As more beauty brands are revisiting use of ancient rituals and ingredients from Asia in their products, K-Beauty has a treasure trove of time-tested offerings to choose from.
South Korean food-based ingredients are the inspiration behind New York-born brand BYROE, which fuses science with natural superfoods to create antioxidant-rich skin care.
The brand was founded in 2019 by Amy Roe, who grew up in the US with South Korean parents. Its ethos is based on the principle that what you apply to your skin is just as important as what you put into your body to nourish it.
The products are also designed to create experiential moments, with delicious scents and luxurious textures while also improving skin.
Superfoods and tea
“I pick and choose the ingredients that are inspired by rituals in South Korea,” shared Roe. “We used to use shredded carrots for the face masks to support relief and soothing of the skin.”
BYROE also uses green vegetables or teas like celery, broccoli, or Matcha green tea. “My mum used to squeeze the green vegetables to make it into a face mask using a cotton pad, for the instant brightening effect,” shared Roe.
Pumpkin juice is another age-old ingredient inspired by South Korean beauty rituals. “Koreans are eager to drink pumpkin juice for depuffing their face,” Roe explained.
“I've been educated to use those superfood/tea-based ingredients for facials and wanted to adopt my cultural background into luxury skincare,” she continued. “The reason I've chosen those specific ingredients is that I've used those ingredients most common in my early ages and I've seen immediate skincare effect after using them.”
To ensure high quality and efficacy, BYROE uses two different extraction processes. Its Superfood line uses the cold-pressed method to retain their natural properties, while the Tea line uses the hot-pressed method to increase caffeine concentration.
The 14-strong Superfood line is inspired by vegan and nutritious superfoods to ‘feed skin’ with clean, antioxidant-rich superfoods and clinically proven actives. According to the brand, it’s based around “how you would make a salad” with the K-beauty-inspired step-by-step application to maximise results.
Meanwhile, the five-product tea-inspired line was “a natural continuation of the brand” according to Roe, as it honours the time-tested health and beauty benefits of tea. She said that tea often goes hand-in-hand with a nourishing salad, bringing even more detoxifying benefits.
Ingredients not readily available
When formulating, Roe’s biggest challenge is that the envisioned ingredients are not readily available in the market. “Our preference for utilising freshly pressed ingredients often leads us to customise our ingredients to align with our specific requirements, including the appropriate extraction processes, temperatures, and ingredient combinations,” she explained. “This meticulous approach to customisation often results in an extended development timeline for each product.”
As the products are made with fresh, food and drink-based ingredients the products needed using appropriate extract methods for each ingredient and special consideration in terms of shelf life.
“For the salad ingredients, a fresh squeezing method is applied by keeping the right amount of moisture for each ingredient,” explained Roe.
“For the tea lines, each ingredient goes through the ageing process and is steeped at an appropriate temperature,” she continued. “The preservation we use are varied by each product depending on the formulation; we use both natural and chemical preservatives. For example 1,2-hexanediol is used as a safe alternative to parabens.”
BYROE is currently expanding its ranges and global distribution. It has just officially launched a new product Pumpkin Pro-retinol Cream into the US market and is set to launch two more products at the end of this year – chamomile cleanser and pro-berry toner. Meanwhile, its Salad line is set to launch into the UK in the upcoming months.
“We are planning to expand our product lines next year with a new line to meet different skincare needs,” shared Roe. “We will also focus on global distribution channels for the next two to three years.”