illustration of a woman surrounded by k-beauty products and bubbles on a pink background
K-beauty products offer hydration, cleansing, brightening and more to the skin. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)
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illustration of a woman surrounded by k-beauty products and bubbles on a pink background
K-beauty products offer hydration, cleansing, brightening and more to the skin. (Illustration by Lucas DeJesus, Montserrat College of Art)

Ingredients like donkey milk and egg yolk extract may seem strange at first, but they have myriad benefits to the skin.

Korean skincare products are seen as high-quality and innovative compared to American skincare products. Therefore, an enormous quantity of K-beauty products are sold to customers all around the world, some with ingredients that may seem bizarre to American customers.

How Bizarre Are They?

Some of the weird ingredients in these popular K-beauty products are beneficial for the skin. These include donkey milk, bee venom, snail mucus and egg yolk extract. Not all weird K-beauty skincare products are good for the skin, as shown in this video where the “Try Guys” try extreme Korean skincare products. However, some make practicing self-care a lot more fun.

What Started the Desire for Unique Skincare in Korea?

Beauty is integrated in Korea, meaning the media and entertainment industry influences viewers to take care of their skin. For example, K-dramas have made certain skincare products popular, which means K-beauty products in general are constantly being invented to appeal to viewers. The most popular products often have enthusiastic text stating the basic idea of the product’s purpose accompanied by cute packaging that pleases the eye.

There are plenty of unique skincare products waiting to be sold from Korea, while only a few people explain why these innovative products work and what benefits they have.

Here are seven products worth trying, each with its own unique benefits to the skin.

1. Too Cool for School – All-in-One Egg Mellow Cream, 5-in-1 Firming Moisturizer

Egg yolk is mostly water and lipids (fats), which makes it a good emollient and replenishing ingredient for skin. Therefore, the egg yolk extract in this product helps brighten the skin’s complexion while smoothing it.

This moisturizer also contains other ingredients that complement the egg yolk extract. These ingredients are glycerin and niacinamide, and they have restorative, hydrating and protective properties. They also fight off and improve hyperpigmentation.

2. DILLYDELIGHT – Real Egging Pack

This product also has real egg yolk extract, which itself contains great moisturizing properties and won’t clog up pores. In fact, this extract helps tighten the pores, removes dirt and refines the skin’s texture.

This mask also contains other beneficial ingredients like glycerin, licorice root extract and camellia sinensis leaf extract. These ingredients help restore the skin’s barrier, hydrate and brighten the skin, serve as an antioxidant, and provide UV protection. Not to mention, these ingredients are also anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic and antimicrobial.

The cute packaging also makes it irresistible to experiment with. The instructions are simple: One must simply whisk the gel and cream formulas with a tiny spoon and apply the stirred mask onto the face. Practicing skincare has never been so fun!

3. Too Cool For School – Egg Mousse Pack

This product also contains egg white and egg yolk extract.

Some other beneficial ingredients in this mask include betaine, trehalose and arginine. These ingredients protect the skin’s moisture barrier while hydrating the skin to help speed up wound healings. Not to mention, they also reduce the irritation associated with AHAs.

The foaming mask also makes the skincare experience more interesting and worthwhile.

4. BENTON – Snail Bee High Content Essence

Snail mucus and bee venom extract are two ingredients that capture a customer’s eye.

Cosmetic chemists at the Beauty Brains blog write, “chemically speaking, snail slime is a complex mixture of proteoglycans, glycosaminoglycans, glycoprotein enzymes, hyaluronic acid, copper peptides, antimicrobial peptides and trace elements including copper, zinc, and iron.”

In short, the snail mucus extract contains hydrating and nourishing properties, while the bee venom extract helps the regeneration of cells and increases collagen production. Together, they repair the skin’s barrier while making it look supple.

Some other beneficial ingredients in this moisturizing gel-like essence include glycerin and niacinamide, which moisturizes and brightens the skin while fighting acne.

5. COSRX– Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence

This essence contains 96% snail mucin extract, which is proven to be effective in supporting skin cell regeneration.

Therefore, snail mucus extract can improve the skin’s texture and reduce the appearance of acne. It also acts as an antioxidant.

Dr. Dray, a dermatologist and YouTuber, favorably reviewed the main ingredient in this product. Some other beneficial ingredients that Dr. Dray goes over in this essence include betaine, sodium-hyaluronate, panthenol, arginine and allantoin. These ingredients repair damaged skin, hydrate the skin and give nutrition.

6. PONGDANG – Donkey Milk ALL-IN-ONE Cream

Donkey milk is popular in K-beauty products. It is known to benefit the skin, as it contains vitamins A, C, D, E, fatty acids, phospholipids, ceramides, lactose and protein. Together, these ingredients promote collagen production, repair damaged skin, soothe minor skin abrasions, lessen the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and act as an antioxidant.

Donkey milk also has a strong absorption capacity and water retention, encouraging a high degree of skin hydration and preventing the degradation of the epidermal cells.

The proteins in donkey milk have the ability to attract and hold water, which makes it an excellent moisturizer.

This particular cream also contains other beneficial ingredients such as glycerin, allantoin and sodium hyaluronate, which nourishes and hydrates the skin. These ingredients also help promote wound healing and have brightening and firming properties.

7. PONGDANG – Donkey Milk Cleansing Foam

The donkey milk in this product smooths out wrinkles and moisturizes and regenerates the skin. Another benefit of the protein in donkey milk is its antioxidant ability. It helps protect cells from oxidative damage caused by sun exposure, ultimately providing anti-aging benefits.

Some other beneficial ingredients in this cleanser include glycerin, stearic acid, myristic acid and lauric acid. These active ingredients help fight off acne while leaving the skin feeling moisturized.

Final Thoughts

So do innovative K-beauty skincare products actually work? Are the weird ingredients in these products safe to use on skin? Are they magical compared to skincare products made in other countries? The short answer: yes.

Writer Profile

Sophie N. Munoz

University of Texas at San Antonio
English Major, concentration in Creative Writing

She/Her ~ {6w5} ~ INTJ ~ Introvert

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