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Korean skincare

Korean Skincare and the K-Beauty Ingredients We Love

K-beauty, an umbrella term for South Korean beauty products, is quite the rave these days. It has its roots in the Hallyu wave, resulting from the popularity of South Korean pop culture. In recent years, K-Beauty has played a major role in revolutionizing global skincare with its unique ingredients catering to a wide range of skin types.

In this article, we’ll explore the most popular ingredients used in Korean skincare to make you look healthy and glowing all day long. Some of these ingredients are unusual for Westerners, while some have already made their way into the mainstream beauty world. These ingredients not only boost the skin’s health and hydration, but they can also brighten your skin tone.

On The Green You, we primarily focus on natural skincare, and through this article, we aim to bring the best of natural K-Beauty to you. The following ingredients are well known in Korean skincare for their restorative and healing properties. Moreover, the following ingredients are backed by clinical research studies for their amazing skin benefits.


Aloe is a popular ingredient in many cosmetic products, like moisturizers and primers. It has around 20 vitamins and abundant antioxidants and minerals that help cleanse and moisturize the skin. You can find this ingredient in many beauty and makeup products. You can also use aloe vera gel on its own. Aloe is used as a traditional medicine for treating burns, wounds, and other skin problems, due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It’s truly a versatile ingredient that caters to an array of skincare needs, and you won’t regret incorporating it into your beauty regime.


Beta-glucan is a polysaccharide (sugar molecule), usually sourced from baker’s yeast, oats, or fungi. It’s an all-rounder product containing antioxidant and hydrating properties. [4] It can also combat cellular degeneration, protect the skin from free radical damage, and decrease inflammation and redness.

Centella Asiatica

Also known as Cica, Centella Asiatica is increasingly used in Korean skincare products due to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. This plant is also used as a culinary ingredient in many countries. It contains amino acids in abundance that help hydrate the skin, and an active compound, called Madecassic acid aids in suppressing inflammation, and prevents redness and skin irritation. Other benefiting compounds that are present in Centella are asiaticoside, madecassoside, and asiatic acid. This plant’s extracts have been used to treat skin problems and burns for centuries in traditional medicine and no wonder it serves amazing benefits in K-Beauty products.


Cucumber is a water-based ingredient commonly used in skincare due to its cooling and anti-inflammatory properties. You can use it to soothe irritated skin and hydrate it as it contains abundant vitamins (A, C, and E), antioxidants, and minerals like potassium and magnesium. One of the benefits of using cucumber is that it can control oil production and balance the skin tone. It’s a perfect summertime ingredient as it refreshes the skin, and has anti-inflammatory properties to calm the skin.

Cucumber has always been used at spas because of it’s beneficial ingredients.

Ginkgo Biloba

The Ginkgo extract comes from the Ginkgo tree, native to China. It’s been in use for centuries in traditional skincare, as it has powerful anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can use this ingredient to protect your skin from environmental damage, improve skin texture, and reduce inflammation. Moreover, it’s antibacterial and helps protect the skin from free radicals and excess oil production.

Licorice Extract

Licorice is another commonly used ingredient in K-Beauty. You can find it in a variety of products like creams, serums, and gels. You can derive tons of benefits from it, as it helps even the skin tone and soothe irritated skin. Also, it’s anti-inflammatory and a potent antioxidant, that helps combat environmental damage on your skin and reduce inflammation and redness. This ingredient suits all skin types but it’s best for sensitive skin.


If you’re into K-Beauty, chances are you’ve already heard of the Ginseng herb. Ginseng has been in use as a popular skincare product for centuries in Asian cultures. It’s primarily derived from the Ginseng root in the mountainous Asian regions. It can balance your skin’s pH level, provide hydration and brighten the skin tone. It also aids in blood circulation and helps to treat hyperpigmentation.


Artemisia Vulgaris, commonly known as mugwort, has been used in traditional Korean medicine for centuries and is recently incorporated into beauty regimens. The extract of the mugwort plant is used in skincare products since it’s a rich source of antioxidants and protects the skin from free radicals. It also helps fight acne and reduces irritation and redness. You can also use it as a skin toner. It works great on all skin types, including acne-prone skin, due to its antibacterial nature.


Propolis, a sticky substance (bee glue) that bees use to build hives, is used to treat various skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, etc. It contains antioxidants, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial qualities. You can use it to protect your skin from environmental damage and infections, moisturize the skin, heal wounds, and reduce redness and irritation. Although propolis suits all skin types, you can also benefit from it, if you have irritated and sensitive skin.

Snail Mucin

It might sound bizarre, but snail mucin is a commonly-used ingredient in Korean skincare products. Snail secretion filtrate (SSF) is derived from snail secretion when it moves. This slimy substance contains hydrating agents and locks natural moisture. It also contains zinc and antioxidants such as Vitamin E and A, and other beneficial components like glycoprotein, hyaluronic acid, proteoglycans, copper, and microbial peptides.


Yuza, aka Yuja, a citrus fruit from Jeju Islands, South Korea, is rich in Vitamin C and another staple item of K-Beauty products. This component aids in repairing skin cells, protects from harmful UV rays, aids in producing collagen, and reduces the appearance of spots, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also firms the skin and gives it a radiant look. It can also lighten your skin pigmentation and remove dark spots.

In addition to the above list, K-Beauty comprises many other ingredients catering to different skin issues. The beauty industry is constantly evolving, and you’re likely to see a change in beauty trends in the future, but these natural products have stood the test of time. However, if you’re a vegan, it’s best to check the product specifications and the list of ingredients before buying a cosmetic product. Also, before applying a product for the first time, it helps to do a patch test to check for allergies.

Final Thoughts

 There are a number of reasons why K-beauty products have sky-rocketed in recent years. While the trend might’ve originated due to the increasing popularity of the k-pop industry, the effects on Korean beauty products can’t be denied. With  focus on natural and organic elements, it soon became apparent that K-beauty products yielded better results than their artificial or chemical counterparts. If you want to ensure overall skin health and get the glowing skin you deserve, why not look into K-beauty products?

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