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NOW READING I Love K-Beauty, But When It Comes to My Skin, It’s a United Nations of Beauty
October 8, 2018

I Love K-Beauty, But When It Comes to My Skin, It’s a United Nations of Beauty

Like all skinficionados know, what’s best for our complexion is not limited by region or race. If it’s going to give us that dewy, bouncy glow, we are ALL IN! Why one K-beauty guru loves beauty from Korea, Taiwan, France, and beyond.


I’ve been using, writing about, and obsessed with Korean beauty and skincare for six, going on nearly seven years now. K-beauty has influenced nearly every part of my life. My skin is thankful for my obsession, as well as my body, my mind, and my wallet (heyooooo).


But there is a big, vast, amazing world of beauty beyond K-beauty. I know, that’s crazy for me to say on a K-beauty site, but it’s true. Beauty and skincare shouldn’t be limited to one region. K-beauty has its strengths: excellent ingredient lists, high quality products, and affordable prices, but other regions have their strengths too. Like Taiwan and their cult sheet masks. Japanese beauty and their revolutionary sunscreens. French beauty and … everything. We don’t need to pit them against each other! We can all live in peace and harmony, while our skin reaps all of the benefits.


world of beauty


So in the name of peace and love, I thought I’d shed light on some of my favorite non-K-beauty products.


Taiwanese sheet masks


I love Korean sheet masks, but I LOOOOOOOVE Taiwanese sheet masks. My Beauty Diary, Naruko, Lovemore, L’Herboflore … I mean, HELLO. My first jaunt with T-beauty (for short) was when I lived in Vietnam and started using My Beauty Diary masks. I was instantly intrigued by all of the unique ingredients that weren’t really used in Korean masks — birds’ nest, black pearl (the cult favorite), natto, etc. Plus, Taiwanese sheet masks always have the most gorgeous packaging! They’re almost too pretty to use. I’ve always been impressed by the quality as well. Almost every single T-beauty mask I’ve tried has really been amazing — tons of essence, a soft, clingy mask, visible results. I can’t wait to explore more!



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French exfoliants (and more)


Any time any celebrity or model is interviewed about their skincare routine, some sort of French product is mentioned. French beauty is the epitome of cool girl chic. The packaging is luxe yet minimal, and I don’t know any other place on the planet where going to the normal ass drugstore is a must-see tourist attraction.



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My first “expensive big-girl” skincare products were all French. I remember splurging on Avène Thermal Spring Water Spray and spraying it everywhere like I was the fanciest woman alive (some things have not changed). I fell in love with Bioderma makeup remover in Korea. And of course, anyone who knows me or has been a longtime reader of my blog, The Wanderlust Project, you’ll know that I have preached the good word about Biologique Recherche Lotion p50 for like four years now. It is THAT GIRL, OK. Honestly, the entire Biologique Recherche line is out of control amazing, including the Masque Vivant, another standout product. It smells like soy sauce married marmite with a hint of chocolate (so, yes, it’s gross), but it works like magic.


Japanese sunscreens


I like (love) a lot of different Korean sunscreens, but I am here to say that Japanese sunscreens are really where it’s at. Japan has just really perfected the art of the sunscreen, and we need to talk about it.



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Oops, slipping behind. Day 14 of the #abmidyearstashchallenge was sunscreen. And I’m running low 😫 . Currently using: Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Gel Biore UV Aqua Rich Watery Essence (my last bottle of this old formula) SkinCeuticals Ultra Facial Defense . I still favour Asian sunscreens over the Western ones I’ve tried for their cosmetic elegance but I haven’t found one without flaws. These two Japanese sunscreens are great but contain a fair amount of alcohol which I’d like to move away from when I empty them (my aging skin doesn’t need any more dehydration). I’m enjoying the Skinceuticals sunscreen (gifted) but it takes more time to dry down and it’s on the pricey side. Not pictured because I recently emptied it: Earth’s Recipe Waterful Sun Gel which I love and find really hydrating, but I go through it SO quickly (and it’s not particularly cheap at $25 for a tiny bottle). I’ll probably buy it again though. Unless you can help! PLEASE tell me if you know of any sunscreen which 1) doesn’t contain alcohol 2) dries down reasonably quickly without a greasy finish 3) works well with foundation 4) doesn’t cost more than $20/£20. Does such a sunscreen exist?! . . . #sunscreen #japanesesunscreen #abcommunity #sunsafe #abbeathealgorithm #sunsafety #antiagingskincare #skincarecommunity #skinceuticals #biore #spf50

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I am ashamed to admit that I didn’t use a sunscreen regularly until I tried the Biore Aqua Rich Watery Essence. Before that point, all the sunscreens I tried were just too awful to work with — they were thick, greasy, left a white cast, looked terrible under makeup, the whole deal. But Biore changed my mind and showed me that not all sunscreens have to be so damn bad. And then, when I switched over to the Nivea Sun Protect Super Water Gel, I was even MORE amazed. The Biore sunscreen gets a bad rep because it has a lot of alcohol (lightweight products sometimes come with a tradeoff), but the Nivea one has a much more silky, gel like texture without as much alcohol. SWOON. When I traveled to Tokyo, the drugstores there had rows upon rows of sunscreens. It was like the Disneyworld of sunscreen. I was so shook and overwhelmed I didn’t even buy anything!


Does your vanity reflect an ever expanding world of beauty? Where in the globe do you venture for your skincare? Sound off in the comments below!



Sheryll Donerson got her start as a beauty writer by writing K-beauty reviews for her blog, The Wanderlust Project. These days, she's lifting heavy weights, eating tacos, drinking (too much) coffee and is 1/4 of the beauty podcast, Beauty Beyond Basics (or Triple Bees for short). You can find her on Instagram and Twitter at @sheryllrenata.



LOVE THIS!!!! My routine is a whole mix of products from different places and I wouldn't have it any other way!

Yessss I love mixing up my routine! 'United Nations of Beauty' that sounds like a beautiful place LOL.

I'm also a firm believer in Japanese sunscreens, and right now I'm using the Canmake Mermaid Skin (I love it but the bottle is tiny!!) and the SkinAqua UV super moisture gel.

For me, some cleansing products just aren't worth buying online so I have a couple of Western cleansers that I love (CeraVe foaming cleanser and Simple Micellar water, which are both low PH and come in value sizes YEET).

I love using a blended skincare routine! I have some staple Western products, and a ton of Asian products as well. For example, I LOVE Clinique's Dramatically Different Moisturizing Gel - it started my love of gel creams, and I love that I can grab it on a whim literally anywhere I go since almost everywhere sells Clinique. I love how quickly Asian products will pick up new ingredients - I find that I can get more variety when I shop Korean beauty, and they come up with newer products more often!

I\'m totally with you jacmakeup. I looooove having choice. I felt like with what the Western market was feeding me, it was either department store or drugstore (though they\'ve definitely improved in recent years). I like that I can pick and choose ingredients, too. I still can\'t give up Skinceuticals and Biologique, but I love that Purito and Earth\'s Recipe are just as important to my skin!