Why You Should Be Using These 5 K-Beauty Skin-Care Ingredients

The “matcha madness” trend may have already infiltrated your day-to-day beverage routine (Who is coffee? I don’t know her), but get ready because it’s about to creep into your medicine cabinet by way of skin-care products, too. Of course, the green-tea craze isn’t exactly a new trend on the market: Skin-care companies like AMOREPACIFIC have been harvesting and using green tea as an anti-aging, acne-clearing, and under-eye de-puffing ingredient for years. And the use of green tea in skin care can be traced back centuries — legend has it that Asian princesses used to rub the leaf’s potent essence on their faces to maintain their youth and beauty.
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It’s no surprise, then, that this ingestible and topical beauty secret is dominating the K-beauty industry right now. It’s not the only all-natural ingredient we have our eye on, though. Ahead, discover five key ingredients to look out for the next time you’re on the hunt for a new favorite moisturizer, serum, face oil, mask, exfoliant, or eye cream. And if you think for a second that a trio of green tea, ginseng, and papaya can only be found inside a buzzy new juice shop, think again.
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Green Tea

Dubbed a superstar skin-care ingredient for good reason, green tea is an excellent ally in combating a melody of skin woes. Thanks to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties, it’s been known to combat acne, rebuild collagen, and repair DNA from UV ray damage.

Not all green tea is created equal, though. One of the most notable originators of the green-tea skin-care movement is AMOREPACIFIC. This Korean beauty empire, which dates back to 1945, is widely praised for being the brand responsible for igniting the K-beauty craze worldwide. It’s also one of the only beauty companies that harvests and handpicks green-tea leaves straight from its own sacred and protected gardens — located at the foothills of Halla Mountain, right off the coast of Korea. Inside this magical sanctuary exists a perfect storm of nourishment thanks to the combination of pure spring water and mineral-rich volcanic soil, making it the ideal location to farm fresh green tea for the ultimate farm-to-skin scenario.

One of our all-time-favorite AMOREPACIFIC products that heroes this nutrient-packed ingredient? The Vintage Single Extract Essence, a super nourishing, concentrated fluid of good-for-your-skin ingredients meant to be gently patted in post-toner and pre-moisturizer. It's formulated with a powerhouse antioxidant as well as a rare substance called catechin that's extracted from — you guessed it — green tea leaves after they're handpicked and naturally fermented for 100 (!) days. Used on the reg, this miracle broth promises to not only even skin tone and texture, but it'll also give you that elusive and oh-so-coveted glow you've been searching for.
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Ginseng

Various types of ginseng can be found growing (albeit, quite slowly) all around eastern Asia, but chances are you know it as an ingredient in teas geared for boosting energy. Since ginseng is an adaptogenic herb — which, hence the name, means it’s as easily adaptable to the body as it is to the environment — it should come as no surprise that it makes for a great skin-care ingredient. Jam packed with phytonutrients, the ingredient has been hailed as an all-natural skin-care badass when it comes to toning, evening skin tone, and reducing hyperpigmentation. More recently, it's also been studied and praised for being a rockstar moisturizer for those with sensitive skin — regardless of whether your skin type is oily, dry, or combination. Yes, it's that adaptable.
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Papaya

When it comes to the K-beauty category, papaya is the new fruit on the block — and for mighty good reason. Not only are papaya enzymes a treasured ingredient thanks to their ability to exfoliate dead skin cells, keep skin hydrated, soothe eczema, and combat breakouts, but they’re also a valued source of vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E, folate, magnesium, and potassium, too. Our favorite way to utilize the powerful punch papaya enzymes pack: skin-care peels — like AMOREPACIFIC Treatment Enzyme Peel — that hero the fruit as the star ingredient.
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Bamboo Sap

Undoubtedly one of the most commonly used ingredients in all-natural K-beauty skin-care products, bamboo sap certainly lives up to the hype. Praised for its healing properties, it fights free radicals, has astounding moisturizing benefits, reduces the appearance of dark spots, and can even work as a sunscreen booster. And while the sap extraction process can typically only be done three months out of the year, we'd say it's well worth the wait considering its impressively high content of trace minerals and amino acids. Plus, the plant itself is fascinating; it's considered one of the most resilient crops on Earth, as it can flourish under extremely harsh environmental conditions.
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Camellia Flower

Although the camellia flower — also known as Tsubaki — is native to southern Japan, it’s one of the most popular ingredients among K-beauty products. For centuries, Tsubaki oil was used as a popular cooking oil. Only when the women harvesting the tree seeds on Oshima Island — who were revered for their radiant skin and long hair — realized that the oil was responsible, did it take off as a beauty ingredient. Since this discovery, camellia seed oil has become a highly coveted, multipurpose ingredient; you can pretty much apply it directly on your face, body, hair, and nails. And as far as skin-care benefits go, the list seems endless — it's a non-greasy and hypoallergenic moisturizer; it can diminish fine lines and wrinkles; and it helps treat acne, psoriasis, and eczema as well as sunburns, stretch marks, cuts, and scars. Needless to say, this is an oil you should not sleep on. That is, of course, unless you’re sleeping with it on.
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