Does Korean skincare really work? Is it worth the hype?
Have you ever wondered why Korean skincare is hugely trending?
It’s all over social media and YouTube.
Are Korean beauty products really better. And should you spend the money? Is it worth it?
I have a lot of personal and inside information to share with you here.
I’m going to share with you what I know.
So it’s no secret that more and more consumers are becoming aware of Korean makeup and skincare brands, and many have tried them.
Like PDL threads and thread lifting, doctors and estheticians can talk bad about them, but it’s the public that decides.
It’s you that decides what stays and what goes.
There’s a lot of fear from other companies and providers, but they often have vested interests, AKA losing sales by not being involved in this trend.
Be very careful who you listened to.
Things that actually do not work are short-lived you. the public decides.
So as we dive in, keep that in mind.
Nikkei beauty has stood the test of time.
Let’s find out exactly why. And most importantly, can we apply it to North American, European and other regions skin and beauty routines?
Or is it very specific to the people of Korea and South East Asia?
You’ve probably already cross paths with these terms: K-beauty, 10 step Korean skincare routine, glass skin. or even sheet masks.
Many of colorfully packaged beauty products come from Korea. There’s no doubt about what they are. They pop on the shelves, you know exactly where they are on the shelving because of that unique, colorful packaging.
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But what really is K- Beauty?
Simply put. K-Beauty is an umbrella term for the Korean influence on skincare beauty treatments, routines, even lifestyle and products that originate in South Korea.
Many Western and European patients visit Asia for the latest in techniques that are too risky or not yet adopted in Western culture.
It’s very popular to travel there for procedures, and it’s surprising how many people actually do.
Think sliding genioplasty, double jaw surgery, Korean V line, and other more aggressive procedures to create face angles by breaking bones and even moving muscles.
But it is common there.
The K-Beauty has always been one of the trend leaders and is now becoming the mainstream beauty in the United States.
Korean women are known to have very soft skin in general.
However many Korean women desire more translucent porcelain glass type of skin. Not everyone likes it, but it’s valued there.
Koreans invest considerable time and money into cosmetics and beauty products to take care of their skin. It’s very valued.
This explains where the famous multi-step face care regimen comes from.
Here are five facts to underscore what I’m talking about.
1. Seoul is the plastic surgery capital of the world. Very few people realize that.
2. Reports state that one in three South Korea women between the ages of 19 and 29 have gone under the knife, meaning surgery.
3. Your photo is a necessity included in your resume for most jobs.
4. 15 to 20% of Korean clinics are men.
5. The K-pop Korean pop music boom has created a new beauty aesthetic. In fact, young people all over East Asia aspire to look like the K-pop stars with wide eyes, small noses, an angled chins.
20% of Koreans have had some sort of plastic surgery and in the capital Seoul, the number rises to 60% of 20 year olds. Absolutely amazing facts.
Aesthetics in Korea is valued.
We in the west are often considered behind, especially if you want to think of it in terms of tech and technology, it’s often a good parallel. We’re just behind the curve.
What Makes Korean Skin Care So Special?
I’m going to go through seven reasons why Korean skincare is so far ahead and how hopefully you can apply it to your skincare routine today.
1. There’s nonstop innovation and advances in technology.
Beauty is this serious business in South Korea and Korean customers are very knowledgeable about the different cosmetic ingredients and product types.
They’re always looking for something better. New. And they’re willing to try the latest trends. Often here, people aren’t willing to try things.
The girls have very high standards for their skincare goals, such as flawless skin, and they know what they want and need and how to achieve their success.
They’re very happy with minor changes. Contrast that with here in America, where if you can’t see it with the naked eye, it never did happen.
Think of focused ultrasound treatments on the face. Often these types of procedures reveal results over time. Meaning months, not minutes.
It’s very hard to get people to do these treatments in the Western and North America, because they’re in the subdermal and the dermal layer. It’s not something you can see immediately, like fillers.
I twist people’s arm to do a skin device, but when I say the word filler, they jump up and get in the chair and they’re ready for that post fill selfie.
But so much youth comes from the deeper layers of the dermis that we can’t see. There’s a general distrust in North America towards people’s providers and the patients need to see big lips, big cheeks, to see where their money was spend.
Unfortunately, collagen and elastin offer built over time and Koreans have a great trust and understanding for this.
Cosmetic companies have tried to keep up with the development of innovative and advanced formulas to satisfy the high demanding customers.
They’ve pushed the envelope to find new. People love new. They have ended up creating never before seen products that the world soon became obsessed with such as BB cream, sheet masks, acne pimple patches, and under eye masks.
With rapidly increasing demand for Korean skincare. the competition between major Korean cosmetic companies for the most innovative Korean brand has increased.
Therefore Korean beauty care is always one step ahead of the others.
2. Gentle formulas for all skin types with a trend towards more natural ingredients.
According to NCBI studies show that 55% of Koreans have sensitive skin, while 45% of Americans and 40% of Europeans do.
For this reason, brands have focused on developing hypoallergenic, anti-breakout and naturally drive formulations that are safe for all skin types, including acne prone, oil, dry, and even extremely sensitive skin types.
3. It’s all about prevention.
Koreans tend to focus on prevention and getting to the root of skin problems, rather than treating when necessary.
Very common here. People commit not only when necessary, but when it’s too late. In other words, they take time to take care of their skin before actual skin problems occur. And before it can be seen. This is how they usually think.
Why wait until acne or wrinkles appear when you can address the source and the main cause.
We all know that prevention is better than cure. They practice this attribute. Many cultures do not.
From a young age, they learn the importance of skincare and how to ensure their skin stays healthy. This includes typical facial care techniques, such as cleansing, exfoliating, moisturizing, sun protection.
But more importantly, it’s very normal to stop in for a lunchtime high-frequency ultrasound. radio-frequency, micro-needling, PDO thread procedure. It’s not taboo. Just normal.
So it becomes second nature to them, as they grow up, they’re exposed to it. It’s not uncommon for some people to start using eye cream in their late teens, rather than waiting until the wrinkles appear.
They start young and because they start early, they can get away with more natural, less of a aggressive inflammation producing products.
Like we use here. Think high dose retinols, alpha hydroxies. We use them in large aggressive doses because we’re trying to catch up. We’re trying to cure, not prevent.
We here in north America and Europe are treating, not preventing. With this focus on prevention philosophy, they understand the consistency and patience play an essential role in effectiveness.
In their skincare routine, they use products consistently rather than applying them just once.
Our philosophy is more focused on fixing the problem quickly. Quick, being the main ingredient, and fix, the other quick fix, usually equals fast fail.
Unfortunately, once a problem occurs, it is more difficult to reverse the damage and return the skin to its original healthy state.
4. They have unique ingredients from natural sources.
Think bee venom serum, snail mucin, green tea toner, Ginseng eye cream, all beauty staples that originated in Korea.
Many Korean cosmetics use much gentler formulas from nature that have been passed down through several generations.
These are commonly used as medicinal herbs in Oriental culture, but are difficult to find in the Western world or at least difficult to find into pure, fresh form. Fresh is so important to skincare.
Here are seven typical K-Beauty ingredients that you might look for.
- snail mucin
- Centella Asiatica
- fermented rice water
- licorice root
- Birch juice
5. There’s better value for the money.
This will resonate with many of you and important realization when it comes to fundamental skincare rules is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to achieve great skin.
I know many ordering Botox and fillers will attest to this. Things are much cheaper in Korea.
Thanks to a competitive market, more people can enjoy the excellent benefits of their skin care at a reasonable price without ever having to sacrifice quality.
6. High quality and effectiveness.
Besides the above reasons, Korean skin care is influential worldwide because of its effectiveness.
The products are designed to improve skin from the inside out. Moisturizing, nourishing, repairing, and enhancing compelling features for long-term results.
Korean skin care can help you get healthy, happy skin by focusing on the inside instead of just the outside. They’re formulated to be used consistently to produce results that last months instead of hours or days. Again, no quick fix.
Hopefully you’re getting this message.
7. Personalized skincare routines.
You may read about the Korean 10 step skincare routine and feel overwhelmed, to say the least.
That’s because it’s probably not realistically possible for many people to perform all of these steps every single morning or evening.
The good news is that you don’t have to use every single step the same way every time.
It really depends on your skin. What your current skin concerns are.
You can think of it as there are 10 different products you can use and you can choose.
So you can use as many as you need, or as little at the time, it’s all about education.
This might sound complicated, but it’s not. And that’s one of the main focuses of the K-Beauty philosophy. Just focus on what the skin needs at the time.
To best achieve your skincare goals. it’s important to understand your skin type and find the right products for it.
Many Korean products are designed for specific skin type or problem and contain different
Pay attention when you use the product and observe how it affects your skin over time.
Find out what ingredients your skin likes or dislikes. And in what season, it can be seasonal for those in temperate climates.
Don’t be afraid to switch out products if you need to and slowly add a product that works into your individual routine.
Your skin will thank you and the results may surprise you.
Rebecca is a licensed aesthetician and certified laser technician with almost 15 years experience in the dermatology. Her life-long passion is making people look good and happy.