Beauty Secrets: How I check on my Korean beauty products before buying

Hello hello!

This week I’ll be doing another special feature (sort of) related to beauty! As most of you know, I purchase a lot of cosmetics and skin care products…so it’s always important for me to check in on the product information and reviews!

However, there isn’t too much information on Korean cosmetic brands online. So I did some research and found an app called 화해 (Hwahae) that consolidates a lot of the information I need about Korean cosmetics and their ingredients (similar to the ThinkDirty app), and I’m here to share this app with all of you!

What is Hwahae? 

The name 화해 (Hwahae) is actually an abbreviated form of the phrase “화장품을 해석하다” (Hwa-jang-pum-eul hae-seok-ha-da) which literally translates to “analyze cosmetics.” So the app’s goal is to change the way people see make-up–that it is not as intimidating as everyone think…and that everyone can learn about how to take care of their skin.

It also promotes smart buying of products, not only in terms of budget and cost, but also aims to help people tailor fit their routines to their skin types. The app focuses mostly on Korean skin care and cosmetic products (as it was developed to cater to Korean audiences), including those brands that may be less known to the general public or may be difficult to find reviews for.

However, since the app is fully in Korean, it may be a bit difficult for some readers to use, so I prepared a quick guide to walk everyone through the basic functions of the app:

Searching for a product:

170517_Hwahae_Diag1

Most of the Korean beauty products and brands can be found in this app, and as I mentioned even the lesser known brands and cosmetics can be found here as well, so learning about the product and its ingredients becomes much easier for everyone.

If you conduct a search on the app’s search bar, you can easily find a number of beauty brands and / or beauty products that you may be curious about, or are looking to compare (with other products that perform the same function).

170517_Hwahae_Diag2

So once you select a certain item and scroll down the respective product page, you will find a section that contains all of the ingredients that we used to make the product. Usually, Hwahae rates the ingredients based on how much caution or concern you should exercise in case the ingredient can be found in the product of interest.

Hwahae’s scale is as follows:

  • Blue (rating 1-3): least concern / caution
    • these ingredients are generally okay to place on your skin, and it is normal for them to be found in beauty products
  • Yellow (rating 4-7, but sometimes extends to 3): mild or medium concern / caution
    • these ingredients can be harmful to certain types of skin, or if there are high concentrations
  • Red (rating 8 and above): high or heavy concern / caution
    • products with many or high concentrations of the red ingredients should be avoided, as they can be very harmful to your skin

Special notations:

  • Allergy-warning
    • these ingredients have been reported to cause allergies in some individuals
  • 20 kinds of potentially dangerous ingredients
    • these are ingredients that have to be avoided, if possible as they can cause harm to your skin in the long run

So apart from the ingredient information, you can also find reviews on the products made by various individuals. These of course, are in Korean…but you can get a lot of information just by looking at the star ratings of the product already!

170517_Hwahae_Diag3.png

Though Hwahae is mainly a brand for Korean beauty products (which you can also purchase products within the app), you can also find many famous international brands (such as Benefit cosmetics, Urban Decay, etc.) within the app.

They also produce weekly rankings for the products, and feature products based on what gains positive reviews from users, and from what users are eyeing for the week in each category.

Apart from this, the editors in this app also produce weekly news based on the current events in Korea (such as the yellow dust / 미세 먼지) and offer advice on how to better protect and prepare your skin for harsh changes in the seasons or weather. I find their content to be very helpful and educational to those who aren’t aware of what certain types of weather have on your skin!

 

If you have any questions or want to know about the Hwahae app, feel free to leave a comment on this post! I hope that this post will help those who are interested in learning more about Korean beauty products.

You can download the Hwahae app via the Apple iTunes Store or  Google Play Store

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