Lesser Known Korean Beauty Brands That You’ll End Up Loving

K-beauty has become such a big phenomenon over the past few years that it’s getting more difficult to keep up with the latest brands coming out or brands that may have a bigger presence in Korea but not so much internationally.

When we think of K-beauty, we would often have a certain set of brands in mind that mainly consist of the more popular ones (Etude House, Innisfree, The Face Shop), and though that’s perfectly okay, it would be nice to get to know other K-beauty brands out there! K-beauty has a lot more to offer so feel refreshed with this list of lesser known brands!

May Coop

The name May Coop may not be familiar to you, but it definitely is to South Koreans after it was featured on the popular beauty show “Get It Beauty.” If you’re wondering what makes May Coop stand out from all the other Korean beauty brands on the market, it’s maple syrup. Forget about pancakes, maple syrup also has amazing properties for the skin! That’s what led the founders of May Coop to use this special ingredient as a base for all their products. They also seem to be keen on finding new and exciting ingredients, with the latest one being bamboo.

The Lotus

The Lotus found its beginnings on Jeju Island, known for its beautiful landscapes and the amazing flora and fauna that can be found there. As per the name, this homegrown brand uses white lotus leaf extract that they’ve harvested from a pond in a Buddhist temple. The Lotus markets themselves as Jeju’s luxury skincare brand, and their products are ideal for those whose main concerns include aging and dull or tired skin. It’d be a waste to not consider including a product or two of theirs into your skincare regime.


Shangpree Spa is one of the most well-loved and best rated spas in Korea, which gives you all the more reason to hunt down the market for products by the Shangpree brand. All their products embody Shangpree’s high standards and are used by the spa’s estheticians themselves. Let your expectations soar high, because their extraordinary collection of spa-grade products will not disappoint.


Here’s a brand that embraces and combines modern-day science with traditional Korean medicine. Their unique philosophy is also seen in how they stay true to the old methods of using and preparing traditional Korean ingredients when formulating their products for today’s age. Raved about by many as their holy grail product is Acwell’s Licorice pH Balancing Cleansing Toner, which contains 10 percent licorice water and is amazing at prepping the skin for serums, essences, and creams.

Dr. Oracle

This is a brand that’s founded by dermatologists, so you know you can trust this one! It’s an official brand of Oracle Clinic, the largest dermatology clinic in Korea with 70 clinics in and out of the country. A cool thing about Dr. Oracle is their approach to acne. Instead of having more aggressive formulations that may be effective in ridding acne but cause sensitivity or other problems in the long run, they use milder ingredients like bamboo extracts that are gentler on the skin. You can put your skin’s needs in Dr. Oracle’s hands and breathe a sigh of relief.


Jungsaemmool may not be as lesser known as some of the other brands in this list, but they should receive more recognition outside of Korea as one of the most high-performance beauty brands out there. Jung Saem Mool has an impressive portfolio spanning over numerous celebrities that probably includes your favorite idols as well. If she’s good enough for some of the biggest celebrities in Korea (Jun Ji Hyun, Song Hye Kyo, Kim Tae Hee, BoA), you know her products will perform miracles on your skin.

amlee5 is known to friends as the “crazy K-pop fangirl,” though she swears she left the “crazy” part years ago.

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