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New skincare trends are emerging out of South Korea, ready to take on the world, and here's what you need to know about them

Korean beauty (K-beauty) and its practices, one of the biggest manifestations of the hallyu (Korean wave), has cemented itself as a major pillar in the global beauty lexicon.

From the dewy ‘glass skin’ trend to the much-talked-about 10-step beauty routine involving sleeping packs and ampoules, and even right down to the alphabetised BB and CC creams, K-beauty has dominated conversations and headlines for years now. This is, of course, owing to its cleverly handpicked top-of-the-moment Korean celebrity ambassadors, plenty of airtime in Korean dramas, minimalistic and/or cute packaging, tried and true formula, and its appeal to K-culture fans just about anywhere in the world.

Read more: Netflix Reveals 13 Original Korean Shows For 2021

As the K-beauty fad continues to be a major driving force behind the proliferation of K-culture, let’s take a look at some K-beauty trends that are expected to be all the rage in 2021.

1. Carrot seed oil

While this is still relatively unknown in rest of the world, carrot seed oil has actually been used in K-beauty for more than a decade. A type of essential oil extracted via steam distillation from the seed of the wild carrot plant (Daucus carota plant), it contains vitamin A which helps speed up healing, prevents breakouts, hydrates the skin, and give it a radiant glow.

Carrot seed oil's 'salad of goodness’ makes for an ideal ingredient in skincare as it’s antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-ageing, and antifungal. Brands that carry this include Naturekind and Aprilskin.

See also: Sulwhasoo, Chanel, Sothys And More: 10 Beauty Launches For Flawless Skin In March 2021

2. Clean beauty

Clean beauty is now more than just a movement, it’s here to stay. As a nod to consumers’ growing demand for the transparency and safety of cosmeceuticals beauty brands worldwide are putting more thought and conscious effort into developing products—and K-beauty is no different, as explained by K-beauty e-retailer Soko Glam co-founder Charlotte Cho.

To stay ahead of the game, a handful of K-beauty brands are now ensuring their products are free of artificial ingredients, fragrances, and chemical additives. Besides going down the vegan route, these brands have also started developing products with plant-based ingredients that are gentler on the skin. Some brands to start you off with are such as Olivarrier and Dear, Klairs.

Read more: Come Clean: 6 Organic Beauty Brands We Love

3. Centella asiatica

Centella asiatica, otherwise known as ‘cica’, is a K-beauty-inspired export that’s just starting to get picked up by the Western beauty industry. For the uninitiated, cica is a herb grown in Asia and is known for being anti-inflammatory—perfect for those struggling with red and inflamed skin or dealing with acne or eczema.

From cica balms to cica creams, to other products such as toners, serums, and sheet masks containing cica, almost every K-beauty brand has one or two cica items. Some even have their own dedicated line of cica products.

So if you’re looking for a magical solution for the stress that the Covid-19 pandemic has put on your skin or to soothe the dreaded maskne (mask acne), cica is your jam!

See also: 6 Summer-Friendly Beauty Essentials

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