Top 100 Asian Skincare Ingredients Glossary

In Asian skincare, there's a strong focus on extracts, cold-pressed oils, herbal ingredients, and ferments to offer powerful anti-oxidants, hydrate, soothe, and boost barrier function in the skin. A lot of these ingredients can be foreign to those who want to experiment with Korean or Japanese skincare products for the first time. I've made sure to list the top benefits of each ingredient. 

You can also search by ingredient in the search bar in our shop to find products that have it. Feel free to ask us in the chat if you have any questions about ingredients and their use, or how to pick the products with the right ingredients for you!

Note: The same ingredient can come in a lot of forms (oil, extract, water, ferment, etc). As a general rule of thumb:

Waters
Derived from seeping an ingredient (ex: ginger, green tea leaves, centella) in water, offers light benefits of the ingredient that absorbs easily into the skin

Oils
Created from cold pressing ingredients (ex: macadamia, camellia, tamanu) to bring concentrated benefits of the ingredient as well as fatty acids as emollients. Often these oils have strong soothing properties, and are non-comedogenic so those with oily skin can also use it.

Extracts
Extract the main benefits of the ingredient from the source. The efficacy depends on the extraction process and how much of the extract is present in a product.

Ferments
Fermenting an ingredient (rice, soybean, yeast) stabilize the natural bacteria on your skin and supports the natural skin barrier through pre and probiotics, contain more fatty acids, and activate anti-oxidants. 

Top 100 Asian skincare ingredients

Acerola Fruit Extract Anti-oxidants, hydrating, anti-aging, vitamin C/B
Adenosine Anti-aging, soothing, skin restoring
Allantoin Moisturizes, softens skin, decreases itching & flaking
Aloe leaf extract Hydrating, cooling, soothing irritation
Apple fruit water Gentle AHA exfoliant, retains moisture, anti-oxidant
Apricot Seed Vitamin E, fatty acids, nourishing
Arbutin Evens & lightens skin tone, reduces scars, brightening
Arginine Boosts collagen production, skin cell regeneration, skin repair
Artemisia extract Reduce inflammation, clear acne, anti-aging, soothes irritation
Beeswax Moisturizing, occlusive
Beet Root Extract Vitamin C, fights acne, fades spots, reduces pigmentation
Beta Glucan Barrier building, water retention, 20% more hydrating than HA
Betain Salicylate Gentler version of salicylic acid, BHA, clear pores & blackheads, reduces skin congestion
Betaine Moisturizing amino acid
Bifida ferment filtrate Enables skin to repair itself, prevent skin damage, increases collagen
Birch Juice Reduce inflammation, anti-aging, hydrating, deeply absorbed
Blueberry Anti-oxidant, brightening, moisturizing
Caffeine Reduce puffiness, firming, brightening
Calendula Healing, nourishing, anti-inflammatory, moisture retention
Camellia Japonica Extract Moisturizing, hydrating, anti-oxidants, anti-aging
Cassia obtusifolia seed extract Antioxidant, anti-inflammatory
Centella Asiatica Wound healing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, increases collagen
Ceramides Replenish moisture, build barrier, increase hydration
Cholesterol Balances moisture, with fatty acids & ceramides creates holy trinity of moisture
Citric Acid AHA, brightens skin, gentler due to larger compounds than glycolic or lactic acid
Cocoa extract Antioxidant, moisturizing, firming
Coco-caprylate Prebiotic, lightweight, softens skin, emollient
Collagen Protein keeping skin soft and supple, anti-aging
Ferulic acid Anti-aging, anti-oxidant, reverses sun damage
Galactomyces Yeast ferment, brightening, anti-aging, smoothing
Ginseng root water Anti-aging, reduce inflammation, protect skin barrier, anti-oxidant
Glutamic Acid Hydrating and conditioning amino acid
Glycerin Water retention, smooths skin, moisturization
Glycolic acid Most potent AHA, smooths skin, reduces scarring & texture
Grain ferment extract Nourishing, barrier repair, brightening
Green tea (Camellia Sinensis) Leaf Lightweight, anti-oxidant, vitamin A/B/E, reduce pigmentation
Hemp Seed Oil Balance oil, fatty acids, soothing, anti-inflammatory
Hippohae Fruit Extract Vitamin B/C/E, anti-xidant, soothing, skin conditioning
Honey Glow, anti-inflammatory, acne fighting, improves texture
Houttuynia Cordata Extract Anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory
Hyaluronic Acid Hydrating, water retention
Jojoba seed oil Anti-bacterial & anti-fungal. Fights acne, heals skin, moisturizing
Lactic Acid AHA, brightens and firms skin, more gentle than glycolic
Lactobacillus ferment Strengthens barrier, soothing, anti-aging, increases collagen
Lactobionic Acid PHA, skin surface exfoliation, more gentle than AHA
Lauric Acid Acne fighting, anti-inflammatory, soothing
Licorice Root Extract Fights acne, reduces pigmentation and scarring
Lotus Anti-oxidant, skin smoothing, anti-aging, brightening, reduces pores
Macadamia Oil Moisturizes, nourishing fatty acids, easily absorbed, supple finish
Madecassoside The most potent form of centella for wound healing, anti-inflammatory, a very small amount is effective
Meadowfoam Oil Softens skin, anti-oxidant, moisturizers, fatty acids
Mistletoe leaf extract Anti-septic, soothing, anti-oxidant
Mulberry Contains arbutin, evens & lightens skin tone, reduces scars, brightening
Natto Gum Moisture retention, skin elasticity, anti-aging
Niacinamide Brightening, improve skin tone, stimulates collagen
Noni Fruit Extract Skin healing, rejuvenating, anti-aging, 100 vmtains and minerals
Oat extract Balance bacteria, reduce itch, efoliates, retains moisture
Olive fruit oil Hydrating, anti-aging, vitamin E, moisturizing
Orchid Extract Moisturizing, anti-oxidant, brightening, firming
Palmitic acid Fatty acid, retains water, softens skin
Panthenol Wound healing, moisturizing, anti-inflammatory
Papaya Gently exfoliating, reduces pigmentation
Peptides Building blocks of collagen, anti-aging, increases elasticity
Perilla Seed Extract Acne fighting, anti-aging, anti-oxidant
Phytosphingosine Replenishes skin barrier
Pine Bark Extract Hydrating, replenishing collagen, wound healing
Portulaca Oleracea Extract Anti-oxidant and fatty acid, brightening, soothing
Propolis Glow, anti-inflammatory, acne fighting, improves texture
Purslane Extract Anti-oxidant, fatty acids, minerals, amino acids, vitamins
Red Seaweed extract Anti-aging, improve elasticity, vitamins and proteins for barrier
Rice bran Brightening, nourishing, evening texture
Rose extract Astringent, cleanse skin, anti-aging
Rosehip Oil Fatty acid, increases collagen production, regenerative properties
Rosemary Leaf Oil Anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-acne
Royal Jelly Glow, anti-inflammatory, acne fighting, improves texture
Saccharomyces Yeast ferment, brightening, anti-aging, smoothing
Safflower Seed Oil Fights acne, atnti-oxidant, moisturizing fatty acids
Sake (Rice Filtrate Ferment) Brightening, smoothing, anti-aging, firming
Salicylic Acid BHA, exfolating, acne fighting, clears pores and regulates oil production
Scutellaria Baicalensis Root Extract Potent anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal
Sea buckthorn Vitamin C anti-oxidant, brightening
Sea water Vitamins & minerals to nourish & strengthen skin
Shea butter Occlusive, softens skin, condition and soothes, fatty acids and vitamins
Snail Mucin Light hydration, reduces redness, plumping glow, protects against moisture loss
Soybean Oil Linoleic acid, repairs moisture barrier, vitamin E, nourishing, skin softening
Squalane Hydrating, moisture retention
Stearic Acid Fatty acid, retains water, softens skin
Sugarcane extract Exfoliant, softens skin, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory
Sunflower Seed Oil Non-comedogenic, anti-inflammatory, vitamin E
Tamanu oil Nourishing, contains 5 fatty acids for moisture, healing and regenerative
Tea tree extract Acne fighting, anti-fungal, speeds healing of acne
Tocopherol / Vitamin E Healing, sun protection, anti-oxidant, strengthen barrier
Tranexamic acid Brightening, reduces discoloration, hyperpigmentation, fade scars
Turmeric Root Extract Glow, anti-aging, nourishing, anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory
Urea Hydrating, draws moisture to skin, lightly exfoliates
Vitamin C (Ascorbyl Glucoside) Boosts collagen, anti-aging, fades pigmentation, reduces scarring, protects against sun damage. 
Volcanic Ash Clears pores, astringent, cleanses, reduces sebum, minerals
Willow Bark Extract Gentle BHA exfoliant, skin smoothing, brightening
Witch Hazel Extract Astringent, anti-inflammatory, firming
Zinc Treats acne, anti-inflammatory, wound healing