It’s safe to say that Korean Skincare brands are leaders in the modern skincare industry, constantly using products and ingredients that aren’t widely used by western cultures.
You might remember in a previous post, we spoke about the beneficial properties of Milk, Honey/Propolis, Green Tea and the *fear-inducing* Snail Mucin. If you’re not familiar with the previous ingredients; click here to read the article or to refresh your memory. Once you’re done, sit back and relax because we’re back with a brand new list of key ingredients that you should add to your watch list.
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Bee Venom – (Apitoxin)
First off, lets start with an ingredient that seems the most alarming. *buzz buzz*. Anyone remotely familiar with K-beauty would be a liar if they said they have never encountered Bee Venom before.
When we think of bees we tend to run away in fear! So who knew that Bee Venom could be beneficial to our skin and health? South Koreans did! Actually many cultures did! Bee Venom has been used in traditional Korean, Chinese, Russian and even Egyptian medicine. Nowadays Bee Venom has been called ‘nature’s botox’, added to cosmetics to help create smoother and tighter skin.
Bee Venom works by tricking the skin into thinking that it has been stung. This triggers an increase in collagen production and blood circulation. This helps with wrinkles and fine lines by temporarily relaxing your muscles. In doing so, the boost of circulation plumps and reaffirms the skin. Bee Venom also helps with inflammation, acne, and can even be used to treat arthritis! Bonus points – the circulation also gives your face a natural blush. You’ll be looking young and hydrated in no time!
Bee Venom is such an integral component in Asian Beauty products, that most of us are no longer surprised by it. Honestly, even in western beauty products, Bee Venom is not that uncommon anymore, and isn’t an ingredient you should be scared of. You shouldn’t panic when you hear the words ‘Bee Venom’, because no one is getting stung, and you get to skip getting poked by doctor needles.
(Disclaimer: if you’re allergic to bees, bee venom and/or bee products, you will want to skip trying this ingredient.)
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Tea Tree Oil
Next up, Tea Tree Oil or also known as Melaleuca Oil is oil produced by an Australian-Native plant that helps treat all kinds of medical problems. Aboriginal Australians have been using this ingredient to treat skin conditions for thousands of years.
This ingredient is popular around the world, it’s effective in treating acne because it contains antibacterial and antifungal elements that help with inflammation and swelling! Tea Tree Oil also improves whiteheads, black heads and blemishes. Tea Tree Oil mixed with other essential oils or water is a great way to help with these problems, but be careful of products with higher concentrations – the higher the concentration, the stronger and harsher the product will be.
If you are using pure or high concentrated Tea Tree Oil, I recommend only using it as a spot treatment, as high concentrated Tea Tree Oil can be too strong or harsh on the skin if used incorrectly. You can also add a teaspoon of coconut or virgin olive oil with a drop or two of high concentrated Tea Tree Oil to reduce the potency; a few drops in your next hot bath can also work wonders!
One thing you should know before trying Tea Tree Oil is that it’s toxic if consumed. Despite the dangers if eaten; it’s safe to use externally, such as topical creams – as long as they don’t go in your eyes or mouth, you’ll be good! Also keep these products (like any other skincare product) away from pets and children who can accidentally ingest the product!
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Now we have a process widely used in food in many cultures around the world, fermentation. Now I know this is technically a process rather than an ingredient, but let’s let that slide…
According to Merriam-Webster, Fermentation is the chemical breakdown of a substance by bacteria, yeasts or other microorganisms. Unfortunately, when people hear the word ‘fermentation’ they automatically think of rotten or sour. That thought alone can create some hesitation, but luckily for you; I’m here to dispel all your negative thoughts.
In places such as the US, the process of fermentation is not that widely used in skincare or beauty. Korea on the other hand has an extensive history with fermentation and an understanding of its major health benefits. When it comes to food, science says that fermented foods allows us to absorb nutrients easier, so could the same benefits be applied to skincare? Yes, of course!
Fermentation breaks down the ingredients and allows the result to be milder and gentler on the skin. It becomes easier to absorb and more effective. Fermenting products creates a denser product, making the strength of the ingredients more impactful and intense. On top of that, fermentation can produce additional amino acids and enzymes that can help with hydration, cell regeneration and skin elasticity.
Overall, fermented products helps our skin absorb nutrients much faster, and on top of this it also helps with aging, dryness and skin elasticity. In my honest opinion, I would definitely recommend fermented products if it caters to your skins needs – don’t rule it out until you’ve tried it!
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Lastly! What comes across your mind when you think of acid? What about an acid you’re not familiar with? Of course the first instinct is for us to associate acids as a corrosive substance, but a quick search can show just how effective and harmless this ingredient is in skincare.
Don’t worry, Hyaluronic Acid isn’t the kind of acid that melts your face, it’s actually already in our skin! Our bodies naturally produce Hyaluronic Acid, it helps lubricate the connective tissues found in our skin and joints. So don’t be alarmed, because around 50% of our body’s Hyaluronic Acid supply is located in our skin! This acid helps absorb moisture and retains it in our skin, keeping our skin nice and hydrated.
And similar to the other previous ingredients, this acid is great for combating aging, such as diminishing wrinkles by firming and toning the skin. Another benefit of Hyaluronic Acid is that it promotes skin healing – the acid creates an environment that helps support your skin while it’s repairing itself. Lastly this acid creates a protective barrier that stops the moisture from evaporating, while also protecting you from surface damage from dryness or infections. Who wouldn’t want this on their skin?
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– or check out our products featuring Hyaluronic Acid –
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Ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s your decision to try these products or not. From all the benefits that these ingredients can do, it’s just too good to pass over. Of course I think it’s basic human instinct to be skeptical about things we’ve never encountered before, but in this day and age with technology at its best, it would be foolish for you to turn the other way. Just remember, if you’re ever worried about an ingredient, some simple research can really make a big difference ~ hello Google. Hopefully this post has given you a deeper understanding of some key ingredients used in K-Beauty and that it gives you more reason to try them out!
Have you tried these products before? Why or why not?
If you have tried these ingredients, how did you like them?
Hope you learned something new today, see you all in the next post!
Karen from Cupidrop