k-beauty winter

K-Beauty Winter Glow

By Kate Limond
22/10/2023 | Read time: 5m

The best glowy products for colder weather.

Safina wrote an awesome article about getting ready for the colder weather and you should definitely read that if you haven’t.

It got me thinking about how my skin fares in the cold and I don’t know about you but I tend to find my skin gets a bit dull when the temperature drops.

One of the reasons I love Korean skincare is that it makes my skin glow. So I tend to switch my k-beauty products around in the UK autumn and winter to keep my skin glowing. I am not a fan of dull skin!

There’s a lot of different products that can give your skin a healthy glow. It’s just a question of customising your routine so you’re treating any issues, like those Safina mentions, as well as maximising glow.

It may be as simple as switching out one product for another or adding a richer k-beauty product in, although some people may have to completely change their routine for the UK winter.

Using some of Safina’s categories, I’m suggesting products that are likely to help, although it doesn’t mean that oily skin, for example, can’t use something from another category. You can use Safina’s descriptions to look for changes in your skin that your current routine isn’t helping with and go from there.

The categories are less about your regular skin type and more about how your skin is doing right now. So your skin might usually be oily but your routine has got it under control and so for glow, I’m suggesting a really light product that shouldn’t unbalance your routine.

Equally, if you normally have dry skin and it’s just getting drier, then the dry skin section will suggest some richer glowy products.

I’ve tried all of these products and you can find the reviews in the K-Blog. Glowy products are something of my speciality!


Snail! Super hydrating and lots of people find it gives them a nice subtle glow.

My favourites essences are Cosrx Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence serum and Tia’m Snail & Azulene Water essence.

However, if you need a little extra moisturising as well as hydration, check out Cosrx Advanced Snail 92 All in One cream.

Although like Safina says, watch out for humectants, in some cases they can dry out your skin if the air is dry, and snail is one of the most hydrating things you can use!


You might just need a little extra to combat slightly dry skin.

Any of these are great for glow and moisturising, they’ll also give you a hydration boost too: Mary & May Vegan Complex essence, Dr Ceuracle Vegan Kombucha Tea essence, Mary & May Rose Collagen Mist serum.

Layering these products, especially the Dr Ceuracle, is a dream come true for dry skin prone to dehydration. If I’m doing a quick routine, Dr Ceuracle is my go-to to ensure my skin stays properly hydrated. Three layers is divine for dry skin in my experience!

If you need some hefty, but lightweight, moisturising power, Mary & May Idebenone Blackberry Complex Intense cream is a great option that’s easily absorbed.

If you need extra oil in your routine, the essences and serums mentioned above play nicely with the Mary & May cream.

If you have very dry skin, add Illiyoon ATO Ceramide ATO Concentrate cream on top for a nice matte finish that works well with makeup.

Axis-Y Complete No-Stress Physical sunscreen will give dry skin excellent moisturisation and an incredible glow. I tried it over the summer when I had combination skin and found I could skip moisturiser entirely. I did want a cream for my neck, which is definitely dry but I could use a lighter cream than I usually would.


Mary & May Blackberry Complex serum is one of my favourite things for sensitive that has a variety of benefits. It’s hydrating , glowy and chock-full of antioxidants including idebenone for well-aging – if you find actives generally too drying for your skin, try this for k-beauty winter hydration.

To be fair, all of the Mary & May Blackberry range is amazing for sensitive skin as is the Illiyoon mentioned above – ATO tells you that it is formulated for sensitive skin.

Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotics is an excellent sunscreen for sensitive skin, it’s one of my favourite sunscreens when my skin is less happy than usual. It’s moisturising and has a really nice glowy finish plus it has niacinamide to shore up your barrier.


You might not need much of a routine change if your skin feels normal – not too oily or dry, no extra dehydration or sensitivity.

For added glow, Mixsoon Bifida toner is a great choice. It’s so lightweight that it will add some hydration without any heaviness.

Mixsoon Centella Sun Cream SPF50 gives a subtle glow that works well for normal skin because it is perfectly balanced – glowy but not dewy, ideal for a k-beauty winter glow look.


Come winter, especially here in the UK, you might find that your skin needs some extra moisturising.

For extra hydration and a little moisturising, Cosrx Full Fit Propolis Synergy toner is a good bet for toner that will moisturise a touch.

If your skin is feeling drier, some oil can be good for oily skin in winter, especially if it’s in a lightweight format – the Mary & May Blackberry essence I mentioned above is a great choice.

Missha All Round Safe Block Essence Sun milk has a soft focus, light diffusing finish with the added bonus of being a large 70ml size!

Special mention!

Heimish Artless Glow Base: this is excellent and the most makeup like sunscreen I’ve used.

It evens out my skin tone a little and the glow is the kind you get an illuminating primer and it absolutely has that kind of grippy mattifying smoothing texture.

I don’t find that it makes my skin glowy where it shouldn’t be: I don’t look shiny or like I’ve swiped my highlighter across my forehead!

I definitely need to use one of my more rich creams underneath now my skin is drier. But if you have oily skin, this might do well as your moisturiser.

I don’t know why I was surprised that the Heimish is so good – I think it’s because I’ve tried some rubbish primers in my time. But then Korean sunscreens are utterly excellent so I should have been prepared for this product being awesome!

Final Word

There’s plenty of glow to go round with K-Beauty during the transition to the colder UK winter weather, and with the right products, you can keep your complexion glowing.

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