Double-cleansing, glass skin, sunscreen... Korean beauty trends are endless, and so are the variety of skincare products they offer. To help simplify things, we've curated seven products based on their promising qualities after scouring through many reviews. These are the essentials that will up your skincare game, leaving you with glowing and radiant skin.

Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm, BANILA CO

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Cleansing oils and balms are necessities in double-cleansing. BANILA CO’s Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm has been a cult classic for many years and for good reason. The cleansing balm comes in a sherbet-like texture, and melts into a smooth oil upon contact with skin. It does what it claims to do: efficiently cleaning off sunscreen, skin impurities, dirt and make up—effectively "cleaning it zero". Its Zero Balance Technology deeply cleanses without stripping the skin's natural moisture, leaving it hydrated and fresh. Formulated with active botanicals, hot springs water, vitamin E and vitamin C, this cleansing balm will leave your skin looking radiant and healthy.

Available at banilaco.sg or Watsons.

SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser, ETUDE HOUSE

Considered as one of the pioneering brands that paved the way for the popularisation of K-beauty, Etude House has been around for many years in the Korean skincare market. Known for its fragrance-free formulation, Etude House’s SoonJung pH 6.5 Whip Cleanser is a gentle and mild cleanser that is great for sensitive skin. It contains many beneficial ingredients, including Panthenol, which strengthens the skin barrier and soothes dry skin, and Madecassoside, which soothes irritated skin and protects it from external stimuli. Additionally, its smooth foam-like lather doesn't strip your skin of its natural oils.

Available at Shopee or Watsons.

Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner, ANUA

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Looking to soothe any redness or irritation of your skin? Give Anua’s Heartleaf 77% Soothing Toner a try. This toner is known to be a holy grail of K-pop group EXO’s Suho, and is perfectly formulated to soothe, tone, hydrate, and balance the pH level of your skin. Its watery texture provides a layer-able, lightweight hydration too. Heartleaf is renowned for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties, and Anua only uses heartleaf sourced exclusively from Korea for stringent quality control.

Available at amazon.sg or global.oliveyoung.com.

Centella Ampoule, SKIN1004

SKIN1004’s Centella Ampoule main ingredient, Centella asiatica, is known for its ability to soothe inflamed skin and simultaneously reducing redness. Containing nothing except for pure Centella extract from Madagascar (with only water and preservatives added), the ampoule provides skin with the optimal benefits of Centella. Due to its lightweight and watery texture, the ampoule is extremely fast-absorbing. It helps to restore skin imbalances caused by harsh environments, while hydrating and healing the skin barrier.

Available at amazon.sg or global.oliveyoung.com.

Bean Essence, MIXSOON

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Achieve Korean glass skin with MIXSOON’s Bean Essence. Made with four fermented ingredients, this gentle essence is great for strengthening skin health. Due to their smaller particle size, fermented ingredients facilitate easy spreading and rapid absorption of the essence into the skin. The Bean Essence serves to both exfoliate and hydrate textured skin. The natural ingredients also provide natural antioxidants rich in vitamins C and E so that clogged pores and dead skin are cleared while achieving a renewed glow.

Available at Shopee or amazon.sg.

Atobarrier 365 Cream, AESTURA

Aestura’s fragrance-free Atobarrier 365 Cream has recently been heavily endorsed by many beauty influencers for its 120-hour long-lasting hydration. This is achieved through its unique formulation containing ceramide, cholesterol, and fatty acid that mimic the lipid-like structure of the skin, allowing for easy absorption while strengthening the skin barrier. The Atobarrier 365 Cream contains capsules that melt and comfortably penetrate the skin, delivering moisture deep into its layers.

Available at amazon.sg or Shopee.

Birch Moisturising Sunscreen SPF 50+, PA++++, ROUND LAB

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Many Koreans follow a strict regimen for sun protection—not just to maintain their desired complexion but also to protect against sun damage. Overexposure to UV rays leads to premature ageing, making sunscreen an essential. Round Lab’s Birch Moisturising Sunscreen SPF 50+, PA++++ has been a recent cult favourite. Its key ingredients—birch tree sap, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice(1,425ppm) and niacinamide—are known for their soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, making it suitable for sensitive skin. It's also infused with hyaluronic acid, making it moisturising enough that you could skip that moisturiser in the morning. Rest assured, this fragrance-free sunscreen won't leave behind that notorious white cast associated with many sunscreens.

Available at amazon.sg or global.oliveyoung.com.

Jacket, shirt and trousers, DIOR MEN

To healthily live every day

Like many other actors when they debuted, Jung Hae-In played the lead character's brother or friend. It was not till 2018 when he paired with Son Ye-Jin in the romance drama, Something In The Rain, his role as a "warm boy" caught the public's attention and he was conferred the title of "National Cougler", that Jung's career reached its turning point.

During this interview, Jung's leading role in D.P. season 2 was about to be aired, his part as a soldier is a stark departure from his previous "warm boy" roles in romance dramas, which can be said to be another breakthrough for Jung's career.

During D.P.'s first season, it had already triggered social discussion in its native country as the drama explores the South Korean military's hierarchical practice and the associated bullying. Jung's role of a private assigned to a team, tracking down military deserters, endured various experiences in the process. Likewise after the series aired, not only did it ignite many heated discussions, it also evoked memories of people's own experiences during their military service. The drama received critical acclaim and went on to win "The Best Drama" at South Korea's Baeksang Arts Awards, so naturally all eyes are on the new season's plot. "The characters in the second season are explored more in-depth than the first season, delving into the characters' inner contradictions and battles. The second season will also add new characters to enrich the plot," shares Jung.

Jacket, vest, trousers, brooch and shoes, DIOR MEN

He will be promoted in the new season, and the series will continue to explore why the dark side of the military is deliberately ignored, and why bullying and discrimination are daily military occurrences that are not taken seriously.

Coincidentally, D.P. season 2's airing marks Jung's 10th anniversary since his debut. Jung's childhood dream was to become a bioengineer. That is until after his college entrance examinations, and he was on the way to the movie theatre, when he was discovered by a talent scout. Thereafter the idea of becoming an actor began to germinate, and he subsequently enrolled himself in acting courses. 

His parents were initially opposed to the switch, but Jung managed to win their approval and support through his persistence and enthusiasm for acting. "Since then, I have enjoyed acting very much. Different works and roles have also allowed me to accumulate rich performing experience, and I believe my acting skills will change and evolve with age. My goal in life is to be able to continue to act, but I will not say that I have achieved my goal yet. I'm continuously moving toward my dream. My dream is actually quite simple: to be healthy and to live every day and with a grateful heart," says Jung.

Jacket, shirt, hat, DIOR MEN

Unburdening

Having been in the industry for a decade, it's logical to sort out and summarise Jung's performance over the years. "If I had to choose my proudest work, it would be difficult. Put it this way, I would think D.P. brought me a breakthrough in my acting career, because the character and plot are completely different from all my previous work.

"The thing is, I have never deliberately counted how long I have been in the industry. Whether it is five or 10 years, it's just a number. The most important thing is that I hope I will not regret my past performances if I were to watch them in the future. In the past 10 years, I have acted in more than 20 dramas and movies, and I have enjoyed satisfaction from these works, regardless of how tough the process was, or the challenges I faced. I still find it very interesting.

"Of course, I will want to take a vacation and have a good rest. If my body sends a signal, I will definitely take a vacation to recharge and clean the slate of my previous roles, so I can absorb new subject matters and perspectives. I think this kind of treatment is applicable to everyone, energy can only be added if there is an offloading."

Jacket, shirt, trousers and shoes, DIOR MEN

Apart from acting, Jung also likes to sing. He fell in love with South Korean singer Lee Moon Se's song when it was included in the original soundtrack of the drama he acted in.

"I fell in love with his song when I heard it, I listened to it on repeat. I generally pay attention to lyrics when I listen to songs as well as the emotions carried in them. Recently, I've taken a liking to sports too and I really enjoy playing golf. Contrary to how it appears, golf is not an easy sport, and I'm attracted to overcoming unique challenges," shares Jung.

Barbeque expert

Jung has always been stereotyped as a "warm boy" or a "National Cougler" in his career thus far. The truth is that his persona also falls in line with the "warm boy". When he is not working, he enjoys dinner with his friends. He particularly enjoys barbequing and would volunteer to grill food for others to enjoy, so much so that he is fondly hailed "barbeque expert".

"I like to help others barbeque meat because I'm confident of my skills, and I feel that I'm very good at controlling the heat and taste. But I'm not a master chef and I usually cook simple dishes like stew or fried rice at home," says Jung.

Sweater, shirt, skirt, Dior Oblique Saddle Boxy bag, DIOR MEN

Looking forward to the future, Jung doesn't have too many thoughts, he just hopes to do his best for every role. "If I hadn't become an actor, I think I would still work hard to equip myself to become an actor eventually. To be honest, if I'm not an actor, I can't think of what else I would like to do. Every time I watch the work of my seniors, it reinvigorates and motivates me. I respect the two seniors, Han Suk-Kyu and Lee Byung-Hun, and I appreciate that they can perfectly present different images and characters in each role. If I had to choose my favourite movie, I would say it's About Time, the portrayal of people and time in it is quite beautiful," says Jung.

There's a spark in Jung's eyes whenever he talks about acting. With his hard work and determination, becoming the next best actor could just be around the corner.

Jacket, vest, trousers, necklace and shoes, DIOR MEN

Photography: Choi Moon Hyuk
Art Direction: Paddy Chan
Styling: Yoon Seul Ki
Photography Assistants: Kim Dong June, Seo Hye Yoon, and Jeon Sung Woo
Makeup: Soon Yeol
Hair: Sung Chan

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