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It’s undeniable that Asian entrepreneurs, particularly women, are revolutionizing the beauty industry in the U.S. and around the world with innovative products that have changed the game. The best Asian beauty brands are bringing to the West traditional ingredients already well-loved in Asia, from snail mucin and ginseng in K-beauty to Ayurvedic plants and herbs in South Asian beauty, incorporated in makeup, toners, cleansers, and serums.
With Asian beauty and skincare, the focus is on ultra-hydration, protection, and gentle, natural ingredients that aren’t harsh on skin, making it easy for every skin type to find something that works for them. Asian beautypreneurs, if you will, have put practices like double-cleansing and hair-oiling on the map, and the brands are often affordable, unique, and accessible.
Below, find our six favorite beauty brands founded and run by women of Asian descent that you need to try now.
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1. Soko Glam
Now arguably the most well-known online retailer for curated Korean beauty products, Soko Glam was founded by Asian-American esthetician Charlotte Cho and her husband Dave. Cho fell in love with skincare while living in South Korea, and aimed to bring Korean skincare products to the American market. The retailer carries affordable, trending and cult-favorite brands popular in South Korea and on social media, such as COSRX, Beauty of Joseon, and Neogen. The Soko Glam team later launched their own lines Then I Met You and its sister line Good (Skin) Days. Best-sellers include the award-winning Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm.
2. Live Tinted
Live Tinted founder Deepica Mutyala went viral after her video about covering up her dark circles. This led to Live Tinted; the South Asian beauty brand aims to ensure women of deeper skin tones can find products catered perfectly to their skin, something that’s often lacking in the Western beauty industry. That means at Live Tinted, you can find products like the Huestick, an award-winning color corrector, and the Hueguard Mineral SPF 30 Sunscreen, all developed specifically for deeper skin tones.
3. Seiso JBeauty
Seiso, which means “clean, tidy, elegant,” is a luxury Japanese brand that lives up to its meaning with a streamlined skincare routine rooted in Japanese beauty and made in Japan. Its products feature a patented CeraKari-20 ceramide complex not found in other products. Naturally sourced from Japanese koji, the complex mimics the ceramides found naturally in your skin, combining modern technology with traditional Japanese methods. With its values of minimalism, the brand is developed to fit into busy lives and aims to help you achieve healthy skin through a simplified process. Bestselling products include the Pure Ceramide Concentrate, a pure concentration of its CeraKari-20 ceramide complex, and the Ceramide Moisture Milk, a traditional Japanese milky lotion that helps increase hydration repairs your skin. natural barrier repair.
After consulting what’s considered to be the oldest beauty book written in Japan, Victoria Tsai discovered ancient Japanese beauty practices that made her realize less is more in skincare. With a team split between Japan and San Francisco, Tatcha is “a marriage of Kyoto craftsmanship and wellness philosophies with California natural ease.” Tatcha is committed to donating a portion of every skincare purchase to advance girls’ education in Asia and Africa through its partnership with Room to Read. The award-winning Dewy Skin Cream is a favorite, while The Deep Cleanse has received accolades for its ability to exfoliate and hydrate. On the pricier end, many Tatcha products come in travel sizes, giving you the ability to try without completely committing. The brand is also available at Sephora.
5. EM Cosmetics
American beauty influencer Michelle Phan earned fame from her candid makeup videos on YouTube and is arguably one of the platform’s first beauty stars. After an unsuccessful launch of her beauty line with L’Oréal in 2013, Phan took a social-media detox and came back with the rebirth of EM Cosmetics. From brush-tip Illustrative Eyeliners to Sculpting Brow Creams and pearl-infused luminous Heaven’s Glow Blushes, EM Cosmetics is all about giving you the tools you need for your self-expression through makeup. The Divine Skies Magic Hour Eyeshadow Palette is also a bestseller, inspired by the golden glow of the sunset.
6. Glow Recipe
From working at L’Oréal to pitching Glow Recipe at Shark Tank, friends and business partners Sarah Lee and Christine Chang have dedicated their careers to the beauty industry. The duo launched Glow Recipe’s first skincare line in 2017. Now one of the leading brands in K-beauty, the brand’s colorful packaging and diverse textures show that “skincare should be fun.” Also available to shop at Sephora, Glow Recipe made a splash in the industry with its Watermelon Glow line, including the Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask, which has sold out several times, the Pore-Tight Toner and the Niacinamide Dew Drops Serum. The Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Cream is also a bestseller for its gentle incorporation of retinol.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.