South Korea is the skin-care gift that keeps on giving. And lucky for all of us, more bestselling Korean skin-care products are coming our way: Primera, a skin-care line from leading K-beauty brand AmorePacific, is landing stateside this spring.
The brand touts itself as “the sole clean K-beauty company,” and it’s launching in the U.S. this summer through an exclusive partnership with Sephora — on sephora.com on June 25 and in Sephora stores this July.
In Korea, Primera’s product line ranges from skin care to hair care and even baby products. For the U.S. launch, however, there will only be skin-care products available (24 of them, for now), including four of the brand’s hero products: Alpine Berry Water Cream, Clean Berry Lip Mask, Miracle Seed Essence, and Mild Facial Peeling Gel
As you can infer from their names, all of Primera’s skin-care products are formulated with some type of plant or fruit seed. Seeds, and more specifically, the moment that a seed sprouts, are the inspiration behind the brand. The ingredients in each product are cultivated through what the brand calls germination energy technology, which harnesses the nutrients of seeds when they sprout (or germinate). The name Primera is actually a combination of the words “prime” and “era,” which is meant to symbolize the very moment a seed sprouts and is supposedly at peak vitality.
“If you think about how every plant’s journey begins with a single seed, the energy of sprouting is a crucial moment of growth,” says Jessica Hanson, president and general manager of AmorePacific in the U.S. “Each of our formulas utilizes ingredients at that prime moment of vitality to optimate efficacy.”
What’s more: All of Primera’s products are free of parabens, animal-derived ingredients, silicones, mineral oil, synthetic dyes, and artificial fragrances. The brand is super committed to sustainability, so all of its packaging is eco-friendly. Meaning, in addition to using recycled paper boxes, plastic bottles, and glass jars, Primera prints all product information directly on the box (in enviro-friendly soy ink) so as to reduce waste.
“Consumers want their skin care to do more than help their skin,” Hanson explains. “They want brands to make a positive impact on the world. With Primera, we’re giving consumers the innovative products synonymous with K-beauty, but our formulas are free of harmful ingredients and house in eco-friendly packaging.”
Back to those innovative products: All of them contain various potent combinations of plant and/or fruit extracts, each one harvested from a sprouted seed. For example, the brand’s Alpine Berry Water Cream is perhaps the most popular skin-care product of the entire line. A “delicately dewy moisturizer,” it features a blend of wild strawberry sprouts and antioxidant-rich blackberries (named the Alpine berry complex), as well as coconut-derived oil and artemisia extract, a botanical that can help reduce signs of sun damage in the skin. The Clean Berry Lip Mask is another hero product, which features a plant-based mix of conditioning butters and extracts, including Seaberry Fruit, a potent antioxidant with high levels of vitamins C and E.
Another stand-out product from the brand is the Miracle Seed Essence, which is formulated with lotus seeds, a rich source of amino acids that has been shown in studies to have a positive impact on smoothing fine lines. ICYMI, essences, which are a staple in Asian skin care, are liquid-like formulas with high concentrations of active ingredients that are meant to be applied right after cleansing (before serum and moisturizer).
While there is absolutely something to be said about chemical- and fragrance-free skin-care products that maintain efficacy and eco-friendliness, when I consulted a cosmetic chemist and dermatologist for their thoughts on germination energy technology, they weren’t quite sure what to make of it.