This fast-moving pace the Western beauty world charges forward at is no different in the domain of K-beauty. Achieving the perfect dewy skin has given way to glass skin, and 10-step beauty routines have now been scaled back to skip-care. The most voracious beauty fanatics have also changed the way they consume; from just testing out the latest products, to discerning individual ingredients — and understanding the production process — of the latest releases.
With a loyal and knowledge-driven customer base, beauty brands have then altered their approach to formulating products, in which K-beauty stalwarts like Sulwhasoo, Innisfree and Mamonde recognise that ticking the boxes on the checklists of savvy millennials is a must.
Kate Kwon, brand science team leader at Amorepacific Corporation R&D Center — the parent company of the aforementioned Korean brands — says, “Millennials go beyond simply finding superior products and actively learn about ingredients and properties to find the products that are best for their skin or lifestyles. It is important for companies to raise the levels of their knowledge to strengthen education and communication accordingly.” She continues, “Our main areas of interest include personalised products that meet the values of millennials.”
Now according to Kwon, here’s what the future of K-beauty will look like.
GIVING BACK TO NATURE
We don’t want plastic straws, we want vegan beauty, and skincare products that tell us like it is. Our generation that’s highly clued in on the world’s issues are incredibly vocal (thanks, Instagram), and it’s working. Kwon says that “nature-friendly processes” are a priority, such as eco-friendly packaging and a sustainable way of farming ingredients — treating the environment that is responsible for some of our favourite skincare ingredients with extra care.
FUTURE-PROOFING IN A BOTTLE
If the Venice floods, the latest natural catastrophe as a result of climate change isn’t palpable enough of a smoke signal that the world as we know it is in distress mode, then perhaps this might get your attention.
Premature skin ageing born of air pollution — of which is inextricably linked to climate change — is the next big skin concern, placing antipollution research and products at the forefront of beauty. Kwon reveals, “External factors such as environmental pollution and climate change have begun to affect the skin. In response, Amorepacific is conducting research and establishing an anti-pollution research centre, and results are expected to be applied in future skincare.”
As we’ve become more astute as to what goes into each and every bottle of cream and serum, unwanted ingredients such as harmful chemicals are under the spotlight for its negative effects on skin. Amorepacific has long championed the use of natural, raw ingredients in its products and now has plans to take clean beauty global.
“Safe and clean beauty products is a standard that Korean customers have regarded as the most important quality of beauty products for a long time. We are now making efforts to introduce these clean products to customers overseas as well,” shares Kwon.
FORCE OF NATURE
“At our R&D Center, there are scientists who have been exclusively studying plants for over a decade, such as green tea and soybeans. They visit farms every month, while other researchers solely study traditional Asian beauty through old books that have been handed down,” says Kwon. It’s then no wonder that the K-beauty behemoth’s stable of brands have long waxed lyrical about their natural properties — and will continue its research in this aspect.
3 Lesser Known Ingredients to Try
A source of antioxidants to protect the skin from free radical damage — a result of pollution, smoke and UV rays. Antioxidants also fortify the skin for a bright and youthful mien.
This one’s not just for your face, but the rest of your body as well. Add it to your routine to keep skin hydrated with a natural glow.
While its texture serves as an exfoliant for skin, coffee also has antioxidants that work to brighten the complexion and alleviate fine lines.
Formulated with coffee powder and oil — ingredients that’ve been upcycled from unwanted coffee grounds — this mask exfoliates, moisturises, and removes the gunk from your pores.
Known for its healing properties to the skin — by way of cell regeneration — pomegranates also enable collagen production for a plump-looking complexion.
The ingredient polyphenol — micronutrients from the red pomegranate — is said to help boost the skin’s defence mechanism. It goes hand in hand with the brand’s trademark technology, Blossoming Energy, that helps strengthen skin barrier and re-energise tired skin.