It's hard not to love K-beauty. With whimsical products (panda sheet masks, anyone?), brightly colored packaging, unconventional and rare ingredients like pearl, snail mucus, and gold—let's not overlook the accessibility of single-serve products and lower price points—it's no wonder Korean beauty has struck a chord with the masses.
If you're looking to try K-beauty, find a green product that contains skin-brightening ingredient niacinamide—it sounds like a chemical, but it's simply a topical (and ingestible) B3 vitamin.
According to the EWG (Environmental Working Group), the leading resource that allows consumers to check cosmetics ingredients for toxicity, Niacinamide scores a "one." This is the best score it can get. A "one" indicates that it's not likely to cause cancer, disrupt your endocrine system, or instigate an allergic reaction. Niacinamide is also allowed in European cosmetics, which is a hearty stamp of approval because the beauty industry is regulated.
"Niacinamide is a very popular ingredient in many Korean skin-care products because of the multi-benefits it provides," said Alicia Yoon, licensed esthetician and founder of K-beauty mecca Peach & Lily. "It helps brighten skin and even skin tone, it helps to refine skin texture, and also has anti-inflammatory benefits. With a big focus on environmental pollutants also harming our skin, niacinamide has become even more popular for the way it can help fight the effects of pollutants on skin."