Why is it better not to mix Korean cosmetics with European ones? Is it true that it is not suitable for dark skin? What ingredients can cause allergies? Aida Hajiyeva, aesthetic surgeon at the Prive7 beauty network, confirms the facts and debunks myths about Korean cosmetics.
Fact number 1. Many Korean brands are adapting cosmetics for Europeans
Korean women have tighter skin that is not prone to wrinkles. But they have a tendency to enlarged pores and acne. This is due to several factors. Not so long ago, German scientists compared the reaction to the sun of Europeans (II phototype) and Asians (V phototype) for the production of vitamin D and DNA damage. In Europeans, minor exposure to UV rays resulted in DNA damage and the synthesis of vitamin D. In Asians, the same doses did not cause gene damage. At the same time, vitamin D was practically not synthesized.
In addition to the difference in density, phototype and structure of the skin, one should not forget about fundamentally different nutrition (Asians have much more antioxidants, Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids in their diet), differences in the skin microbiome (a set of microorganisms that live on human skin) and even facial expressions!
The protective properties of representatives of different races also differ. The highest are among blacks, followed by Asians and only then Europeans. In Asians, the sebaceous glands are more active - the dermis is prone to acne and rashes.
In addition, its density is higher, which means that the concentration of active substances in creams should also be higher. Hence the conclusion suggests itself: skin care for representatives of different races will be different.
Many Korean beauty brands are tailoring their products for Europeans. Not all and not always. Give preference only to proven brands that have long been known on the Russian market!
Fact number 2. Ingredients that stimulate skin metabolism are rare in Asian cosmetics
With age, the skin's metabolism slows down and the synthesis of collagen and elastin, which provide elasticity, decreases. In Europeans, this happens quite early. Some people may have their first wrinkles as early as 25 (most often in the area of the upper lip - a fine wrinkled type of aging). Skin turgor of Asian women often persists after menopause. Even at 50, their faces look like "liquid apples". But closer to 60, there is a sharp sagging of fabrics - the view is far from aesthetics. In Korean products for young skin, metabolic stimulating components are rarely found. Remember this!
Fact number 3. Whitening ingredients are often found in Korean cosmetics
In Asians, there is an increased sensitivity of melanocytes (cells responsible for the production of melanin - the pigment that gives skin color). To avoid pigmentation, manufacturers often add whitening ingredients to the composition of care products. These products are good for those who want to remove freckles or age-old age spots. For these purposes, cosmetologists even prescribe a course of Korean care, after which they recommend returning to European. The selection of funds should be handled by a specialist! You can't just go to the store and buy a cream for pigmentation, because "they advised on the Internet." Uncontrolled use of such products can lead to the formation of white spots, which are extremely difficult to deal with.
Fact number 4. Among the ingredients in Korean cosmetics, there are insufficiently studied
Again, these are only lesser-known brands that have no research budget. In many countries (even very developed ones) there are "gaps" in the legislation, which allow manufacturers to use insufficiently proven ingredients in makeup and care products. Korea is no exception. Small manufacturers often include substances in the composition that, at best, do not affect the skin in any way, at worst, they can have a negative effect. Take the highly publicized snail mucin products.
The first slime cream was released not in Korea, but in South America under the brand name "Elitsina" in 1995. It has shown excellent wound healing and regenerating properties.
During the life of the snail, two types of mucus are secreted: one is used for movement, the second is used to restore the shell after damage. It really contains many useful substances: hyaluronic acid, mineral salts, polysaccharides. In addition, it contains a cytokine substance that stimulates cell division. In 2012, in laboratory conditions, it was proved that mucin increases the rate of cell multiplication several times. But the consequences of uncontrolled division are unpredictable! Mucin creams are a great way to remove keloid scars, for example. But as a daily care product, I would not recommend them. Especially without prior consultation.
Fact number 5. Korean cosmetics provide hyper-hydration
Another feature of Asian skin is the tendency to transepidermal moisture loss. Almost all Korean products are aimed at moisturizing. Hyaluronic acid is often found even in tonics. I think there is no need to talk about its beneficial properties: one molecule of hyaluronic acid holds up to 500 water molecules! But when using drugs based on it, you need to take into account some nuances. For example, air humidity. When it is low, hyaluric acid has the opposite effect, tightening the upper layers of the skin, creating an unpleasant effect. With an overabundance of it in the composition of care products, there is a chance to wake up with swelling. As long as the synthesis of hyaluronic acid in the body is normal, there is no need to abuse funds with it.
Give your skin the opportunity to "work" without "doping".
Fact number 6. Korean cosmetics are not suitable for everyone
Ingredients that are not right for you can be found in any cosmetics: Korean, American, French. But this does not mean that the remedy is bad. Care should be selected by a specialist, taking into account all individual characteristics: type, tendency to allergies and others. Some Korean products for 35+ skin, for example, do not solve our "purely European" problems: fine wrinkles, ptosis, loss of firmness. The main task of Asians is to keep melanin synthesis and hydration levels under control. Therefore, Korean cosmetics are often recommended for the care of younger skin. Some brands have decent anti-aging treatments though.
Fact number 7. Asian cosmetics have good cleansing properties
Cleansing the skin for Asians is a whole ritual. This process can consist of five, six, or even ten steps. Milk, foam, hydrophilic oil, foam again - and this is not the limit. By the way, about hydrophilic oil. It is used to remove water-resistant cosmetics that clog pores. The manic urge to purify is not accidental. This is partly due to the climate. During the monsoon season in Asia, humidity is almost 100% - polluted air literally "sticks" to the skin. And to remove this layer at the end of the day, one foam is not enough. In the composition of Korean cosmetics, powerful components are often found that literally "pull" everything out of the pores.
Fact number 8. Korean cosmetics should not be combined with European
It is better to use one grooming line. And this applies not only to Korean cosmetics. After applying the cleansing foam, you need to restore the pH of the skin with a tonic. In products from the same line, manufacturers select the concentration of acidic ingredients so that alkaline ones can be easily neutralized. This is the only way to achieve maximum efficiency.
Fact number 9. Some components of Korean cosmetics can cause allergies
No doctor can say with 100% certainty what your skin might react to with an allergic reaction. And the point here is not in the country of origin of cosmetics, but in the individual characteristics of the organism.
Several ingredients in Korean remedies can actually increase skin sensitivity: mulberry, white and green tea extracts.
Sensitive dermis syndrome is difficult to relieve - be careful with these ingredients.
Fact number 10. Not all Korean cosmetics sold in online stores are certified
This story is rather not about cosmetics, but about unscrupulous sellers. Not all funds sold on the Internet have been approved by Rospotrebnadzor. Never order cosmetics from dubious resources - the consequences of using it can be unpredictable.
Interview and text: Natalia Kapitsa