Need to Know K-Beauty Ingredients
Everyone knows about snail mucin, hyaluronic acid and niacinamide. But what are the K-Beauty ingredients you don’t know much about that you should know?
On episode 220 of the Korean Beauty Show podcast, I want to focus on the ingredients that you probably don’t know as much about that are real game-changers for your skin. We’ll take a look at what they are, what they do, the benefits you can expect from them plus, most importantly, the K-Beauty products you’ll find them in.
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On the podcast, we've done a few ingredient-focused episodes over the years:
As well as how to read an ingredients list.
Definition:Panax ginseng is a herb that has been widely used in traditional oriental medicine because it has many benefits.
Purpose:Antioxidant, can inhibit melanin production, anti-inflammatory
First things first, it's important to distinguish between different types of ginseng because not all ginseng is the same.
Ginseng is typically harvested after 3–6 years of growth, and then undergoes extensive cleaning and air drying (in the case of white ginseng) or steaming at 98°C–100°C for 2–3 hours (in the case of red ginseng).
Interestingly, after these two treatment methods, the roots differ in their saponin contents. This may be because of the changes that occurs in the chemical constituents during the steaming process.
Red ginseng is reported to have more potent pharmacological activities than white ginseng. That is because of the ginseng saponins (aka ginsenosides), which have an important role in ginseng's pharmacological action.
There are several studies related to red ginseng's effect on the skin. It has been reported that the ethanol extracts in red ginseng increase collagen synthesis and inhibit "MMP-1 activity".
In human skin, MMPs (or Matrix Metalloporteinsases) are induced by exposure to UV light and are responsible for the degradation of proteins like collagen, elastin. and proteoglycans. MMPs are divided into subgroups according to their characteristics, structure, and localization.
Among them, MMP-1 degrades Type I collagen, the main form found in human skin.
Source: "Effect of Korean red ginseng on collagen biosynthesis and MMP-I activity in human dermal fibroblast". J Ginseng Res. 2007;31:86–92 by Kim N., Koo B., Lee S., Hwang E., So S., Do J.
Definition:An amino acid used as a humectant to control viscosity and as an emollient for skin to help it retain moisture.
Purpose:Humectant, Skin conditioning, Viscosity agent
Betaine helps the skin stay hydrated, plump, and youthful. In addition, it acts as a gentle hydrator that helps skin gain and maintain moisture.
Definition:A glucose chain used as an emollient (retain moisture) and bulking agent.
Purpose:Bulking, Skin conditioning
What does beta glucan actually do in skincare? Help prevent damage, soothe skin and reduce redness and irritation.
K-Beauty Products Containing Beta Glucan:
INCI Name: Oryza sativa
Definition: Extract from a grain of rice used as an emollient for skin and hair (retain moisture).
Purpose:Skin conditioning, Hair conditioning
it delivers antioxidant benefits and plays a role in repairing visible skin damage. Additionally, arginine's hydration properties
INCI Name:Betula alba leaf water or Betula Platyphylla Japonica
Definition:Used as an emollient for skin (retains moisture).
It has anti-inflammatory and hydrating benefits. It contains 17 amino acids, minerals, enzymes, proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins. Birch sap possesses a unique molecular structure that is small enough to penetrate into the skin’s pores. It is therefore better able to distribute the nutrients needed by the skin, which visibly improves skin’s elasticity.
INCI Name:Houttuynia Cordata
Definition:An antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
Heartleaf extract is known for several benefits in terms of skincare. It contains an abundance of amino acids and fatty acids, which can remove blackheads, regenerate the skin's protective barrier, and soothe irritated skin.
Definition: An essential amino acid, a key building block of protein, used as an emollient (retains moisture), for oral care (provides cosmetic effects to mouth), and as a pH adjuster (to control pH).
Purpose: Hair conditioning, Oral care agent, PH adjusters, Skin conditioning
It delivers antioxidant benefits and plays a role in repairing visible skin damage. Additionally, arginine's hydration properties
Definition: An organic compound used as a skin protectant and emollient for skin (retains moisture).
Purpose: Skin protectant, Skin conditioning
IT’s functions include rejuvenating, hydrating (reducing TEWL), smoothing, soothing, moisturising, improving dullness,
Definition:Also known as provitamin b5, this is used as an emollient for skin and hair (retain moisture) and solvent (dissolves ingredients in a solution).
Purpose:Hair conditioning, Skin conditioning, Solvent
Panthenol makes for a great moisturizing ingredient. Research has shown that it decreases transepidermal water loss (water that evaporates through the skin). Products containing just 1% of panthenol can rapidly hydrate skin, resulting in a more supple feel and appearance.]
Definition: A hydrocarbon (made from carbon and hydrogen), used as an emollient for hair (retains moisture) and as an occlusive for skin (helps hold moisture in).
Purpose: Skin conditioning
The squalane will sit on the surface of your skin and act as a barrier to prevent moisture from leaving.” Overall, using squalane is a safe way to boost hydration in your skin and hair
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"There are several studies related to red ginseng's effect on the skin. It has been reported that the ethanol extracts in red ginseng increase collagen synthesis and inhibit "MMP-1 activity"."Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast
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