woman smiling with half of a sheet mask on her face
Kenneth Willardt / Trunk Archive
Kenneth Willardt / Trunk Archive

The Girlfriends Guide to K-Beauty

So, what is it? K-Beauty (short for Korean beauty) is a trend that’s become increasingly popular, starting with beauty insiders who brought back the latest products from their travels to South Korea, the epicenter for cutting-edge skincare. It’s now reached the point where there’s a whole section of K-Beauty products on Sephora.com.

Like what? For the daring, there are products like snail cream (yes, you read that right—one of the ingredients is snail-slime extract); for the truly committed, there are 12-step regimens for your youngest, dewiest skin ever. “You have to sift through a lot of gimmicky stuff, but the sheet masks can be easily incorporated into your beauty regimen,” says YouTube beauty influencer Michele Wang.

What’s so great about sheet masks? Sheet masks, the most popular product, can be found in practically every flavor, to treat every conceivable skin trouble, on the K-Beauty e-commerce site Missha. These single-use, disposable, at-home facial treatments are applied to cleansed, toner-prepped skin for 10-20 minutes until the ingredients are absorbed.

Should I try it? Warning: You’ll look a bit like Hannibal Lecter wearing what’s basically a paper cutout of your face, with holes for your eyes, nose and mouth. But from all accounts, they can definitely give your dull skin a pick-me-up. And cleanup is super simple as you just peel off the mask and massage excess liquid into your skin. An added bonus: When someone mentions K-Beauty, you can officially say, “Been there, done that!”

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woman smiling with half of a sheet mask on her face
Kenneth Willardt / Trunk Archive