Each year, the world of K-beauty pushes the envelope further when it comes to skincare and makeup. From must-have formulas to star ingredients to revolutionary makeup techniques, Korean beauty never fails to impress. Last year, we experienced trends such as eco-friendly skincare, fermented ingredients, sustainable skincare and the use of retinol. Some of these trends will continue into 2023, with an additional few that are new for the year of the rabbit.
If you are looking to stay one step ahead of the curve, here are the hottest K-beauty trends to emerge from the mecca of skincare and makeup; from the hottest nail trends to the foundation tool that will give you a second-skin finish.
Once the mother of seven-step routines, the focus of K-beauty has since evolved to eliminate excessive wastage, and turned towards sustainability. Refillable products are fast gaining popularity with conscious consumers looking to minimise their environmental footprint. While lip colours and blushes often lead the way, refillable pods for moisturisers and cleansers are now bringing the earth-friendly party to the skincare aisle.
Skincare products with EGF
Popularised in 2013, EGF aka Epidermal Growth Factor is making a comeback in the skincare industry, and this time, it’s stronger than ever as more research has been released over the past 10 years to support the use of this ingredient in skincare. If you haven’t heard of EGF, you’re in for a treat. Epidermal Growth Factors are single polypeptide chains made up of amino acid molecules that tell the human skin cells to regenerate new cells. This ingredient thus stimulates cells in the skin called fibroblasts, which produce collagen and elastin, to clarify, thicken, and tighten skin.
As you age, your EGF decreases and so does the skin’s elasticity, leading to signs of ageing such as dullness, wrinkles, lines, and overall skin-sagging. Using a face cream or serum that is formulated with different forms of epidermal growth factors can maximise long-term benefits for your skin.
It might be second nature for anyone with an oily skin type to shudder at the mention of adding more oils to their skin, however, K-beauty is looking at busting this myth in a major way with the resurgence of facial oils for cleansing, hydration and more. The new beauty world is now dominated by slick textures, non-greasy formulas and well-researched, heritage ingredients.
Face Contouring Devices
Face massages have long served as K-beauty’s best bet in the quest for anti-ageing, and it was always only a matter of time before the latest in the world of skincare tech made its grand entry. The secret to achieving a snatched jawline and contoured face now lies in palm-sized devices that work on strengthening the skin’s elasticity, stimulating sub-dermal muscles and boosting blood circulation.
Healthy Skin Barrier for Glowing Skin
The key to achieving healthy glowing skin is to first strengthen the skin barrier. A healthy skin barrier allows moisture to be locked in while keeping harmful substances such as pollutants and bad bacteria out of the skin. A broken skin barrier can manifest as inflammation, acne, itchiness and dry patches. The popularisation of skin exfoliation and use of retinol in 2022 has led many to consider the importance of healthy skin barrier this year. Two most notable ingredients to pay attention to this year are Ceramide and Niacinamide. Both of these ingredients work on strengthening the foundation of the skin barrier matrix by stimulating dermal collagen production, which is a lipid that essentially forms the structure of the skin barrier.
Minimalists, it’s time to rejoice. The newest nail trend to take the world of K-beauty by storm comes in a pop of ‘blush’ at the centre of the nails to mimic the appearance of rosy, flushed cheeks. Starting with a neutral base, the trick to acing the trend lies in placing a dab of blush or even pink eyeshadow on the centre before sealing it together with a top coat.
Second-skin foundation for a smooth, poreless, ‘glass skin’ finish serves as the ultimate goal of K-beauty and you will now see this pursuit being aided by an unlikely tool: stainless steel spatulas. Instagram is rife with beauty enthusiasts using this shiny new tool for applying foundation on the skin in an even layer before blending it with a sponge for a sheer, my-skin-but-better finish.