Skip to main content

BlissMark may earn a commission when you buy through links on our site.

K-pop is fun, but what about K-beauty? The safety of products sourced in Korea

We can’t get the song “Butter” by BTS out of our heads. It’s stuck there, living rent-free. With K-Pop taking over our radios, there’s another aspect of Korean culture that is infiltrating our culture — K-Beauty.

We admit we’ve bought some face masks already. We’ll let you know how they are. But what is the craze with these products? What’s in them that’s so magical? Let’s check out what the deal is with K-Beauty products and if they are worth the hype.

Face mask with flowers around it.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

The usual suspects

Not everything found in K-Beauty products is exotic. Korean products use many of the same ingredients as the serums and moisturizers in your cabinet right now including,

  • Vitamin C
  • Niacinamide
  • Salicylic acid
  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Green tea
  • Bamboo extract

These are pretty basic staples when it comes to any kind of skincare product. Nothing unusual here. But let’s look at the rest

The unusual suspects

Let’s dig deeper into the ingredients you may never have seen in your face cream.


No, this isn’t a nickname you would call your grandma. This is a fruit that you will find in a lot of K-Beauty products. Korean products use a lot of food and fruit-based ingredients that are local to their country of origin but not necessarily to us.

Noni is said to have significant antioxidant benefits. Packed with vitamins A and C, this super fruit will help your dull and dry skin come back to life.

Centella asiatica

This plant, also known as “tiger grass”, has been used for medicinal purposes in China. This perennial is a main ingredient in Korean beauty because it hydrates, heals, and soothes skin. It also speeds up cell repair, which is important for your skin to look healthy and vibrant.

It calms acne, helps slow aging, and can reduce the symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. Antioxidant-rich and full of amino acids, this ingredient is key to even out skin tone.

Snail mucin

That slime trail snails leave when they move is actually a great collagen promoter for your skin. Full of vitamins A and E and zinc, snail mucin helps load your skin with moisture. And it’s actually been used in face masks and moisturizers for longer than you think.

A woman putting on face cream.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Why the craze?

Those ingredients don’t sound too out there. So why has K-Beauty blown up? Like everything else these days, we have influencers to thank for that. TikTok has made it easy for a trend to blow up in a matter of minutes. Your favorite celebrities even mentioning a skincare item right now spreads it like fire. Especially with most people still at home or working remotely – self-care is still at an all-time high.

The products are also extremely affordable. A pack of 16 Dermal Korea Face Mask Sheets is less than $1 a mask.

How safe are the products?

Of course, you should still look at the ingredient list. There are the same chemicals and harsh additives you don’t want in any of your skincare products, no matter where they come from. But besides the usual sulfates, phthalates, and parabens that you normally want to watch out for, there are a few others with these K-Beauty products that you want to look for.

  • Lead
  • Hydroquinone
  • Hydrocortisone
  • Retinol

While the first three are pretty standard ingredients to know you don’t want in your beauty items, the last one might tilt your head. Don’t you want retinol? Yes, but in moderation. Too much can overdry your skin and make it look worse.

And with ordering anything from overseas, there is a whole other regulation process and way they formulate the products. Just something to think about. Do your due diligence and look at the ingredient list and check it out before you click “buy”.

Various K-beauty face masks.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Should you go for it?

Koreans take so much pride in their skin and their beauty products. Men and women, old and young are taught the importance of taking care of your skin before you start to even see those lines or feel that dry skin.

As with all products, it makes sense to take a good look at the ingredient panel of skincare aids sourced in Korea. If you find something you wouldn’t use normally, pass on that tube or packet. If you find something unfamiliar, a quick web search should help out. Just because an ingredient is unknown to us it doesn’t make it harmful.

As long as you check out the ingredients, you can find great products that will help your skin look beautiful.

Editors' Recommendations

Dannielle Beardsley
Dannielle has written for various websites, online magazines, and blogs. She loves everything celebrity and her favorite…
5 best clean beauty products under $30 for shiny hair
A woman with long, shiny, healthy hair.

You absolutely love your hair. You love to try new styles and trends. But lately, you’ve been noticing it could definitely be a lot shinier. Either from over-styling, a change in your diet, or the weather, sometimes you notice your locks are lacking in the luster department.

Thankfully, there are products out there that can perk your hair up pretty quickly. The trick is finding a product that works and isn’t going to be harmful to you or the environment. That’s where we can help. It’s not the most fun standing in the hair aisle reading every single bottle to find a clean beauty product.

Read more
Why you should look for skincare products with vitamin C
A woman holding up a serum bottle and an orange.

Remember when you were a kid and you came home from school a little tired? What would your mom or dad usually do? Tell you to drink a glass of orange juice. You always perked right up and were ready to go play until the streetlights came on, right?

You should be doing that for your face. Serums are the best when it comes to giving your skin the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs. Vitamin C serums give your skin that same boost that a glass of cold orange juice does for your body. Though the benefits are different, they are just as important.

Read more
How to choose an all-natural sunscreen
A mom putting sunscreen on her child's back.

Even if you are a champion sunscreen wearer, you may not be doing everything you can to take care of your skin. While you may remember to slather it on whenever you leave the house, have you ever taken a look at the ingredients in the product you are using? You might be surprised at the number of chemicals that at listed on the back of the bottle.

We all have brands that we love, but are they giving us more than we bargained for? A recent study showed that many of the active ingredients in chemical sunscreens can be absorbed into the bloodstream once they penetrate the skin. Whether those chemicals have a harmful effect on our bodies is yet to be determined. Until we do know what those chemicals may be doing to us, it's wise to understand sunscreen ingredient dos and don’ts and how to find a healthier, all-natural sunscreen.

Read more