Multifunctional Skincare from Korea
There's one trend on everyone's lips for the beauty industry in 2024. It's multifunctional beauty products! While this trend isn’t exactly a new one, there’s no denying it’s not going anywhere soon.
Korea has been focused on multifunctional beauty products for several years, thanks in part to the impact of the pandemic and also in part due to the continued push towards sustainability. Multifunctional skincare products hit on a couple of key trends that consumers are presently invested in. Firstly, condensing their beauty routines and using fewer products in the interests of saving money.
The cost of living crisis in many countries around the world has forced some beauty consumers to tighten their belts. They're consequently looking to do "more with less".
For others, the desire to do the "right thing" by the environment and cut down on unnecessary steps in their skincare routine has propelled their move towards multi-functionality.
In addition, multi-functional products have always been popular among the jet-set crowd, looking to take fewer (and less spill-ier) products with them on the road.
Whatever the reason, we can expect products that achieve several goals within formula to continue to gain popularity.
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This sugar cinnamon treat combines two products in one with a 100% customizable formula. It can be used as both a cleanser and an exfoliant - it all comes down to how much water you use and how much you massage it into your hands first. To use it as cleanser, simply dissolve the sugar crystals in your palms first, before applying the foam to a wet face.
To use it as an exfoliant, apply the scrub to a damp face and gently massage it in. When used this way it helps to gently dissolve the dirt and debris clogging pores.
Made from a beautifully fine powdered texture this ultra-versatile cleanser has a low PH balance which is perfect for all skin types, particularly those with sensitive skin. That's because unlike most powder-style cleansers on the market this formula doesn't contain enzymes. While enzymes are useful to help buff away dead skin, regular use can cause irritation and /or dryness in those with sensitive skin.
This formula however contains antioxidant richCentella asiatica with nourishing ceramides and brightening licorice extracts.
The powdered formulation make it a perfect travel companion.
For a more traditional powder wash with enzymes, and one that won't break the budget at that, Tosowoong's Enzyme Powder Wash is a great option. A popular K-Beauty swap for the more expensive Dermalogica Microfoliant this is a great daily cleanse for those with normal skin types.
While you'd be forgiven for thinking this is just an extra large version of your favourite hyaluronic acid ampoule, in reality this all purpose product is extremely versatile. It can be used:
The formula contains Hydrolyzed Hyaluronic Acid, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate and Panthenol (Pro Vitamin B5).
This Beauty Water has been trending since its release, thanks in large part to the multifunctional formula. It combines the benefits of a makeup remover + toner + makeup prep + skin refresher in one.
The formula is made on a base of rose flower water, with orange peel extract, witch hazel and more. It is especially designed to reveal a brighter skin tone and smoother texture, and also mildly exfoliates to get rid of dead skin cells.
Korean beauty has a variety of eye creams that can be used in places other than your eye area. One of the reasons specialist eye creams are formulated in the first place is because the skin on our eyes is significantly thinner and more delicate than the skin on the rest of our face. This can lead to unique problems cropping up around our eyes (dark circles, puffiness) that are more visible, including the first signs of aging. Using other products under your eyes can sometimes lead to issues like milia.
However, because eye creams tend to be smaller, much more expensive and differently formulated than a regular moisturiser, you're unlikely to use them on other parts of your face.
Here are two Korean beauty products that are turning the traditional wisdom on its face:
This 2-in-1 eye cream can be applied on the whole face, providing the concentrated nutrition of an eye cream in a facial moisturiser. A favourite of Korean actresses, it contains twice as much collagen as previous formulations. Additionally, it features stem cell cultures with over 1300 proteins that help to nourish the skin
This hard-working eye cream improves skin elasticity and boosts hydration levels with Peptide 4x Complex. It also contains collagen, niacinamide and peptides with natural eco-friendly ingredients like macadamia seed oil, beta glucan and sea buckthorn extract.
This eye cream is also perfect to use on neck lines, laugh lines and frown lines and thanks to the whopping 70ml of product contained in the jar (approximately 2.5 times the size of most normal eye creams), you won't feel bad doing it.
This formulation is beautifully hydrating and provides lasting moisture to dry, dull, damaged and aging skin.
Spurred on by the "Untact Skincare Trend" that boomed in the pandemic, Korea's obsession for multi balms and sticks didn't leave quite so quickly. The product that launched a thousand knock-offs was Kahi Multi Balm. But these days there are a range of unique and innovative formulas on the market.
If you haven't tried it, the OG K-Beauty multi-balm a moisturising balm that hydrates, improves skin and restores elasticity. Use on dry patches, as a lip balm, eye cream and more. Above all, this product is perfect to pop in your bag and use whenever you need during the day.
After using this, your skin will feel amazing and your makeup will sit perfectly all day.
Combining collagen, with 10% hyaluronic acid and purple plant complex this multi-stick protects and maintains a healthy glow in your skin.
This formula is specifically for those with dull, rough skin. It's an on-the-glow solution for instantly brighter skin. The easy to use stick balm formula brightens thanks to a whopping 30% pure vitamin C.
Combining the benefits of a dewy primer with an SPF this is a cult-favourite in Korea. Although it's not approved by the US FDA or Australia's TGA for use as a sunscreen product, it's a great option for those who love a glass skin glow.
If you can't get your hands on Espoir's sunscreen, don't fret - this face mask & brush kit has the lot! Get ready for clearer, glowing, more radiant skin with fewer visible impurities in just 5 minutes!
The pore tightening, skin refining face mask also doubles as a makeup primer, leaving your skin with a subtle holographic glow. Best of all, the stellar formula skips out on common irritants like essential oils, making it perfect for those with rosacea and skin issues. Instead, it contains Australian Kakadu Plum, Ceramides, Sodium Hyaluronate and Kaolin.
This Lip Mask offers multiple functions in a single product. Use it:
Other options include Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask, although the sticky, waxy formula is not the best option for daytime use if you don't like the feeling of product on your lips.
When it comes to K-beauty mist sprays, no product is more beloved in Korea than d'Alba's First Spray Serum. Made on a base of white truffles and lotus with avocado oil, it functions as the perfect spray to whet your skin after cleansing. It's also an ideal makeup setting spray, which is how it's used by makeup artists across Seoul.
In addition, it can be used over the top of makeup or in place of serum in your skincare routine.
This powerhouse cream can easily replace serum, oil and moisturiser in a single step. That's because it contains a blend of humectants and hydrators in addition to grapeseed oil, which gives you all the nutrition you need for your skin without having to use multiple different products.
For example, it contains a functional amount of niacinamide, negating the need fro a separate niacinamide serum. It also contains Vitamin E, Beta Glucan, Pearl, Squalane, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, Arginine, Adenosine and Allantoin.
Not only is it perfect for dry skin, it also works wonders on dull, dehydrated, rough and lackluster skin types as well. If you're heading on the road and want to cut down on hydrating steps, this is the product you need.
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“Multifunctional skincare products hit on a couple of key trends that consumers are presently invested in.”Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast
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