The Korean beauty industry shuns chemical ingredients in favor of natural products which protect and revitalize the skin. As a result, Korea has fast become a force to be reckoned with in the beauty world, and the industry is now worth a whopping $13 billion. However, the K-beauty industry uses more than nourishing oils, fruits, and plants in their beauty products. In addition to these staple ingredients, their beauty creams, moisturizers and serums are packed full of unique and strange substances.

Snail mucin

Snail mucin is the slimy trail that follows behind a snail. It provides multiple skin care benefits as hyaluronic acid is a natural compound within it. Hyaluronic acid is added to many beauty products as it’s great for all skin types, is anti-aging, and is effective at hydrating the skin. In addition, snail mucin also contains glycoproteins and glycolic acid, both of which fight the signs of aging too. As you’ll find snail mucin in a whole host of K-beauty products, including serums, face masques, gels, and eye creams, your entire body can benefit from this unique ingredient.

Horse oil

Horse oil comes from the fat of a horse and is collected during the production of horse meat. But, this isn’t as strange as it may initially sound. The use of animal by-products in the beauty industry is actually very common. Manufacturers frequently use lanolin from wool-bearing animals, guanine from fish scales, and even squalene from a shark’s liver in their products. Therefore, horse oil is fairly normal, in comparison.

As you’ll find linolenic acid in abundance in horse oil, it’s great for individuals who have eczema, inflamed skin, and cuts or abrasions. Linolenic acid is very effective in retaining moisture and it also boasts being an anti-inflammatory. As a result, it’s an all-round great skin care product which can be applied to any part of your body.

Donkey milk

While donkey milk probably isn’t something you ever thought you’d come into contact with, let alone slather on your skin, it’s worth doing if you have sensitive skin or conditions such as eczema. Experts say that donkey’s milk contains more than four times the amount of vitamin C that cow’s milk does. It also contains multiple other vitamins and nutrients which has led to it being classed as the closest thing to human milk – and we all know how beneficial that is for growing babies. A well-documented donkey milk product in Korea is a gel mask which is even endorsed by Eeyore.

Bee venom

Some people have likened bee venom to Botox as it plumps, smooths, and fills out the skin when it’s applied to the epidermis. When you use a beauty product which contains bee venom, your skin is tricked into thinking it has been stung. This automatically encourages your skin to do everything possible to protect itself, including producing more collagen and pumping more blood around the area. This results in your skin looking younger and healthier.

However, it’s important to note that if you have a severe allergy to bee stings, you should avoid this K-beauty trend as it could cause you more harm than good.

Salmon eggs

When it comes to looking after your skin the Korean way, salmon eggs are vital. Various brands have started using salmon egg enzyme concentration in their products after research found that it ‘improves skin clarity’. Furthermore, it has been compared to a fish pedicure as it targets dead skin cells, removing them painlessly, effortlessly, and naturally. This leaves your skin looking dewy, bright, and fresh, and also removes the need to exfoliate so frequently.

Due to the number of effective ingredients found in Korean skin care products, the K-beauty industry is taking the world by storm. And, while some of these ingredients may initially sound bizarre, the difference they’ll make to your skin makes them worth it.