The 7 Weirdest Korean Beauty Products

Posted by in Skin Care, Guest Blogger

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In recent years, Korean skincare has literally taken the beauty world by storm. The secret to its popularity lies with Korean women's obsession for a natural, flawless complexion. While Western standards of beauty compel women to use heavy makeup and hair dye to conceal imperfections, the Korean culture values a natural appearance that's achieved with the help of top-notch natural skincare products that prevent problems, such as wrinkles and dark spots, before they have the chance to even show up on the skin.

This ideal has turned South Korea into a hub for skincare innovations where new breakthrough products are developed at an ever faster speed. No stone is left unturned in the search for the next miracle skincare ingredient, as long as it is of natural origin, as everything that comes directly from Mother Nature is justly considered to be more nourishing and skin-friendly by Korean consumers. As a result, it's not at all uncommon to come across skincare products that feature the weirdest imaginable skincare ingredients, from snake venom to deer antlers.

[Read more: The Beauty Crystal Ball: 5 Korean Skin Care Secrets]

Horse Oil: Guerrison 9 Complex Horse Oil Cream

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Like its name suggests, this moisturizer is chock full of natural extracts, including green tea and rosemary, to tackle the premature signs of aging. However, its most unusual ingredient must be horse oil.

Horse oil is a godsend for dry skin. Because its molecular structure is very similar to sebum, your skin's natural moisturizer, it is just as nourishing and absorbs extremely quickly into the skin, too. I use it all year long, but it's especially helpful in wintertime to prevent the dreaded flakiness and dehydration that often plague skin during this cold season.

In addition, horse oil has sterilising properties that help keep skin clean.

Deer Antler: The History of Whoo Cheongidan Hwa Hyun Lotion

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The History Of Whoo is a luxury Korean skincare brand that uses the recipes originally concocted to keep the skin of the female members of the Korean royal family smooth and young-looking even in old age. These recipes make use of ancient ingredients traditionally used in Korean medicine, such as red ginseng and powdered jade, both of which are known for their powerful anti-ageing properties.

But the most unusual ingredient must be deer antler, an ingredient that helps achieve a smoother and brighter complexion. Deer antler can be found in my favourite product from the brand, the Cheongindan Hwa Hyun Lotion. Not only it helps to effectively treat wrinkles and dark spots, but its lightweight consistency is absorbed quickly by the skin, too.

Snail: It's Skin Prestige Creme Ginseng D'Escargot

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A best-seller in Korea, this moisturizer is enriched with snail extract, an unusual ingredient that's currently all the rage in Korea.

Snail extract is famous in the country for its highly moisturizing properties: just a few drops of this cream can quickly hydrate even the driest of skin, turning a dull and brittle face into a dewy and supple complexion. On top of it, snail extract speeds up wound healing – that's how snails can smoothly slide over the sharpest, most jagged surfaces without seriously cutting their soft and squishy bodies.

This cream is further enriched with pine mushrooms and red ginseng to help fade dark spots, reduce the look of wrinkles and make skin softer. It's the perfect moisturizer for women who are serious about tackling the premature signs of aging. Take a look at their original Creme D’Escargot too.

Black Pearl: SNP Black Pearl Renew Black Ampoule Mask

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Black pearls aren't just a chic jewellery accessory. These little black balls have numerous skincare properties: they contain natural amino acids that deeply hydrate the skin and powerful antioxidants to prevent wrinkles, helping to keep skin soft, bright and smooth.

This mask is my favourite skincare product with black pearls because it is also enriched with charcoal, a substance renowned for its purifying properties: it absorbs excess oil and grime, keeping the pores clean and the skin clear from breakouts.

Snake Venom: It's Skin Prestige Syn-Ake Mask Sheet

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Loved by the likes of Gwyneth Paltrow, snake venom is the most effective alternative to botox currently available on the market. Although it may seem dangerous, the type used in cosmetics is Sny-Ake, a compound that only mimics the effects of snake venom to relax facial muscles and smooth out wrinkles in the same way Botox does. This ingredient is so revolutionary, it has won the prestigious Swiss Technology Awards!

On top of it, the mask also contains rh-Oligopeptide-1, a peptide that's renowned for its ability to boost collagen production and firm the skin and ceramides to strengthen the skin's protective barrier for a hydrated, younger-looking complexion.

[Read more: The Incredible Korean Anti-Ageing Secrets]

TonyMoly Kiss Kiss Lovely Lip Patch

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One of the most innovative developments in the field of lip care, this hydrogel lip patch infuses the skin with an intense burst of moisture and seals it in, too. The nourishing formula, which is enriched with anti-ageing berry extracts, helps prevents chapped and flaky lips in wintertime and can also be used to soothe irritations.

The lip patch is extremely easy to use: just like a sheet mask, it is to be applied on clean, make-up-free lips and left on for at least 15 minutes. When I take it off, my lips are considerably softer and ready to be kissed!

[Read more: 8 Adorable K-Beauty Skincare Products You Need]

Bird's Nest: SNP Bird's Nest Aqua Ampoule Mask

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The nest made by the Swiftlet sea bird is a prized delicacy in Asian cuisine that has recently found its way in many skincare lotions, potions and sheet masks. Hailed as a skincare hero for dry and damaged skin, bird's nest owes its nourishing properties to the Swiftlet sea bird's saliva, a substance rich in epidermal growth factor (EGF) that keeps the nest glued together.

In skincare products, EGF helps with tissue regeneration and repair, keeping the complexion younger-looking for longer. In addition, this sheet mask is incredibly hydrating, nursing even the driest of skin back to its supple appearance and health.