If you know anything about cosmetics and skincare, you will be familiar with products touting all sorts of nourishing properties. Essential oils, plant extracts, vitamins, sea salt, and clay are just some of the ingredients you’ve probably seen in skincare products. But if you think clay is the strangest thing on the list, you’ll have to think again!
Well-known for its beauty and skincare industry, South Korea is where some of the hottest beauty products today come from. So, of course, we’ll have to take a look at some of the innovative – and pretty unusual – skincare ingredients they have. Some of these are, in fact, not new at all; some have been long used in history as natural sources of nourishment!
1. Snail slime
Snail slime, or mucus from the snail, might sound pretty disgusting to people who detest creepy-crawlies. However, the slime from these little creatures is actually a wonderful gift to your skin!
The discovery of snail mucus for its beauty properties was largely by chance – as with most ground-breaking discoveries. In the 80s, workers on a farm in Chile found that their hands were smoother and more supple after handling the slimy creatures.
In recent years, snail mucus has become widely used in skincare products like serums, masks, and creams for smoothening fine lines, reducing acne scarring, and hydrating the skin. The ingredients responsible for these amazing effects are hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, antimicrobial and copper peptides, and proteoglycans. As a bonus, most snail slime products are pretty affordable, too!
2. Mung beans
The green bean soup that’s well-loved as a dessert in Singapore is where the next beauty ingredient can be found. Those unassuming green beans, or mung beans, actually pack a punch of skin-loving nutrients.
When ground into a powder, its grainy texture makes for an effective yet gentle exfoliant. Additionally, the enzymes and antioxidants within mung beans are said to have anti-acne, hydrating, and anti-ageing properties.
If you look online, you will be able to find plenty of DIY recipes for using mung beans as a beauty product. As these beans are readily obtainable, your affordable DIY facial is never too far away! However, if you prefer, mung beans are also easily found in manufactured products, including facial cleansers and sheet masks.
Yes, this prized herb can also be your skin’s best friend! These roots are not only super-nourishing in herbal remedies, health supplements, and the delicious 삼계탕 [samgyetang (ginseng chicken soup)]; but also a somewhat luxurious ingredient for treating your face.
In fact, legend has it that Korea’s most beautiful woman of the Joseon Dynasty, Hwang Jini, relied on ginseng to upkeep her youthful, radiant looks. Referred to as a natural ‘balancer’, ginseng can boost blood circulation, which revitalises and firms up the skin. Antioxidants in ginseng act as a shield against pollutants, protecting the skin from pigmentation.
For all its power-packed benefits, ginseng is still highly valuable today. Thus, expect to shell out a little more if you want to try out some of these ginseng beauty products yourself.
If you have an interest in beauty, keeping in the loop of Korea’s latest beauty trends is a must! Knowing the language can be an immense help when scouring the web for crucial information about new releases, product information, and the like. That’s where a Korean language course will come in handy. For that, Sejong Korean Language School will welcome you with open arms!