Korean Skincare Products To Watch Out For This Year: A Google Trends Analysis

Korean skincare has seen a massive rise in popularity over the last few years. The first time I heard about Korean skincare & beauty products was when I was doing a 3 month stint in Taipei and one of my friends was looking for BB Cream. Until then I had no idea that there exists a country full of people that are obsessed with skincare and companies that create skincare product & design innovations from texture changing face washes to under-eye cream in panda shaped packaging. This knowledge was the turning point of my current skincare obsession.

I went back to the US and raved about Korean skincare to whoever would listen to me. Then in 2013 I moved to India and tried convincing people that Korea is where the real skincare game is at. No one really believed me though mainly because, at the time, it was so difficult to get your hands on Korean skincare & makeup. Fast forward to 2018 and K-Beauty is everywhere. People now recognize K-beauty companies for the innovative, effective and affordable products. Brands like Innisfree, The Face Shop and Laneige are widely known now.

My K-beauty obsession is also now stronger than ever. I’ve taken this obsession beyond my vanity shelf to Instagram & blog posts. I also send out weekly newsletters of the biggest beauty news that week. I was researching this week’s newsletter content when I decided to look at the progressive of K-beauty popularity over time. I turned to Google Trends for the data.

Here’s what I found:

  1. Overview

    • Searches worldwide about Korean skincare have exponentially grown since 2011 with the highest number of searches in Feb 2018.
    • In the last 12 months the #6 related query when people search ‘skincare’ in Google is ‘Korean skincare’
    • Korean skincare searches are well below searches related to ‘Fenty’. Pop culture status trumps everything.
  2. Biggest trends & products to look out for

    • Glass skin searches are rising which means that people will be looking to purchase products that help them achieve that look.
    • These ingredients will be hugely popular this year:
    • Essences, sleeping masks and sheet masks will maintain their popularity over this year with essences perhaps seeing an increase in popularity.
  3. Products that will lose popularity this year

    • People haven’t searched much for derma-rolling compared to jade rolling over the last 12 months so I think it is unlikely to become as big a trend as jade rolling. I think that one of the biggest reasons why derma-rolling won’t take off is because it sounds surgical and intimidating compared to jade rolling.
    • Snail mucin is losing its popularity compared to earlier this year.

It’s hugely promising that the number of Korean skincare searches are increasing. This growing popularity means that more K-beauty products will be hitting the shelves worldwide and I can hardly wait!

 

Hack Your Brain To Increase Your Productivity

The neediest thing in my life isn’t a person – it’s my phone. It constantly demands my attention through push notifications and little red numbers on the top right corner of apps. My rude awakening came when I tracked how much time I spend on my phone. At my most distracted day I spent 7 hours on my phone. Which means that after factoring in 8 hours of sleep, I spent 50% of my day on my phone. And I don’t even remember what I was doing.

Things needed to change.

Being on the phone is so addicting because social media apps are literally only showing you articles, videos and memes that you like. It’s tough to put down the phone when a cute cat meme pops up on your newsfeed. But the distraction is costly. More time on my phone means less time to create & focus on more important and meaningful tasks.

Creating and contributing to projects makes people happy. So why do we sabotage ourselves by giving in to distractions? The reason is time-inconsistency – a behavioural economics principle that describes our lack of foresightedness. We do things in the present moment that we will regret in the future. So how do we overcome this insanely natural tendency? By taking a moment to notice and be present. The next time you’re on your phone and you realise that you’re almost falling down a spiral of mindless content consumption — take a deep breath and note how you’re feeling in that moment. If reading that article, watching that video isn’t giving you joy or adding value to your day put your phone down.

It’s hard and the first time is the hardest. What helps is thinking about the second & third order consequences of staying on your phone for any longer. Don’t let your natural tendencies sabotage your future happiness.

An easy way to start is by putting your phone on ‘Do Not Disturb’ mode for a few hours every day. Add all the important people in your life to your ‘Favourites’ list so that the phone will ring any time the call or text. All else is not important.

Next, divide your day into focus & rest periods. Numerous studies have shown that people are most productive when they focus in bursts and then fully rest in between focus periods. However, keeping track of the time is counterproductive so the best way to do this is to download a desktop app.

Ultimately, noticing distractions and slowly minimizing them to avoid temptations can vastly increase your productivity and even make you happier.

All you need to do is change the settings.

An Ayurvedic End To The Day

Ayurveda dominated the wellness space in 2017 and is here to stay in 2018 (moringa, anyone?). But while most of these wellness trends are suggested to everyone, the real magic unfolds when you choose the right treatments for your dosha. This is easy when it comes to food, difficult when it comes to skincare. So imagine my joy when I found an oil cleanser for Pitta, my dosha. Pitta skin type is super oily which makes finding the perfect oil cleanser slightly challenging. Samaya’s Pitta Hydrating Cleanser is creamy, removes makeup almost instantly and, leaves my skin feeling hydrated AND clean. Also, this cleanser leaves virtually no residue which makes it literally magic. My quest for the perfect oil cleanser has officially ended.

I follow the oil cleansing with Purearth’s Turmeric Exfoliating Face Sand because double cleansing is life. It instantly brightens my skin and unclogs my pores. On some days I spread an even layer of the sand on my face and leave it on as a face mask for ~20 mins. The routine ends with heavy moisturizing of my squeaky clean skin followed by (on good days) a sheet mask while I lay on the couch binge watching Season 2 of Hello! My Twenties.

Where To Find The Best Candles In Bombay

Anyone who knows me, knows that my perfect evening includes: candles, my cats (Leo & Bagheera) and a good book (usually a fantasy novel – this is what I’m currently reading). The second two items on the list are easily acquired in Bombay (not a spelling error). The third, however, has been more of a challenge since I moved here over 4 years ago.

The perfect candle is equal parts visually appealing and strongly (but not overbearingly, allergy inducing) scented. Having one without the other is a disappointment… and unacceptable. My favourite candle brands in the whole wide world are Diptyque, Byredo and Cire Trudon. Buying these candles in India, however, comes with its own challenges – limited options and exorbitant prices (usually twice the USD value). Which  means, for the last ~4 years I’ve been asking my parents to ship these candles to me from the US — no hefty Indian import duties can come between me and my candle relaxation time. So, I thought that this is the way of the Bombay (candle) world and the only way to pacify my olfactory sense.

And then, Jo Malone opened their first Indian store in Bombay. And within that same week I discovered an the Maroma candle range at Good Earth.

Jo Malone candles stay strong throughout their burn time – Bergamot & Oud is my jam. Can’t say the same for the Good Earth candles but the scent is a-mazing for the first 8 hours so I’ll take it. I tested the Maroma Sandalwood Pillar Candle and I was sold (can the good folks at Auroville do any wrong?). These options are wayy  more affordable than shipping my usual faves so my wallet is definitely happy.

Moral of the story: Yes, the Universe does listen.

The best natural and cruelty free skincare – India Edition

India is the country that brought Ayurveda to the world. The centuries old Indian system of medicine provides super effective solutions for all your pitta, vata and kapha problems.

However, when it comes to skincare, super natural = preservative free = can last up to 30 days only if refrigerated. If you’re into that, check out Waterline – skincare so pure you can eat it (seriously).

For those who lack refrigerator space or prefer to store their skincare stash in their bedrooms/bathrooms – Kama Ayurveda and Forest Essentials give you all the Ayurvedic luxury minus the high maintenance. (On a side note, both of their hair care lines are top notch and I personally vouch for Kama Ayurveda’s Bringadi Intensive Hair Treatment Oil.)

Ayca is another all-natural Ayurvedic brand which brings more of a modern twist to Ayurveda by incorporating new-age aromatherapy to their products. Their Jasmine and Rose Body Oil is light on the skin and olfactory system. Perfect.

Moving on from Ayurveda to their Korean counterpart – Innisfree. (Note: Innisfree isn’t doesn’t have any ancient Korean medicine roots.) With stores around the country, they are definitely the biggest Korean skincare company in India — and I love them. The Innisfree Green Tea Seed Serum is a best seller in its own right — use it as an essence and apply right after toner before serum.

Yes, this article is about skincare but a little organic, cruelty-free makeup never hurt anyone. Ruby’s Organics lipsticks and blushes are DA BOMB — super high quality at an unbeatable price point. Must buy.

The best skincare for oily skin

You know how you’re never supposed to pour water on an oil fire? When it comes to skincare for oily skin, the same principal holds… almost.

The media, a few dermatologists and your aunt love to tell everyone how oil-free cleansers, moisturizers, everything are the best way to go for people with oily skin. Not true. As someone who has had oily skin from literally day 1 of life, I can attest that this is just not true.

In fact, the renaissance of my skincare routine began the moment I added an oil cleanser, facial oil, oil-based moisturizers, a weekly oil hair mask and oil serum before styling my hair. Here’s how it’s done:

  • Adopt a 2-step face cleansing routine. Start with an oil cleanser and end with a foam cleanser. Your skin will thank you. (Oil cleansers are magic because only oil removes oil… from your face.)
  • Use an oil-based moisturizer during the day. It sounds intimidating and probably not the best idea if you live in a hot/humid climate but this is a total win for the winter/colder climates. I really believe that too little moisturizer makes my skin over-secrete oil thus making it look wayyy oilier than it is. The key to keeping your oily skin at bay is to make sure that your skin is nice & dewy (counter-intuitive, I know).
  • !SKINCARE GAME CHANGER ALERT! A wonderful, aromatherapy inspired, soothing cocktail of face oils for the night. Almond oil + rosehip oil + argan oil = THE BEST your skin will ever look in the morning. Puffiness be gone! Acne be gone! Dark circle be gone! I can’t even begin to tell you just how amazing this blend is — try it and let me know how it works for you! (Any face oil at night is great – lots of options out there!)
  • Weekly oil mask – I usually massage some warm coconut oil into my scalp on Saturday night while I’m binge watching something on Netflix. Coconut oil is my fav and it smeels soooo good that I sleep with it on and wake up to lightly scented, moisturized hair. The coconut hair dreams must end so I wash it off and then let my glossy locks air-dry. If coconut oil isn’t your thang, a cult-favorite (and mine) is the Bringadi hair oil by Kama Ayurveda.
  • Oil on wet hair + before styling. I love love love Ouai Hair Oil. It is seriously da bomb. I can rub it on wet hair, dry hair, semi-dry hair — it just always works.

 

Supplements that REALLY work

I am obsessed with self improvement and I try almost anything that is a) safe b) recommend by the internet c) comes from a reliable source. As a result, I’ve tried almost every supplement out there and continue to take the ones that prove their efficacy over time. Here are the supplements that have really worked:

  • Zinc to prevent colds. This is an absolute miracle pill. I pop one as soon as I feel the sniffles and voila – after a good night’s rest I am virtually sniffle free.
  • Fish oil is amazing for my hair, my skin and my brain. Enough said.
  • Marine collagen makes my skin glow, my hair grow faster & thicker AND reverses all the damage done to my nails through the numerous acrylic nail sessions. I drink it first thing in the morning but it’s also a popular addition to my smoothies.
  • Magnesium – I take it right before I sleep and wake up feeling ah-mazing. 

What supplements have worked for you guys? Would love to hear from you in the comments!