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6 Exciting K-Beauty Ingredients to Look Out for in 2019

These K-beauty picks do not disappoint (especially where salmon sperm is involved)
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As 2019 hurtles ever closer, it's time to look ahead to the new year — and all the potentially exciting new beauty innovations that come with it. When it comes to innovation in the skin care and makeup field, it doesn't get much more cutting edge than South Korea — which is why we reached out to Korean skin care experts like Soko Glam and Then I Met You founder Charlotte Cho, Peach & Lily founder Alicia Yoon and Glow Recipe co-founder Sarah Lee and asked them for their insights on what's coming down the pike for 2019.

We picked their brains on what they foresee as being some of the buzziest Korean skin care ingredients of the new year, and believe us: Their picks do not disappoint. From all-natural complexion brighteners to the newest generation of microneedles, keep reading for some of K-beauty's most exciting new ingredients and trends.

Image via Imaxtree

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Sodium DNA
Alicia Yoon says she's been seeing a lot of Sodium DNA — aka "DNA derived from salmon sperm." (Egads!) "This ingredient is gaining a lot of traction for its regenerative properties and its ability to help reduce wrinkles," Yoon says.

Suggested products: Shangpree Marine Jewel Illuminating Mask, $6

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Remember when Sandra Bullock and Cate Blanchett were singing the praises of "penis facials?" Well, if you're familiar with those, you're familiar with Epidermal Growth Factor (or EGF). It can be derived from the stem cells of baby foreskin (yes, really), though it can also be taken from plants.

"I'm very impressed with the results of medical-grade EGF found in products from brands such as EasyDew," Charlotte Cho says. She notes that these EGF formulas are designed to "reduce fine lines and wrinkles."

Suggested products: Easydew EX Repair Control EGF, $88

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Have you heard of PHAs yet? Short for "polyhydroxy acids," they're the new exfoliating acid on the block. Known for its combined gentleness and effectiveness, it's an ingredient that's really taking off in South Korea at the moment, according to Glow Recipe co-founder Sarah Lee.

Suggested product: Glow Recipe Avocado Melt Sleeping Mask, $45

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Licorice Extract
"Natural brighteners are on the rise!" says Cho. "Licorice extract, a well-studied natural brightener (also a personal favorite ingredient of mine) will continue to be a popular skin care ingredient because of its ability to brighten while being gentle on the skin.

Suggested products: Acwell Licorice pH Balancing Essence Mist, $24

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