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What You Should Know About Jeju Island—the “Hawaii of Asia”

These days when people think of South Korea they picture the sprawling metropolis that is Seoul. But hidden just off the southwest tip of the country is Jeju Island. Find out why this special island is not only a vacation destination, but a place full of rare skin care ingredients.

Offering a mineral and vitamin rich land untouched by pollution, Jeju Island is the perfect resource for skin-loving ingredients, which explains why the beauty industry has seen a boom of products featuring the land’s riches. Here’s why Jeju is the center of beauty in Korea and hailed as the “Hawaii of Asia.”

I visited Jeju Island in the summer of 2014 and it was breathtaking. Coming from New York City—the land of concrete and pollution—Jeju was literally a breath of fresh air. Knowing that it was nicknamed the “Hawaii of Korea,” and just coming off a trip from Hawaii, I expected a sprawling tropical environment with cobalt blue oceans and palm trees, but it was exactly the opposite (in a good way). Jeju Island allows you to enjoy the riches of an island without all the hustle and bustle of tourists that Hawaii has. Jeju has a hometown vibe.
The second you step off the plane, you can tell that the people care about the land and its offerings. The restaurants feature local seafood and the popular destinations are ones of natural beauty, showcasing all that Mother Nature has to offer. So it’s no surprise that Korean beauty companies have turned to Jeju Island for its fresh and antioxidant rich ingredients. Its volcanic and mineral-rich terrain makes for ingredients that are praised for being of their purest quality. Here are some of the best ingredients Jeju Island offers:
Green tea

The Seogwang Tea Garden is more than just a tourist attraction. These beautiful sprawling fields feature the largest tea plantation in Korea. The tea leaves here are so well cared for that they’re known to receive the perfect amount of sunlight so that they can produce the highest quality green tea possible.
Korean beauty brand Innisfree has taken note of this, with the use of Jeju green tea in its Green Tea Seed Serum. This serum is one of the company’s best-sellers and it features pure, organic green tea extracts from Jeju Island. Green tea is known to be rich in antioxidants and minerals, working to soothe and hydrate the skin. Innisfree has revolutionized the use of Jeju Island’s ingredients since its green tea line of products boast the “Made in Jeju” stamp.

A great place to see these flowers in action is Camellia Hill, which features an arboretum that has over 6,000 camellia trees and 500 different species. Native to Jeju Island, camellia flowers are known as the “rose of winter” because they can bloom in the coldest of temperatures. They have strong antioxidant properties that work to nourish and protect the skin. The flowers’ highly-concentrated extracts work to brighten and firm skin for an overall even texture.
The Erborian Dong Baek Camellia Essence features this ingredient straight from the source. It’s packed with with 73% camellia oil to prevent premature aging and improve elasticity.
Prickly Pear

The Goodal Mild Protect Watery Sun Cream features another Jeju native ingredient: prickly pear cactus. This sun cream contains vitamins and antioxidants from fermented Jeju cactus prickly pear extract, which works to quickly absorb into the skin to soothe and hydrate it. Its high antioxidant factors help skin restore elasticity and even out complexion for a brighter glow.
Final word:
If you’re looking to take a vacation from the city life or you’re interested in seeing where the Korean beauty world get its best ingredients from, visit Jeju Island!

+ Have you ever been to Jeju Island? Share your experiences below!

Main photo credit: @innisfreesingapore
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