J-Beauty and K-Beauty, What’s Different?

J-Beauty and K-Beauty, what’s different about these skin care routines and product offerings? Let’s dip into these two major skin care trends to see what all the excitement is about.

What is J-Beauty

While you may have heard of K-Beauty, what is J-Beauty? It’s a skin care regimen that’s quickly gaining international recognition. J-Beauty refers to products and treatments specifically made for the Japanese market. You’ll find that J-Beauty products concentrate on providing hydration and sun protection. It seems that Japanese skin care focuses on protecting the skin’s natural complexion while demonstrating its simplistic and minimalistic philosophy.

The adjectives I would use to describe J-Beauty would be fresh, natural and clean.

Japanese beauty differs from Korean (K-Beauty) in its adherence to tradition: this involves not adding anything beyond what is absolutely necessary. In addition, you will find that J-Beauty products often incorporate minerals to help with moisturizing and purification. The Japanese market likes to keep their skin care routine as short as possible and they tend to use light-colored creams and masks. A typical J-Beauty routine involves a mineral-based cleanser followed by a brightening toner, a green tea moisturizer and SPF.

What is K-Beauty 

K-Beauty products tend to be colorful, offer various textures and have more steps. Korean beauty shares many of the same ideals of J-Beauty, such as hydration and solar protection. However, it differs in its use of multiple steps and product variety. The K-Beauty goal seems to be to achieve glossy, glass-like skin.

J-BeautyK-Beauty 10-Step Routine

Double cleansing is fundamental to K-Beauty and great for most skin types:

  1. Start with a makeup/oil removing cleanser.
  2. Next, follow this with a gentle moisturizing cleanser and cleanse 2x.
  3. After cleansing, use an exfoliator (granular scrub) to remove dead skin and unclog pores. It is recommended to use a gentle exfoliator for this step. 3x per week will be sufficient for most people.
  4. Use a hydrating toner to remove any leftover residue from cleansing and prepare your skin for moisturizing.
  5. Korean skin care likes to layer products to achieve a glowing result. This step involves adding a hydrating “essence” to enhance complexion.
  6. Next, apply a serum specifically designed to treat problem areas such as acne or wrinkles.
  7. Using a daily sheet mask is advocated for in K-Beauty.
  8. Apply a thin layer of an eye treatment to reduce dark circles, puffiness, and crows feet.
  9. Use your favorite moisturizer to seal in hydration.
  10. SPF is essential. For the final step, use one containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide to protect your skin from harmful UV radiation.

Pro tips:

When applying an eye cream or serum, use your ring fingers to carefully circle the orbitals.

Serums, ampoules, essences, etc., can go on all at the same time. I call this “cocktailing” to avoid unnecessary layering.

Using Sheet Masks

J-BeautyI must admit, I’m not a big fan of using sheet masks. I have found a handful that contain healthy ingredients, but most of them are not eco-friendly and contain a lot of fragrances and preservatives. They rarely target acne effectively and usually focus on hydration, which is good, but a quality moisturizer will provide longer lasting results. As a maker of masks, I find that clay-based options not only provide important nutrients and minerals, but depending on the blend, they can deposit active ingredients and absorb unwanted oils and debris.

Cruelty-free Skin Care

It’s important to remember that K-Beauty and J-Beauty products are manufactured in countries that have different guidelines and regulations pertaining to animal testing. You may need to do some independent research to determine whether or not a product is cruelty-free. Previously, I wrote a post regarding cruelty-free issues in China that you can find here.

Stay tuned for the next post which will review the much talked about G-Beauty. I’m starting to feel like I’m in an episode of Sesame Street…

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Shelley Skin Care
Your Guide to Good Skin

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