The hottest skincare trends are making their way from Asia to the Western World. Hanacure, a South Korean beauty brand, launched its debut product, the Hanacure All-in-One Facial mask last year; it made a huge splash when Drew Barrymore posted selfies on Instagram with it applied to her face (it was a little scary looking) and it’s become a social media staple since then.
The treatment, a tightening and brightening paint-on mask, is made of a proprietary formulation called the Purifying Compound. The compound consists of peptides to promote collagen growth and botanical extracts to soothe and nourish skin, and together they make one crazy tightening treatment. I’ve used it and, while pricey, it’s pretty compelling delivering exactly what it promised.
Songyang Liao was previously with an international brand design firm in China and a current student in the Graduate School of Fine Arts, color psychology at Joshibi University of Art and Design, Japan. She is a Chinese native who has always been an incredible resource when it comes to tracking beauty trends in Asia. We asked Songyang what’s the next hot skincare treatment from Asia. She notes some interesting new offerings coming out of Japan in the form of facial washing powder.
Kanebo’s Suisai Beauty Clear Powder (shown above) has already garnered quite a Western following; it’s available on Amazon – 32 individual packets for about $23. The powder is activated by adding a bit of water and foams up. Users are raving that it results in soft, supple skin, and is effective at removal of oil and dirt without stripping the skin. The product form (powder) is also ideal for travel.
Western Beauty giant, Clinique, already has a similar offering but with a new twist, the addition of Vitamin C. The water activated cleansing powder with “fresh” Vitamin C claims to “purify, brighten and re-texturize” skin. Twenty-eight daily usage packets are priced at $29.50 at the Clinique counter. I’ve tried this cleanser and my skin did feel very clean without being stripped. Clinique has an add on to the powder – The Fresh Pressed Daily Booster with Pure Vitamin C10%.
The ever-popular facial masks continue to emerge from Asia as well. Laniege Water Sleeping Mask is a hit in China. After the multi-step skincare routine that most Chinese women use (cleanse, tone, moisturize), the gel-like mask is applied to the skin 15 minutes before hitting the pillow. The mask absorbs into the skin while you sleep. You awaken with smooth, soft and refreshed looking skin.
Chanel offers a much pricier version “Le Lift” sleeping mask. The mask is applied after cleansing skin at night (you can use with serum or eye cream) and is the form of a “balm in gel.” Its key ingredients are silk proteins and 3.5-DA (a Chanel exclusive version of Dicaffeoylquinic Acid). Chanel claims that wrinkles appear diminished by 10% and the complexion is 10% more radiant (post clinical evaluation of 22 users after one month’s use).
Sheet masks have become synonymous with Korean beauty. This next generation of the beloved skin care staple does more than just moisturize or detox skin. For example, a new mask from Skinesque comes with a cleanser and a collagen-boosting essence, in addition to a hydrating sheet mask.
Then there is a dry mask from Peach & Lily which can be worn to sleep and has the benefits of a hydro-gel mask (to moisturize) and a velvet sleep mask (to soothe anxiety) in one. This next generation of sheet masks will start popping up on beauty shelves everywhere, including North American drugstores.
Asian skincare continues to be hot in the West because the Asian beauty consumer demands constant product innovation from her skincare products. In the West we benefit since these products generally have been vetted by the Asian beauty consumer. And they have been curated by their parent companies specifically for the North American and European market. The range of products is vast and variable in price point which enables all beauty consumers to tap into Asian Beauty trends.
Photos: (L) Hanacure; (R) Suisai