• 23 Apr - 29 Apr, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

1. The big hanbang

Pronounced hahn-bahng – but you will know that very well, very soon – these are traditional Korean medicinal ingredients, like lotus and ginseng.

Acwell, for example, uses traditional herbs and licorice extract. Hanbang materials usually have great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects.

2. Slime for a change

What's the next snail mucin, that gloopy (and hydrating) secretion we've seen in so many Korean sheet masks and serums? Well, snail mucin. But minus the snail part. The younger generation of Koreans cares more about animals and, as a result, vegan skin care is top of mind.

You're going to see brands rolling out 'phytomucin,' a vegan alternative, in the next year. It can be made from wild yam, okra, or seaweed. Seaweed and okra have similar moisturising and firming benefits as snail secretions, and wild yams may have antioxidant and moisturising benefits.

3. Dry ideas

As waterless formulas – which could help lower the beauty industry's environmental footprint – gain popularity, freeze-dry technology will continue to blossom. One technique that has not yet come to the rest of the world but is popular in Korea is to steam an ingredient nine times and use ultrasonic technology to extract the essence with the most potency.

4. Mask marvels

One constant in Korean culture is masking – sheet masks, yes, but also the surgical variety.

Recently, antibacterial mists for decontaminating masks between uses have hit the market in Korea, but proceed with caution when you inevitably see them here. We are in favour of anything to help prevent maskne, but skin bacteria are only one component. Other factors include occlusion and friction from a mask, even heat and humidity under a mask. Plus, spraying a liquid onto paper masks may compromise their integrity.

5. Tech futures

As more Koreans use gadgets like LED masks as part of a daily routine, one last prediction is: Your next big Korean skin-care trend may not be in the form of an essence, mist, or serum. It is going to come from a top electronics company, such as Samsung or LG.