K-beauty just keeps getting cooler and cooler. It's understandable, of course. K-beauty is all about a skin first approach, letting the skin's natural glow shine through, rather than smothering it with lashings of heavy products.
In fact, K-beauty trends are expected to take over 2022. If you'd like to give one or more of them a try for yourself, here are some of the top Korean beauty trends to watch out for in the new year.
The Natural Glow
Korean skincare is all about a healthy glow. In 2022, you're going to see a lot more formulas promising glowing skin. Forget glass skin or the 10-step skincare routine. This year's natural glow will focus on adopting a simple routine with nourishing and brightening ingredients like ceramides and hyaluronic acid. Ultimately, it's about attaining healthy skin rather than a surface glow.
So, how exactly can glowing skin be achieved? In addition to daily cleansing, you'll need to focus on upping your skin's hydration levels while incorporating weekly exfoliation to buff away dead skin and promote a fresh and clear complexion.
Product recommendation: Truly's Glow Up Kit.
Plant-Based Skincare Products
Get ready for more vegan beauty products! Yay!
"In 2022, there is going to be a lot more retinol-based skin care, and more unexpected findings on plant extracts that turn out to have beneficial properties, like red onion," says Claudia Christin of Fun Skincare. "On top of that, there is going to be a tremendous increase in awareness around the sustainable packaging and beauty movement." Sounds good to us!
Product recommendation: Truly's Vegan Collagen Bundle.
One-Step Beauty Routines
Last year and the years before that, K-beauty was infamous for its 10 step routine. Thus, we were seeing influencers all over social media platforms like TikTok and Instagram displaying their elaborate regimens comprising of everything from cleansers to essences to oils and serums.
In 2022, K-beauty is going to take a more streamlined approach to beauty. In fact, we're already seeing new hybrid products which combine toner, cream, and essence in one single product to encourage a less is more approach to skincare.
Product recommendation: Truly's Flower Child Face Cream.
According to Stephanie Ko, brand manager of AHC, K-beauty brands are returning to their traditional roots as they explore new ways to ferment ingredients.
"Fermentation is a traditional Korean process that has been around for centuries and extends beyond skincare (think kimchi, beer, wine, and yoghurt)," says Ko. "It’s a natural process that basically breaks down a substance or ingredient using yeast, bacteria or other microorganisms, making the nutrients more concentrated."
Using skincare made with fermented ingredients helps to protect the skin barrier by rebalancing its microbiome, and enables active ingredients to penetrate the skin more effectively.
Wash-Off Face Masks
In 2022, Korea's beauty market will move away from sheet masks due to their single-use consumption. The market will focus more on sustainable, vegan-friendly products -- such as wash-off masks.
As awesome as sheet masks are for infusing skin with moisture, they're far from eco-friendly. Experts predict sheet masks will fade out in the coming years now that the market is focused on sustainability. You'll definitely see more skincare brands releasing products that are more planet-friendly.
Product recommendation: Starface Jelly Sleep Mask.
High-Tech Beauty Devices
Charlotte Cho of Soko Glam predicts 2022 will offer more innovative beauty devices that can be used both at home and in-office.
"For the past decade, the demand for at-home and high-tech beauty devices, such as full-face LED masks and ultrasonic facial cleansers, has steadily increased," says Cho. "COVID has certainly accelerated this trend, with at-home beauty tech innovations now in demand globally. My prediction is that your next beauty product from Korea could come not from your typical Korean skincare brand, but a Korean tech giant, such as LG or Samsung." Now that would be neat.
Beauty retailers, makeup artists, and skincare experts also believe 2022 will bring out more minimalist formulas that contain no more than 10 ingredients. With sensitive skin becoming an increasing issue, consumers are searching for gentler products that they can use on a daily basis without any unpleasant side effects. The fewer ingredients a product contains, the less likely skin will experience an adverse reaction to it.
This year's formulas will cut down on excessive ingredients and up the level of actives and antioxidants to treat issues like fine lines, wrinkles, dark spots, and acne.
You really don't need a product with 20+ ingredients. Sometimes, you just need a few good ones to get the effects you seek.
When we think of Korean beauty, we automatically think about skincare, but there's far more to it. In Korea, people devote as much time and attention to their head as they do their facial skincare routines. Apparently, this is only going to hike in 2022.
In our culture, we always hear about the importance of masking our strands to inject moisture and nutrients into them. But rarely do we hear about scalp care. Sure, in recent months we've been hearing more about scalp exfoliation and stuff. However, it's not exactly commonplace in an average person's regimen.
"It's the scalp that really controls the health of the hair," says Ruby McGrath, founder of Korean Skincare brand Atomy. "So what's going on in the follicle and the skin around the follicle could make a difference in whether you're losing more hair, or maintaining your hair, and whether you have healthy hair, or brittle hair."
Covid-19 is still a global issue and it doesn't seem like wearing masks is going anywhere soon. In 2022, the K-beauty industry will focus on soothing, calming skincare products that bolster the skin barrier and protect skin from mask-related irritation and acne.
We love K-beauty trends as much as the next person. And we're so excited to see more of them cropping up throughout the new year! What Korean beauty trend are you most hyped about? We'd have to say the rise of plant-based skincare of course!