The brand SkinFood takes this even further with “food cosmetics,” applying the belief that “you are what you eat,” with products that contain natural food extracts rather than artificial preservatives. Their research finds ingredients by “eating, applying and studying foods,” said Jae-mo Park from SkinFood. He recommends their products with black sugar, like SkinFood Black Sugar Wash Off Mask, which softens the skin.
Seoul National University’s Cho says many of these Korean makeup products are beneficial because they contain sunscreen filters with high SPF, which help protect the skin from the sun’s harmful rays. But as for the effectiveness of their botanical ingredients, they are “basically all antioxidants, which have anti-inflammatory and anti-aging functions, albeit weak.”
Some ingredients may be beneficial, she said. Black sugar can leave the skin surface more hydrated, and birch sap can reduce inflammation and retain moisture.