Better Than Water? New Liquids Are Taking Over Skincare

Though it makes up more than half of our bodies, water isn’t actually as beneficial as we once thought.


Water, the source of our survival is in fact the least beneficial to our healthour skincare health that is. Used in almost every product and often listed as one of the top five ingredients, skincare users have never questioned its presence because if it’s key to our lifeline, why question it otherwise.  

While it’s necessary to use an emulsifier in skincare, and water being the most readily available, most neutral element that’s easy to incorporate with other ingredients, its benefits are subpar. The source of the water is the most pressing concern, as companies aren’t obligated to disclose this informationthe water could at best come from a filtered source and at worst from… well, anywhere else.

As the market of skincare is growing and beauty enthusiasts are getting more savvythanks to the internetbeauty brands are offering transparency and in this case, alternatives to “useless” ingredients.

Normal, dry, combination, oily, acne-prone… whatever your skincare concerns may be, these are the new liquids that have permeated the skincare market that are better than water.

Birch Juice

Known for incorporating natural elements to their highly coveted products such as green tea and liquorice, K-beauty has unveiled the new ‘it’ ingredient, birch juice, also dubbed as the next coconut water. Rich in nutrients and containing a potent mixture of amino acids, enzymes, antioxidants and inflammatory elements, birch juice extract has witnessed a huge surge in popularity. It’s been replacing water in many products largely due in part to the tree’s natural purification process, birch juice can technically be used straight away upon extraction. According to our favourite skincare guru, Charlotte Cho from Sokoglam, “birch juice is being called the next coconut water for the skint thanks to its abundance of amino acids, sugars and minerals. It helps your skin to retain moisture and maintain a positive oil-moisture balance,” she told PopSugar. Most importantly, birch juice is rich in vitamin B3 to even out your complexion and contains vitamin C, which combined with the rest of its powerhouse nutrients, won’t irritate highly sensitive skin yet still stimulate cell turnover.

E Nature Birch Juice Hydro Mist

Keep your face dewy with this Hydro Mist from E Nature, containing 91% birch juice, this product will boost tired looking skin.

MISSHA Super Aqua Ultra Water-Full Clear Cream

Listed as the first ingredient, Betula Platyphylla Japonica Juice, otherwise known as birch juice, you know you’re getting a bang for your buck as the first ingredient listed has the highest percentage in the formula.

Fermented Extracts

As unpleasant sounding as the famous snail mucin, fermented yeast extract is another skincare ‘secret’ that has penetrated the skincare market. The science behind it can be closely associated to wine production or if easier to digest, similar to yogurt – whereby good bacteria is encouraged to multiply and grow. This process creates B-vitamins, probiotics, Omega-3 fatty acids and enzymes. Not only does it produce these beneficial nutrients but the fermentation process aids in breaking down other active ingredients for better absorption, penetrating deep into the layers of your skin. In this way, the fermentation process helps neutralize toxins, reduce bad bacteria on your skin, reduce free radicals and best of all; it does this in a mild and non-irritable way. The downside is that while it encourages skin-renewing properties, fermented extract is acidic which means that your skin will be a bit more sensitive to the sun, but as any good skincare aficionado should be doing anyways, is applying SPF daily, regardless of current weather conditions.

Missha Time Revolution First Treatment Essence Intensive Moist

This product has been on the market for a long time, known by beauty enthusiasts as a dupe for SK-II Facial Treatment Essence for a fraction of the price. Equally effective, this upgraded Missha’s version is formulated with 90% fermented yeast extract from Himalayan purple barley.

COSRX Glactomyces 95 Whitening Power Essence

Don’t let the ‘whitening’ title get your feminist panties in a bunch; what it means in K-beauty speak is more akin to brightening dull skin. The rest of the title is self explanatory, a true power essence; this product contains 95% of ferment filtrate

Neogen Real Ferment Micro Essence

Similar to the above two, this product also contains over 90% of natural fermented ingredients boasting immediate ultra-hydrating and plumping effects.

Watermelon Juice

Used in salads, smoothies and scents, the summertime fruit has long been lauded for its anti-inflammatory properties let alone as a great way to quench your thirst. Put two and two together and you have the foundation of a great skincare base. A dedicated watermelon juice line, launched recently by our favourite K-beauty e-tailer, Glow Recipe, has accumulated mass hype among beauty gurus. Packed with phytonutrients and citruline, which, according to Cult Beauty is “a circulatory-boosting amino acid which doubles as an ultra-mild exfoliant”, watermelon juice is perfect for all skin types especially those with acne-prone sensitive skin. Don’t let it’s lightweight formula fool you because despite its gel like texture, watermelon juice is high in folic acid and niacin, all things that are great at speeding up cell renewal to get that youthful looking glow. Although the Glow Recipe skincare line may be hard to get your hands on due to its popularity, a cheap, simple and equally effective way is to soak cotton pads in watermelon juice (freshly squeezed) for a homemade DIY mask.

Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask

Super light yet super hydrating; this quick absorbent product will reduce flaky skin while you get your beauty sleep.

UMA Oils Absolute Anti Aging Face Mask

Surprise, surprise, this is one product that’s not within the K-beauty realm but nevertheless contains great ingredients such as sandalwood, tomato leaf and of course, watermelon.

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