Ever wondered what’s the secret ingredient in Korean skincare?
Sure, we know the Koreans are obsessed with hydration. It’s the foundation of good skin, no doubt about that.
They also like to experiment with weird ingredients (snail slime, anyone?) and come up with all kind of gimmicks that put a new twist on an old staple (remember solid stick cleansers?).
But those are mostly for show. The real antiaging superstar lurking in Korean skincare products is ginseng, a medicinal root they’ve used for centuries to cure any kind of ailments.
Now, it’s made its way onto your face as well. And I’m so here for it. Here’s why:
What Is Ginseng?
Did you know there are more than 20 plants in the ginseng family? When you talk about ginseng, you could refer to any of them. In skincare, we’re usually talking about P. Ginseng.
Ginseng is one of the most popular ingredients in Chinese and Korean medicine to regulate blood pressure and increase metabolism.
It’s the Koreans that popularised its use in skincare, too. Cos if it’s good for your health, why not see if it does something for your skin, too?
P.S. You’ll find it on ingredient labels as Panax Ginseng Root Extract.
Ginseng Skin Benefits: How Does It Help Skin?
Ginseng is loaded with goodies. Its nutrients include antioxidants saponins, vitamins B1, B2, B12, soothing pantothenic acid and even minerals. Thanks them, this powerful antioxidant has plenty of benefits for your skin:
- Firming: It decreases MM-1, an enzyme that degrades collagen (the protein that keeps skin firm). More collagen = firmer skin.
- Moisturising: It reduces water loss, making skin softer and smoother.
- Soothing: It’s often used in topical ointments to soothe skin. It reduces inflammation and irritation.
- UV Protection: Animal studies show that applying ginseng on your skin reduces wrinkle formation after UVB exposure. Before you get too excited, ginseng isn’t a substitute for sunscreen. But it can help boost its effectiveness.
- Whitening: It helps brighten skin and fade away dark spots.
Fun fact: red ginseng has stronger anti-wrinkle and whitening properties when fermented. It’s also less irritating, too. If you can find a product with fermented red ginseng, grab it.
This time, it’s not just Korean hype. Ginseng can really do wonders for your skin. Science backs it all up.
Related: The Truth About Fermented Skincare: Does It Work?
Dos Ginseng Has Any Side Effects?
Nope. Ginseng is safe for everyone, including sensitive skin. Unless you’re allergic to it, of course.
What Are The Best Ginseng Skincare Products?
- Erborian Ginseng Infusion Total Eye ($46.00): Available at Soko Glam and SpaceNK
- I’m From Ginseng ($28.80): Available at Wishtrend and Yes Style
- Missha Misa Geum Sul First Essence Booster ($60.00): Available at Soko Glam
The Bottom Line
Ginseng is an anti-aging superstar that helps you fight wrinkles, boost collagen, brighten the complexion, and soothe irritations. No wonder it’s so popular in Korean skincare!
What’s your take on ginseng in skincare? Share your thoughts in the comments below.
I have always wanted to try I’m from Ginseng Serum but always have second thought about it. How do we incorporate this in our skin care routine? Given that we have Toner, Vitamin C Serum, Retinol, AHA or BHA products in our hands. Please advise a few routines to include Ginseng serum, looking forward for your reply Gio. Thank you so much!
Hello Gio, hope you’re safe and healthy. I just read your post about I’m from Ginseng Serum and how you use it with your retinol/exfoliation. May I know do you use it in the A.M? Can we use this Ginseng Serum before/after a Vitamin C product? Also, how effective is Ginseng in terms of preventing/improving fine lines, wrinkles as oppose to Retinol? Thank you Gio
Claire, yes you can use it both morning and evening. Unfortunately, there are no studies that compare ginseng with retinol, so I can’t answer that question. Let’s just say I haven’t thrown away my retinol serums yet.