Ingredient Highlight – Mugworth

A true measure of a skincare nerd is the level of excitement they experience once they find an ingredient that their skin loves. Some ingredients have been around for ages, and we all need them in our routines (retinol comes to mind). Others, like vitamin E, might have fallen off the radar. But that doesn’t make them any less effective. Some ingredients are fabulous because they suit all skin types. And then there is the new and the exciting.

If you follow the trends in Korean skincare, you might have come across many products containing Mugworth. What is Mugworth, and how does it benefit the skin? Should you include it in your skincare routine?

What is Mugworth?


Mugworth (also known as Artemisia Vulgaris and ssuk in Korean) is a root and a traditional Korean hanbang ingredient. Once native to Asia and Europe, today it grows all over the world. For centuries in Asia, it was used as a medicinal herb in various remedies (to treat eczema, psoriasis, or digestive issues). Likewise, it is a cooking ingredient. In some Korean spas, it is an ingredient in herbal baths. The reason for it is because it is a “warming” ingredient that helps circulation, and relieves muscle, joint, and period pain.
There are over 500 different varieties of Mugworth. Some of the most popular Asian brands use several Mugworth varieties in their products.

What are the benefits of Mugworth for the skin?

Mugworth has numerous beneficial properties for the skin including:
• anti-inflammatory properties
• anti-bacterial properties
• it acts as an antioxidant and protects the skin against free radical damage
• due to its vitamin E component, it moisturises the skin

What type of skin is Mugworth suitable for?


Acne-prone skin will appreciate its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. The same applies to sensitive skin. Thanks to its vitamin E component, it keeps dry and dehydrated skin moisturised and comfortable. More mature skin will likely respond well to all of the above, plus you can’t ignore the antioxidant benefits.
Mugworth works well for most skin types. But if it is an ingredient you haven’t used before, make sure to patch test first.

What to look for in the ingredients list?

While there are many species of Mugworth, not all of them make it into skincare products. Some of the more popular ones include Artemisia capillaris (Isntree), Artemisia annua (Missha), Artemisia Princeps (I’m From), and Artemisia absinthium (Dr. Jart).


How to use Mugworth products?


The ever-prolific Asian skincare brands don’t do things half-way. Mugworth is a star ingredient in any number of products (from sheet masks to cleansers). We would argue if the ingredient agrees with your skin, the most effective product would be a serum or an essence. These products normally contain the highest percentage of the extract. For example, I’m From Mugworth Essence contains 100% Artemisia Princeps extract.

Roberta Striga