Wednesday, 11 January 2017

Dominate with Korean beauty rituals

What do snail slime, silk extract and licorice root have in common? They’re some of the weird and apparently effective ingredients in Korean beauty products.
The beauty market is booming in this region with men and women spending several hours a week on their morning and evening beauty routines. I’m talking up to 14 steps when you wake up and before bed – this is nuts isn’t it?!

You might say no when you see how amazing some of their skin is – flawless, hydrated and so smooth.

So let’s break down this elaborate beauty routine:
   1. Remove makeup
   2. Cleanse
   3. Cleanse again
   4. Apply toner
   5. Exfoliate to remove dead skin and allow the products you apply to penetrate
   6. Put on a mask 
   7. Use an ampoule (like a serum)
   8. Apply hyaluronic acid
   9. A face oil is next 
  10. Apply serum or essence
  11. Put on some eye cream
  12. Apply moisturiser
  13. Layer on sunscreen
  14. Put on an under eye gel mask for at least 15 minutes.

These 14 steps don’t include doing makeup or hair, let alone having a cup of coffee or breakfast in the morning. The idea behind the time consuming routine is that layering hydrating products will make them all more effective. Some say there is an obsession with beauty on Korea, part of the culture that has unrealistically high beauty standards with so much importance placed on appearance. There are also extremely high rates of plastic surgery.

This probably explains why the Koreans are the most innovative when it comes to beauty products. They brought us the cushion foundation for example and who doesn’t love it?

What might not catch on so quickly is the ingredients in their beauty products. 

Snail slime is added to essence and it’s actually filled with protein and elastin that helps with cell regeneration and reduces pigmentation.

Artichoke is another ingredient in an essence that tightens the appearance of pores and improves skin elasticity. 

You know when you get a bee sting it swells? Well bee venom is loved by Korean innovators as it increases collagen production and is a natural alternative to Botox because it relaxes facial muscles.
Fermented yeast reduces the signs of ageing, hydrates and improves skin elasticity. Algae or sea kelp is hydrating and softening, repairing the skin.

Pig collagen is an interesting one because it firms the skin but is just a topical solution and won’t cause lasting change because it’s unable to penetrate the skin. 

Starfish extract is filled with collagen and vitamins, helping with cell turnover, thereby improving your complexion.

Silk extract is easily absorbed, filled with antioxidants and amino acids that help repair cells and promote cell regeneration.

Licorice root is ideal for people with sensitive skin. It can help diminish the appearance of dark circles under the eyes, age spots and also balances oil production.

Some of the other ingredients I stumbled across are fermented snow lotus that’s known for its moisturising properties and ionised mineral water – because the normal stuff won’t do.

All I can say is wow and maybe one of these Korean beauty geniuses can come up with an all in one product!

Debby Vilensky xox

Images sourced online


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