Skincare 101: What’s The Difference Between Korean Beauty & Japanese Beauty?

Eden NoronhaEden Noronha  |  Jan 4, 2022
Skincare 101: What’s The Difference Between Korean Beauty & Japanese Beauty?


If you’re new to the skincare world, you may be confused by the number of buzzwords that are used around. Terms like K-beauty, essences or double cleansing may baffle you in the beginning but trust us, once you get a hang of things, you’ll realise that they’re actually pretty simple to understand.

The two main contenders that have made headlines in this sphere are Korean beauty and Japanese beauty. These Asian skincare routines have stood the test of time and have proved that they aren’t just passing trends but are here to stay. But what really are they and what do they entail? Let’s find out, shall we?


What Is Korean Beauty?

Korean beauty or popularly known as K-Beauty, hails from South Korea and basically talks about the skincare steps widely used in the country on a daily basis. It involves a 10-step skincare routine that focuses on moisturising skin to achieve a clear, luminous visage. K-Beauty serves a plethora of skincare products to choose from in order to treat various skin concerns through a multi-step routine. It also often makes use of rare and unusual ingredients in the product formulations, like snail mucin or beans, all of which have proven skincare benefits.

What Is Japanese Beauty?

Japanese Beauty, also known as J-Beauty, has a simple and traditional approach to skincare. Originating from ancient skincare practices of the local women, J-Beauty offers a simple 5-step routine that focuses on using minimal products with maximum benefits. The formulas contain ingredients that have been used for centuries and have elite skincare benefits like rice, seaweed, kojic acid which is derived from mushrooms, and more.

Skincare Routine Order


Korean Beauty: 10-Step Skincare Routine

  1. Oil-Based Cleanser
  2. Water-Based Cleanser
  3. Exfoliator
  4. Hydrating Toner
  5. Skin Essence
  6. Ampoule, Serum, or Face Oil
  7. Face Mask
  8. Eye Cream
  9. Moisturiser
  10. Sunscreen

Japanese Beauty: 5-Step Skincare Routine

  1. Cleansing Oil
  2. Powder Cleanser
  3. Skin Essence
  4. Serum
  5. SPF Moisturiser 

Formulation & Presentation

K-Beauty Products

Korean Beauty products often have interesting, unconventional ingredients, and each product focuses on specific skincare concerns. The packaging of these products is cute and very Instagrammable.

J-Beauty Products

Japanese Beauty product formulations are backed by science and traditional beauty practices from Japan. They make use of only the highest quality ingredients and each product targets multiple skin concerns so as to reduce the skincare steps in a routine and offer more benefits with multitasking products. The packaging is often minimalistic just like its less is more approach in the formulations department.

Some K-Beauty Products That We Recommend

For An Iridescent Glow

This cream by MyGlamm is perfect to add a celestial glow to your visage. It is infused with rosehip oil and is suitable for all skin types.

Skin Juice

Packed with the power of pomegranate, this sheet mask by TONYMOLY delivers essential nutrients to your skin while keeping it plump and hydrated.

Citrus Treat

A lightweight serum that delivers your personal dose of vitamin C for the skin, this serum by Klairs helps fight signs of ageing, repair skin, and tighten pores.

Some J-Beauty Products That We Swear By

The Cleansing Elixir

Removing makeup never felt so effortless with this cleansing oil by DHC Beauty. It is the first step in a double-cleanse routine that helps melt makeup and remove all traces of impurities from the skin.

Rejuvenation Pro

Infused with citrus unshiu peel extract which helps maintain skin hydration and the ashitaba plant that helps promote cell regeneration, this cream by Shiseido is a luxe skincare product that you must try for an easy way to glowing skin.

The Invisible Shield

As the name suggests, this watery gel sunscreen by Biore is a heavy duty sunscreen with the lightest formula ever. It keeps your skin hydrated and dewy without any stickiness.

Now that we’re clear on the difference between K-Beauty and J-Beauty, which of the two do you prefer more?

Featured Images: Pexels