It’s Korean Beauty Week here at Byrdie HQ! Each day this week, our Korean-beauty correspondent, Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily, will be sharing the most interesting findings from her recent trip to Seoul. Consider this a deep dive into what’s really happening over the pond—from the newest product innovations to the beauty goods real Korean women are obsessing over. For our second installment, Yoon is sharing three new K-beauty innovations your skin is going to love. You might want to put down your BB cream…
Keeping an eye out for buzzy new products (or ones that just seem to make a lot of beauty sense) is a really inspiring part of my job at Peach and Lily. The beauty innovations coming out of Korea take my breath away; there’s so much practicality and brilliance included in these innovations and inventions. Keep scrolling to see three of my favorite new things coming out of this beauty-forward mecca…
Trend #1: Botox in a Bottle
Yes, you read that right. There have been some products that have Botox-like effects in cream form, like Freeze 24/7’s Instant Targeted Wrinkle Cream ($55). Now, enter this small lab in Korea that’s getting calls from many of the biggest skincare companies because the lab is the first to commercialize a product that is KFDA-approved—and the only non-doctor's-office product in the world that contains actual botulinium polypetide-1. The product is a beautiful serum-like ampoule kit and a cream; they're great for all skin types, and the small amount of the ingredient that’s applied directly to the skin helps yield natural but visible results in the way of firmer, smoother, and more youthful-looking skin over time. This product is patented every which way, and it has beauty industry insiders awed. I met this research and development lab a couple of years back and have been avidly following its progress ever since. After extensive clinical testing, I was beyond excited to finally meet the finished product they’re calling BolcA. It’s everything I (and my mother, who also eagerly tested the product) had hoped for—and it’s coming soon to the U.S. Stay tuned!
Trend #2: Booster Powders
Think of the booster powders you add to your health drinks—who doesn’t want a shot of protein or vitamin C that will only make your juice even healthier?
Now imagine boosters for your skincare products. The technology includes tiny capsules that wrap around ingredients like vitamin C that are better used by skin when kept fresh (i.e. not in contact with air). The capsules are so tiny that when spilled, they more or less look and feel like powdered sugar. The powder can be applied directly to skin—and the smallest amount goes a really long way here—or can be added into any skincare product. (I highly recommend mixing them with serums, ampoules, essences, and creams over mixing them in with cleansers or toners.) Upon gentle patting or rubbing, the powder melts into a liquid and absorbs well into skin (or mixes seamlessly and invisibly into your products). I love that Korean beauty brands can take ordinary products and make them extraordinary.
One note: It depends on the booster powder and what they contain—so far, I’ve only seen ones with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid in them—but it’s best not to mix vitamin C with other potent products (like ones that are retinol-based). Dr. Dream's Dream Age Radiance Powder Essence ($110 for set of four) is one of my favorite booster powders—I go to town trying it with every serum I own, and so far, I am loving the way it mixes without a trace, as well as the boost of radiance it gives me. This booster—made with rose stem cells, rose distilled water, grapefruit, and yuzu extract—is seriously luxe. [Ed. Note: This item is currently out of stock]
Trend #3: Targeted Cleansing Water
When Korea spots a trend that happens outside of Korea, it’s really exciting to see Korean brands come up with their own version of that trend. Bioderma Sensibio H2O ($15)—the cult French cleansing water—is well-loved in Korea, too. I’m noticing that a key ingredient in a lot of brands’ new product lineups is cleansing water—and each brand has its own take on it. Some cleansing waters are supposed to do it all and be a cleansing water, exfoliator, and toner in one; some are botanical-based; and others are supposed to help brighten as you cleanse.
I was curious about the best Korean cleansing waters, so I took a quick poll outside of beauty store Olive Young in Myungdong, Seoul’s beauty capital, and asked 20 women which was their favorite. The hands-down winner, with 17 votes out of 20, was Dr. Jart’s Dermaclear Micro Water ($32), because of the fact that it doesn’t have that alcohol scent (it also doesn’t contain denatured alcohol). It also removes makeup easily while leaving the skin balanced and supple. You can expect to see more cleansing waters coming out of Korea soon.
Would you try these product innovations when they hit the States?