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Best Korean Beauty Products for Men

By Rachelle D. | May 02, 2016 01:40 AM EDT

There's an often accepted but totally false idea that resonates through the worldwide beauty and skincare industry: it's for women.

It couldn't be further from the truth, but here we are. The reasons why skincare products are marketed towards women could fill volumes, although we can save that for another post and simply consider this one a wake-up call. Men may not have the same societal pressures to look young, glowing, and conventionally beautiful. But every man's skin deserves to look and feel its best, and needs to be protected from the dangerous rays of the sun and other environmental factors.

Even if that truth is accepted, there tends to be a general misconception that women should stick to "women's" products and men should stick to "men's" products. With a few exceptions, products are not formulated for men or women specifically. Differences between so-called men's and women's lines are almost always in marketing, not formulas. If you have dry skin, for instance, you'll want to flock to the products designed for dry skin, regardless of your genitalia.

Still, approaching Korean skincare can be overwhelming at first. And there are certain areas (shaving!) where guys need something a little different on the product side. So if you're a dude looking to boost your skincare regimen or a woman looking to help a dude in need, here are some great places to start:

Banila Clean It Zero Cleanser

This is one of the Korean beauty products that has helped usher in Korean products to the Western beauty world. It's an especially easy step to add for guys whose normal routine is nothing more than splashing some bar soap on their face in the shower. This is an easy-to-use balm cleanser that you can simply work roughly into the face and wash off in the shower or sink. It helps to reach into pores and rid the face of the grime in ways other cleansers can't. This is a great option for all skin types, but guys who sweat a lot at the gym or work, have a smog-filled daily commute, or have jobs or hobbies where they're getting dirty and messy will probably start to notice healthier, clearer, and more fresh-looking skin almost immediately.

Missha Mild Essence Sun Milk

We get it, guys. You can all pull off that weathered, tanned older man look in a way that women simply aren't allowed to. But you shouldn't! Going without sunscreen may land you a leading role as a cowboy somewhere, but it's far more likely to land you in a doctor's office dealing with serious diseases like melanoma. This is one area where men may shy away from the sunscreens typically marketed to women, because many include light or medium coverage. This one, though, from Missha, is just a straight up sunscreen. It works great on all skin types and provides maximum coverage without being too thick or oily, perfect for protecting skin from every day sun hazards.

IPKN Man Fresh Set: After Shave Toner and Balancing Emulsion

A lot of Western aftershaves are relatively harsh on the skin, giving users a tingling sensation and possibly drying out skin or making it blotchy and sensitive. Korean products have a different approach to the sensitive, newly shaved skin. These products are usually marketed as toners or soothing waters, and are designed to sooth, restore pH balance, and prepare skin to better absorb a moisturizing creams or serums that can be used after a shave. These dual products from IPKN work to both restore and boost skin post shave, leaving chins and cheeks relaxed, refreshed, and free from blotches and irritation.

Sulwhasoo Essential Skin Refiner for Men

This is another product great for skin after shaving. If you're looking for a single product that could make a lot of difference in your skin routine, this could be it, as you might not even realize the rigor that shaving puts your skin though. This toner and refiner calms irritated skin with ingredients like Chinese Skullcap and Japanese Red Pine extract as well as hydrates skin without leaving it too greasy or oily, leading to a fresher and smoother smile.

Skinfood Black Sugar Perfect Cleansing Foam and Black Sugar Mask

Skinfood's Black Sugar line is one of Korea's most popular for good reason. This foaming cleanser is ultra gentle and nourishing, and preps skin for the roughness of shaving better than a lot of foaming Western cleansers will. It's the kind of product that will keep skin feeling soft, clean, and fresh even hours after use.

If you've already got a great cleanser or shaving foam, but feel like your pores could use a good cleanse, check out the product that catapulted Skinfood to global recognition. The Black Sugar mask leaves skin feeling almost alarmingly soft and free of grime, and is a way better and more affordable product than some of the dupes from luxury brands.

Goodal Anti-Wrinkle Want Night Sleep Mask

Here's one of those products that has marketing geared towards women. Wrinkles? Usually means a guy is a silver fox; usually means a woman is a worn out old hag. The reality is that everyone, even men and even people who think that their skin is oily, needs to moisturize. This sleep mask from Goodal is the way to do it. It works while you sleep, so you can put it on and wash it off without anyone seeing you, and all the work gets done while you're fast asleep: a blend of gentle oils will make skin feel firmer and more luscious come morning. It's a fantastic product for all skin types, but will probably be most enjoyed by guys with parched skin, or anyone who lives in cold and/or dry climates.

Innisfree Hero Transformers Mask

If all else fails, these Transformer masks could be an entryway or a last-ditch effort to convincing a man that taking care of his skin is a great investment. These masks offer serious moisturizing, firming, and brightening benefits. And of course, during 20 minutes of mask rejuvenation time, you get to look like a Transformer. What's not to love?

Tagged :  beauty, skinfood, Missha, Hyun Bin, Transformers, sheet mask

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