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Here Are The Biggest K-beauty Innovations of 2017

We’re so excited to see what’s in store for K-beauty in 2018. But before we move into the new year, here’s a quick recap of the major K-beauty trends and products we loved in 2017!
One of the things that make K-beauty so special is that innovation happens alarmingly fast. Whether it’s a new hit product or a skin-saving ingredient, K-beauty is always a few steps ahead, taking creativity and “skintertainment” to the next level.
Here are the biggest trends and innovations that hit the beauty world in 2017.
Essence mist 
Misting is the quickest way to refresh and hydrate your skin. If you visit Korea, you’ll see Korean women misting throughout the day, regardless of what season it is.
Think of essence mists as upgraded mists: In addition to hydrating the skin, they combine effective ingredients to target specific skin concerns. Whether your concern is brightening, anti-aging or oiliness, you’ll find an essence mist that suits your skin concern. The Neogen H2 Dermadeca Spray was one of the Best of K-beauty winners this year, and it contains niacinamide, vitamin C, Centella extract and collagen to hydrate, brighten and calm skin all at once. Another Soko Glam favorite is the Missha First Treatment Essence Mist, which contains fermented yeast and niacinamide to brighten, hydrate, and even out skin tone.
Birch juice 
Birch juice, or extract from white and black birch tree, became popular as a substitute for water on the ingredient list. It contains many skin-benefitting components like niacinamide, vitamin C, and other minerals and proteins to brighten skin, smooth skin texture, soothe inflammation, and strengthen skin barrier.
K-beauty brand Enature has an entire line dedicated to birch juice, but you can also find birch juice in a variety of other products, such as the Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence.
Sun stick & sun cushion
2017 was the year that sun care became extra fun. Sun sticks are a convenient way to re-apply SPF and cool skin down, which is why they became a huge hit in Korea this past summer.
Another important SPF innovation was the sun cushion. The puff allows you to apply an even layer each time without messing up your makeup. When you’re on the go and aren’t able to wash your hands, a sun cushion comes in handy for much needed SPF reapplication.
For a sun cushion that has the added benefits of evening out your skin tone, check out the Klavuu City Defense Tone-Change Cushion.
 Cica balm
In Korea, the old-school way of treating minor cuts is to apply an over-the-counter ointment called Madecassol Care. The key ingredient in this ointment is Centella asiatica extract, which boosts collagen production to help reduce inflammation and scarring.
K-beauty brand Dr. Jart+ was one of the first to popularize this ingredient in facial skin care through the release of their Cica Repair Tiger Grass Cream. Now, products infused with Centella extract are everywhere, and you can easily find this skin-soothing ingredient in moisturizers, serums, spot treatments, and more.
Juicy makeup

An important makeup trend of 2017 was juicy makeup. This look—vivid, lively, and colorful—involves a bright blush, hydrated skin, and an orange or pink lip that pops. It’s reminiscent of a juicy, ripe fruit and the key is to create a look that is fresh and youthful.
If you want to know how to achieve this look, check out this video by YouTuber Dasha Kim (who we interviewed here).
Hair shadow
Though hair shadows are not yet popular in the States, in Korea, a smooth, round forehead and an even hairline is what many Korean women aspire to have. Makeup products that create the illusion of a neater hairline became a big hit in Korea in 2017. Hair shadows like the Mamonde Pang Pang Hair Shadow and markers like the Innisfree Real Hair Makeup Tint perfect any hairstyle by filling in bald spots on the hairline and making hair look fuller.
Hair sheet mask
Given that many Koreans sheet mask every day, it’s no surprise that in 2017, sheet masks made their way into the hair care world. These single-use sheet masks, resembling large, cotton shower caps, come soaked in an hair essence to nourish dry strands within 20 to 30 minutes. Some are also steam masks, meaning that they heat up to aid product absorption. The result is hydrated, healthy hair less prone to damage and split ends.
Bottom line:
Because innovation happens so fast in Korea, the K-beauty world is constantly evolving. But the fact that it’s important to take good care of your skin from head to toe will always be at the heart of K-beauty, with plenty of room for fun and experimentation along the way.

+ What are other K-beauty innovations did you love in 2017? Share with us below! 

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