The rise of natural and organic skincare brands, the explosion of independent brands, the self-care movement, the growing consumers scrutiny of label claims and concerns about sustainability and corporate responsibility are key trends shaping the future of the skincare industry and dermatology. Within this context, consumers will increasingly seek advice from dermatologists who need to be best equipped to provide evidence-based recommendations to their patients.

In April 2017, the JDD published an article on “Evidence for Anti-Aging South Korean Cosmeceuticals” 1 In this paper, the authors reviewed and critically evaluated the evidence behind the anti-aging and skin whitening activity of ingredients in the most popular South Korean skincare care products permeating the US market ( K-Beauty trend). With South Korea being one of the world’s most innovative and fastest growing beauty market, the K-Beauty trend will drive more patients to turn to dermatologists for advice, emphasizing  the need for a critical understanding of the underlying evidence.

A comprehensive literature review was completed for the nine most popular ingredients identified in the top selling products: licorice, niacinamide, beta-glucan, snail mucus, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, green tea, pomegranate, and soy. Of the various ingredients reviewed, niacinamide, green tea, licorice and soy had the most published data for anti-aging and whitening activity. Although the literature showed modest results, small sample sizes interpretation. The authors concluded that high-level evidence to support the use of South Korean skin care products in anti-aging and skin whitening was lacking.


  1. Quay ER, Chang YC, Graber E. Evidence for Anti-Aging South Korean Cosmeceuticals; J Drugs Dermatol. 2017 Apr 1;16(4):358-363