While K-beauty is currently one of the most popular trends online and all over social media, the reality is, there are also several amazing Asian beauty products with a cult following from countries like Japan, Thailand, and China that you may have yet to experience, but should.
The cool thing is that many of these cult Asian beauty products pay homage to age-old skin and hair rituals — but that doesn’t mean they’re still not effective in a modern-day world. For example, many Chinese face and body formulas stem from the ancient — yet still relevant — practice of Chinese medicine, which is why you’ll see a jade roller on this list.
In Japan, a drugstore chain called Matsumoto Kiyoshi is chock-full of high-quality beauty products that won’t suck up your entire paycheck. You’ll find everything from a highly concentrated moisturizer that was first introduced in Japan back in the late ‘50s to the country’s current best-seller, a gentle water-based exfoliator.
Perhaps with not as much credit or buzz as Japan, Thailand has its fair share of drugstore finds, too — and let’s face it: If it wasn’t for Bangkok's red chili pepper hot and humid temps, then perhaps products like Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder may have never been invented. And while you may already be obsessed with Korean beauty products, there’s no denying that sheet masks and pimple patches will always be useful.
You need not travel to a faraway land to add a little Eastern influence into your Western routine. Some of the most amazing Asian beauty products with a cult following are right here on Amazon.
1. This Quick-Drying Eyeliner For Doll-Like Lashes
Dolly Wink Liquid Eyeliner
This quick-drying liquid eyeliner, produced by top Japanese model Taubasa Masuwaka, creates “doll-like” eyes that pop. The fine tip makes it easy to create both a fine or thick dark black line that won’t smudge when in contact with oil or sweat — it won’t even run if you decide to have a good cry. However, when it’s time for removal, all you need is a little lukewarm water.
2. A Natural Deodorant That Lasts For A Year
Thai Crystal Deodorant Stone
This deodorant is made from 100 percent natural mineral salt, which effectively fights the growth of odor-causing bacteria when applied to clean skin. The concentrated stick doesn't contain any water, so it actually lasts for up to one year, which is way longer than most deodorants you can buy. Because it's pure mineral salt, the product needs to be applied on damp skin.
3. An Incredibly Lightweight Sunscreen That Looks Great Under Makeup
Biore Sarasara Aqua Rich Watery Essence SPF50+
This sunscreen is popular all over the world because of its lightweight, watery texture and high SPF — 50+ to be exact. It absorbs quickly and won't leave a white cast, so it's perfect for any skin tone. And because it's not chalky, it wears incredibly well under makeup.
4. A Medicated & Vitamin-Rich Cream That Heals Cracked Skin
Yu-Be Moisturizing Skin Cream
Though it launched back in 1957, this highly concentrated glycerin-charged moisturizer still carries the torch as one of the longest, best-selling skin care products in Japan. Infused with camphor and vitamins E and B2 to heal and soothe, this fast-absorbing formula hydrates severely dry skin from head-to-toe without leaving behind a greasy film. With results that last for hours, it works great as a protectant against the elements and extreme temperatures.
5. A Hyaluronic Acid Toner That's Hydrating & Gentle
Hada Labo Rohto Hadalabo Gokujun Hyaluronic Lotion Moist
Hadalabo is Japanese drugstore favorite brand because their simple products really get the job done. This toner should be applied right after cleansing to hydrate skin and prevent moisture from evaporating. Although it's just a bit thicker than water, the hyaluronic acid really boosts moisture levels before you've even moved on to your moisturizer. And, because it contains only minimal, gentle ingredients it's great for all skin types — including sensitive and acne-prone.
6. A Foot Peel That'll Slough Off All Your Callouses & Dry Skin
Baby Foot Lavender Scent Exfoliant Foot Peel
Apply these little booties to clean feel, leave them on for an hour, and wait patiently for the next week while all your dry skin and callouses fall off. It might sound super gross (and it kind of is), but this foot peel is a great way to thoroughly exfoliate your feet without even having to scrub or buff them. Acids in the product do the work for you, and it's a lot gentler than it sounds.
7. Pimple Patches You Can Use To Clear Breakouts Night Or Day
Cosrx Acne Pimple Master Patch
These pimple patches are like tiny sheet masks for your breakouts. They work by absorbing the gunk out of a breakout and creating a barrier that blocks bacteria from getting in and making things worse. These can be used overnight, but (because they're super clear) many people use them in the day, too. They can even be worn under makeup.
8. An Affordable Sheet Mask Sampler With 15 To Choose From
Innisfree It's Real Squeeze Mask Sheet
Sheet masks are a fun and easy way to boost your skin's moisture levels, but they can be really pricey. This sampler contains 15 masks for just over a dollar each, which is a steal compared to the $3 masks you'll find at the drugstore. Each mask in the set contains a different ingredient derived from nature — there's everything from soothing aloe to hydrating honey and acne-clearing tea tree oil.
9. A Carbonated Clay Mask That Bubbles The Gunk Out Of Your Pores
Elizzavecca Milky Piggy Carbonated Bubble Clay Mask
Clay masks are known for their pore-clearing powers — so if you add bubbles into the mix you've got a real winner. This carbonated mask goes on like a clay, but quickly bubbles up into a snappy, crackly foam. The bubbling action loosens clogged pores while the clay draws out excess sebum, dirt, and residue from makeup and other products.
10. A Self-Heating Eye Mask That'll Help You De-Stress
Kao Megurism Steam Eye Mask
These self-heating eye masks instantly warm up to a comfortable 104 degrees Fahrenheit to relax tired eyes. The masks are designed to be used for a five to 10 minute session. And they're even scented with lavender to help you reach your most relaxed state of mind.
11. A Sugar Scrub & Hydrating Mask In One
Skinfood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off Exfoliator
This two-in-one product works as both a gentle physical exfoliator and a hydrating mask. It contains black sugar granules — which are a far gentler and safe exfoliator than ground up shells — that dissolve into a sugar mask as you massage them into your skin. This product works best if left on for 10 to 15 minutes, but it can also be used as a quick scrub when you're in a hurry.
12. An Overnight Mask That Prevents Your Skin From Losing Moisture While You Sleep
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask
Apply this sleeping mask as the last step of your skin routine (after moisturizer) at night and you'll wake up to smooth and hydrated skin. The gel formula goes on clear and dries quickly, so it won't leave a mess on your pillow. It works by creating a barrier that prevents moisture — and all your skin care products — from evaporating.
13. A Hydrating Essence That's Formulated With Skin-Brightening Fermented Yeast Extract
MISSHA Time Revolution The First Treatment Essence
This hydrating essence is formulated with 80 percent fermented yeast extract, a natural ingredient that's believe to help speed up skin cell turnover and even out your skin tone over time. Aside from fermented yeast, this essence also contains mild exfoliating acids that help keep your complexion clear and smooth. This product might seem underwhelming at first, but stick with it for a month and you'll see why it has such a huge following.
14. A Cooling Powder To Calm Prickly Heat & Rashes
Snake Brand Prickly Heat Cooling Powder
The hot and humid temps in Bangkok beg for a powder of this nature, but it will do the trick for steamy temps absolutely anywhere. This antiseptic dusting powder contains menthol and camphor to soothe any irritation that’s derived from the combination of heat and moisture — aka prickly heat — that can show up in the form of a rash.
15. A Waterproof Mascara That Stays Put All Day
Kiss Me Heroine Make Long and Curl Mascara
This waterproof mascara is made to last all day long, which means you won't leave an evening workout looking like a raccoon. Both sides of the unique curved brush have a different kind of bristle — one that's great for your upper lashes and other that works well for shorter lower lashes — and the special brush fixes your lashes into a long-lasting curl while you're applying the product. The formula contains chamomile extract and camellia oil to prevent your lashes from drying out.
16. These OG Oil Blotting Papers Straight From Japan
Japanese Premium Oil Blotting Papers
While you may have experienced blotting papers before (those little sheets that absorb grease from your T-zone and elsewhere), this authentic pack from Japan is made out of natural hemp paper for maximum absorption. Users love how the surface size is large enough to cover oily patches with ease.
17. An Exfoliating Peel Made With Red Wine
Neogen Dermalogy Bio-Peel Gauze Peeling Wine
These peeling pads from Korea remove dead skin cells and impurities beyond surface level thanks to resveratrol extracted from naturally fermented red wine (hence the name), lactic acid, and alpha hydroxy acids. Simply swipe all over your face in a circular motion until the pad becomes dry and void of product. Reviewers love how bright their skin looks like after continuous use, and that it smells a little like grapes.
18. A Peeling Gel That Exfoliates With Causing Dryness Or Irritation
19. A Peel-Off Firming Mask Made With Egg Whites
Mistine Egg White Peel-Off Mask
This peel-off mask from Thailand is made with albumen — aka egg whites — that work to tighten up pores and leave skin smooth minus the mess and hassle of cracking shells. The whites are also known for calming inflammation that’s derived from acne prone skin. Be sure to apply a good amount of product and leave on for a full 20 minutes for easy removal.
20. A Hand Lotion Made With Protective Rice Bran Oil
Thann Aromatic Hand Lotion
Founded in Bangkok, Thailand, one of the core ingredients in Thann products is rice bran oil, which you’ll find in this ultra-rich hand cream made with organic shea butter and jojoba oil. Coupled with vitamin E, the rice bran naturally prevents UV damage and premature aging, and has a really light formula that sinks right into hands.
21. A Gentle Cleansing Stick Made With Fermented Rose Extract
Su:m 37 Miracle Rose Cleansing Stick
This portable cleansing stick is formulated with more than 90 percent natural ingredients, including fermented rose flower extracts (you can even see pieces of the petals!) that sweep away impurities without irritating the skin. While it’s free from artificial colors, parabens, and synthetic fragrances, it’s lightly scented with fermented damask rose extract for a relaxing sensory experience each time you cleanse.
22. The Jade Roller That Stimulates Meridian Flow
Chi Roller Anti-Aging Jade Therapy
Jade stone has been used for thousands of years in China due to its ability to stimulate Chi (vital energies) and maintain body fluid. This jade roller helps stimulate Chi circulation by stimulating the meridian points in your face, resulting in a revitalized complexion free from stress. But don't worry — this ancient beauty tool comes with step-by-step instructions to help guide you along.
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