Exploring The Top Korean Skincare Stores in NYC

Korean skincare, often called K-beauty, has become hugely popular recently. Known for innovative ingredients, creative formulations, and cute packaging, Korean skincare offers the latest and greatest trends and technology for glowing skin.

As the craze grows globally, specialized K-beauty stores are popping up across major cities like New York. Offering hard-to-find imported collections in fun boutique settings, these Korean skincare stores in NYC are a must-visit for skincare junkies.

Exploring The Top Korean Skincare Stores in NYC

The Rise of K-Beauty in America

The K-beauty industry is estimated to be worth over $13 billion globally. While South Korea is home to many cutting-edge skincare brands, the products are now available worldwide thanks to rising demand.

Beauty trends take off quickly in America, with word-of-mouth buzz helping obscure foreign finds gain rapid popularity. Social media has also enabled Korean skincare to flourish abroad fast. Beauty vloggers and influencers showcase new products coming out of Seoul, prompting followers to try the innovations for themselves.

With the average American now spending over $300 annually on skincare, the growing fascination with K-beauty has created a very receptive consumer market in the US. Specialty NYC stores importing niche brands direct from Korea have emerged to meet this thirst for the latest skincare discoveries.

Top Korean Skincare Stores in New York City

Ready to explore the exciting world of K-beauty yourself? Here are the best Korean skincare store options in NYC right now for snagging the top products directly imported from Seoul:

oo35mm

  • Locations: SoHo, Chinatown
  • Highlights: Hard-to-find indie Korean skincare brands, frequently updated inventory

This hip boutique opened in Seoul’s Garosugil neighborhood, the trendsetting heart of Korean beauty. Known for discovering up-and-coming labels before they get big, oo35mm brings clever cosmetic innovations from budding brands to their NYC shops.

With two locations in downtown Manhattan, their stock rotates rapidly to offer new finds continuously. Across their luminous white displays, you can browse eye gels, serums, masks and more with ingredients you’ve likely never heard before. Expect to discover your next skincare obsession at oo35mm!

“We search all across Korea each month to handpick the latest must-have beauty launches for our American customers,” says Esther Choi, oo35mm NYC regional manager. “Our offerings are different from typical branded Korean beauty products found in average shops.”

The Klog by StackedSkincare

  • Location: Flatiron District
  • Highlights: Trendy Korean skincare products curated by beauty experts

Founded by bicoastal sisters Susan and Gloria, obsessed with Korean beauty, The Klog retail store brings the most buzzed-about products from Seoul stateside. Catering to skin care fanatics who want to try innovations not yet available elsewhere in America, The Klog offers exclusive, specially curated Korean skincare lines.

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Their Flatiron location is bright, feminine and curated for the Instagram generation. Come prepared to test out hydrating toners, silky sunscreens, miracle mask treatments and more vetted by skincare veterans who know good formulas when they see them.

“Our sharp eye for standout skincare formulations allow us to handpick only the best Korean beauty has to offer our savvy NYC customers,” explains Susan Yara, Co-Founder of The Klog.

Peach & Lily

  • Location: SoHo
  • Highlights: K-beauty sets and exclusive collaborations

Esteemed as one of the original purveyors of Korean skincare in America, Peach & Lily helped spark the initial craze a decade ago. Their swanky SoHo store remains an industry leader, focusing on sharing beloved K-beauty products stateside through special sets and pairings.

Charming gift boxes and beautifully bundled collections make trying new Korean skincare finds fun. Limited edition collaborations also keep their shelves stocked withypes like the recent Peach & Lily Glass Skin sunscreen created alongside top brand Dr. G.

“We work directly with over 100 Korean labs to develop clean, innovative formulas optimized for American skin,” describes Alicia Yoon, Founder + CEO of Peach & Lily. “Our special sets and collabs make K-beauty routines easy, effective and a joy to use.”

Here is a comparison table of these top 3 spots to shop Korean skincare products in NYC:

StoreLocationsKey Strengths
oo35mmSoHo, ChinatownHot new indie Korean beauty launches
The Klog by StackedSkincareFlatiron DistrictCurated Korean skincare collections
Peach & LilySoHoBundled sets and special collabs

Notable K-Beauty Brands to Shop in NYC

Wandering the pristine aisles of these specialty Korean beauty boutiques, you’ll discover many brands unfamiliar to the average American consumer. I asked the experts and shop owners which products they view as can’t-miss that their stores import direct from Seoul. Here is what they recommend trying:

“Right now, I’m loving CNP Laboratory for their ingenious use of propolis, a resin from honeybees that hydrates, heals and soothes skin beautifully,” shares Esther Choi of oo35mm NYC. “Their Propolis Energy Ampule is one of our top-sellers.”

Alicia Yoon of Peach & Lily counts sulwhasoo as a standout Korean skincare brand for luxury anti-aging formulas combining ginseng root and Korean herbal medicine. “The Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream EX is phenomenal for regenerating mature complexions,” she advises.

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“I’d say Purito and their uncompromising commitment to 100% clean, vegan and sustainable ingredients makes their formulas universally appealing,” enthuses Susan Yara of The Klog StackedSkincare. “We can’t keep their Centella Green Level Buffet Serum on shelves as fans adore the soothing centella and cica it uses.”

While browsing these shops, expect to see hot ingredient buzzwords like propolis, ginseng, Centella asiatica (also called pica), green tea, and snail mucin touting skin-enhancing superpowers. With knowledgeable staff guiding you, don’t be afraid to ask questions and sample testers to decode the science and stories behind these K-beauty phenomena.

Must-Have Korean Skincare Steps and Products

Venturing into the city’s top K-beauty boutiques, the variety of products promoting glass skin goals can seem overwhelming to novice beauty junkies. Here’s a primer on the essential Korean skincare steps along with my best product picks I often recommend to beginners:

Oil-Based Cleanser

The first step in the Korean double cleanse, an oil cleanser melts away makeup, sunscreen and impurities from pores. For rosacea-prone skin, I like the Klairs Gentle Black Deep Cleansing Oil which contains moisture-locking black bean extract.

Water-Based Cleanser

Follow with a gentle water-based cleanser like COSRX Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser to lift residue left behind oil cleansing without stripping your acid mantle. The tea tree extract soothes irritation too.

“When oil and water-based cleansers are used together as a double cleanse, they provide a very thorough clean that’s still gentle enough for sensitive skin,” explains Dr. C. Chiu, Board Certified Dermatologist.

Essence

A signature product category in Korean routines, essence provides an extra layer of active skin treatment ingredients to target needs like brightening, hydrating and anti-aging. The Be Plain Cicaful Ampoule calms redness with centella asiatica.

Serum

Serums deliver a potent level of actives to nourish and rejuvenate. The Purito Centella Green Level Buffet Serum packs a punch of antioxidants from berries and peptides for a healthy glow.

Moisturizer

Even oily complexions need hydration to balance and protect. The Etude House Soon Jung 2x Barrier Intensive Cream reinforces the moisture barrier without greasiness or irritation.

Sunscreen

Sun protection is non-negotiable in Korean skincare with evidence showing it prevents dark spots, wrinkles and skin cancer. The Purito Centella Green Level Safe Sun SPF50+ PA++++ is rated a top mineral sunscreen pick for sensitive skin.

Tips for Shopping Korean Skincare Stores in NYC

Ready to shop? Here are my top tips for making the most of browsing the unique Korean skincare boutiques cropping up around NYC:

  • Sign up for email lists – Shops like oo35mm and The Klog send out alerts about new product arrivals from Korea. You’ll get first dibs on the next big thing.
  • Ask for samples – Don’t be shy to ask staff if you can try testers. Getting samples helps determine if products agree with your skin before purchasing.
  • Look for set savings – Sites like Peach & Lily offer special packs that group complementary products for better value—great way to try a simplified routine.
  • Follow social accounts – Stay updated on limited collabs and pop-up shops by following the stores Insta or Facebook. Limited runs sell out instantly.
  • Talk to experts – Lean on the store aestheticians who can decode labels and advise which innovations might work best for your skin type.
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“We love educating clients new to Korean beauty about the technology behind formulations that make these products so unique and effective,” shares Susan Yara of The Klog.

Expanding World of Korean Beauty in NYC

While K-Town in midtown Manhattan has long been a hub for Korean culture in New York, the focused growth of Korean skincare boutiques in hip downtown hoods marks an expansion specifically in the global beauty sphere. As Korean skincare continues gaining prestige worldwide for their innovation, expect even more flagship stores bringing buzzy brands stateside.

“The success of our original Seoul store proved to us there was a hungry market in the US for discovering new Korean beauty labels,” describes Esther Choi, oo35mm Regional Retail Manager. “We launched in NYC first given its reputation as an epicenter for global beauty trends.”

Indeed New York City remains a pivotal launch point for niche beauty brands going big. The new wave of Korean skincare shops caters to the city’s notoriously beauty-obsessed residents hungry to try the next new fads out of Seoul way before they hit the mainstream back home.

Sampling glowing glass skin in the form of ampoules, sheet masks, and moisturizers has never been easier for American consumers, thanks to these specialized K-beauty stores popping up from SoHo to Chinatown. Satisfy your cosmetics curiosity by exploring their shelves bursting with products offering complexion perfection, the Korean way.

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  • Jayne Gorman

    Jayne Gorman stands out as the go-to Fashion & Style, Skincare Expert on gmsrentertain.com. With a wealth of knowledge, she offers concise and valuable insights into the latest trends and skincare routines. Jayne's expertise extends beyond fashion, making her an essential contributor to gmsrentertain.com, enriching the platform's content and providing a holistic approach to beauty and style for its audience.

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