In the “mecca of flawless, dewy skin” we have one of the world’s most exciting and fast-paced beauty markets introducing a plethora of new products on a constant basis.
Some of these new, often bizarre, innovations may fail while others succeed and set national, or even global, trends. After many home shopping samples, Naver blogs, and visits to Olive Young, I’ve gathered a list of the strangest, yet highly recommended, cosmetics in Korea. Tell us your thoughts, or if you have more to add to the list!
Placenta Facial Treatment Mask
At first glance, you might hesitate and ask yourself, “Whose placenta?” but let me assure you that of plant, animal, and human placentas, plant placentas have been shown to be the most effective in moisturizing, healing scars, fighting wrinkles, and rejuvenating the skin. A great example is Anna Gaspi’s Placenta Facial Treatment Mask, which was researched and developed by KAIST.
Pig Collagen Jelly Cream
If eating pig skin and pig feet for better skin isn’t for you, there’s another way to get that pig collagen without it having to set foot on your tongue. The Pig Collagen Jelly Cream by SCINIC was featured as a hit item on the show Follow Me 4. The cream is made up of 50% pig collagen that you can spread on your face during the day and at night for firmer, younger-looking skin.
Snail slime helps reduce inflammation and redness, stimulate skin regeneration, and lock moisture into the skin. The ingredient has become a huge hit in Korea, where the demand and supply for snail cosmetics are all but slowing.
You can get snail masks, toners, eye creams, and even lip balms. A highly recommended product is TonyMoly’s Timeless Ferment Snail Essence and Ferment Snail Cream. The products are made up of 80% snail mucus to help reduce wrinkles and brighten the face.
Caviar Oil Cleanser
Oil cleansers effectively remove make-up, dead skin cells, and dirt collected deep within the pores. Caviar nourishes the skin, keeping the skin smooth and moisturized. The Max Clinic Royal Caviar Oil Foam, which contains beluga caviar, royal jelly, propolis, and honey is the perfect example of this all-in-one cleanser. It combines the Korean two-step cleansing method into one when the oil transforms to foam with water, and leaves the skin moisturized after cleansing.
Firming Capsule Foundation
A new foundation was recently released by Chosungah 22 containing small capsules filled with pomegranate seed oil. Pomegranate seed oil is beneficial for cell regeneration, collagen production, anti-ageing, and anti-inflammatory effects. Pressing the cushion pact onto the face pops the capsules, releasing the seed oil to work its volumizing effects for plumper and firmer-looking skin.
Jeju Volcanic Nose Pack
The Jeju volcanic nose pack by Innisfree uses scoria collected from the volcanoes of Jeju Island. The volcanic ashes are claimed to absorb sebum and remove blackheads from deep within the pores. Innisfree also offers Jeju volcanic pore clay mask, pore toner, pore cleansing foam, and pore scrub foam.
Dear by ENPRANI released their Melted Cheese Cream and Bounce Cheese Cream, which have become a recommended item at Olive Young stores. The products claim to improve skin elasticity “like mozzarella cheese,” and moisturize the skin.
The essential ingredient in here is whey, a by-product of the cheese-making process and a natural, vitamin-rich protein that hydrates and firms the skin.
Korean cosmetic stores have a myriad of facial masks for lifting: sheet masks, gel masks, neck masks, and chin straps for slimming the v-line. Some lifting masks also come in gel form in an ampoule, such as the Lifting Ampoule Mask by GOU:E.
The gel mask is to be left on overnight and applied once a week to plump and firm the skin for a more youthful look. Essential ingredients include peptides for moisturizing, antioxidants, hyaluronic acid, spirulina, and vitamin C derivatives.
Horse oil was traditionally used in Chinese folk medicine to cure burns, rashes, and insect bites. The horse oil contains essential fatty acids with a composition that is similar to that of the human sebum, making it extremely permeable to the skin.
Other common uses include fading age spots, wrinkles, eczema, athlete’s foot, and atopic dermatitis. It’s a popular ingredient for beauty products in Japan, and you can find a few products in Korea as well. The Origin Ma Cream by Elizavecca Milky Piggy contains 100% premium horse fat, aloe vera extracts, and ceramides.
In the land of the toothbrushing-obsessed, one will undoubtedly come across many eccentric varieties of toothpastes. The most common in Korea is the Jookyeom Bamboo Salt toothpaste which claims to prevent cavities, reduce plaque and gingivitis, soothe sensitive teeth, fight bad breath, whiten teeth, strengthen tooth enamel, prevent receding gum line and decrease mineral loss.
Other toothpaste varieties include Jookyeom’s Myeongyakwon which is made with fermented red ginseng extracts and bear gall bladder, Finefra’s silver toothpaste made with 99.7% pure silver, Heuk’s charcoal toothpaste, and Hanil’s blueberry toothpaste.
What are some strange toothpaste flavors that you’ve come across?