Most of us know what it’s like to live on a tight budget. And even when we may have some extra cash to treat ourselves it can be difficult to justify waving goodbye to your money on luxury skincare, especially when nowadays there are plenty of well-performing budget-friendly options out there.
Fortunately, with the expansion of Korean skincare on a global scale within the last 5 years or so, we’re now able to find affordable Korean skincare products which more closely match the low prices they sell for in Korea. With this in mind I’d like to share with you some K-beauty skincare products which are reasonably priced and kind to your wallet.
ABOUT THIS BLOG SERIES
This blog series will feature products which I’ve used myself or came across whilst budgeting in Korea, and can easily be found in the UK, Europe, and in some cases internationally. Each post will be be themed around a particular type of product/skincare routine step, so please understand that some product categories are pricer than others, and so it’s not always possible to find good quality products of that type for the lowest price possible.
For example, essences tend to be closer to £25 or higher, whereas water-based facial cleansers can be found for £15 and significantly cheaper. Although of course this series will not mention any product over £25, otherwise this wouldn’t be a very good ‘buying on a budget’ guide, would it? For the first post in this new series, we’ll be taking a look at oil-based first step cleansers which cost £20 or less.
Affiliated discount links and codes for various K-Beauty retailers can be found at the end of this blog post if you see any product that you may like to try. There I will also mention which retailers ship to the UK only, Europe, or offer international shipping.
Let’s browse our options of oil-based first step cleansers!
BUDGET FRIENDLY OIL-BASED FIRST STEP CLEANSERS
B.Lab PHA Perfect Pore Cleansing Oil 200ml (Jumbo size is £18.99 at Hello Seoul UK) – a mild and hydrating first step cleanser comprised of PHA (poly hydroxy acids), grape seed oil and jojoba oil. It aims to reduce whiteheads and blackheads, gently remove dead skin cells, and acne contributing impurities. It’s fragrance, colourant and mineral oil free.
ACWELL Balancing Watery Cleansing Oil 200ml (£18.00 at Skin Library) – this hypoallergenic oil cleanser has a rich moisture content of 57% to offer a refreshing cleanse whilst additionally reinforcing the skin’s moisture barrier. Its formula is plentiful in antioxidants sourced from calming Green Tea Water (20%), soothing Tea Tree Leaf Water, and anti-inflammatory and skin brightening water extracts from Licorice Root. It is a great option for anyone with sensitive skin which requires soothing ingredients and need a helping in hand in rebalancing (i.e. dry and oily skin types). It’s also serves as a mild corrective for dull skin types.
Celimax Derma nature Fresh Blackhead Cleansing Oil 150ml (£15.65 at YesStyle) – a daily cleansing oil which combines a blend of 6 different lightweight plant-derived oils to provide an easy to emulsify formula. This unique combination of oils which include Jojoba and Apricot oils massages into skin with minimal effort to cleanse in and out of pores to remove impurities. It’s aim is to specifically focus on reducing the amount of blackheads, and target excess sebum without depriving skin of moisture whilst supplying vitamins and nutrients to skin along the way.
iUNIK Calendula Complete Cleansing Oil 200ml (£16.00 at Kōsame Beauty) – whenever anyone asks me to recommend a mild cleansing oil which doesn’t put stress on enlarged pores or acne-prone skin, I often suggest this cleansing oil. It is formulated with 94% pure plant oil to breakdown impurities and remove sebum without leaving skin feeling tight through moisture deprivation. It is gentle on skin but has the power to remove traces of makeup and microscopic debris. It’s suitable for all skin types as Calendula shares anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal properties therefore making it fungal acne safe.
Innisfree Green Tea Cleansing Oil (£17.80 at Pure Seoul UK) – melt away common impurities, stubborn makeup, and sunscreen with this antioxidant rich and moisture replenishing cleansing oil. It’s bursting with all the goodness that comes along with organic Green Tea Leaf extracts, not just antioxidants but also nutrients and skin calming benefits which play a role in minimizing skin redness and irritation. It is one of Innisfree’s most widely sold facial cleansers and pairs well with the Green Tea Seed Serum which is most likely to be Innisfree’s most well recognised product of all-time.
Haruharu Wonder Black Rice Moisture Deep Cleansing Oil – Unscented (£19.90 at Skin2Seoul) – formulated with a staggering 95% worth of nature derived ingredients, this moisture and nutrient dense first step cleanser includes rice bran extracts as well as sunflower, jojoba, olive and macadamia seed oils to thoroughly cleanse skin in preparation for use of a second (water-based) cleanser. This non-irritating formula leaves skin feeling soft to the touch, well-balanced, and contributes to improving the overall health and strength of the skin barrier. Many of you will be pleased to know that this product is Vegan and cruelty-free.
Heimish All Clean Balm 120ml (£15.00 at Glam Touch UK) – by far one of the most nourishing and softest cleansing balms out there, this most-sold Heimish cleansing balm is enriched with multi-vitamins from citruses, and plants like Asian Lily which are native to the orient. It removes traces of dirt, makeup, sunscreen, and surfaced sebum without leaving skin feeling deprived of essential natural oils which our naturally skin produces.
Banila.Co Clean it Zero Cleansing Balm Original 100ml (£19.50 at Skin Cupid UK) – this cult favourite hypoallergenic oil-based cleanser has an ultra-soft texture akin to sorbet. When massaged between warm hands and onto your face, it melts with the warmth of skin to allow for an easy and even distribution of the plant oils contained within its composition. It effectively removes waterproof makeup including hard to budge lip tints without fuss or messiness, and doesn’t leave behind any unwanted residue when rinsed off with lukewarm water.
Pyunkang Yul Deep Clear Cleansing Balm 100ml (£15.29 at Stylevana) – can be described as an easy-to-use soft cleansing balm which is inclusive of all skin types and conditions. Similarly to the majority of – if not all Pyunkang Yul skincare products – this oil-based balm holds kind-to-skin ingredients what are naturally found within Korea and neighbouring countries. This Balm holds Licorice Root Extract, Tea Tree, Camellia Sinensis Seed Oil, Heartleaf Extract, and Rice Bran. Other notable ingredients are Panthenol for improved moisture retention, Ceramide NP for skin conditioning, and Hyaluronic Acid to keep skin feeling supple and plumper from the inside to outermost layers of skin.
Beauty of Joseon Radiance Cleansing Balm 100ml (£17.00 at Skinsider) – recently reformulated to become Vegan-friendly, this cleansing balm uses Hanbang (Korean herbal medicine) ingredients to offer a variety of skin-loving benefits. Nutrient-rich rice water and fermented grains have been added to retain moisture and offer brightening benefits. Whereas Oats help to soothe skin sensitivities typically experienced by dry and sensitive skin types. The packaging has also been redesigned to ensure a fuss free experience is possible at each and every use by providing a flip lip instead of a screw lid, and a larger spatula.
Featured retailers, where they ship to & discount links/codes:
Skin Library 🌍 – use code SIMPLYEMS10 for 10% off*
YesStyle 🌍 – use code EMMA955 for a discount*
Kōsame Beauty 🇬🇧🇪🇺
Skin2Seoul 🌍 – use code ROSES15 for 15% off*
Glam Touch 🇬🇧
Stylevana 🌍 – get 10-15% off with code INF10ROSES *
Skinsider 🇬🇧 – use code SROSES15 for 15% off*
Disclaimer – Some of the links inserted throughout this blog post are affiliated. Affiliated discount links and codes have been marked with an asterisk (*). I receive a small amount of commission from purchases made through these links/codes. Thank you for your support 🙂