Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin Bottle
Skincare Routine

Top 5 Ingredients to Include in Your Asian Beauty Skincare Routine

Top 5 Ingredients to Include in Your Asian Beauty Skincare Routine Part of the beauty of an Asian skincare routine is the ability to customize and pick ingredients that work for your skin’s needs. However, picking from the multitude of products can be rather overwhelming. Where does one start?

As someone prone to acne, I learned early on to pay attention to ingredient lists and keep track of what causes me to break out. When initially browsing various Asian skincare options at Sephora, Memebox, and Ulta, I took a similar approach by keeping track of which ingredients seemed to pop up the most. Afterwards, I’d look up each ingredient to learn about its benefits. This made narrowing down products much easier since an Asian beauty routine focuses more on layering more products with fewer main ingredients.

Recently, a friend who wanted to try out Asian beauty products asked me to make a list of ingredients to look for on labels. Below are the five ingredients that I recommended for her. While I’m sure there are people out there who disagree with me, I feel these ingredients are some of the most popular and prevalent in the Asian beauty community. Additionally, they are versatile enough to be included in anyone’s routine regardless of skin type. If anything, for anyone new to Asian beauty, I feel that these following five ingredients are basics that should at least be spot tested before branching out to others.

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Top 5 Ingredients to Include in Your Asian Beauty Skincare Routine

#5: Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate

Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition Bottle
Secret Key Starting Treatment Essence Rose Edition

Also known as Pitera, Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate is a fermented yeast that is the byproduct of the sake making process. The story behind its discovery was that scientists at a sake factory noticed that workers had youthful looking hands despite having aged faces. Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate is prized for its brightening and anti-aging effects. While made famous by Japan’s luxury SK-II line, many other companies now carry products at much more affordable price points.

*Note* Missha makes a popular first treatment essence that contains Saccharomyces Ferment Filtrate. This is another type of fermented yeast in the same family as Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate. If you’re interested in this essence, you can purchase it from Amazon or Target.

Popular Products with Galactomyces Ferment Filtrate

#4: Sodium Hyaluronate

The Creme Shop "Drink Up, Skin!" Animal Face Mask
The Crème Shop “Drink Up, Skin!” Animal Face Mask with Hyaluronic Acid

Sodium Hyaluronate is the salt form of hyaluronic acid, which is a naturally occurring compound in the human body known for being able to retain moisture. What’s unique about sodium hyaluronate is its ability to hold 1000 times its weight in water, making it a popular skincare ingredient. Benefits of sodium hyaluronate include increased skin moisture and wrinkle reduction.

Sodium hyaluronate and hyaluronic acid are often used interchangeably on skincare labels. However, between the two, sodium hyaluronate molecules are smaller and more easily absorbed into the skin, thus making it more ideal for skincare products. Hyaluronic acid, on the other hand, is more popular in cosmetic procedures such as injectables (i.e. Restylane and Juvederm) used for wrinkle treatments.

Popular Products with Sodium Hyaluronate

  • Laneige Water Sleeping Mask: Available from Laneige and Amazon
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask: Available from Sephora
  • J. One Jelly Pack: Available from Sephora
  • The Crème Shop “Drink Up, Skin!” Animated Animal Face Mask with Hyaluronic Acid: Available from Amazon’s The Creme Shop Page

#3: Snail Secretion Filtrate

Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream
Mizon All In One Snail Repair Cream

Also known as snail mucin or “snail slime”, snail secretion filtrate is a protective liquid produced by snails when agitated. This substance is filled with nutrients which are really beneficial to the skin and have been shown to improve wrinkles, hydrate, and brighten skin. While not as common in Western skincare products, snail secretion filtrate is an especially popular ingredient in Korean skincare products.

Popular Products with Snail Secretion Filtrate

#2: Niacinamide

Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin Bottle
Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin Special Treatment Essence

Niacinamide is a from of vitamin B3 which is popular in Asian and Western skincare products due to its many benefits. Studies have shown that the use of 5% Niacinamide can improve fine lines and skin clarity. Additionally, niacinamide has been shown to shrink pores, reduce skin inflammation, improve skin texture, and treat acne.

Popular Products with Niacinamide

  • COSRX Galactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence: Available from Amazon
  • Manyo Factory Galactomyces Niacin Special Treatment Essence: Available from Amazon
  • Shark Sauce: Available from Holy Snails
  • Stratia Rewind: Available from Stratia
  • Too Cool For School Egg Cream Mask Hydration: Available from Sephora

#1: Ceramides

Stratia Liquid Gold
Stratia Liquid Gold

Ceramides are lipid molecules found in the stratum corneum, also known in the Asian Beauty community as the “moisture barrier”. This is the outermost layer of skin which serves as a waterproof barrier and protects the rest of the skin from environmental irritants. Damage to the stratum corneum due to the environment or overuse of certain skincare products (i.e. alpha and beta hydroxy acids) can result in a number of symptoms such as skin dryness and irritation.

Products with ceramides help to heal damage to the stratum corneum.  This is turn can decrease skin irritation, increase skin hydration, and decrease wrinkles. Because of this, ceramides are an extremely popular ingredient in both Asian and Western skincare products.

Popular Products with Ceramides

Final Thoughts

5 ingredients to include in your Asian Beauty Skincare Routine CollageAgain, there are a multitude of skincare ingredients that will give you beautiful, glowing skin. However, for someone who is new to Asian beauty products and overwhelmed by the options, I feel that starting with the five ingredients listed above is a safe bet.  So far, it’s worked our pretty well for me, and hopefully it will with you too!