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The top 8 K-Beauty trends to try in 2021

The experts weigh in


What do snail mucus, glass skin and bee venom all have in common? They are just three beauty trends to emerge from South Korea in the past few years. And while it’s easy to turn your nose up as such, quite frankly, strange-sounding ingredients, the reason K-beauty has stayed around is because it jolly well work, in fact, according to trend forecasting analysts WGSN, the k-beauty market is now worth a whopping $21 billion.


So, with that in mind, here are the biggest trends in K-beauty for 2021.

Hanbang ingredients

Hanbang is basically Korean traditional holistic medicine, a bit like TCM and this year, according to experts, you can expect to see Hanbang ingredients including ginseng root, sacred lotus and rehmannia in your beauty products. Why? Well, due to the fact they boast anti-inflammatory and anti-aging properties.

Acid Layers

While using acid in your skincare might not exactly be new, this is a new take on it. Thanks to the fact acid inclusion is like finding the perfect recipe in that too much acid in your skincare irritates your skin and too little does nothing at all, K-beauty is focusing on using just the right balance. 2021 will see a mixture of AHA’s and BHSA’s to exfoliate and smooth the skin in perfect combinations. 

Carrot seed oil

This humble ingredient is set to be the new it thing in beauty thanks to the fact that it’s been a hero in K-beauty for over a decade. It contains Vitamin A, is anti-aging, anti-fungal and antibacterial so does it all really.

Centella asiatica

If you don’t know what this is right now, you are about to hear a whole lot more about it. As the dread COVID-19 limps on and so therefore do our stressed and maskne faces, centella asiatica, found right here in Asia, soothes and heals skin in a flash.


Clean beauty

Clean beauty is such a movement that Sephora even dedicated an entire room to it on their recent press day and K-beauty is as committed as the best of them to removing chemicals, additives, fragrances and artificial ingredients from their products.


Pre and post-biotics

Get ready, guys, your morning supplement routine is about to get even more complicated thanks to a movement in K-beauty to focus on skin and gut health in one. 2021 sees K-beauty taking on a holistic approach, looking at skin care alongside internal health and addressing issues together. Get ready for syrups, tonics and tinctures.


Skin Strengthening

Let’s face it, the past year has taken it out of all of us – mind, body and soul. Well, for 2021, K-beauty wants to fix that thanks to their fundamental belief that ‘skin is a reflection of our mental state.’ So how are they going to do that? With ingredients such as mushrooms and mugwort and ginger to detoxify and Ceramides to protect from moisture loss and environmental damage.


Body care

While we have focused on seven whole points to improve the facial skin, 2021 is also set to place more importance on body-care rituals. In Korea, the bathhouses are where stressed-out beauty mavens in the know go to pamper themselves so expect to see some luxury take-homes from that.