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Note: This post contains affiliate links* Organic K-beauty has been a massive trend this year, and I myself have a deep love for organic skincare made in Korea. But, it’s difficult sometimes to know which brand is and isn’t “truly” organic. Fear not, dear listeners, for I shall help you wade through the confusing world of “organic” and “natural” skincare from Korea…
Are you a fan of plant-based, cruelty-free and sustainably sourced beauty products? Well, then this episode is (hopefully!) for you! In my tireless quest to prove that Asian beauty is not just filled with animal-torturing, wasteful and “scarily exotic” brands, the focus for today’s The K-Beauty Podcast episode is all on organic K-beauty brands because, yes, they DO absolutely exist. And – they are often highly innovative, aesthetically pleasing, and with a lot of heart and soul poured into their products.
I have been wanting to do an episode on organic skincare from Korea for quite some time now, but kept putting it off because the whole “organic” label is kind of tricky. Even now, after doing quite a bit of research, I still feel like I have barely scratched the surface of the “labelling jungle” and the manifold differences in how governments and organisations define the term “organic.” And, if you think that is tricky – try finding out what it means when a brand says their products are “natural” or “clean”, yikes!
For today’s episode on organic K-beauty, I have focused mostly on brands that I know have a truly stellar reputation: many of them carry international organic certifications such as the BIDH label from Germany, or the French ECOCERT label, and then a smaller group of Korean brands that I would call “near organic.”
These latter brands may not have full certified organic status, but they seem to be using organic ingredients to a high degree, and their philosophy and stated mission sounds to me to be nearly identical to organic brands and sincere enough to convince me that it isn’t merely some marketing “greenwashing” tool.
I will also do my best to explain what it actually means when a brand is “certified organic”, what the pros and cons are when it comes to organic skincare in general, and why I think Korean organic skincare is oh so very exciting. This is a very special episode for me because organic skincare and I, we go way back – German organic beauty brands such as Dr. Hauschka or Weleda were probably the first skincare that I got genuinely passionate about! Germany has always been a pioneer in the organic movement, skincare or otherwise, so I feel deeply connected to that tradition.
I will never be a fully organic, fully green and super flawlessly eco-conscious person, which is why I am always nervous talking about these topics: too many people will criticise bloggers and influencers for their lifestyle if it doesn’t perfectly line up with their high moral and ethical standards, but in all truth, it is and will forever be impossible to match those standards as a flawed human being. So, as always, my main goal is to simply inform you about what is out there, so that you can find the perfect products that line up with your very own personal needs, wants and standards. Organic K-beauty is simply one of many approaches to beauty, and a very vibrant, unique and innovative one at that!
Here is episode TWENTY-TWO of The K-Beauty Podcast: The Lowdown on Organic K-Beauty!
Episode Notes: The Lowdown on Organic K-Beauty!
Organic Skincare vs. “Natural” Skincare
- Ecco Verde has a great list of a number of organic and/or vegan beauty labels
- This website also has a great overview of a number of different international organic certifications and their requirements
- Rules and regulations for the USDA Organic label
- Pdf of the rules and regulations for the COSMOS standard label, which is connected to the German BDIH certification (info about BDIH, in German, can be found here)
- A pdf of the rules and standard for the ECOCERT certification (ECOCERT is a French/EU organic label)
- Some guidelines on how to distinguish between natural and organic
- A great “natural vs. organic” article listing the differences and the problems with the “natural” terminology
- Michelle from Labmuffin has a great post on the “natural is always better” debate, including a helpful video
- Jude Chao, aka “Fiddy”, wrote a great article about the pitfalls of the green, clean beauty industry
Certified Organic K-Beauty Brands
- If you can read German, you can check out my German review of the brand
- Whamisa Organic Flowers Toner Deep Rich – buy at Amazon.com*
- Whamisa Organic Hydrogel Masks – buy a set of 3 at Amazon*
- Whamisa Organic Flowers Eye Essence – buy at Amazon*
- Whamisa Organic Seeds Shampoo for Dry Scalp – read my German blog post about Whamisa haircare, buy at Amazon*
- Whamisa Organic Seeds Hair Essence – buy at Amazon*
- URANG Brightening Blue Oil Serum – buy at Ohlolly*, Germans can buy this at Flaconi*
- URANG Natural Cleansing Oil – buy at Ohlolly*, Germans/EU peeps can buy this at Flaconi*
- URANG True Rose Repair Essence – read my English review, buy either at Ohlolly* or at Flaconi*
- URANG Love Cica X Opuntia Sheet Mask – buy at Ohlolly* (for now, they are the only place selling them, they should soon be available at Skinsider and Flaconi too!)
- URANG Love Rose X Hibiscus Sheet Mask – buy at Ohlolly*
3. CHOBS Organic
- CHOBS Organic Centella Asiatica Serum – read my English review, buy at Koco Republic; Germans can now buy this at Flaconi*
- CHOBS Organic Face Masks – buy them at Koco Republic, or if you are in Germany you can get the Rose Anti Wrinkle,* the vegan Collagen* and the Rice Bran* face masks at Flaconi
- Benton Fermentation Essence – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon* (compare prices!)
- Benton Fermentation Eye Cream – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon*
- Benton Aloe Propolis Soothing Gel – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon*
- Benton Snail Bee High Content Mask Pack – buy at Yesstyle*
- Benton Deep Green Tea Toner – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon*
- Benton Goodbye Redness Centella Mask Pack – buy at Yesstyle*
- Benton Cacao Moist Toner – buy at Yesstyle*
- Benton Papaya S Sunscreen SPF50 – buy at Yesstyle*
- Aromatica Rose Absolute First Serum – buy at Yesstyle*
- Aromatica Organic Aloe Vera Gel – buy at Yesstyle*
- I was wrong, it isn’t a watermelon gel (sigh), but a 95% Damask Rose Soothing Gel they used to offer for a while – sadly, it seems to be out stock everywhere!
- Aromatica Orange Cleansing Sherbet – buy at Yesstyle*
“Near Organic” K-Beauty Brands: Nature-Based and Eco-Conscious
- Olivarrier Fluid Oil – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon* (currently cheaper at Yesstyle but compare prices before you purchase)
- Olivarrier Dual Mist Toning Lotion – buy at Yesstyle* or at Amazon*
- Olivarrier Dual Moist Hyaluron Essence – buy at Yesstyle*
I emailed Beautytap and they said that only people from the US can order Rootree (with fast-track shipping!) via the Beautytap online Shop, so I’ll place the links for you here guys even though I myself am geoblocked from accessing – hope this works!
- Rootree Camphorganic Refreshing Toner – buy at Beautytap*
- Rootree Camphorganic Returning Essence – buy at Beautytap*
- Rootree Camphorganic Refreshing Emulsion – buy at Beautytap*
- SanDaWha Extra Virgin Camellia Face Oil – buy at Beautytap*, buy at Amazon*, EU peeps can also get this at Ecco Verde
- SanDaWha Natural Mild Cleansing Oil – buy at Beautytap*
- SanDaWha Camellia Whitening Oil Mist – buy at Beautytap*, buy at Ecco Verde
- SanDaWha Liposome Skin Softener – buy at Beautytap*
- SanDaWha Camellia Flower Antioxidant Mask – buy at Beautytap*, at Ecco Verde
- Beaudiani Aroma Mask “Rose” – buy at Amazon* (5 pack), UK shop Tonic 15 also sells them individually!
- Beaudiani Aroma Mask “Lavender” – buy at Amazon* (5 pack), or singles at Tonic 15
- Beaudiani Aroma Mask “Neroli” – buy at Tonic 15
- Beaudiani Aroma Mask “Mandarin & Sweet Orange” – buy at Amazon* or at Tonic 15
- Beaudiani Queen’s Bee Royal Honey Mask – you can buy a 10 pack of this on Amazon*
- Beaudiani Pumpkin Mask – available at UK shop Skin Library or EU shop Louisa Via Roma
- Beaudiani Facial Mist Rose – buy at Amazon*
- Beaudiani Facial Mist Neroli – buy at at Tonic 15
The Weekly Craves, Faves and Misbehaves
- Crave of the week: Bellamonster Stress Out Solution Pad – buy at Yesstyle* (it’s on sale there at the moment! As in: a real sale, not one of the pseudo Yesstyle sales)
- Fave of the week: Rootree Cryptherapy Revital Toner – read my English review, buy at Beautytap* (North Americans only) or at Amazon*
- Misbehave of the week: The Ordinary Salicylic Acid 2% Solution – buy at Lookfantastic* if you get along with it better than I did! And, seriously: please let me know if you have a great tip for an affordable BHA product that works!
So there you have it: hopefully, I could bring some clarity to the somewhat murky topic of “natural vs. organic”, and bring your attention to a number of very cool organic K-beauty brands (and those that are close to that approach).
My deepest gratitude goes out to the people who support The K-Beauty Podcast and my other creative endeavours by using the affiliate links on this blog when making their beauty purchases. I also felt very emotional over the kind message from a wonderful person who donated to my ko-fi page – thank you, truly, for your generosity and for appreciating my work.
Remember to subscribe on ITunes for new podcast episodes, or subscribe on Stitcher! Follow me on Instagram for more English beauty content, and make sure to visit the ever-growing English section of this blog!
Let me know in the comments: Is organic K-beauty something that interests you? Are these types of labels important for you when you make your skincare purchases?
Take care, guys!
*Affiliate Links, meaning I earn a small commission if you decide to use the link to purchase an item. This does not raise the purchase price for you, and it helps me and my blog to grow – so, thank you for supporting me in this way!