Watermelon skin care: 4 Korean skin care trends to watch

K-beauty is a growing trend in North America, and developments in Korean skincare and beauty trends have become something those in the health and beauty space can ignore at their own peril.

“In the past, France was considered the global leader in beauty, but now all eyes are on Korea,” skin-care expert Peter Thomas Roth, told The Cut in 2015. And the takeover continues.

In recent years we’ve seen Korean products like BB Creams, cushion compacts, and sheet masks become beauty staples in North America. And this is no accident, but largely the result of an orchestrated push by the South Korean government to establish the existing beauty culture as a source of revenue for the country. Beauty is huge in Korea, and Korean products are seen as the best and most high tech by experts.

South Korea is the eighth largest cosmetics market in the world, representing nearly 3.0% of the global market. In 2016, the market size was estimated to be approximately USD 7.1 billion; and has grown at an annual growth rate of 8.2% for the last five years. (2016.Export.Gov)

Meanwhile, Unilever has just agreed to pay 2.27 billion euros ($2.7 billion) for one of South Korea’s biggest makers of beauty products, Carver Korea Co., maker of AHC skincare products.

What to do? Follow closely along! Now that we’ve all got our sheet masks on and cushion compacts in hand, here are four trends to watch out of Korea right now:

Snail mucous: Though  now quite passé in Korea,  snail mucus, or “secretion filtrate,” is still a growing market in North America. Said to contain hyaluronic acid, enzymes and peptides, it’s touted to promote skin healing and collagen production. The media notes that celebrity makeup artists are taking interest, and major retailers have moved towards stocking products on shelves. In June, 2017, Bloomberg reported that the “decade-old craze is making its way to everyday consumers in the U.S., as K-beauty products jump from niche websites and slide onto the shelves at Target Corp., CVS Health Corp. and Ulta Beauty Inc. stores.”

Watermelon: According to Refinery 29, the buzz around watermelon as a skin care ingredient can be traced back to Korean beauty brand Glow Recipe’s Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask. “Utilizing watermelon’s hydrating powers, this breathable sleeping mask has gained a cult following for its skin-softening and glow-giving properties.”

Glow Recipe’s Sarah Lee told W Magazine, “Watermelon as 92% water content and is rich in vitamins A, B6 and C, amino acids and lycopene. It’s also incredibly antioxidant-rich and is a great hydrating and soothing ingredient for skin year-round.”

Glass Skin: Glass Skin is the latest big thing to come out of Korea. The product of an intense skin care routine that can range form 10-12 or so steps, glass skin is smooth, poreless skin with a wet look. Bustle calls it “luminous and translucent,” like glass.

The process involves exfoliation and layering lotions and serums to achieve a dewy look. Alicia Yoon of Peach and Lily told Refinery 29, “Getting this fresh-faced texture comes two-fold. First, you’ll need an exfoliator to buff skin so it has that very smooth texture. Secondly, a hydrating serum to help give that glass-like appearance.”

Glow Recipe’s Sarah Lee and Christine Chang told Allure that “glass skin is a skin ideal in Korea.”

Volcanic ash: Volcanic ash clusters are used in masks, mousses and balms, and are said to be incredible pore cleansers. Julien Bouzitat, general manager of K-beauty brand Innisfree US, which uses clusters sourced from volcanic Jeju Island for products like Innisfree Super Volcanic Pore Clay Mask, told Well + Good “Volcanic clusters are naturally porous, so they have a natural ability to absorb oil and gunk on your skin. They also deeply cleanse and gently exfoliate to minimize the look of your pores.”

Spa Executive magazine is published by Book4Time, the world’s most innovative spa, salon, wellness, and activity management software. Learn more at Book4Time.com

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