From luxe, velvet-textured products to clean beauty, read on to discover what’s going to be big in K-beauty in 2019.
It’s been an annual tradition of mine to share what’s on the horizon for K-beauty, and with 2018 coming to a close, it’s time again to make my predictions. From what I saw brewing during my time spent in Korea and working with product developers this year, I can tell you that there are a lot of exciting innovations we can expect to come out of Seoul in 2019. Here are a few I’m looking forward to.
Sheet masks continue to be a very popular and effective treatment method for men and women in Korea and the category is getting even more inventive.
In 2019, we’ll be seeing more options than ever before, specifically options that you can tailor to your skin type and concerns. Mamonde, for example, recently launched a Mix and Match series that allows you to pair one type of sheet mask – like pore care or skin-smoothing – for the top half of your face, with another for the bottom half – like firming or soothing.
Another innovation I’ve tried are unique sheet masks that melt and wick away oil-based impurities in your pores – you can even see the oil spots clinging to the gel masks!
Whatever you’re skin goals are, there’s a sheet mask for you.
“Velvet” is a word we’re going to see everywhere in K-beauty in 2019. Unique textures are increasingly becoming a big part of the skin care experience and are constantly being refined by Korean brands.
Recently, I’ve tried several K-beauty products, including cloud-like cleansers and melting sheet masks, with velvety textures that make for a rather different, yet delightful and luxurious experience.
Many Korean brands have long shied away from adding chemical exfoliants like AHAs and PHAs to formulas since these ingredients can be harsh on skin. However, now that the category is so in demand – and there’s more education out there on how to use them properly – you can expect to see more K-beauty brands getting in on the trend with innovative and likely inexpensive options. The Ordinary’s and Drunk Elephant’s of the skin care acid world are going to have some major competition!
Korea’s Clean Beauty Wave
Korean beauty brands have taken note of the global clean beauty wave and we’re now seeing more formulas that are vegan, EWG-compliant, and/or fragrance-free.
Although the term clean beauty has a very broad definition and is unfortunately sometimes used as a marketing tactic, with the rise in pollution levels in Korea and the interest in sensitive skin-friendly products, I believe it’s a movement that Korean beauty brands are taking seriously.
Ginseng is one of the most powerful ingredients in Korea and is often consumed orally via health teas and drinks. The ingredient is not only good for your overall health, but has brightening, energizing and anti-aging properties that are great for skin.
It is often found in de-puffing, dark circle-erasing eye creams and firming serums and creams from luxury brands like Sulwhasoo. I predict we’ll see many more brands spotlight the ingredient, in addition to other effective, traditional Korean medicinal “hanbang” ingredients, in their formulas in 2019.
What’s Not a New Trend? Streamlined Routines
There has been a lot of buzz about the “skip-care” and “skin diet” trends coming from Korea via the media. The idea of using multi-functional products that help streamline your routine (like the Re:p PhytoCELL Cell Moisture All in One Essence) is not new, nor against the rules of following a 5- or 10-step skin care routine.
Korean skin care is not about using more products than you can count, it’s about being educated about skin and how to take care of it, and then using products to achieve your goals as you see fit.