 at Sephora
Mediheal BTS Edition Bio Capsulin Love Me Mask Set
Mediheal, Korea’s No. 1 sheet mask brand, launched in the U.S. this summer.

Mediheal BTS Edition Bio Capsulin Love Me Mask Set, $19.50 at Mediheal
Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream
You might already be familiar with the Curél brand, but its Japanese skin care line wasn’t available in the States until recently.

Curél Intensive Moisture Facial Cream, $30 at Ulta
Petite Amie Skincare Hybrid-Cellulose Masque
Petite Amie Skincare
This sheet mask, by Taiwanese skin care brand Petite Amie Skincare, contains interesting ingredients such as hydrolyzed okra, beetroot and dragon's blood (a natural tree resin).

Petite Amie Skincare Hybrid-Cellulose Masque, $15 at Petite Amie Skincare
Then I Met You The Giving Essence
Then I Met You
An essence is actually worth that extra step in your routine because it helps your skin absorb all of your other products more effectively.

Then I Met You The Giving Essence, $50 at Then I Met You
Human Heart Nature Day Moisturizer
Human Heart Nature
Prefer a lightweight moisturizer? Get it from this cruelty-free Filipino skin care line.

Human Heart Nature Day Moisturizer, $12.99 at Human Heart Nature
COSRX Propolis Synergy Toner
The beloved K-beauty brand just came out with a toner formulated with over 72% black bee propolis, an ingredient known to be anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.

COSRX Propolis Synergy Toner, $23 at COSRX
Kitao Matcha + Chia Cleansing Cream
This J-beauty brand uses superfood ingredients like the powerful antioxidant matcha (green tea powder). The tea is harvested from the company's 100-year-old farm in Kyoto.

Kitao Matcha + Chia Cleansing Cream, $25 at Ulta
Pili Ani Deep Detox Volcanic Exfoliating Mask
Pili Ani
Filipino skin care brand Pili Ani’s star ingredient is the moisture-retentive pili oil, which comes from the country’s native pili nut.

Pili Ani Deep Detox Volcanic Exfoliating Mask, $60 at Pili Ani
NatureLab Tokyo Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub
Nature Lab Tokyo
Deep clean your scalp with this 3-in-1 scalp scrub that contains pH-balancing probiotic sake water.

NatureLab Tokyo Shine Clarifying Scalp Scrub, $16 at NatureLab Tokyo
Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum
A multipurpose cocktail of powerful skin-boosting ingredients such as peptides and stabilized vitamin C, this K-beauty serum will help fight signs of aging, brighten the complexion and provide much-needed moisture.

Vitabrid C12 Dual Drop Serum, $62 at Vitabrid
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Before You Go


Glow Recipe's K-Beauty Skin Care Routine