K Beauty : Is a 10 step skincare regemin necessary?

Hi! I am fascinated with the whole K Beauty craze. With ingredients like Snail Mucen (goo), bee venom, sheep placenta...my curiosity is peaked. Not to mention the fact that most K Beauty routines consists of at least 10 steps! All marketing is leveraged on the fact that many Asian women do have beautiful skin and the fact Korean women have been using these ingredients for centuries. While it's true that many (not all ) Asian women have gorgeous skin, I'm thinking this is due to genetics and diet...not snail goo. Is there any validity to the use of ingredients like these? Are 10 steps better than 3? Much Thanks, Sharron

Comments

  • That's a big question. There is evidence that some ingredients, like snail mucen, MAY benefit skin but its not conclusive. Others are pure hype. Are 10 steps better than 3? Certainly not. It's better to focus on the quality of the steps not how many. Stick with things that are proven to work like retinoids, niacinamide, vitamin C.   
  • pmapma
    edited April 2016
    Actually, those more exotic ingredients, according to my personal perception, may be more popular in magazine articles made by western media about K-beauty than in Korean products. I only see those ingredientes in products from small Korean companies, I don´t see them in products from medium or big Korean companies.

    AMOREPACIFIC is the largest cosmetics company in the Korean market, they own several brands. But I don´t know any cosmetic from AMOREPACIFIC which contains snail mucen, sheep placenta, venon or other strange ingredients. 

    The ingredients I often see in Korean cosmetics are niacinamide, arbutin, retinol, ginseng, green tea and soy extracts, fermented extracts in general (Koreans believe if you the botanical extracts are fermented they could give better results - and there are some studies supporting it). 

    A really real difference about K-beauty is they don´t see to like minimalism*. Another difference is you can often find studies published on scientific periodicals and patents from even small Korean companies (out of Korean you it´s almost totally done just by big companies). And there is a reason: your company there can gain even public money if you develop something like an innovative moisturizer. There are a lot of financial stimulus if your cosmetic company publish patents or/and studies. 

    *Here a typical formula from AMOREPACIFIC:


    PHYLLOSTACHIS BAMBUSOIDES JUICE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF WATER, BUTYLENE GLYCOL, WATER, BIOSACCHARIDE GUM-1, DIMETHICONE, CYCLOPENTASILOXANE, ALCOHOL, PEG-75, GLYCERIN, GLYCERETH-26, CAMELLIA SINENSIS SEED OIL, GLYCERYL POLYMETHACRYLATE, CYCLOHEXASILOXANE, AMMONIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYLTAURATE/VP COPOLYMER, EPIGALLOCATECHIN GALLATE, CAMELLIA SINENSIS CALLUS CULTURE EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS CALLUS CULTURE CONDITIONED MEDIA, HYDROLYZED CAMELLIA SINENSIS SEED EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF EXTRACT, CAMELLIA SINENSIS FLOWER EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED CAMELLIA SINENSIS LEAF, CAMELLIA SINENSIS SEED OIL/PALM OIL AMINOPROPANEDIOL ESTERS, THEANINE, TREHALOSE, PANAX GINSENG ROOT EXTRACT, CAFFEINE, ROSA DAVURICA BUD EXTRACT, ZIZYPHUS JUJUBA FRUIT EXTRACT, OLEA EUROPAEA (OLIVE) FRUIT OIL, DIPOTASSIUM GLYCYRRHIZATE, MANGIFERA INDICA (MANGO) SEED BUTTER, BUTYROSPERMUM PARKII (SHEA) BUTTER, ZINGIBER OFFICINALE (GINGER) ROOT EXTRACT, SIMMONDSIA CHINENSIS (JOJOBA) SEED OIL, HELIANTHUS ANNUUS (SUNFLOWER) SEED OIL, HAMAMELIS VIRGINIANA (WITCH HAZEL) LEAF EXTRACT, AVENA SATIVA (OAT) KERNEL EXTRACT, OPUNTIA COCCINELLIFERA FRUIT EXTRACT, BETULA PLATYPHYLLA JAPONICA JUICE, GLYCINE SOJA (SOYBEAN) SEED EXTRACT, RHODIOLA ROSEA ROOT EXTRACT, LONICERA JAPONICA (HONEYSUCKLE) FLOWER EXTRACT, TRICHOLOMA MATSUTAKE EXTRACT, GOSSYPIUM HERBACEUM (COTTON) EXTRACT, LIMNANTHES ALBA (MEADOWFOAM) SEED OIL, GINKGO BILOBA LEAF EXTRACT, COCOS NUCIFERA (COCONUT) OIL, ARNICA MONTANA FLOWER EXTRACT, ACHILLEA MILLEFOLIUM EXTRACT, ARTEMISIA ABSINTHIUM EXTRACT, GENTIANA LUTEA ROOT EXTRACT, GLYCYRRHIZA GLABRA (LICORICE) ROOT EXTRACT, VITIS VINIFERA (GRAPE) LEAF EXTRACT, FOENICULUM VULGARE (FENNEL) SEED EXTRACT, SILYBUM MARIANUM FRUIT EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED PHYLLOSTACHIS BAMBUSOIDES, EUGENIA CARYOPHYLLUS (CLOVE) FLOWER EXTRACT, MAGNOLIA OBOVATA BARK EXTRACT, PAPAIN, VACCINIUM ANGUSTIFOLIUM (BLUEBERRY) FRUIT EXTRACT, BETA-GLUCAN, NATTO GUM, SODIUM HYALURONATE, HESPERIDIN, CENTELLA ASIATICA EXTRACT, CITRUS UNSHIU PEEL EXTRACT, HYDROLYZED VIOLA TRICOLOR EXTRACT, CARICA PAPAYA (PAPAYA) FRUIT EXTRACT, SECALE CEREALE (RYE) SEED EXTRACT, HIBISCUS ABELMOSCHUS SEED EXTRACT, NELUMBO NUCIFERA FLOWER EXTRACT, DEXTRIN, BETAINE, OCTYLDODECYL MYRISTATE, HYDROGENATED POLY(C6-14 OLEFIN), POLYGLYCERYL-10 STEARATE, POLYMETHYL METHACRYLATE, PROPYLENE GLYCOL, HYDROGENATED LECITHIN, SODIUM POLYACRYLATE, PROPANEDIOL, HYDROGENATED POLYDECENE, PEG-5 RAPESEED STEROL, 1,2-HEXANEDIOL, PENTYLENE GLYCOL, ETHYLHEXYLGLYCERIN, PPG-5-LAURETH-5, SACCHARIDE ISOMERATE, HYDROXYETHYL ACRYLATE/SODIUM ACRYLOYLDIMETHYL TAURATE COPOLYMER, CAPRYLYL GLYCOL, POLOXAMER 235, STEARYL BEHENATE, ETHOXYDIGLYCOL, POLYGLYCERYL-3 METHYLGLUCOSE DISTEARATE, XANTHAN GUM, TOCOPHERSOLAN, PHYTANTRIOL, POLOXAMER 338, POLOXAMER 407, HYDROXYPROPYL BISPALMITAMIDE MEA, METHOXY PEG-114/POLYEPSILON CAPROLACTONE, INULIN LAURYL CARBAMATE, POLYSORBATE 20, KAEMPFEROL, DISODIUM EDTA, PHENOXYETHANOL, FRAGRANCE, YELLOW 5 (CI 19140), YELLOW 6 (CI 15985)


  • Holy crap, that's some ingredient list! 

    Thanks for the thought provoking assessment of Korean beauty products. Are you actually in S. Korea or are you just really plugged into the beauty biz there? 
  • Thanks for asking this shar037. I actually stumbled across this blog to find out the scientific legitimacy of Korean skincare. It's such a growing trend right now- tons of youtube beauty gurus, target selling k-products, and specialty k-skincare shops popping up all over in the states. The products sound so unique compared to US skincare products and they seem affordable and come in such cute packaging. However, I am skeptical that it is all just marketing gimmicks but I read that Korean skincare is to be 10-15 years ahead of US skincare market? All the beauty gurus recommending all the products look to be no older than 30 and I'm not sure I'd take advice from these non-scientific people. I'm thinking of how does this compare to pharmaceutical grade products like Image Skincare, SkinCeuticals, etc. 
  • This topic seems to be getting some traction. Would Shar (or anyone else for that matter) be interested in submitting an audio question about K-beauty that we could use on the podcast? 

    (All you have to do is record yourself on your smart phone and email it to me at thebeautybrains@gmail.com.)
  • @RandyS: the second one.
  • hi RandyS, do you still need someone to record the audio question? Let me know if you do, i'll do it.
  • Yes, that would be great! I'm a bit backed up right now so it'll be a while before I can record a podcast with the answer but we'll certainly use your voice if you can send us a recording. 

    THANK YOU! 


  • edited September 2016
    Sorry, been MIA. I got 101 questions like many others. If you are doing a specific topic, perhaps I got a question for it. Happy to help RandyS, you do so much for us! Time to give back.
  • Hey Preciousia. I'm still interested in talking about Korean beauty products/business on the podcast and could use an audio question about that. 

    I'm also open to hearing any questions you might have to see if they would make good topics. If you want to email a list of your questions I could tell you which one(s) would work best. 

    Thanks! 
  • edited September 2016
    Thank you Randy. ~O)

    I have sent you an audio recording of the 1st question on Fluoride & beauty brains intro. I have several more questions which i will consolidate and email you in a bit.
  • Got it, thanks!
  • edited September 2016
    so many questions...hehe 

    first let me go through to see if you haven't already answered them on your comprehensive site.

    Thanks Randy 
    ~O) If i am ever in town, coffee on me.
  • Wow, 26 questions. That's quite a list! As much as I'd love to answer them, if I did I couldn't get any other work done for a week! 

    We have discussed some of them before. If you keep poking around the website you should find a few answers.  I've added the other questions to my research list and, when time permits, if I find any useful information I'll write something up about them. 

    In the meantime I'm working on answering your fluoride question in an upcoming podcast. 
  • No rush!. Whatever that is by the way. RandyS 

    Will poke around for answers on your website. I believe you have some answered.
    Most of which i have done some partial research already... hope you could use them, i do reference my sources whenever possible. 

    Unlike you, I only did Chem-Bio in Cambridge O Levels, that's all the scientist i got in me. Pretty poor in my science knowledge compared to you 
    ^:)^
  • I feel I have a little insight as an expat living in SE Asia (Hong Kong) that I rarely see discussed in reference to Asian skincare/beauty, nothing chemistry related though. One HUGE aspect that everyone overlooks is the prevalence of photo and video editing in the kbeauty and Asian beauty online market (western markets too of course, but to a lesser extent from what I've seen.) Skin smoothing, whitening, eye enlargement and face shrinking being the most used tools in apps. Ordinary women use these often too, not just bloggers. In the many years I've lived overseas this is something I've become very aware of. It's not unusual to meet someone in person that you've only known online and barely recognize them. A good way to spot heavy editing is fuzzy, poreless skin (everyone has pores!) and blurry or disappearing nostrils. Maybe, in the way that cosmetic surgery is more acceptable here, heavy editing is also not as taboo? If you want to see video editing in action youtube makeup artist Wayne Goss did an excellent video called, "warning, you are being lied to." The name of a very popular app in china is 'meitu,' It's been around for years. There is now an English version called 'beautycam.' Play around with it and you can also have perfect skin and look ten years younger! Lol. Cosmetic procedures, whether invasive or not, are also more affordable and acceptable. Story time: I'm married to a Hong Kong man and at family dinners I have overheard the women talking about what procedures they want/have, one even getting them to shrink her leg muscles so she could wear a pair of boots! This is very taboo to my western family, my mom freaked when I told her about this, lol! I think the reality of Asian skincare is much more mundane and normal than people think. Most women I know here wear sunscreen, while most of my western friends don't, and many westerners tan! Pale skin is desirable here, in the US....not so much. I have even experienced 'sunscreen shaming' by my western friends, lol! I think this plays a much bigger role than snail goo, just a thought....lol. It's also common to see older ladies carrying umbrellas in sunshine. I have also seen Asian women married to Western men who have loads of freckles and sun damage from adapting this western concept of tanning. Something to keep in mind. There are also many people who think that 'Asian style' makeup is more youthful compared to contoured western makeup, and I agree. It's also important to consider the 'other-race' effect, I think that people are not very good at determining the age of races they are not used to seeing. I have had MANY MANY Chinese people assume I am 16 years old! I am almost 28! I often hear westerners say an Asian looks very young when, to me, being married into an Asian family and very used to seeing them think most of them look their age. I do agree that it is easier to find skincare basics at an affordable price here, like retinols, sunscreens, ahas etc. I think more people here practice good common sense skincare. I have personally had a lot of luck finding affordable Japanese products! :) I really think that most of the things heard about Asian skincare is hype, coming mostly from teenage girls enamored with anything Korean/Asian because of Asian media, lol. I don't think editing or cosmetic procedures are a negative thing (I use the Chinese app within reason, lol) but I think there are a lot of misunderstandings about the beauty industry here, and people only hear the hype. Sorry for the long post, this is very interesting to me!
  • I promise I separated that into coherent paragraphs, it just didn't work. I'm a noob. :-S So the Tldr: I doubt snail goo, and placenta have magic anti aging properties that give the blurry skin you see online. That's the heavy photo/video editing that is rampant in Asia. Cosmetic surgery and sunscreen are also more common than in the west. I would look for inexpensive proven to work ingredients in Asian skincare. Sunscreen, retinol, aha etc.
  • @FunkyPig - I think it is a software issue. I'll look to fix it.
  • Wow, this is a long thread!

    When I first heard about the whole Korean skincare craze I decided to do some research and well, I came to the conclusion that it is simply a marketing gimmick.

    Koreans are known for their porcelain, clear, youthful skin (at least by westerners), but that's not the reality. It is true though that eastern Koreans have been practicing intense self-grooming since during the Han Dynasty or Three Kingdoms.

    Exfoliation and skin whitening (or lightening, I really don't see the difference) is their main practice. A lot of Eastern Korean mothers still take their daughters to bathhouses starting as young as 4 years old to get scrubbed down with towels to remove (quite a bit, they're not gentle) dead skin.

    As for skin whitening, it started off as a representation of your social status. The lighter your skin the higher you were in society. They believed the darker your skin was a sign that you were a laborer and were overly exposed to the sun.

    I want to reference back to @pma 's comment about the abundance of ingredients like niacinamide, retinoids, etc in Korean skin care products and say that I have to disagree. The use of these (mainly these two) ingredients is so rare that Koreans actually use retinoids as a last effort attempt. Finding Korean products with retinoids is actually really hard.

    There are a lot of big Korean brands in the US as well. Peach and Lilly, for example, have started selling their sister brand's (Peach Slices) products at CVS. & that's just one example, I could name quite a few other popular Korean skincare brands off the top of my head.

    To sum it up, these Korean skincare brands are trying to convince consumers that these new and exotic ingredients are GREAT for your skin. They have no scientific evidence to support their claims 99.9% of the time though. But I'm not shaming all Korean brand products. I use Banila Co.'s Clean it Zero to remove my makeup and I love it, so hey, they're not all made from pig intestine or whatever.
  • Excellent assessment, thanks!
  • Remember back in the day it was all SWISS skincare, then the FRENCH knew it all. Now the KOREANS know it all. Who is next?
    it is all fad and gimmick to me, I have used mostly Estee all my years and at 47 I have not one line on my face, so who knows?
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