The 21 Best Korean Face Masks for Dewy, Bouncy Skin

K-beauty does it again.

face masks
(Image credit: John Phillips)

When I first visited Seoul, I had quite a few firsts. I traipsed around in a green tea field filled with snakes, tried actual high-quality soju, and thwarted a meerkat's persistent efforts to steal my earrings (long story). But most memorably, I wandered into dozens of beauty shops on every corner, and for the very first time, skincare left me speechless. Products with textures I'd never felt and ingredients I'd never heard of stocked the shelves, and shoppers stocked up on serums, face masks, and creams at all hours of the night. I was in the beauty capital of the entire world, and I nearly shed a tear for it.

That said, you don't have to go to Seoul to discover these innovative products anymore (though I would absolutely recommend it when we can travel abroad again). Nowadays, Korean skincare brands are staples here in the U.S., and for very, very good reason. The beauty tech in South Korea is years ahead of our country's, and that's made clear by every essence, K-beauty moisturizer, and sunscreen that appears on the market. And if there's one thing Koreans know best, it's how to mask like a pro. From sheets soaked in snail mucin to jars topped off with bouncy exfoliating gels, K-beauty's got every skincare concern covered. Here, we've rounded up the most effective, innovative, and just plain playful options for your next self-care session.

Taylore Glynn is a former beauty and wellness editor for Allure. Previously, she served as beauty and health editor at Marie Claire and Harper’s Bazaar, and her work has appeared in Refinery29, Town & Country, Compound Butter, and RealSelf. She holds a master's degree in English and Creative Writing from Monmouth University. If you need her, she’s probably at the movies, braising a chicken, or evening out her cat eyeliner.