Simon Cowell’s already well-researched beauty regimen (he doesn’t hide his past use of Botox and fillers) has apparently expanded to include Korean skincare brand Hanacure’s Instagram-famous face mask. It’s the one that promises “instant firming and brightening and the reversal of many signs of aging, including wrinkles and loss of elasticity.” Cowell is so taken with it that he has apparently recommended it to friends and colleagues.
Hanacure’s all-in-one face mask (which costs £25 per session) is legendary in the beauty industry for creating instant ‘glass-like’ skin. You are supposed to do this once a week for four weeks to get the full effect. At one point, the cult-status masks were completely sold out and almost impossible to get your hands on. Beloved by celebrities – Drew Barrymore and January Jones are also fans – the Hanacure ethos is inspired by the lotus flower that the brand says blooms every morning. The premise of the mask is that “Your skin will reflect the lotus flower in that it will be ‘reborn’ with each use”.
I remember trying it shortly after it launched in 2017 and the results are impressive – my skin was definitely brighter and more radiant after one session – but it’s undeniably a bit difficult to use.
Mix a lifting serum with a gelling solution, shake like a martini for about 30 seconds, then apply the thick gel. Then you have to wait about 30 minutes for the magic to work. The brand’s trademark Octolift reacts with carbon dioxide in the air and creates a feeling of tightness and tingling. It’s a little uncomfortable and sensitive skin can get a little red. But once that fades, expect a brighter, more radiant complexion – that’s what Korean skincare is all about.
Korean beauty has, to be fair, brought us some of the most popular beauty trends of all time for glowing skin, including sheet masks, sleep masks, BB Cream, and the tireless skincare routine. 10 steps. Beauty salons in Seoul are as popular as Starbucks in London. Charlotte Cho, founder of Soko Glam online, which specializes in Korean beauty products, explains that Korean traditions are central to the country’s beauty philosophy and that good skincare is rooted in Korean culture.
“At a young age,” she says, “Korean children learn the importance of moisturizing, exfoliating, deep cleansing the skin, and protecting the skin with SPF (sun protection factor).” And these beauty traditions are passed down from generation to generation. These traditions are combined with innovative technologies, and the result is highly effective skincare. Here is my selection of the best.
Top 6 Korean Skincare Products for Glowing Skin
Laneige Water Sleeping Mask£26.50 (Sephora)
Sounds like a French brand, but is actually Korean. Kate Moss and Kate Hudson are fans. This overnight hydrating gel mask absorbs very quickly into the skin to hydrate while you sleep to wake up with dewy-looking skin.
Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Niacinamide Dew Drops£31 (Cultbeauty)
A vitamin-enriched serum without glitter or mica to leave skin looking glassy, almost wet. Use it under or over makeup for the look of glass-like skin.
Sulwhasoo First Care Activator Serum, £60.90
A bottle is sold every 10 seconds in the world. Makes the skin more awake and radiant and leaves it with a beautiful glow. Great under makeup too.
Thanks Farmer Sun Protect Water Sun Cream SPF50, £22
Developed for the needs of dry skin, it is an excellent SPF that doubles as a rich moisturizer under makeup. It also does not leave a white plaster on the skin.
Erborian CC Cream, £40
The best-selling hybrid of a tinted moisturizer and weightless foundation. It’s also enriched with vitamin E and soothing honey extracts to help fight the signs of aging. A truly charming light makeup to leave the skin looking radiant and dewy.
Corsx Acne Patches, £5.99
A thin, transparent hydrocolloid patch that helps treat pimples and acne – similar in texture to a hydrogel sheet mask. These little pimple patches are great overnight fixers to improve the appearance of whiteheads, blackheads, and blemishes in the morning. Ideal for teenagers.