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The Future of Hemp in Korean Cosmetics

May 16, 2023

The Future of Hemp in Korean Cosmetics

Ep 197 The Future of Hemp in Korean Cosmetics 


On this episode of the Korean Beauty Show Lauren discusses the future of hemp legalisation in Korea and its impact on cosmetics and therapeutic drugs. She answers a listener’s question about which Korean beauty brands make cosmetics for which skin age. Plus, new drops from COSRX and Rom&nd and new reviews for Tocobo, Subi and Jelly Ko. 


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K-Beauty News: Hemp Legalisation in Korea and the Future for Cosmetics 

Beauty Nury has reported on the status of Hemp Legalisation in Korea. Whereas hemp has been legalised across Europe, the US and even Australia for cosmetics and therapeutics the status of hemp in Korea is still very much in its infancy. 

Korea's Narcotics Control Act regulates the use of hemp for official or academic purposes. Peeled hemp seeds and hemp seed oil can be used as raw materials for cosmetics and food only if THC and CBD are below a certain level. Most of the hemp-derived cosmetics on the market contain this hemp seed oil. 

You might recall that I previously covered this trend at last year's K-Beauty Expo.

However, in 2020, Korea's Ministry for SMEs and Startups designated Andong as a "special zone for industrial hemp regulation". They granted partial exceptions for the medical use of hemp. A total of 34 institutions and companies are currently participating in this program.

In addition, last year,the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety also included hemp deregulation in the '100 Tasks for Food and Drug Regulatory Innovation'. 

This is all newsworthy because marijuana itself is viewed extremely dimly in Korea. Celebrities found to have smoked marijuana are often cancelled and removed from the limelight for years. Hemp and marijuana is not quite the same thing, but the components are similar. 

Recent research has shown that CBD has potential as a treatment for Alzheimer's disease, anxiety reduction and other illnesses. As a result, it makes sense that Korea would want to cash in by expanding their R&D to include potential CBD drugs and treatments. 


K-Beauty News: Hemp Legalisation in Korea and the Future for Cosmetics

Question of the Week: Which Korean Brands Make Products for Skin in Its 30s?

A lot of Korean skincare brands formulate for a specific skin "age". While this is not to say that you can't use or won't enjoy products not for your age, this philosophy will impact things like ingredients, textures and efficacies. 

Out of the Amore Pacific brands:

  • Etude is the brand for the youngest people (teens and 20s); 
  • Innisfree for skin in its 20s- early 30s; 
  • Laneige for skin in its mid 20s to mid 30s; and 
  • Hera and Iope are more geared for skin in its 30s-40s

Purito definitely works better for oilier skin types and skin in its teens and 20s (in my opinion). 

Beauty of Joseon is probably fine for skin in the 30s but I don’t think the serums or essence are enough for anti-aging concerns.

In fact, Beauty of Joseon got in trouble in Korea a few years ago for advertising it’s ginseng as having "anti-aging benefits" when the type of ginseng they’re using is just cultivated ginseng. This is not the same as the wild red ginseng, which has been confirmed to have anti-aging benefits (and is much much more expensive).

If you are looking for more suggestions for Korean Beauty by age, check out this previous episode. 

New Reviews for the Korean Beauty Show

"I’ve been recently listening to these episodes when I’ve been walking my dog, and I’ve been really enjoying them. I love listening to these episodes because they actually teach me something. Thank you so much Lauren. I appreciate your work"

- Sopile via Apple Podcasts · Canada · 05/04/23


New K-Beauty Products on STYLE STORY 

COSRX Retinol 0.1% Cream 

COSRX developed its retinol cream based on real results from consumers' self assessments. It contains 0.1% pure retinol, which helps reduce signs of aging such as fine lines and wrinkles. It is also ideal for those with acne.

COSRX's cream spreads easily on the skin without leaving a sticky residue

1% of the profits from the sale of this product will go towards our pledge to1% For the Planet. Share your love of beauty with the planet every time you shop at STYLE STORY. 


Rom&nd Han All Lash Serum

If you suffer from weak lashes or regualrly have treatments like lash perms, tints or extensions then you'll love this lash serum.Highly nutritious peptide strengthens and conditions eyelashes. In addition, it leaves your eyelash glossy, which is all you need if you've just had a lash perm! 

This product is water-based without feeling sticky. It won't hurt your eyes either. 


New K-Beauty Reviews on STYLE STORY 

Subi Bare Skin Balm 

The best balm

"This balm makes my cleansing routine feel luxurious. It takes everything away whilst making my skin feel nourished."

The Future of Hemp in Korean Cosmetics

Tocobo Eye Cream

Perfect eye cream

"A great recommendation by the team, I was after a no fuss eye cream and this definitely ticked all my boxes."


Jelly Ko Cherry Blossom Sleeping Mask 


Best sleeping mask ever

"Such a great addition to my routine, super moisturising and makes my skin look glowy."

Using Jelly Ko's Cherry Blossom Mask

Recommendation of the Week

Korean Film Broker 

This is a 2022 Korean film that was was selected to compete for the Palme d'Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival. It won the Jury Award and the Best Actor Award for Song Kang-ho. It tells the story of a girl (played by IU) who gives up her baby at a church's baby box. Unbeknownst to her, the people operating the box occasionally steal them and sell them on the black market for adoption. However, when the girl comes back to find her baby she discovers it has disappeared. 


Did You Enjoy this episode - The Future of Hemp in Korean Cosmetics? If so, leave a rating and review for the show!  

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"It makes sense that Korea would want to cash in by expanding their R&D to include potential CBD drugs and treatments."

- Lauren Lee, Host of the Korean Beauty Show podcast

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