By Audrey Tan

I’ve been a firm believer in Korean skincare since switching to Apieu’s Madecassoside moisturiser miraculously helped me repair my skin barrier and overcome my flaky, dehydrated skin. So whenever there’s a new Korean beauty craze, you bet I’ll be one of the first to give it a try!

K-Beauty taught me many life-changing skincare tricks, including the importance of spending time to learn about the ingredients I need and the ones to avoid. It also helped me understand the different types of products and why I should layer on my skin in a particular sequence. 

Since the 10-step Korean skincare routine, there have been many new trends in K-Beauty. Let’s look at some of the trends everyone is talking about this year—who knows, they could change your life!

Plant-Based Ingredients 

The younger generation of consumers cares more about using ingredients sourced from non-animal origins, so we’ll see many plant-based alternatives. Some brands are going as far as releasing all-vegan formulations.

Going plant-based isn’t just good for the animals; it is great for skin too. They’re much gentler and are often rich in antioxidants, essential vitamins, and fatty acids that the skin needs to regenerate, combat external stressors, and stay healthy. 

Hanbang Ingredients

K-beauty trends and skincare products place a focus on using effective ingredients. Traditional Korean holistic medicine, or ‘Hanbang,’ uses a variety of herbal ingredients to promote harmony and calmness in the body and mind. For centuries, Koreans have relied on traditional herbal components like ginseng root and liquorice to treat various ailments. So it’s no surprise these ingredients make it into the formulations of brands such as Sulwahlsoo and Acwell.

Hanbang skincare is not just about the unique ingredients but also the special preparation procedures that boost the phytochemical effects and absorption into the skin. Although ingredients may vary, the most commonly used are typically high in antioxidants, polyphenols, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic properties that nurture whilst protecting the skin. 

Slugging

The “slugging” trend blew up on TikTok just recently. Thankfully, it doesn’t involve putting live slugs on your face! Instead, Vaseline or any petrolatum is layered on the skin as the last step in your routine to lock in moisture and inhibit transepidermal water loss. 

If you have dehydrated skin or occasionally experience dryness due to cold, dry weather, you should definitely give this trend a go. Keeping the protective barrier well-hydrated and helping it to retain essential moisture is paramount in maintaining a healthy skin barrier and complexion. 

Untact Beauty

Since the pandemic, we have become more aware of contamination and the dangers of touching things around us. Now, cosmetic products that can be applied without hands touching skin, such as eye patches, peeling pads, skincare sticks, sunscreen cushions and other multifunctional products, have become increasingly popular in the Korean beauty market.

They appeal because of practicality, and on days when you don’t have time to do your entire skincare routine, you can quickly swipe them across your skin. They’re also perfect for instant touch-ups on the go or for addressing problematic skin areas without using hand sanitiser. Eco-conscious and minimal shoppers will like these multi-purpose products as they mean less packing and waste.

Closing The Age Gap

Korean skincare is traditionally a split market with brands and products catering specifically to mature or younger skin. But due to increasingly hectic lifestyles and poor nutrition, the younger generation is showing more interest in anti-ageing products to fight the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. 

The gap is slowly closing as many beauty brands targeting young people are releasing preventative anti-ageing treatments to meet this consumer demand. One product that many Koreans are buzzing about is the Prime Advancer Ampoule serum by the prestigious Korean skincare brand, O Hui. 

It is well-known in Korea as the “green ampoule serum” and is also a go-to for Korean flight attendants. Their complexions are frequently stressed by dry air in the cabin and frequent changes in time zones. Since they are held to a high standard of appearance, it is an especially strong selling point. Nevertheless, the serum’s formulation speaks for itself as it is high in antioxidants, capable of enhancing skin moisture, and stimulates repair for a stronger, more resilient skin barrier. 

The beauty world has changed dramatically in Korea and globally as consumers become more interested in trends or products that emphasise self-care and address specific beauty concerns. Although it isn’t a new phenomenon, carefully researched, targeted products with clean, minimal, yet effective ingredients are what consumers want in cosmetics. 

There has never been a better time to incorporate K-beauty trends into your everyday routine with such a vast selection of incredible products on sale. I’m not sure about you, but I’m excited to see what other K-beauty trends pop up as the year unfolds!