It’s no secret that K-Beauty is pretty much the Beyoncé of the skincare world. Korea is constantly innovating with crazy new formulas (we’re obsessed with rubber masking) and harnessing the power of some of nature’s most amazing skin-transforming ingredients. And, the K-Beauty glass skin trend that dominated the last couple of years still looks as appealing as ever – who doesn’t want skin that glossy?!
So, to ensure you’re looking as glossy as ever, and not missing out on any of the goodness 2019 holds, we got in touch with the Queen Bees of K-Beauty, the Founders of cult K-Beauty site, Glow Recipe, Sarah Lee and Christine Chang – yes, they’re the beauty and brains behind your fave glow enhancing masks.
And guys, they shared some seriously juicy skincare trends: From the new ingredients to know to easy application techniques, and the products you need to look out for, these are the new Korean beauty trends that will dominate 2019. You heard it here first!
1. Fog Mist, AKA ‘micromists’
Christine told us that “In Korean, ‘fog’ is a beautiful word, it’s called ‘ahn gae,’ which also has a dual meaning of baby’s breath flowers. It feels like you’re walking into fog and feels really hazy, but you have all that hydration still coming in and the products actually really do the work. The great thing about a fog mist is that they do all the heavy lifting of a regular mist but in this ultra-fine spray that envelops you.”
Sarah’s tips for using a fog mist: “You can mist to rehydrate and refresh your skin and set your makeup. You can also mist each layer in between steps of your skincare routine, and that actually helps seal in all the product you applied and softens your skin for the next step.”
Check out the Make P:rem Safe Relief Mist, $23.
2. PHAs, AKA The New AHA On The Block
Always wanted to get on chemical exfoliator hype but found AHAs too harsh? This new generation of exfoliating acids is here for you. Christine explained “PHA is really interesting in that it brings a larger molecule size. Due to the larger molecule size, it takes a little bit longer to penetrate into the skin. It still works very well but is a little bit gentler, so great for all skin types, including dry and sensitive.”
Sarah told us “When I was in Korea, there were shelves and shelves of PHA-infused products, whether it was a pad, peeling gel, moisturizer or treatments with PHA, in the beauty stores of Korea. It’s definitely inspired by the K-beauty trend, but we’re going to slowly see them more in the US.”
We’re obsessed with Glow Recipe’s Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, which makes us wake up with THE softest, most hydrated skin. They recommended the Make: Prem Radiance Peeling Sleeping Pack, $30, which will gently exfoliate your skin overnight, as well as hydrate and heal.
3. Beauty Treatment Pads
“Another trend that we’re really passionate about and have seen everywhere in K-beauty are pads. Typically they are exfoliation pads that are either packed with AHAs or sometimes alcohol, but we’re seeing a lot of different categories infused into this pad format, and it’s really innovative.” Christine told us.
And if your nightly cleansing routine is the most stressful part of your day you’ll be happy to know that Korea has a solution for you; cleaning pads! “They come in easy-to-use, one-time use packets, which is great just to throw in your gym bag or have one in your purse for on-the-go cleansing when needed. The great thing about this is that it’s very different from your normal cleansing wipe. The pad is really loaded with amazing treatment benefits on top of cleansing ingredients, so that you leave skin very soft and supple even after cleansing,” Sarah told us.
Their go-to beauty treatment pads are the Charcoal Chair Tea Pore Refining Glow Pads, $25, that harnesses detoxifying charcoal and Chai Tea to hydrate and replenish.
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4. Double Serum Trend
According to Christine and Sarah, “Korean women are cocktailing and layering different serums, a staple in every K-beauty routine as the treatment step, to treat multiple skin concerns.” Sarah explains, “Double serum-ing is essentially layering our serums, or cocktailing your serums, based on what your real skin needs are. We find this really exciting because it addresses the complexity of most people’s skin concerns. Since no one has only one skin concern, as it’s usually a plethora of different issues, being able to address it this way is empowering. It feels like a DIY moment.”
Christine adds “The thinking behind the double serum trend is truly listening to your skin on a daily basis and addressing the concerns and problems that it has. For many of you that have multiple serums or essences, you can pretty much mix and match them as long as they’re lightweight and the textures are thin. One of the brands we’re really excited for you to try the double serum trend with is the Sweet Chef line. All the serums are made so that you can cocktail them, layer them, and play with them.”
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5. High Concentration Formulas
Sarah told us “We see a lot of natural skin care products everywhere but sometimes as a consumer; it’s hard to understand if a product has specific ingredients that work for your skin or what the product really does as the main benefit. K-Beauty really harnesses the power of natural ingredients and takes the most out of them which is so fascinating about certain products. One of the examples is the Asiatica Calming Ampoule that has 90% cica in the entire formula. Cica is an incredibly calming and soothing ingredient for the skin. The fact that the ampoule is formulated this way just makes it a powerhouse to help soothe redness and irritation.”
Christine told us her go-to high concentration formula is “The Leegeeham tea tree line is all about the high percentages of tea tree. The Leegeeham Grow Tea Tree 80 Cream, $38, has 80% of the tea tree extract in the entire cream formula. Another one is the Blithe Apricot Pressed Serum which has 30% of the gold apricot, which is known for brightening the skin.”
6. Clinical K-Beauty Innovations
Christine spilled the latest K-Beauty innovation, “We’re also really excited about a new clinical trend coming out of K-beauty. It’s all about preventing aging in a very new approach. When we spoke with Dr. Park, who is the head of ID Hospital, one of the leading derm clinics in Korea, his approach to aging was fascinating. He was saying that facial shape is just as critical to a youthful appearance as the lack of lines and wrinkles. This is a departure from what we think aging is because we tend to think about lines that form around and crow’s feet, but his approach was more about contouring the face in a youthful way and keeping that youthful shape.”
Sarah continues, “Dr. Park developed a new brand called Private Doctor, which is currently available in Sephora. It’s an amazing brand that speaks to how to prevent aging by addressing the face shape. The Private Doctor Minus Serum, $49, is all about contouring with skincare. The Minus Serum also has a really interesting blend of ingredients, including micro-tingling spicules which help to create pathways into the skin to aid penetration of the formula. It also has sodium deoxycholate, which is an active ingredient that’s been used in in-office slimming procedures and we’ve never seen it used in skincare before.”
We’ve loved ginger DIYs since forever, but it’s about to be the new K-Beauty obsession. Sarah tells us, “Ginger has been building a lot of momentum online. Ginger is a top search word on Pinterest and grew by over 300%. The skincare community is really getting a hold of this ingredient because it has amazing benefits for hyperpigmentation and brightening the skin. Our moms used to use ginger in DIY skincare remedies when we were younger, and it was a big part of growing up in Korea.”
Christine said that “One of the staples in our skincare routines has been the Ginger + Vitamin C Serum Shot, $20, from Sweet Chef. We love that this product is packed with antioxidants because of ginger and helps brighten the skin instantly.”
8. Affordable Vitamin C (YAY)
Sarah explains, “In 2018 we saw a lot of new Vitamin C serums and treatments that came into the market. But in 2019, we’re going to see even more of them, now with affordable pricing. This is inspired by K-beauty as serums and treatments tend to be more accessible, like Vitamin C treatments.”
In case you didn’t know, “Vitamin C serums offer amazing antioxidant benefits for the skin and help to brighten and even tone. One of our favorite affordable Vitamin C serums is the First C Serum from Liz K. It actually sold over 10 million bottles in Korea, and everyone is raving about it. What we love about this serum is that it smells really nice and glides like an oil without the stickiness or greasiness, and just gives you that brightening effect the next morning.”
We don’t know about you guys, but we are definitely excited to start mixing up our serums and layering our skincare with a little fog in between! Let us know which of these trends you’re excited for in the comments below.