KOREAN BEAUTY? WHAT’S THE DEAL?
I’m sure by now you have heard Korean beauty products are all the rage (that’s where BB creams originated). Why? Well Korean’s take their skin care very seriously and value a healthy complexion. Therefore many of their products are innovative, revolutionary, gentle and best of all…fairly inexpensive. Additionally, you don’t need to book a ticket to Seoul anytime soon since it’s now easy to find Korean beauty products in the U.S. I’m lucky to live in NYC so I can go to Koreatown and check out what’s new, but even if you live in a remote area, there are now several online stores specializing in Korean beauty products.
KOREAN ANTI-AGING MUST-HAVES
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I wrongly assumed Korean products were primarily aimed at 20-somethings because of their cute and somewhat campy packaging (how about hand lotion that comes in a cow container or lip gloss in a cupcake?), but after digging a little further, I found there are some amazing anti-aging products to be found at a fraction of the cost of department store high-end brands. The Korean beauty masks and lotions are where you should focus your attention if your are over 35.
My friend Annette is hooked on Korean beauty products and told me I must check them out so I spent a couple of hours exploring some stores in Koreatown near Penn Station. There are literally tiny beauty and skincare stores all over the place and the staff at all are very knowledgeable and kind which was a God send considering I didn’t know what I was doing and asked a lot of questions. Of course I had to buy a single use snail mask sheet since I heard snail slime is AMAZING for aging skin. If you buy a jar of pure snail slime it can cost almost $200, but a single use sheet was $10. That I could do. So I spent about $30 and came home with a haul of products I could not wait to sample.
DID YOU SAY SNAIL SLIME?
Love escargot? Well don’t put them directly on your face. Snail extract (snail mucin or snail secretion filtrate) is actually packed with nutrients like hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes, proteoglycans and antimicrobial and copper peptides. Women pay a ton for these commonly used ingredients found in expensive beauty products since they are proven to be beneficial for aging skin. The anti-aging benefits of snail secretion filtrate is that it stimulates the formation of collagen and elastin, repairs damaged skin, and restores hydration. No wonder it sells out!
AN EXPERT ANSWERS OUR QUESTIONS
I recently had the opportunity to ask Elina Hsueh, CO- CEO the Korean online beauty store Beauteque about what’s new and trending in Korean skincare.
FO30: Why are Korean beauty products the rage in America now?
Elina: They are so loved because of how amazing the results of the products are. They have natural ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, and rice and innovative products like various types of masks (lip, eye, hand, and more) and all different kinds of cleansers, therefore people are very attracted to this new trend. Another bonus is the unique packaging of some the products.
FO30: What are the most popular items American women are buying?
Elina: Korean beauty made its name in the US starting with the BB Cream, an all in one face makeup product. Then masks and various skincare items have started to catch on with American women. They love the masks because of how convenient and easy they are to to use and for the incredible results attained.
FO30: How do Korean beauty products help and which ones are best for women concerned with aging?
Elina: Korean beauty products help in all different ways because they target to various skin types and concerns such as acne, wrinkles, pores, and more. They are made with great ingredients and innovative technology that will benefit the various types of skin concerns. There are a lot of sheet masks and skin care products that help with anti-aging. Some of the most recommended:
Skin Prestige Masque D’Escargot Individual (yes, it’s snail goo), $5
FO30: If a woman were to buy 5 Korean beauty products today to make her beauty routine more effective, what would they be?
Elina: Korean beauty is known most in the West for their masks, skincare and body care. If a woman would have to only purchase five, it will definitely be the most distinct from these items.
1. Ultra Moisturizing Hand Mask Pack, $5 This intense moisturizing treatment restores suppleness to dry, rough, overworked, and tired hands (who wants old looking hands?). Enriched with Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil, Shea Butter, Calendula Officinalis Extract, and other natural ingredients that aid in moisturizing, soothing, and promoting anti-aging care for the skin with regular usage. This new “Glove type” hand mask pack penetrates quickly and deeply to protect, nourish and moisturize your skin. After just one use, you will notice improved skin tone and texture by blood circumstance with heating effects. The gloves are waterproof and self contained so they can be used while cleaning or washing, and are touch screen capable.
2. Annie’s Way Arbutin + Hyaluronic Acid Brighting Jelly Mask 250ml, $19.50 This revitalizing jelly mask treats skin with a combination of moisturizing and whitening factors to minimize dark spots and fine lines while leaving the skin radiantly bright. Annie’s Way Jelly Mask deep cleans and is suitable for sensitive and dry skin types.
3. Etude House I Need You Mask – Mango, $1.99 This single use mask is both nourishing and firming. This essence mask sheet contains fresh food extracts for healthy skin care. This non sticky formula soaks into your skin on the perfectly shaped mask. Use on tired skin.
4. Banila Co. Clean It Care Purity Cleansing Water, $28 This cypress and herb complex helps moisturize skin while cleansing impurities. It’s also 10-Free (Paraben, Tar Pigment, Talc, Benzyl Alcohol, Triethanolamine, Propylene Glycol, Sulfate, Triclosan, Imidazolidinyl Urea, Polyacrylamide).
5. LadyKin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream, $18.99 LadyKin Vanpir Dark Repair Cream is especially designed to suit all skin types. Its formula stimulates the skin’s metabolism. It helps to reduce wrinkles, freckles and blemishes, and removes fine lines. Clearing facial spots, it whitens skin and contracts expanded pores. It improves the skin condition, supplies the faint skin deep protection and makes the skin recover brilliance and moisture. This repair cream easily absorbs into skin to give moisture and suppleness without feeling greasy. Best part is the results are velvety softness and a more youthful appearance.
FO30: What’s the next big thing in Korean beauty?
Elina: Recently, there has been a huge wave of various types of cushions including BB Cushions, CC Cushions, and Blusher Cushions (compacts that contain the liquid product on a “sponge” that you apply directly to your face with an included puff). Other recent trends include various types of masks for the hands and feet, lips, cheeks, and neck. Besides that, there is also a huge wave of interest in modeling masks recently. These are powder masks that are mixed with water in a mask bowl with a spatula and are applied to the face. After 15 to 20 minutes, it can peeled off and your face will be left brightened and much softer.
Seriously, give yourself a budget of say $50 and go nuts at Beauteque.com. Order some sheet masks, snail slime and a fun cupcake gloss and whatever else catches your eye. I promise you will not be disappointed.
-Lauren Dimet Waters
Photos: Fountain Of 30