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K-BEAUTY’S HOTTEST TRENDING INGREDIENTS

With part of our team based in Seoul, it’s easy to spot a new trend when one appears. If it’s hot you can guarantee everyone will be in on it.

There are three ingredients you can’t turn left or right in Seoul without seeing in every K-Beauty store right now – Centella Asiatica, Mugwort and Propolis.

CENTELLA ASIATICA

While it may be new to western beauty lovers, Centella Asiatica (AKA “Cica” and “Tiger’s Grass”) has been an important medicinal herb in Asia for centuries. Rich in amino acids, beta carotene, fatty acids and phytochemicals it is touted for its powerful anti-aging benefits for the skin. Not only is it great for collagen and skin tissue synthesis, it also heals stretch marks, acne and blemishes.

Nearly every major Korean Beauty label is currently running a Centella Asiatica line, from Dr Jart (Cicapair line), to Etude House (‘Soon Jung line’), and western-focused brands like COSRXBenton and iUNIK. Even niche brands, like cruelty-free, environmentally-friendly Purito and newcomer APLB, are releasing Centella-based products ranging from serums, to toners, misting sprays and more.

MUGWORT

You heard it here first – weeds are in. Mugwort (AKA a type of “Artemisia”) is in precisely everything at the moment in Korea, so it’s only a matter of time before the western world follows suit and releases it’s own K-inspired Mugwort varietals.

Like Centella Asiatica, mugwort is an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial powerhouse. Touted for its ability to reduce redness and sensitivity and comparable to Vitamin C in terms of antioxidant levels, this ingredient is perfect for those with dry, sensitive, and acne-prone skin.

From Missha to Hanbyul, Round Lab, VelyVelyGoodal and more, all of the major Korean skincare brands appear to be running Artemisia or Mugwort in their lineups of late.

PROPOLIS

Propolis’s time to shine ain’t over yet if this season’s best-selling Korean Beauty products are anything to go by.

New releases continue to feature this resinous, honey-like substance produced by bees. With its deeply nourishing, skin strengthening and protective abilities, propolis is a natural fit for glass skin routines, keeping winter skin hydrated and for protecting skin buffered by air pollution, meaning it easily transcends seasons, ozones and skin types.

Tosowoong arguably kick-started the propolis craze with it’s sell-out Sparkle Ampoule and Pure Propolis Mask, but the popularity of newer products like APLB’s Bee Pollen Propolis Ampoule Serum proves the show is not over yet. If anything, the category of products propolis is being added to just keeps growing, like Commleaf’s Honey & Propolis Peeling Liquid, for example.

Tosowoong itself has since released a propolis based essence and a sleeping mask for good measure too.

Which of K-Beauty’s hottest trending ingredients have YOU tried? Let us know in the comments.