[Updated 23 June 2021]
One of my favourite things in Korea has got to be the affordable and high quality skincare available everywhere! Korean beauty products
are considered to be the best for all skin types, and rightfully so as a lot of brands are big on using natural ingredients ?
I’ve done a bit of digging around and although these products are not certified as Halal, there is a website
where you can check the exact ingredients of every beauty product listed. The Korean brands mentioned in this article largely use natural ingredients, so you can trust that your skin is getting all the goodness it needs.
So after trying a bunch of Muslim-friendly products, here are my top picks!
As there aren't many K-beauty brands that are halal-certified or vegan-certified (meaning no animal byproducts used at all), you can also look out for sensitive ingredients that may be derived from animals or alcohol. Regarding ethanol as an ingredient, certifying bodies such as Malaysia's JAKIM and Indonesia's MUI have previously stated that ethanol can be included if it's derived from natural fermentation or synthetic sources, but is not considered permissible if derived from liquor. Different mazhabs
may have different opinions on this, so do check any ingredients before purchasing, and we recommend to use at your own discretion. ?
1. CHOBS Sheet Mask and other products
Let's start with one of the rare halal-certified K-beauty products in the market! ? CHOBS' sheet masks are vegan-certified, and also halal-certified by the UAE's Emirates Authority for Standardization. Their sheet masks come in 6 'flavours' which each target a different skin type or need. Try out their Rice Bran mask for hydration, or Rose for anti-wrinkling.
P.S. As far as we can tell, these are a product based in the UK (so you may have to order online) but they use the same natural-based approach that K-beauty does!
CHOBS has a total of 22 halal-certified products including Apple Bubble Cleanser, Morinaga Total Cream moisturizer, and Organic Argan Treatment Oil. Do note that not all of their products are halal-certified - you can look out for the halal logo to see which ones are. ?
GBP4.10/sheet mask. May vary according to stockists.
2. Talent Cosmetics Cheek Stick
Talent cosmetics is another K-beauty brand that produces Muslim-friendly products! Their Dia cheek stick is a stick-based blush with a gentle colour, that can be built up in layers until you get the perfect shade you desire! It even has a small brush to help with blending, making it a truly useful item that's a must-have in your cosmetics bag.
Talent also has everything you might need from skincare to makeup across 141 different items. Do note that they were previously halal-certified by JAKIM (and were the first Korean company to receive this!), but we were unable to confirm if this is currently still valid. However, the brand has historically had a commitment to use Muslim-friendly products. ? Do purchase at your own discretion.
3. Klairs Rich Moist Soothing Cream
This is an absolute must try! I first bought it when I arrived in February and the Korean winter was drying out my skin. It’s brilliant at moisturising your skin without feeling heavy or greasy.
I’ve tried other brands but I always go back to this one. Check out the klairs website
for different supplier locations across Korea!
4. Cosrx Centella Water Alcohol-free Toner
Spritz this all over your face before applying skincare and it’ll help your skin drink up even more moisture. This incredibly gentle toner will calm down irritated or tight skin. Korean toners replenish skin instead of stripping it. I love it and I’m stocking up!
5. COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
This cleanser will help remove any excess gunk off your face and get you feeling fresh and ready for the day!
I use this regularly and the bottle has lasted me over 4 months so you’re getting a lot of bang for your buck! I like to use a konjac sponge to help lather and gently exfoliate. Here’s one from Innisfree:
Innisfree Volcanic Konjac Cleansing Sponge: 4,000 KRW Website
COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser: 8,500 KRW WebsiteWebsite
6. COSRX One Step Original Clear Pad/One Step Moisture Up Pad
Before I came to Korea, I would use a physical exfoliator to remove dead skin and since my skin is sensitive, it would often leave my skin feeling irritated. Since using these, I’ve noticed that my skin no longer feels dull. It absorbs products a lot better too!
The pads have a bumpy side and a smooth side. On a clean face, first use the bumpy and then smooth, then continue with your skincare. I’ve used both the sensitive and original versions of this product and I would recommend the sensitive one, especially if you have dry or sensitive skin.
It exfoliates without taking a lot of the moisture away! I use this in the morning, following up with the Centella water toner, whichever essence I’m trying out and then the Klairs rich moist soothing cream. Works like a dream!
17,500 - 25,000 KRW
7. COSRX Acne Master Pimple Patch
Pimple patches! These seem to have been around for a while in Korea but they’re recently gaining popularity across the globe.
COSRX have these brilliant little patches, they effectively absorb the grossness in a spot and leave your spot significantly smaller and calmer. Leaving them on overnight seems to have the best effect.
Bonus: it physically stops you from touching your spots and irritating them further! ?
8. The Face Shop MasCream Sheet Masks
Of all the sheet masks I’ve tried, The Face Shop seems to have hit the nail on the head with this particular collection. The masks below help to deeply nourish your skin. These are an absolute MUST when you want an evening to pamper your skin without breaking the bank.
Instead of flimsy material soaked in a serum, these sheet masks are made of thick cotton and coated with plenty of nourishing crème. I like every mask in this selection, but the radiance mask made the most difference to my skin.
9. Daiso Silicone Face Mask
So you’ve put a facemask on and you can’t wear your glasses, or let’s say you’re having a conversation with a friend and the mask is slipping off as you’re chatting away, wouldn’t it be great if something could just hold it in place?
Not only does it stop the sheet mask from transferring, it locks in the moisture your skin can eat up all the goodness. It’s reusable and easy to wash!
: you can adjust the size by cutting near the earflaps!
10. Banila Co Clean it Zero
Taking off makeup is enjoyable with this next product. I used to remove my makeup with coconut oil, which works great but I would be left with a greasy residue that would irritate my eyes and it would be difficult to remove the oily texture completely... Enter, Clean it Zero!
The product melts the makeup off your face without a greasy feeling, it has a light scent and it doesn't strip the skin of its natural moisture.
I think the product works better slightly wet as it really gets to work. I sometimes wash it off and repeat this step to get everything entirely off before I cleanse.
11. Innisfree Orchid Hand Cream
Hand cream! Why do 90% of all the hand creams I find never have SPF in them? Make way for Innisfree’s Orchid Hand Cream. Deeply nourishing and a light scent, it absorbs fast which means you don’t have to worry about getting those smudge marks on your phone (the struggle is real…).
A lot of their orchid line products are rich and moisturising - if you like the hand cream, their orchid eye cream is a dream! (25,000KRW
). It helps brighten up and hydrate the eye area so that you wake up looking that extra bit more radiant. Lightly tap it under and around your eyes - a little goes a long way with this one.
12. Mamonde Rose Water Toner
Mamonde is another K-beauty brand that's become more popular lately! Their rose water toner is one of their best-sellers, and is full of rose water that helps your skin stay extra-hydrated.
It also comes in the form of toner pads for extra convenience! Swipe one of these over your face at the start of a busy day to get your skin prepped and ready for what's ahead. ?
Enjoy your time in Seoul and revel in all the skincare! You’ll probably get some freebies from the stores you shop at (perfect for trying on the flight back home!) And if you’re stuck thinking of gifts to buy, Korean skincare makes a great one! ?