Are Korean Beauty Products Safe? | 7 Korean Skincare Ingredients To Look For

by Jih Yun

Wondering if Korean skincare’s unique and innovative ingredients are safe? Are Korean beauty products safe? We discussed some of the common ingredients that go into K-beauty products 

While buying beauty products, people come across many questions like “are these products safe?” or “What if they affect their skin badly?” Well, the best way to choose products for your skin is to consult a dermatologist first.

In Korea, healthy and natural skin was the epitome of modesty. People tended to use natural ingredients to beautify their skin for centuries. Middle-class women still follow the tradition of using natural products to get clear and shiny skin.

Are Korean Beauty Products Safe?

Here is lists of ingredients Koreans use to make their products:

Ground Mung Beans

Mung bean or mung dal is a lentil that is common in Asian and Indian cooking. In Chinese Medicine, people use mung beans as healthy food and medicine for the body. It is also the best detox food that clears toxins from the body, helping in treating acne and promotes clear skin from within.

Mung Beans are known for their exfoliating properties and vitamin E content. Koreans generally make soap with a mixture of water and mung beans powder. People use Juice mung beans to make lotions.

In the past, women used homemade scrubs, lotions, creams, and oils made of ground mung beans.

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Rice Water

In Korea, China and Japan, people use rice water because of its nourishing and anti-inflammatory properties. Rice water contains vitamin A, C, E, ferric acid, and antioxidants. It offers multiple benefits to skin and hair. Rice bran is the best exfoliator. Rice has become so popular in a variety of skin products in Korea. THE FACE SHOP Rice Water Bright Foaming Cleanser is one of the best cleansers that use rice.

Related: Best Korean Vitamin C serum


Ginseng is a root that grows legs like a root and it resembles an octopus.

A cosmetic chemist, Ginger King says that ginseng is a natural skin balancer 

Ginseng has been popular in Korean skincare since the 1500s. Ginseng was the secret ingredient Hwang Jini (the most beautiful figure of the Joseon Dynasty) used to take care of her skin. Many Korean women have been inspired by her beauty. 

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 According to Mark Choo, a research director at New York Research Center, ginseng is an extensively used herb in Asian traditional medicines. Keeping this in mind, many Korean brands use this root in their skincare products. This herb is the best for strengthening the skin’s immune system. Ginseng is best for every skin type. That is the reason, Korean products are best and safe to use. 

Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Eye Cream and Sulwhasoo Overnight Vitalizing Mask are the best ginseng.

Related: Best Korean Skincare for 40s


• Many Asian countries like Korea use green tea in many beauty products because of its anti-aging, anti-oxidant, and anti-inflammatory properties. Neogen Green Tea Real Fresh Foam Cleanser, Neogen Real Fresh Green Tea Cleansing Stick, and Tony Moly the Chok Chok Green Tea Watery Skin Toner are some of the Korean beauty products that use green tea as an essential ingredient.

Related: Best Korean Gel Moisturizer

 Koreans use green tea for many benefits:

  • Get rid of Puffy Eyes 

Green tea helps in reducing puffiness under the eyes and makes your skin smooth. Vitamin K helps in reducing dark circles around the eyes. 

  • Elasticity Booster

Green tea has polyphenol that helps in boosting skin elasticity, fight free spots and signs of aging.

  • Acne remover

Antibacterial properties in green tea fight acne-causing bacteria. That’s why most Koreans have glass-like skin.


Turmeric is also one of the commonly used ingredients in Korean Beauty products. It is used as a mask to keep off signs of aging. Following traditions, Koreans only use natural and harsh-free ingredients to create safe K-beauty products. Turmeric essence for skin glow is the best Korean recipe for clear skin.

Koreans use cotton pads infused with natural ingredients to make the best face masks.


Anybody interested in Korean and Japanese skincare must have heard about Yuza. It is a citrus fruit often used in Asian skincare. It is a top trending fruit that Koreans use in their skincare products, which makes them safe to use. It has many benefits.

For instance, Antioxidants play a vital role in increasing skin immunity.  Yuzu also protects skin from acne and other skin infections. Its anti-aging property boosts the collagen in the skin and tightens the skin. It also helps in removing wrinkles and aging lines.

Yuzu is a company that has a firm belief in Yuzu fruit. UV Cream SPF50 PA+++ by Yuzu,  Yuja Water from Skinfood,  Yuzu Gloss Lip Balm by Yojiya are some of the best beauty products that Yuzu makes out of yuzu fruit.


Bamboo is also a natural ingredient; Koreans use it a lot in their beauty products. It also has antioxidants and acts as humectants.

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Koreans also use snail slime in their beauty products. Dr. Helena Kuhn of Brown Dermatology at Rhode Island Hospital states that “K- beauty products feature natural ingredients like Vitamin C and hyaluronic acid. She added that exotic constituents like snail slime are safe to use. However, it is best to have realistic expectations.

Kuhn said that every country has a different formula to create beauty products and Korean beauty products are safe for the most part.

Here are a list of ingredients to look for in beauty products:

1. Licorice: for lightening dark spots

2. Green tea: to ward off free radicals and 

3. Glycolic acid, Lactic acid, Acetic Acid: for exfoliation

4. Tea tree oil: for remove acne and inflammation

5. Hyaluronic acid: for boosting collagen

6. Tremella fuciformis essence: for skin hydration, and boosting elasticity

7. Oleic acid: for moisturizing skin

8. Amino acids: to fight wrinkles

Koreans demonstrate their interest in skin lightening. They use natural products every day to look good and protect them from the sun. In Korea men and women both are interested in the skincare routine. People mostly use BB Cream or CC Cream to make their skin tone lighter. Men’s skincare products focus on giving a soothing effect to the skin aftershave.

Our in-house skincare specialists recommended that we avoid these ingredients such as Antimony, Lead, Hydroquinone, Steroids like hydrocortisone and triamcinolone,  products with too high a concentration of retinol.

Here is a list of some Koreanskincare  products to try!

Vita Propolis Ampoule

One of K beauty experts known as Sara lee recommends a product Vita Propolis Ampoule. This product uses propolis that helps in hydrating your skin. Propolis is the best ingredient to get a glow on the skin.

Marine Food Gel mask

Charlotte Cho, another K-beauty expert, suggests pearl as the best ingredient to use in beauty products. Cho says that pearl has long been employed in traditional beauty treatments, and it is the basic ingredient in one of the hottest emerging brands coming from Korea, Klavuu. Marine Food Gel mask is one of the products that use pearl. 

Royal Honey

Charlotte Cho cites honey as the best ingredient to use in beauty products. Her preference is royal honey because it had natural ingredients like amino acids, vitamins, and minerals. It is prepared through the 60-day fermentation process that leaves it with more skin-befitting constituents. Royal Honey is the best eye cream for tired eyes.

Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser by Peach and Lily

Alicia Yoon is another beauty Korean beauty expert. She recommends Peach Pudding Makeup Cleanser by Peach and Lily for dry skin. It is super hydrating and gives the best glow to your skin.

All Clean Balm by Heimish 

All Clean Balm by Heimish is also recommended by Yoon. This balm assists in removing makeup, excess sebum, and dirt without leaving your skin dehydrated.

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This balm does magic to your skin. It does an excellent job of removing the makeup and double-cleansing. It almost removes all the blemishes. It is rich with the best oils which makes it magical.

Peach & Lily the Good Acids Pore Toner

It is another recommendation by Yoon. According to her, this toner is gentle enough for daily use, but three days a week is a great amount. It exfoliates the skin in the best way possible. You can apply this toner with cotton pads.

Peach and Lily Glass Skin Serum

The peach lily serum is one of the best products. It is rich with vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids. It makes your skin look transparent and pore less.

Mamonde Rose Flower Lab Essence Sheet Mask

This mask is rich in eucalyptus pulp, rose extract, hyaluronic acid, and glycerin. It gives dewy effects to your skin. There are some other ingredients that Koreans use to make safe products.  For instance, Whamisa, Innisfree, Papa Recipe, COSRX, and GLANMOOR. All these ingredients are paraben-mineral oil-alcohol poisonous substance-free. They employ phenoxyethanol or chlorphenesin as a preservative.

Bottom Line

Korean Beauty trends around the globe for so many reasons.  Korea brought novelty in skincare products, such as the use of Snail mucin or milk peel, or splash masks. Natural constituents are so significant to the success of Korean beauty products. 

They give perfect and magical results. Koreans could try any natural product in the name of beauty. Just as today, Koreans value vitamin E for its moisturizing properties, and women applied oils such as Safflower oil, which was abundant in vitamin E, to their skin.

Are Korean products safe?

Korean products are made with gentle ingredients that nourish skin. However, keep in mind that Korean skincare products are formulated for particular skin types and skin issues so it’s important to pick Korean skincare products that suit your skin and skin issue.

Why Korean beauty products are the best?

Korean skincare products are made with natural and gentle ingredients that promote clear and glowing skin. Some of the best Korean skincare brands are MISSHA, iT’S Skin,, Sulwhasoo, IOPE.

Also Read:

  1. Best Korean Products for Pigmentation
  2. Best Korean Organic Skincare Products

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