When it comes to cosmetic care trends the South Korean market is hugely influential, with trends in Europe and North America following South Korea’s lead. In this blog we’re looking at the 2023 trends and what could be trending for 2024.

Fermented Face Care

Fermented ingredients can be many times more potent than their normal state, bringing concentrated, specialist efficacy to skin care products. Fermentation can help make actives more bioavailable for digestion – which is what we traditionally think of when we think of fermented products, digestion. But fermentation can also make actives more bioavailable for cosmetic care applications, including for absorption by the skin, and nurturing of the skin’s microbiome.

Hair care is a relatively new area for fermented ingredients, but it is an exciting area for brands to begin formulation, with skinification of hair having been an important trend in recent years.

In addition to these key functional aspects, fermentation is also beneficial for formulations as it provides a lower molecular weight.

Chemlink principal, Labio – a South Korean manufacturer, are at the forefront of fermentation technology for cosmetic care. A few examples of Labio’s fermented ingredients are:

  • Scalp-Biome – an ingredient designed specifically to rebalance the scalp’s microbiome which helps to avoid common scalp conditions
  • BeBebiome-H – Developed with Lactobacillus Ferment and Bacillus Ferment, this anti-ageing active aims to have a firming effect on the skin, returning it to a baby-like state.
  • Fermentoils – a range of natural fermented oils provides a better emulsifying capacity and non-greasy skin feel to formulations

Water-free Formulations

This trend blends eco-friendliness, a minimalist approach, and increased potency of skin care formulations. Having all the good stuff and less fillers in cosmetic care products has become a huge trend in South Korea.

Chemlink Specialities can help you formulate water-free formulations in a variety of formats, book in a call with the lab team to discuss your product formulation ideas. But we can also offer high potency actives and delivery systems to really maximise on this trend too.

Double SPF

With heightened concerns about how daylight and blue light from our devices can affect our skin, the K-Beauty followers are doubling up on SPF in the form of a regular SPF and SPF cosmetics on top. This could be an SPF moisturiser + a makeup product that incorporates an SPF, to be doubly sure those damaging rays are kept at bay!

Skincare/makeup hybrids are a trend in their own right, but specifically the South Korean market is particularly in favour of SPF hybrids.

Chemlink Specialities have several naturally derived UV absorbers which can offer sun and blue light protection for a wide range of cosmetic care applications. In addition, we can ofer Sunsorbs™, encapsulated micro particle technology that is reproducible and consistent to offer UVA and UVB protection without any of the negatives of existing inorganic absorbers. They are organic and non-sensitising, providing a silky smooth cosmetic feel with lower ‘ghosting’ on skin and a non-oily feel. Sunsorb ultrafine metal oxides are produced in a non-aqueous liquid phase, with only two components present. That means no surfactants, no dispersants and no wetting agents, offering formulators increased flexibility

Jelly Skin

We all remember the glass skin trend from South Korea which aimed to add products into your skincare routine that would create shine on the skin. But the Jelly Skin trend (aka Jello Skin) aims to actually improve the skin through product, lifestyle and wellbeing, rather than just layering beneficial products as in the Glass Skin trend.

Three important factors in this trend are:

  • Collagen production
  • Exfoliation
  • Hydration
  • UV protection

In a way the Jelly Skin trend pulls together a lot of factors from the other key trends in South Korea for 2023 and 2024. And the team at Chemlink have a multitude of ingredients available to help you formulate for Jelly Skin products, such as:

  • Bio-Placenta – a powerful anti-aging active ingredient that contains a combination of five growth factors (EGF, IGF-1, FGF acid, FGF alkaline and VEGF), amino acids and vitamins that act together to revitalise, moisturise and elasticise the skin.
  • B9-Vitapol – a reformulated form of folic acid through the structural changes by microbial fermentation system. This multifunctional active ingredient has powerful anti-wrinkle, anti-inflammatory, moisturising and UV protection properties.
  • Desertica – derived from a green microalgae found in the desert, capable of survival in harsh conditions with extreme heat, UV exposure and extremely limited access to water. Desertica supports DNA repair processes for antiUV, anti-heat, and anti dryness applications.
  • OA Hydroxitirosol – A powerful antioxidant that protects the skin from lipid peroxidation, soothes and repairs skin, boosts SPF and has a cellular antioxidant activity 50% higher than Vitamin E. Also ideal for sun and colour protection hair applications.
  • VitiSpheres – An innovative carrier system to protect actives until they are applied to the skin. VitiSpheres dissolve slowly, releasing the active directly into the skin and creating an ultra-thin film that prevents transepidermal water loss, allowing actives to penetrate deep into the skin.
  • Hydracell QS – an acetylated glutamine with high stability. The smallest molecular weight of Hydracell QS helps bring moisture deeper into skin it also prevents damages that are caused by oxidative stress through the cell swelling process.
  • MELavo – MELavo is mannosylerythritol lipids (glycolipids) and comes from yeast fermentation. It stimulates Collagen production as well as having emulsifier, surfactant and active properties.

If you’d like to discuss any of these trends or ingredients, or if you would like to have a free consultation with our lab team to discuss your formulations please complete the form below and we’ll be in touch soon.

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