5 Asian Skincare Ingredients That Are Basically Magic

There's a reason the Korean beauty trend is still firmly cemented in our skincare routine: it works. Korean beauty brands are constantly innovating, be it in the form of milk peels or splash masks, but it's what goes into those fun, textural products that really does the heavy-lifting. Natural ingredients are crucial to the mainstream success of the K-beauty space because they deliver astonishing results and have interesting stories behind them. Sure, sometimes they may sound a bit crazy (remember the wave of snail products that hit the market last year and are still going strong?), but we're big fans of trying anything at least once in the name of beauty, and we can attest to the fact that Korean women are worthy experts when it comes to beautiful skin.

To find out which natural asian ingredients Korean women love and why, keep scrolling!

#1. Pearl
Dr Low Chai Ling cites pearl as a powerful ingredient in skincare due to its long history and numerous skin-benefitting properties, including accelerating new skin growth, healing acne and blemishes, and minimizing large pores. "This power ingredient has long been used in traditional beauty treatments, The minerals and active properties in pearls keep the skin acidic, which slows the aging process while still keeping skin hydrated and firm." 

Try Sloane Inc's DermaBoost Resveratrol & Pearl Powder (USD $58). Mix 1 scoop of this radiance motivating powder with your favourite water-based serum or moisturiser in the palm of your hand once in the morning to work towards a luminous complexion. Touted as the anti-aging miracle of the century, Resveratrol has super potent skin whitening effects whilst pearl powder has been shown in studies to not only improve the appearance of aged skin but excels in lightening and evening skin tone.

#2. Ginseng
Ginseng has been a staple in Korean skincare for years, and it's been used medicinally in eastern Asia for centuries. The Western beauty industry is only just starting to catch up—and it's about time, given the root's vast anti-aging, skin-perfecting properties. One study found that women 40 and older who ingested red ginseng extract over the course of 24 weeks saw their facial wrinkles "significantly improve." Another noted marked improvements in collagen production. A third found that ginseng can even help prevent UV exposure. 

Try Sloane Inc's Oxygen Boost Energizing Masque S3.5 (USD $79) to breathe new life into dull, fatigued skin instantly! Pure stabilized oxygen complex delivers star ingredients such as vital peptides, vitamins, antioxidants and amino acids to breathe new life into lacklustre complexions, instantly leaving skin soothed, glowing and refreshed while Ginseng extracts provides additional oxygen boost to energize fatigued complexions. 

#3. Propolis
Propolis is part of the holy trinity of “things bees make”—the other two being royal jelly, and honey. All three are skincare faves. Basically, if you’re into skincare, don’t fret the bees, because they’re out there creating precious natural ingredients that even Cleopatra loved. Propolis is essentially "bee glue." Bees create the resin-like substance from plants and trees and secrete it to fill crevices, seal honeycombs, and protect the hive. Basically, propolis is the hive's immune system, which has earned it a reputation as a nature's antibiotic. It's also beneficial for acne-prone = skin, given the fact that it's non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory, and antiseptic!

Try SKINFOOD Royal Honey Propolis Essence ($24.50) which is a honey essence that keeps skin radiant and moist while boosting its vitality.

#4. Snail Mucin
Snail enzyme is a high-efficacy active ingredient comprised of proteins, glycolic acids and elastin commonly found in skin creams and sheet masks. This trusted slime is derived from the same stuff snails produce to heal cuts on their soft bodies from rocks and other rough surfaces. In beauty products, snail mucin firms and restores skin by replenishing moisture and supporting cell regeneration (which helps fade acne scars, smooth uneven complexions and reduce hyperpigmentation).

Try Mizon's All In One Snail Repair Cream (£30), an all rounder nutritive treatment that targets all of the common complexion concerns. With 92% snail secretion filtrate, this rich yet nourishing potion is perfect for dulled, lined, blemished or irritated skin types - soothing inflammation and fortifying skin to dramatically enhance its tone, texture and overall lustre.

#5. Galactomyces
Galactomyces are a type of fermented yeast, and we would never have cared to know what this is if it weren’t the star ingredient in SK-II’s cult line of skin-care products. Galactomyces ferment filtrate is abundant in vitamins, amino acids, enzymes, and organic acids, and when applied to the skin, this means improved skin tone and texture. 

"Try COSRX's Galactomyces 95 White Power Essence (USD $16) which is a real yeast beast. It’s formulated with 95% galactomyces ferment filtrate and continued use has resulted in a plumper, more hydrated face for me." - Noelle, Beauty Writer


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

I test all products & treatments with age and skin colour in mind, break down the latest health fads, and source for expert opinions from international skincare leaders. All in all, my goal is to make sure that I am on top of every beauty innovation and skincare trend the world has to offer.