The world of Korean beauty is full of amazing things. It’s this market that popularized sheet masks, and it also gave us air-cushion technology and BB cream. Sure, there are some ingredients that seem a little strange, but South Korea knows what it’s doing.
And in 2016, we can only expect more. Here’s what’s going to be huge in Korea, and therefore just as huge in North America, this year:
Botox without the needles
The United States has actually been developing a topical Botox for a while, but it isn’t quite there yet. Lucky for us, South Korea has its own formula, and it has been INCI-approved (basically, the FDA of Korea). It’s called Bolc A+ Botulinum Polypeptide-1 facial serum, and the formula is almost identical to what you’d put into your skin.
In fact, 95 per cent of the amino acids are identical to Botox, and the remaining 5 per cent are what make one topical and one inject-able. There’s one key difference: while Botox injections can take up to a week to work their magic, Bolc A+ takes about three to four weeks. And it’s literally flying off the shelves, because Peach & Lily, basically the only place you can get it, is sold out.
Carbonated face baths
Like champagne? Or maybe sparkling water? Well, that carbonated magic is coming to beauty, thanks to Korea’s carbonated face baths. It kind of sounds like the sensation you get from using a face mask with menthol or mint, except this is more fizzy.
According to makers, like Innisfree, “Feel the effects of the fizzing bubbles as they deep cleanse your face, lifting any dirt and impurities.” Also, apparently the sparkling water comes from Sabang Mountain, a UNESCO Global Geopark. Which, really, just sounds fancy.
A face full of sea life
You know that slimy kelp in the water, and how it feels like an octopus is trying to drag you down to the bottom of the sea when it touches your feet? Well, Korean beauty sellers are asking us to put it on our face.
The brand Whamisa says that each of its kelp sheets is “drenched in a full bottle of fermented sea kelp and bamboo serum,” which it claims is clinically tested for anti-aging, brightening, skin smoothing and 72-hour hydration. If it is going to do all that, we will put the cool green slime on our face.
Scary LED light therapy masks
Some people say that LED light therapy helps reduce acne and fine lines, but the jury is most certainly still out on that. Still, these spooky looking masks are, according to Korean beauty experts Alicia Yoon and Angela Kim, red hot in Korean beauty. In fact, celebrities are already very into them – Linda Evangelista was the first A-lister to buy the Korean-designed Deesse Spectrum Mask, which costs $4,210. You just have to decide if they’re a) worth the money and b) worth looking like Michael Myers.
So, there you have it. Some may sound weird, but we’d be lying if we said we can’t wait to give ’em all the ol’ college try.