If you have been keeping up with global beauty trends lately, you know that there's a huge Korean Beauty movement going on. I'm sure you are just wrapping your head around K-beauty trends and we're here with another beauty trend that's going to have you saying "shut up and take my money!"
Ladies say hello to Japanese beauty or J-Beauty as we like to call it! Both the Korean and Japanese have a lot of cultural similarities. The beauty regimes in both countries focus on layering and hydrating the skin with naturally occurring ingredients. Skincare is a core beauty focus in both countries. There's no dearth of Japanese and Korean beauty brands and the good news is that these are easily available in India too. The women in Korea and Japan are very inquisitive about skincare, and that's a good thing. You should ask questions, you should know what you're applying on your face. A testament to this curiosity is their glassy, gorgeous skin!
Korean Vs Japanese beauty products would be packaging and formulations. Korean beauty is more trendy, fun and in line with recent beauty trends. K-beauty is all about bubble masks, splash masks and jelly masks! Japanese beauty on the other hand; much like their culture, focuses on a more traditional approach. The products in both cultures overlap, however, Japanese skincare and beauty products are made up of a more complex structure, a more hardworking formula. A lesser focus on packaging and more on potent formulas. This does not mean that the Korean beauty products are less effective, it just means the consumer approach in the two countries varies.
The packaging on the Korean beauty products is 'cute'. A lot of the K-beauty products have cutesy packaging that gets your attention; and (let's admit it) - MONEY! Japanese beauty products, on the other hand, appeal to a different audience. They have a more conventional, no fuss packaging.
I'd say mix and match, add a few elements of both cultures into your skincare regimen and you'll see your skin and hair transform. Both cultures share similar practices and ingredients and a routine that combines the best of both worlds will be nothing but a potent powerhouse for your skin!
Shiseido Ibuki Multi Solution Gel (Rs 2,900) and the Shiseido Synchro Skin Lasting Liquid Foundation (Rs 3,650) are some of my personal luxury J-beauty favourites. The Biore Deep Pore Charcoal Cleanser (Rs 1,098) and the Deep Cleansing Pore Strips (Rs 882) pack a punch for skin that suffers from clogged pores. If you're traveling, look out for the Tatcha Water Cream your skill will absolutely love it!
First things first, invest in a good oil-based cleanser. The reason why we request you to use oil instead of a regular makeup remover is that it's milder and gentler on the skin. It not only removes oil, dirt, makeup and bacteria from the pores but also keeps them hydrated and moist. You can either spread the oil on your face using your fingers or soak a cotton pad in the oil and use that to wipe off all the grime from your face. Once you're done, it's time to move on to the next big step.
Wait? Didn't we already tell you to cleanse your face before? Now, it's time to do so again. Both Koreans and Japanese stress on double-cleansing and make it a priority. You see, the first round of cleansing is meant to clean your pores. The second round is done to make sure that no makeup residue or dirt is left behind.
Remember one thing - do NOT exfoliate your skin every day. Once a week is okay, or maybe twice - not more than that. Exfoliating your skin more than twice a week is bad for the skin. The granules in the product can be too harsh for the skin and can even strip away its natural oils. Instead of investing in a commercial product, you can make your own exfoliator at home using coconut oil and sugar. All you have to do is mix 3 tablespoons of sugar with 2 tablespoons of coconut oil. Stir well and apply to your face. Don't forget to massage the scrub into your skin in circular motions. Let it sit on your skin for about 10-15 minutes and wash the scrub off with lukewarm water.
There are plenty of sheet masks available in the market with affordable prices. You're free to pick and choose one that suits your skin type. The good part about sheet masks is that there's no limit to using them. You may want to mask two days a week or all week long - that's entirely up to you. If you don't have a sheet mask at home, you can make your own at home. At any beauty store, you can pick up a pack of plain cotton sheet masks. Make the solution at home with any fruit or vegetable ingredient of your choice. Then, soak the mask into the solution and slap the mask on your face. The second option is for those women who prefer to take the natural route.
Toners are underrated beauty products that should be in your beauty stash ASAP. They help balance your pH levels and keep your skin moist and hydrated. Before you apply your makeup, use a toner that's alcohol-free so that your skin gets hydrated without getting damaged.
Okay, so what is a skin softner? It's a term that's relatively new to our world, but it plays an important role in the Japanese skincare routine. It's a product that helps keep skin moist and supple. This is a product that's even alien to the K-beauty culture.
It doesn't just end there. Your next step would be to apply the serum. Pick a serum that contains Vitamin C and retinol. The serum helps to boost collagen production and keeps your skin smooth and soft.
This may come as a shock to some, but a moisturizer's job is to not provide the skin with hydration but to lock the moisture into the skin. So ladies, if your skin is naturally dry and flaky, you need to tackle that problem first before you apply moisturizer to your face.
You have those fine lines and dark circles on your eyes because you haven't been taking good care of your skin at all. After applying a face cream, use an eye cream. Choose one that's loaded with hyaluronic acid and vitamins like A and E.
You'll notice that in Japan, you will spot women carrying umbrellas in the sun or resting under a tree or building to avoid afternoon sunlight. While vitamin D is good for you, too much of it can damage your cells and put you on the risk of getting cancer. Apply sunscreen, not when it's just sunny outside, but when it's rainy and cloudy too.
Korean and Japanese skincare routines are somewhat similar, but a couple of steps are different. Their approach to skincare is commendable and we're hoping that one day in India, we'll follow something similar. Apart from using skin care products, one should also learn from their diet. They consume fewer spices and more water. Hardly any oil used in their food and more boiled and fermented vegetables are consumed. Their diet is rich in minerals, proteins and vitamins. Both countries believe in the philosophy of 'you are what you eat' If you look after your skin by using the right skincare products and eating clean, you'll never have to apply makeup ever again. Let's get to the famous 10 steps K-Beauty routine.
This step is similar to both cultures. For Korean's, oil cleansers are the base. The product helps to cleanse the skin from makeup residue, SPF, dirt and pollution.
If your oil cleanser did not remove sweat and dirt in the first round of cleansing, your water-based cleanser will. When picking up a product like this one, keep an eye out for ingredients like green tea, pearl and rice extract.
To help the skin pores to absorb product well, you must exfoliate more often. Twice a week is good enough. Any exfoliator that has lactic acid, salicylic acid and black sugar should be picked up ASAP. Once, you're done exfoliating, it's time to move on to the next step.
A toner is a product that's loved and used regularly in Japan and South Korea. As mentioned above, the toner helps to balance skin's pH levels and preps skin up so that makeup can be applied without much hassle.
This step wasn't mentioned in the Japanese skincare routine, but it's famous in South Korea. Essences are products that are super hydrating and moisturising for the skin. These help to slow the ageing process and improve the complexion of the skin. Products that contain birch juice, yeast, rice extract and hyaluronic acid are ingredients you should look out for the next time you go out shopping.
You need a product to protect your skin against acne, wrinkles and hyperpigmentation and this is where serums come into the picture. They're the best when it comes to looking after the skin and giving the complexion a moist and hydrated finish.
Koreans LOVE sheet masks. They're affordable and have the cutest packaging ever! Each sheet mask is soaked in a bowl of serum and has positive effects on your skin. Some cool sheet masks to try are the ones that have ingredients like kelp, seaweed, tea tree, rose, lemons, aloe vera and so on.
Since the skin around your eyes is the thinnest, you need a product that will keep all the wrinkles, crows feet and puffiness away. Gently apply the eye cream under your eyes and let the product settle on your skin.
Whether your moisturizer preference is cream, gel or lotion, you must know that moisturizing your skin on an everyday basis is the foundation for getting better, healthier skin. You need to apply the product once at night and once in the morning before you start your day.
Unless you're keen on aging early, you must apply sun protection. In case you're wondering when to use a sunscreen, it should ideally be your last step. If you're in a hurry, mix it with your moisturiser and apply the product not just to your face, but your hands, legs, feet and legs as well.
Which of these routines are you tempted to try out first? The Korean one or Japanese? Go ahead and try both, we say, and see which one gives you your best skin yet.
Featured Image: Instagram, Shutterstock
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This story was updated in March 2019.