The beauty world’s growing obsession with Korean skincare routine and products can be attributed to two things — its affordability and ingredient-oriented approach. With K-beauty you can get quality ingredients without having to splurge too much. Their philosophy is that you don’t have to get luxe with your routine to have good skin; good products paired with equally effective techniques can give you a healthy and glowing complexion. Not to mention their OTT 10-14 step skincare routines, which are an equally engaging experience on their own!
But bridging back the conversation to the basics (the ingredients we mentioned earlier), K-beauty has managed to harness the powers of unique additives that you will always find on their labels. As for what these popular ingredients do, let’s take a look…
- 01. Snail Mucin
- 02. Propolis
- 03. Ginseng
- 04. Centella Asiatica
- 05. Fermented rice water
- 06. Liquorice root
- 07. Birch juice
01. Snail Mucin
Snail mucin may sound yucky, but when used in serums and creams, it delivers brightening, anti-ageing and soothing properties. It also has a very high water content — which makes it an excellent hydrating agent for the skin. Packed with nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein, proteoglycans, microbial and copper peptides, regular use can give you the much sought after ‘dolphin skin’!
A natural compound produced by bees, propolis is used to strengthen beehives and works as its defence mechanism. When used in skincare essentials, it delivers a host of antibacterial, anti-fungal, antiviral and anti-inflammatory benefits. So, the ingredient can be used to target several skin concerns — from acne to dull skin — and boost collagen production too.
Harvested from a root plant, ginseng is known to boost blood circulation in your skin. Rich in antioxidants, the ingredient is capable of breathing new life into tired and wrinkled skin. It has also shown effectiveness in fading pigmentation by inhibiting the melanin production in your skin.
04. Centella Asiatica
A herb that has long been used for its medicinal and culinary benefits, Centella Asiatica extracts are added to skincare for their hydration properties. Enriched with amino acids, this ingredient is also beneficial for strengthening the skin’s barrier and soothing irritation.
05. Fermented rice water
This one might not be a big surprise, but most of you might only be familiar with the brightening properties of rice water. One of its major benefits is mattifying greasy skin by regulating sebum production in your sebaceous glands. Thus, it also helps prevent acne and keeps your skin looking taut.
06. Liquorice root
A popular ingredient used in many K-beauty sun protection staples, liquorice root can help inhibit skin darkening caused due to UV exposure. It is often used as an effective alternative to chemical sunscreens that might be too harsh if you have sensitive skin.
07. Birch juice
Extracted from birch trees, the sap when used in skincare can deliver your skin with a variety of minerals, enzymes, proteins, and vitamins. It is also a strong detoxifying agent; thus, it proves to be beneficial for skin that is troubled or irritated.
Pro tip: These are all very potent, nature-based ingredients. As such, we recommend doing a patch test on your neck or jawline before applying all over your face.
Written by Sumona Bose on Sep 24, 2020
Sumona Bose is a writer, skincare junkie and a self-professed makeup connoisseur. Equipped with a Master's degree in Fashion Management and over 3 years of experience writing in the beauty and fashion space, her passion for learning new things has no bounds. Working closely with dermatologists, beauty excerpts, makeup artists and hairstylists, she brings you the best of all things beauty. From trending skincare ingredients to makeup looks that help you slay, she manages to bring something new (and vital!) to our readers every single time. Her hobbies include home workouts, watching foreign films and binge-watching makeover shows!