Just as we’re obsessed with the make-up spotted on our favourite K-pop idols, so are we with their skincare—even more so if we’re honest. Clear, radiant and simply glowing, the near-perfect, poreless skin these K-pop idols boast of is the envy of all—whether or not you’re a fan of them.
Between the sheer amount of performances, TV programme features and the frequent travelling, it’s not hard to imagine the toll their lifestyle, and constant piling of make-up takes on their skin. Yet, most idols sport ultra-glowy, barefaced #skingoals, which beg the ultimate question—how?
Like gleaning the exact make-up products they use, details of their skincare is equally obscure, covered with a veil of secrecy. Harnessing the power of the internet, and two shots of espresso later, we’ve rounded up these 16 skincare go-to’s our favourite K-pop idols rely on for clear, luminous, glass skin.
1 album, 4 weeks and 18 cities. Besides noting the whirlwind hectic tour schedule, all we can think of is the 18 big and bold onstage make-up piled onto Tiffany Young’s skin. The ex-Girls’ Generation member took Vogue US on board her tour bus while promoting her ‘Magnetic Moon’ album last November, where she revealed her nighttime skincare routine.
Double cleansing may be non-negotiable, but for Young, three is the magic number. Her first round of removing make-up starts with Lancôme’s Bi-Facil Double-Action, before going in again with an oil-based cleanser—La Mer’s The Cleansing Oil, a detoxifying emulsion that contains the La Mer’s secret cell-renewing elixir, the Miracle Broth. She completes her triple cleansing approach with M.A.C’s Lightful C + Coral Grass Cleanser.
During a post-concert V-live, Twice’s Nayeon and Chaeyong took fans through their night-time skincare routine, which similarly began with removing and cleansing their faces. If there was anything we loved more than watching these two K-pop idols being comfortable with going barefaced in front of the entire world, it’s the fact that their go-to make-up remover is actually pretty affordable. They reached for Bioré Japan Perfect Oil—massaging the oil-cleanser well into their skin to get rid of all the stubborn and heavy-duty make-up.
When BTS, the biggest boyband in the world, joined hands with Mediheal, South Korea’s best-selling sheet mask brand, it’s hard to name a more powerful duo in the world of beauty (case in point: their limited edition Love Me Capsule Mask sold out within three hours in South Korea). Back with a new collaboration, the Mediheal x BTS Hydration Care is a 10-piece set that features both N.M.F Aquaring Ampoule Mask Ex. Essence (5 pieces) and Tea Tree Care Solution Mask Ex. (5 pieces), both highly popular sheet masks that intensely hydrates and calms your skin (p.s. it’s a favourite amongst Vogue Singapore’s beauty team). This dreamy gift of selfie-approved skin also comes with 14 exclusive photo cards of BTS—honestly, what more can you ask for?
In the same V-Live where Twice members Chaeyong and Nayeon dropped their nighttime skincare routine, the fresh-faced beauties revealed their favourite sheet mask—Minon Amino Moist Face Mask. Generously soaked in 9 types of hydrating amino acids and 2 types of clarifying amino acids, Nayeon uses this J-beauty sheet mask every day and considers it the “best sheet mask”.
Whether you’re in your late twenties or a K-pop legend like Sunmi, acne doesn’t discriminate. As told to British Vogue, she uses Mediheal’s A-Zero Shot Skin Control Pink Dressing, which contains key ingredients—salicylic acid, calamine and sulfur—to get rid of acne spots. While this product seems to be discontinued on official retailing sites, Mario Badescu’s Drying Lotion works in the same way as the former product. A cult-favourite spot treatment, it similarly features two layers—pink sediment at the bottom and clear liquid at the top. Each dab works to reduce the size and irritation of the zit, ensuring the unwelcomed intruder will be gone in no time.
BTS Taehyung (known as V) may have struck gold when it comes to the genetic lottery, but from time to time, he reminds us that he too, falls victim to zits. During a V-Live, the singer shared his nighttime skincare routine without explicitly disclosing the exact products he uses. But leave it to keen fans who quickly snuffed out the exact brand and products he uses—Zeriod. Amongst the highly-reputable range of affordable clinic-grade cosmetic products, Taehyung is said to use the Pimprove toner and moisturiser for radiant, spot-free skin.
When we say this is Sunmi’s favourite, it’s not an exaggeration by any means. She went through five bottles of Dr Jart+ Vital Hydra Solution Biome toner, which she dutifully pats onto her skin after cleansing her face. Even if you have commitment issues, we think you’ll stick with this one.
When Somin from co-ed group KARD posted an image of the skincare products she uses on her Instagram, you best bet the whole world took notes. Amongst her go-to’s were, the drugstore favourite—Cosrx One Step Green Hero Calming Pads, which are soaked in a skin-loving and nourishing blend of cica, tea tree extract and witch hazel. A one-stop solution that exfoliates and smoothens your skin’s texture.
During an episode of NCT 127’s 24 Hour Relay Cam, the vocalist let in on his morning skincare routine which is surprisingly simple. Involving only two steps, he first applies Kiehl’s Calendula Herbal Extract Toner, and follows up with CORTHE Dermo Essential Moisture-RX Recharging moisturiser—which unfortunately isn’t available here.
Somi reaches for an age-old classic—Shiseido’s best-selling Ultimune Power Infusing Concentrate, which strengthens the skin’s inner defences with patented ImuGeneration Technology to keep you glowy despite life’s never-ending demands.
The frontman, leader and visual (alright, all of them are) of NCT127, Taeyong keeps it relatively simple when it comes to his skincare. After thoroughly cleansing his skin, he lets the elixir of youth, SK-II’s Facial Treatment Essence, do all the work for achieving an ultra-smooth complexion.
One of the OG male K-idols and mega-successful celebs in South Korea, Eric Nam has been hosting, performing and producing bops since his solo debut in 2013. Years may have passed, and fashion taste evolved, but the 32-year-old still looks as fresh-faced and radiant as ever. Having dry skin, the seasoned star reaches for Clinique’s Dramatically Different Hydrating Jelly—paired with Active Cartridge Concentrate Kit for fatigued skin.
Considering make-up artist Jung Saem Mool has worked with some of the biggest names in South Korea—Jun Ji Hyun, Song Hye Kyo, and BoA for starters, her extensive range of high-performance skincare and make-up products are a given. In the same video, Somi revealed herself to be a fan of Jung Saem Mool’s Essential Mool Cream. This lightweight liquid moisturiser is formulated with squalane and lecithin that emulsifies into a creamy texture as it gets worked onto the skin, doubling up as a day/nighttime moisturiser and primer to keep your make-up locked in place.
Another beauty product that has sneaked its way to Eric Nam’s heart is Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Cream. Formulated with Estée Lauder’s exclusive ChronoluxCB technology (which is also found in their cult-classic Advanced Night Repair Serum), this supercharged eye cream helps to reduce the visible impacts of fatigue, UV, pollution and blue light. Paired with hydration booster hyaluronic acid, this tiny but mighty eye cream reveals a set of brighter, smoother and recharged eyes. While K-pop idols are often tight-lipped about the exact products they’re slathering on, we won’t be surprised if this tops the list.
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