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For those who have tried a 10-step K-Beauty routine or taken a page out of the simple French beauty handbook, I'm here to tell you this – do not sleep on Greek beauty. As a recent convert, I am shouting from aqua-domed rooftops that Greece has successfully cracked the clean-yet-effective skincare puzzle, and the brand leading the charge? Korres.
My obsession with Greek beauty started on a recent trip to Greece where Korres products were not just a mainstay in every hotel, but Greece's wineries, too. Santo Wines, one of the top wineries in Santorini, has been working with Korres for years, giving leftover grapes from the winemaking process to Korres to integrate into its Santorini Grape skincare collection.
Wine-based skincare was enough to have me hooked, but Korres is so much more than a love letter to Greece's finest ingredients. The brand has been producing clean beauty products since its start 25 years ago, using ingredients from local Greek farmers, and implementing a zero-waste sourcing process that extracts ingredients from plants and wildflowers without the use of chemicals. Whatever organic material isn't used is recycled as fertilizer, and all packaging can be recycled, too. It's all part of the brand's DNA – to create incredible, natural skincare products that give back to Greek communities as well as the land itself.
At this point, all I use is Korres, and while all products are incredible, the ones below are my stand-out favorites.
Greek Yoghurt Foaming Cream Cleanser
Out of all the cleansers that have ever scrubbed my face, this is by far the best. The Greek gods have heard my pleas for a gentle cleanser that keeps my skin hydrated, and they've responded with this perfect face wash. Because the main ingredient is farmer-sourced Greek yogurt, the formula is packed with pre- and probiotics that melt directly into skin while you clean to replenish much-needed nutrients. The best part? There is no soap within the formula, so it won't strip your skin of moisture. And yes, it completely cleanses. I've used this face wash to remove particularly stubborn makeup, including waterproof mascara.
Santorini Grape Velvet Skin Drink
This is the new secret weapon of my skincare routine. Santorini grapes are packed with nutrients from the volcanic soil that grows them, making them ideal for skincare products. Korres uses these grapes from wineries to extract two key ingredients – resveratrol and grape seed oil – which are true gamechangers. While resveratrol uses antioxidants to even skin's tone and texture, grape seed oil hydrates your skin, keeping it soft and supple all day. I pat a few drops of this light, thin oil on my face before I put on my moisturizer and it lasts all day. *Chef's kiss*
Greek Yoghurt Nourishing Probiotic Gel-Cream
This moisturizer is such a gift for my perpetually parched skin. Similar to the cleanser, this gel cream's main ingredient is natural Greek yogurt, which releases nourishing hydration into your skin throughout the day, while providing nutritional probiotics. Greek yogurt is also incredibly soothing to skin, so if you suffer from sensitivity and redness, this moisturizer will definitely help. The formula is thick, but still easy to work into your skin. I loved it so much, I bought my friend a jar too, and now she's also hooked.
Santorini Grape Poreless Skin Cream Moisturizer
I loved the Velvet Skin Drink so much, it was a no-brainer to try the moisturizer. Korres' Vice President Stephanie Metkus mentioned in an Instagram Live that this moisturizer is a summer essential, and she's 100 percent right. The formula features willowherb extract, which helps to refine and minimizes the appearance of pores, making this an ideal moisturizer to apply before makeup. It also features salicylic acid, which can help cleanse clogged pores of dirt and sweat build-up, while hyaluronic acid locks moisture in. And yes, it does smell a bit like wine.
Greek Yoghurt Calming + Cooling Gel
For those who are tired of the sticky green goop that's been chilling in their fridge, this product is for you. Apply this cooling gel to your skin after a day in the sun – even if you haven't gotten burned – and I promise, you will not regret it. Greek yogurt is once again the main ingredient here to help soothe and calm skin after sun exposure. It also helps to restore any hydration sun, salt, or chlorinated water might have taken it away. But the most miraculous feature, by far, is the instant cooling feeling you get after applying it. Immediately, your body feels like you've just taken a dip in a refreshing pool, and the feeling lasts for a good hour after application.
Renewing Body Cleanser
Because my Santorini Grape obsession knows no bounds, the body wash edition has earned a permanent spot in my shower caddy. The scent is like nothing I've encountered before – fruity and summery in a way that feels distinctly Mediterranean.The formula isn't incredibly thick, but suds up the moment it touches water, forming a rich lather that bathes your body in moisture.
While the Santorini Grape cleanser is currently sold out on Korres.com, you can find it on Amazon or try one of the other incredible scents, like Basil Lemon, Bergamot Pear, and Sea Lavender that'll immediately transport you to the Cyclades, minus the plane fare.
Body Smoothing Milk
My dry skin can be no joke, and any old formula typically won't cut it. Korres' Body Smoothing Milk is one of the few body creams that has made the cut. The brand sources locally grown almonds to produce virgin, cold-pressed almond oil for this moisturizer. The result is a luxe, rich cream that works to moisturize skin and improve its elasticity over time. Unlike some body creams that deliver heavy duty hydration, the Body Smoothing Milk is very easy to apply, and melts instantly into your skin with little effort.
Lip Butter Stick
I don't think I've ever been this excited about a lip balm. After getting some serious sunburn on my lips, this balm helped nurse them back to life. Equipped with several plant-based butters and oils, the formula conditions and moisturizes lips, even if they are severely chapped. I'm personally in love with the Thyme Honey Butter Stick because it truly tastes like the Grecian honey I'd spread over my yogurt in the morning. But by far, my favorite of the collection is the Mediterranean Grape. (Surprise!) It's slightly tinted, and offers a nice, subtle pink hue to lips for a lowkey makeup look. As someone who's become increasingly more minimalist in my makeup routine, the Mediterranean Grape Lip Butter Stick has become a mainstay.
Olive 3-In-1 Nourishing Oil
Though the Olive 3-In-1 Nourishing Oil is one of the few products in Korres' collection that I haven't tried, I'd be remiss not to mention this cult favorite with a note that I'm dying to get my hands on it. In fact, Korres has an entire line of products made with olive oil, but this is definitely the most popular. The brand sources local olive oil from Crete, and opts for a cold-pressing method which serves to keep the oil rich in antioxidants, vitamins, and essential fatty acids. As a result, you can use this oil on your face, body, or in your hair to deliver nutrients to wherever they're needed. Considering the mid-range price and the generous 100 mL size, I'd say it's worth a try.
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