If you’ve perused any beauty magazine, or follow any beauty-related accounts on Instagram, then you’ve probably noticed how much retinol has been raved about in the community. Retinol (and its various forms) has been scientifically proven to be the most potent anti-ageing ingredient around, but you may have noticed its absence on the ingredient list of any K-beauty products.
It’s important to understand that while it's powerful, using retinol isn’t always all sunshine and rainbows. Some common side effects are peeling and flaking skin, redness, purging-related acne, and increased skin sensitivity. This is why this ingredient might not be suitable for many!
Korean skin care has always prioritised gentle (yet still powerful) ingredients that can suit even the most sensitive skin types. Below, we highlight five powerful alternative ingredients that can be found in K-beauty products:
Ginseng has a long history in both Korean medicine and skin care, and is nicknamed, quite fittingly, as the "root of immortality". The ingredient has a complex of polysaccharides and glycoproteins, which helps firm and smooth the appearance of fine lines. Its Vitamin B1, B2, B12 and other mineral contents also help increase oxygenation and circulation to the skin cells to give your skin a healthy, radiant glow. Try the Beauty of Joseon Dynasty Cream that stars hanbang or traditional herbal ingredients, which includes ginseng!
2. Vitamin C
An all-time favourite ingredient in the skin care community, Vitamin C's benefits include brightening the skin, evening out your complexion, reducing dark spots, and its antioxidant benefits that help fight free radical damage. Best used in conjunction with Vitamin E, you can try our Klairs Vitamin Set for the best results!
Peptides are strings of amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein in our body, including the collagen in our skin. They are essential to ensure that our skin maintains its firmness and elasticity. When you apply peptides to your skin, they can help repair damage and trigger collagen-building activities to encourage a more youthful-looking skin. A great line to try is the D'Alba Piedmont Peptide line, which suits even oily skin types looking for anti-ageing products that won't clog or feel too heavy on the skin!
This beloved superstar ingredient is also known as nicotinamide, a form of Vitamin B3. Its most noted benefit is its ability to brighten and even out your complexion, while improving your skin's barrier function. Like retinol, niacinamide has also demonstrated an ability to boost collagen production to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Niacinamide can be found in our cult-status Missha Time Revolution Night Repair Probio Ampoule!
5. Snail Mucin
This list wouldn’t be complete without the mention of snail mucin. This slimy ingredient is all-rounder known for hydrating, repairing skin damage, fighting blemishes, evening out the skin tone, fading pigmentation, firm skin, and boost elastin and collagen production to slow the signs of ageing to a snail's pace! Try our Dewytree Ultra Vitalizing Snail Emulsion, which is jam-packed with snail mucin to instantly plump and hydrate the skin!
What's your favourite anti-ageing ingredient or product? Let us know below!