From hit singles like BTS’ “Dynamite” to exploding Netflix dramas like Squid Game, Korea’s popular culture exports are continuing their impressive surge globally. Korea’s great cultural wave — also known as “Hallyu” — is categorized by its beautiful actors, singers and dancers. Given its core as a visual language, Korean pop culture has raised some obvious questions from the rest of us, ordinary folks: What’s the secret behind Korean beauty? What products are Koreans using and what habits are Koreans following to maintain that youthful glow?
Research on the topic reveals that around 70 percent of Koreans regularly consume health functional foods, which include vitamin supplements and food products that include special health-oriented ingredients. Koreans are loyal consumers of vitamin-packed products to address various concerns in life: Growth, aging, energy, digestion, fitness and more.
One hit category within health functional foods is what Koreans call “Inner Beauty,” which are also known as “beauty supplements” or “nutricosmetics.” Inner beauty products contain active ingredients that are formulated to address specific skin concerns like wrinkles, fine lines, irritation, acne and more.
According to the CEO of The Aprilab, a best-selling Korean inner beauty brand, “If you walk the streets of Gangnam today, you’ll find inner beauty product ads splashed across massive electronic billboards, buses and inside Gangnam’s bustling taxis. Every 7-Eleven check-out counter offers inner beauty products like collagen-filled jellies next to the usual candies and snacks. It seems like every Korean is consuming inner beauty products in 2021.”
A large and growing body of clinical research supports the linkage between consistent consumption of beauty supplements and positive impacts to one’s appearance.
In Korea, some popular active ingredients include collagen, glutathione and probiotics — each contributing to or helping a cellular function that can promote youthfulness or help prevent dermatological issues. For example, collagen is a primary component in human skin; when we age, our natural production of collagen begins to slow down (starting from our 20s). Studies show that we can offset some of this natural loss by consuming collagen in the form of supplements (or naturally collagen-rich foods).
The Aprilab, focused on bringing ultra-high Korean supplements to markets in Southeast Asia at affordable prices, offers a powerful two-in-one anti-aging supplement called Time Blast which includes both marine collagen (fight fine lines and wrinkles) and milk ceramides (protect the skin barrier).
Taking one small two-gram sachet daily (no need to mix with water!) of this blueberry-strawberry “blast” helps one maintain that sought-after glow. According to one recent clinical study posted on The Aprilab’s Instagram account, participants supplemented with marine collagen saw a significant 35 percent reduction in wrinkles over a 12-week period.
Super Balance, meanwhile, is a mango-flavored probiotic and prebiotic supplement that’s formulated to lower levels of inflammation in the body. When inflammation occurs in our gut, it can often manifest as acne flare-ups, dry skin and sensitive skin. By integrating probiotics to help to balance both the good and bad bacteria in your body and prebiotics to assist with healthy digestion, Super Balance is an impressive combo. Multiple clinical studies have suggested probiotics as a way to treat acne in combination with other therapies.
The Aprilab’s third and best-selling product is Ultrabright, a refreshing citrus-flavored supplement containing a powerful combination of Glutathione — an antioxidant produced naturally in our bodies — and Vitamin C, which helps the body to produce and process more Glutathione. If you’re suffering from acne scars, redness, UV spots or other hyperpigmentation, Ultrabright is a great option.
For every order, The Aprilab makes a matching donation to Vitamin Angels, an non-governmental organization dedicated to fighting child malnutrition. All of the brand’s products are made in advanced HAACP production facilities in South Korea.
This season, The Aprilab has packed six of its yummy products into a gorgeous silk-matte gift box, along with its signature canvas bag, logo water bottle and a free postcard — a steal P1,500. Find it on the brand’s official Shopee store.