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I Tried the Top K-Beauty Cult Favorites and These Were the Best

Meet your new skin care routine
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On a scale from 1 to 10, how much of a Korean beauty aficionado are you? I'd rank myself at an 8 and climbing — and I'm always on the hunt to learn more. So as part of my quest to further immerse myself in all things K-beauty, I decided to test some of the most popular, buzziest products — from red algae primers to snail mucin essences.

Most of these cult-favorite gems handily met — actually, in most cases, exceeded — expectations. It was quite the glorious testing period and my skin became noticeably brighter and clearer as I made my way through this lineup of Korean skin care favorites. Keep reading to see which products you should try next.

Image via @cosrx

I'd been hearing about these for years but didn't actually try them until last week — and boy, do they live up to the hype. The grape/wine scent is quite pleasant and the combination of physical and chemical exfoliation really has an instant brightening effect, though it's still gentle enough for use on sensitive skin. One especially cool feature is the fact that each pad has two textures, so you can get different levels of scrubbiness on different parts on your face. Plus, each pad is much larger than you'd expect — about four inches in diameter — which means you can cut them in half (and save yourself some money).

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Out of all the pimple patches I've tried, these are my favorite in terms of value and effectiveness. They're fairly affordable and though they have fewer bells and whistles than some of the other versions, they adhere well to skin and really work over time to help shrink your spots.

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Son & Park Beauty Water, $30
One of my clearest-complected friends (seriously, his skin practically incandesces) swears by this stuff, so I was quite excited to give it a try. And you know what? "Beauty Water" really is an appropriate moniker for it, since it does pretty much everything. It refreshes, tones, cleanses, hydrates and even lightly exfoliates. A quick swipe of the stuff over your face, neck and décolletage will basically give you a whole new lease on life.

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Is it honey skin you seek? Then you might just have to add this propolis-packed ampoule to your skin care routine. Though lightweight, it has considerable glow factor and hydration powers. Side note: I tipped mine over by accident months ago and I'm still bitterly mourning the loss.

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