5 New K-Beauty Ingredients You Need to Know Now

From truffle oil sticks to birch juice sleeping masks.

Photo by Mok Jungwook, styled by Ji Hye Kim. Photo Editor: Biel Parklee. Hair by Sunmi Kim; makeup Wonhye Ko.

It’s no secret that the world is obsessed with Korean beauty trends. Charlotte Cho, a certified esthetician who co-founded of Soko Glam and wrote “The Little Book of Skin Care”, attributes the success of K-beauty to the “skin-first philosophy.” In cultures obsessed with makeup that covers the skin, K-beauty products are a refreshing change, as they shift their focus away from concealing and more on taking care of the skin at the root. By tackling major skincare concerns of minimizing pores, maximizing radiance, and achieving a youthful and hydrated glow, Korea’s innovative and progressive ingredients make it possible to achieve such.

And as Seoul Fashion Week comes to an end, Cho, who takes regular trips to Korea to do research, has found plenty of new products on the market. From truffle oil sticks to birch juice sleeping masks, here’s everything you need to know now.


“Truffle is a luxurious ingredient that contains an enzyme called Superoxide Dismutase (SOD) which helps isolates free radicals and prevents them from damaging the skin, and it helps your skin retain moisture. This results in smoother skin and reduces fine lines and wrinkles! Truffle can be found in K-beauty brands such as Skinfood and Neogen.”

NEOGEN White Truffle Serum In Oil Drop, $35,; NEOGEN White Truffle Laycure Oil Stick, $24,

Yuza: “Yuza is a juicy, citrus fruit grown in Eastern Asia that looks like a miniature grapefruit. In South Korea, you’ll find it on tropical Jeju Island. This ancient ingredient is also used medicinally, most commonly used in hot baths to help soothe and soften dry, irritated skin. Yuza also contains a high concentration of vitamin C, this fruit stimulates collagen production and serves as an anti-aging ingredient. Yuza can be found in K-beauty brands such as Erborian and Skinfood.”

Erbonian Yuza Sorbet Night Reinforced Nighttime Emulsion, $55,; Skinfood Yuja Water C Whitening Ampoule In Serum, $39,

Pearl : “Pearl is a superstar ingredient that is known for its ability to be highly soothing, moisturizing, and brightening, making it a great option for dry and sensitive skin types. You’ll often find pearls listed as “pearl extract” or “pearl powder” in ingredient lists, and both are rich in trace minerals, amino acids, and calcium. It’s also a very powerful antioxidant (which means it shields the skin from harmful free radicals) and is known for its ability to stimulate collagen regeneration. Pearl can be found in K-beauty brands such as Klavuu, IPKN and Erborian.”

Klavuu Pure Pearlsation Revitalizing Facial Cleansing Foam, $30,; Klavuu White Pearlsation Revitalizing Pearl Treatment Toner, $40,

Birch Juice: “Birch juice is being tapped as the next “coconut water” for the skin thanks to it’s abundance of amino acids, sugars and minerals. Tapped directly from birch trees, helps your skin retain moisture and maintain a positive oil-moisture balance in the skin, and it’s increasingly replacing water in many Korean beauty products. Birch juice can be found in K-beauty brands such as Missha and ENature.”

Enature Birch Juice Hydro Sleeping Pack, $30,; Enature Birch Juice Hydro Essence Skin, $39,

Ginseng: “Ginseng is one of the most popular ingredients used in hanbang cosmetics, also known as Korean traditional medicinal cosmetics. Taken orally, it’s known to boost energy. Applied topically, ginseng is a powerful antioxidant, as a stimulant for cell regeneration, and as a skin-firming and anti-aging agent. Ginseng can be found in brands such as Skinfood, Erborian, Missha and many more.”

Erborian Elixir au Ginseng Youth Micellar Emulsion Essence, $110,; Missha Misa Cho Bo Yang Eye Cream, $35,

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