What Are All These Ingredients and What Do They Do?

We can all agree that Korean skincare is innovative and extremely explorative, but sometimes we see certain ingredients and we go “Huh? 95% snail mucin extract in my sheet mask?”… So here is a little breakdown on some ingredients that have been popular in Korean skincare products so that you’re not totally freaking out.


courtesy of My Cute Graphics

MILK – commonly used in face masks and cleansers.

Not only is it great in our daily bowl of Lucky Charms, milk is surprisingly super beneficial for the skin—especially for dry skin. Its abundance in Vitamin A and Vitamin D heals dry, flaky and irritated skin while boosting collagen production, therefore promoting skin elasticity. Milk’s Vitamin B12 is great at brightening the skin and lightening acne scars and other discolorations. Milk also has cleansing properties due to its lactic acid, which gently removes dead skin cells. Its magnesium has the anti-aging property (which we all want) and gives the face a youthful and radiant glow. Some skincare enthusiasts recommend splattering raw milk onto the face or soaking a cotton pad and dabbing it on the face.

If that seems a bit too much for you, we recommend using the Steam Milk Foam Cleanser with Honey by Company V to gently cleanse your face and using the Steam Milk Mask with Honey by Company V to give your skin a milky treat.


courtesy of Clker

HONEY/PROPOLIS – commonly used in everything from serums/ampoules to sheet masks and many more…

Honey is a natural anti-inflammatory healing agent, and also great with our morning greek yogurt (mmm, seeing the breakfast trend here)… There are so many endless benefits that the good ol’ honey can provide for the face. Honey is naturally anti-bacterial, which makes it perfect for treating current acne and preventing future acne. Some debate that dabbing on a small amount of raw honey onto skin-cuts can help kill the surrounding bacteria and help start the healing process. Honey is also full of anti-aging properties such as antioxidants, which slow down aging. These properties are also great at protecting the skin from the sun, which can lead to long-term skin damages and even skin cancer. So the next time you have any cuts or wounds, look to your favorite jar of raw honey.

Also, start incorporating honey into your regular skincare routine. We recommend using Cosrx’s Propolis Light Ampoule, a super-serum that provides long lasting hydration and strengthens the skin’s barrier. Its light formula makes it perfectly safe to use on sensitive skin. If you are a sheet-mask-once-a-day type of gal (or guy), then we recommend using Bombee’s Honey Mask which revitalizes the skin and gives it a healthy, radiant glow.


courtesy of TalkSense

GREEN TEA – commonly used in everything from cleansers to sheet masks and many more…

Green tea is something most of us are already familiar with when it comes to skincare. It’s so common at this point that most of us just assume it’s good for us when “green tea” is slapped onto a skincare product’s packaging. But do you know exactly what green tea does for the skin? It is so amazing for oily skin, due to its tannins—which works as an astringent to clean and clear out gunky pores. After it clears it out, it shrinks the sizes of the pores (unicorn magic), which is great for preventing excess sebum. It is also great at reducing and preventing acne due to its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. Finally, its high amount in antioxidants are ideal for fighting signs of aging such as wrinkles, fine lines and dark spots. The type of antioxidant in green tea is called a catechin—specifically, the catechin EGCG, which makes up the majority of all the catechin in green tea. It has been found in research that EGCG allows the reactivation of deteriorating skin cells.

Drinking green tea is beneficial for the inside of our body and fairly easy to do, but definitely incorporate this super-green into your skincare routine. Since we are in the spring season and approaching summer, switch out your heavy-duty winter cream for A.True’s Spring Green Tea Watery Calming Cream which not only contains green tea but also black tea. Treat your face 2-3 times a week with Tosowoong’s Pure Green Tea Mask to really submerge the green tea essence into your skin.


courtesy of Sweet Clip Art

SNAIL MUCIN – commonly used in essences and sheet masks.

Ah, finally—the famous snail mewwwwcin. Even the thought of snails and its sliminess can probably send a spiking chill down some people’s backs but its benefits for the skin are just something that we cannot forgo. Wonder how snails can trek through rocks and bumpy surfaces but still stay kinda cute and alive? It’s the secretion they produce that protects their small little soft bodies from getting damaged—imagine using that same secretion on the skin. In essence, snail mucin is a form of proteins and glycolic acid, which is a gentle exfoliating agent. Therefore, it has shown to be effective in lightening scars (especially acne scars) and smoothing out rough complexions. It is also known to be super hydrating and anti-aging, which makes this whole snail mucin adventure thing a double (or, triple) whammy.

Most of us won’t be interested in getting out there in the wild and catching snails, but thankfully we have already-made products that we can incorporate into our daily skincare routine. We recommend using Cosrx’s Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence, which is formulated with 96% snail secretion filtrate, one of the few products out there on the market with such a high concentration of snail mucin. Cosrx also makes the Holy Moly Snail Mask, which makes it easy for you to receive the benefits of snail mucin while taking a quick relaxing bath.


What are some other ingredients you’ve seen that you are curious or even skeptical about?

Let us know down below and we’ll catch you in the next post!

With love,

Jenny from Cupidrop

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