Discover The Beauty Mecca That Is Jeju Island | Verve Magazine
India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
July 11, 2016

Discover The Beauty Mecca That Is Jeju Island

Text by Wyanet Vaz

We explore game-changing ranges from Innisfree — the Korean choice of skincare — and its undeniable cult of cute

You must be living under a rock if you didn’t know that the BB cream you religiously swear by originated in Korea. And any K-beauty junkie knows the difference between her sleeping and snail secretion masks, ampoule and essence, serum and emulsion. Another term that has slowly crept into the beauty lexicon is Jeju. Though it may sound like what cosmetic biggie Tony Moly’s cutesy panda could go by, it is actually an island in South Korea which is touted to be the beauty mecca of the world.

With an invitation to visit Jeju and a plane ticket in hand, I found myself checking off another box on the bucket list. My primal instinct was, of course, to stroll down the Korean street and hoard all the beautifully packaged cosmetics.

On exploring the market and sampling the creams, I discovered Innisfree, from AmorePacific, a leading skincare and cosmetic brand. It was hard to miss, since there were pop-ups at every nook and corner. With a little help from Google, and the store managers, I realised that the brand incorporates exotic natural ingredients found in this island’s lush ecosystem. The locals are famous for their obsession with skincare, and they will recommend natural products only if they come with a ‘Made in Jeju’ stamp.

Jeju Island, being one of the most botanically diverse and least polluted areas of the world, has given Innisfree a treasure trove of promising natural ingredients. A walk through their green tea fields will tell you why Innisfree’s green tea line is one of their biggest beauty bestsellers. With outlets all over Seoul and Jeju, they have expanded heavily into the eastern hemisphere. And don’t be surprised if anyone who is familiar with the brand butters you in exchange for a bunch of its products.

Besides their recyclable bottles and Jeju Café, which is famous for its ice shavings and seaweed soup, Innisfree’s roster of ingredients, like volcanic scoria, camellia flower and green tea, have added a new dimension to skincare. After sampling their products, I was forced to swap all those on my dresser for their cutely packaged hand creams, apple-based make-up removers, signature green tea serums and squeezy face masks.

The volcanic island, which is evidently the reason for this natural booty, is also famous for its olle (‘narrow pathway’) trails, and more than just the products, it is the serene environment that is detoxifyng. The agenda is to drop the smartphone and cycle across the island. And while you do, you’d spot tangerines that are sweeter than the nectar of the gods, and ‘grandfather’ stones that promise fertility. Don’t rub them unless that kind of production is on your cards! Innisfree’s special outlet lets you try your hand at soap-making, and you can come back with a customised bar of orchid, volcanic or tangerine body scrub.

After exploring the gush-worthy Jeju and the natural world of Innisfree, I’m not surprised that these buzzing ingredients are taking over the beauty vocabulary.

Jeju’s super ingredients for glowing skin

Green apple

It will help restore the complexion’s natural shine. It also helps in deep cleaning and restoring radiance.

Jeju orchid

Perfect as an anti-ageing potion, it is packed with antioxidants; the neutralising agents reverse damage caused by the sun and pollution.

Green tea

Its extract is perfect for recharging your skin, which it leaves feeling smooth, supple and deeply hydrated.

Volcanic scoria

It is a pure and fairly rare ingredient formed from lava as it cools after a volcanic eruption. It washes away impurities while moisturising the skin, leaving it cleaner.


The vitality of the flower helps it blossom even through the coldest parts of winter while its extract nourishes the skin and reduces pigmentation.

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