summer k beauty stock
From chilly sheet masks to moisturising facial mists, here's all you need to cool down this summer. Image Credit: Shutterstock

The last thing we want to do on warm days is apply product after product. Every layer of skincare and make-up feels like a muggy article of clothing in the summer. In South Korea, high levels of humidity have naturally steered K-beauty towards lightweight, oil-controlling or water-based formulas. Even their powder blush and iconic cushion foundation dab away excess sebum!

If you're looking to revamp your hair-, skin- and body care this season, there's no better place to search than K-beauty. From scalp-refreshing shampoos to breathable gel moisturisers, everything in our list points to a regimen that doesn't weigh you down. With gentle plant-based actives, such as centella asiatica, an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant herb, these products are all the more healing for the body.

You can trust us - we've been swimming the K-beauty waters for a while, dipping our toes into skincare forums and beauty review apps, and then speaking to experts, too. Find out more about how to achieve glass skin, get familiar with Korean summer skincare trends and discover multi-purpose multi balm sticks.

Sign up for an Amazon Prime subscription to get free, fast delivery on some of these items.

1. Best Water-based Sunscreen: SKIN1004 Hyalu-Cica Water-fit Sun Serum

Let's talk sunscreen. We're mostly familiar with cream and lotion formulas, which, sometimes, can be felt sitting on the skin. Innovations from Korea are now introducing us to ultra-lightweight sun serums. Like the Skin1004 chemical sunscreen, these are water-based, breathable sunblocks that still provide ultraviolet A and B protection. The Hyalu-Cica Water-Fit has a high sun protection factor (SPF) of 50+ with a PA++++ rating. As the name suggests, both hyaluronic acid and cica (centella asiatica) soothe irritated and dry skin. There are seven types of sprout extracts in this serum for additional skin brightening and plumping effects. Reviewers say it doesn't leave a tacky residue, sits under make-up perfectly and can be applied near the eyes easily.

2. Best Gel Moisturiser: Torriden Dive-In Low-Molecular Hyaluronic Acid Soothing Cream

You must've caught a whiff of Torriden's Dive-In range that's left beauty reviewers in awe. Its Soothing Cream is actually a gel moisturiser that disappears with a single swipe of the fingers. Fluffy, calming and free of irritants (fragrance, alcohol and mineral oils), the moisturiser is ideal for all skin types in the summer. It's made up of a hyaluronic acid complex, featuring panthenol and allantoin to promote skin healing and shedding. Reviewers love the glass-skin effect it gives them and confirm how it soothes redness. It even works great as a non-oily base for make-up.

3. Best Shampoo for Oily Scalp: Amos Professional The Green Tea Shampoo Refresh (500g)

For those who suffer from an oily scalp on hot days, try Amos Professional's green tea shampoo. Plucked from Jeju Island, the main ingredient carries amino acids that stimulate new hair growth. But, it's not just any green tea - white matcha has three times the amount of amino acids than normal varieties. Besides reducing hair fall, the shampoo refreshes the scalp and wipes away excess oil, leaving your locks smelling minty fresh. You'll also find a lift in the volume from the roots. Reviews note a less oily scalp after a week of use, adding that it does so without soaking up necessary moisture. It lathers into a thick foam, they say.

4. Best Hand Cream: MD's Pick Barista Hand Cream Ultra (Pack of 2)

Dry, scaly hands are not just characteristic of the winter season. Moisture loss can happen from spending long hours under the sun, going for a swim in the pool and staying in the air-conditioned indoors. If this is you, you're in need of a hand cream. This viral Barista Hand Cream by MD's Pick is formulated for anyone with cracked palms and knuckles, ranging from mums to doctors and baristas. The non-greasy, water-like texture has a patented ingredient 'fructan', which is derived from heat-tolerant plants. Then, there's the oil complex, made up of sweet almond, olive, coconut and sunflower seed oils, to heal any irritation. Buyers with sensitive skin attest to its healing properties with five stars, and note how quickly it absorbs without being sticky.

5. Best After-Sun Care: Aromatica 95% Organic Aloe Vera Gel, 300ml

After-sun care is just as important as sun care in K-beauty. The inflammation and sensitivity that follow right after long sun exposure, warrant a calming treatment. It's usually done with pure aloe vera gel, like this Aromatica 95 per cent organic aloe. You'll also benefit from rosemary leaf water to help with blemishes. Store in the fridge for an even cooler effect on skin that's been irritated by harsh UV rays. It's a popular choice for buyers who incorporate a microcurrent device in their skin regimen. Others use it as a summer moisturiser and for soothing sun burns on the face and body.

6. Best Mist: Klairs Fundamental Ampule Mist, 125ml

Dear, Klairs ampule mist delivers botanical nutrients to your face with each spray. Intended to go on after cleansing, it moisturises the skin without the need for layering. The water mist contains Jeju green tea water, cucumber, rice, mugwort, kelp extract, water-binding trehalose and more, all of which brighten and calm the skin in a few spritzes. Reviewers use it often throughout the day as a pick-me-up, whenever they feel their skin is drying out. They recommend sealing it in with a moisturiser for a dewy finish.

7. Best Sheet Mask: Numbuzin No.4 Icy Soothing Sheet Masks

Currently trending in Korea for beating the heat, the Numbuzin No.4 Icy Soothing sheet mask replenishes hydration to the skin and brings the skin temperature down to up to nine degrees Celsius. Enjoy the chilly sensation for 20 minutes, and heal with tea tree extracts, ground mugwort and bergamot leaf extract, no matter what your skin type. It's especially beneficial for acne, which tends to flare up after a workout or walking around in the sun. You'll get four uses out of this pack.

Our recommendations are independently chosen by Gulf News editors. If you decide to shop through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission, as we are part of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.