Should You Ditch K-beauty For Japanese Skincare?

Everything you need to know about Korean and Japanese beauty and skincare.
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K- beauty
Source: Pexels

In the midst of new beauty trends that never seem to stop changing, it’s easy to feel confused about which trends will be beneficial for your skin in specific. 

Although trying out new products from around the world can be fun and intriguing, it can often be bad for your wallet and stressful for your skin. 

This is why it’s important to do your research before investing in a new Skincare trend. We all know how K-beauty has taken the world by storm with its innovative formulas and immaculate branding.

 However, people often forget about the Japanese beauty industry which is based on centuries of traditional Skincare practices that give the skin a rejuvenated and glowing look. 

Let’s dive deep into the world of Korean and Japanese Skincare and beauty to figure out which one is best for your skin. 

What is Korean beauty and skincare? 

K-beauty is all about minimal makeup and achieving that hydrated and glowing skin while preventing aging and damage to the skin. In South Korea, having a complete skincare regimen and taking good care of your skin from an early age is the norm. As a result, K-beauty brands are willing to experiment with new ingredients to make fun and often effective products.

Korean beauty and skincare are at the forefront of innovative skincare and lays more emphasis on taking care of the skin rather than on hiding flaws with makeup.

These brands are consistently creating new beauty products with undeniably adorable packaging which are rapidly gaining global popularity.

Benefits of K-beauty 

Popular Ingredients in Korean Skincare 

1. Centella Asiatica 

Centella Asiatica is an important medicinal herb that is widely used in the orient. 

2. Snail Mucin 

Snail Mucin has moisturizing properties that support the skin barrier and help lock in moisture. 

3. Green Tea 

Green tea’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce skin irritation, skin redness, and swelling. 

4. Ginseng 

Ginseng can be a good, calming remedy for skin conditions such as acne and psoriasis.

5. Hyaluronic Acid 

Hyaluronic Acid helps alleviate dry skin and reduces wrinkles and fine lines. 

6. Aloe vera 

Aloe vera contains antioxidants, enzymes, Vitamins A and C, and it is highly anti-inflammatory.

What is Japanese beauty and skincare?

Japanese beauty and Skincare
Source: Pexels 

Japanese skincare and beauty have adapted a more minimal philosophy as compared to K-beauty and according to J-beauty, less is more! J-beauty focuses more on practical and effective skincare rather than experimentation and innovations. Japanese beauty products include traditional ingredients that have been in the beauty industry for a long time.

As a result, Japanese skincare and beauty include simpler and more straightforward products and routines.

J-beauty prefers the natural makeup look and focuses on maintaining beautiful natural skin with the help of traditional rituals and practices that have been around for centuries in the Japanese culture. 

Moreover, Japanese beauty products are developed with a more conservative approach and are marketed in sophisticated packaging. 

Benefits of J-beauty 

Popular Ingredients in Korean Skincare

1. Rice Bran 

Rice Bran evens out skin tone and minimizes the appearance of dark circles and puffiness around the eye area.

2. Japanese Wild Rose 

Rich in flavonoids and tannins, the fruits of this flower help reduce the appearance of pores. 

3. Camellia Oil 

Japanese Camellia oil is a rich source of Palmitic and Omega-6 Linoleic fatty acids, as well as numerous anti-aging polyphenol antioxidants.

4. Vitamin C 

Vitamin C promotes collagen production, which has the potential to thicken the dermis, diminish fine lines, and is essential for firm, youthful skin. 

5. Yuzu 

Yuzu can firm the skin and reduce fine lines and wrinkles by improving elasticity.

Differences between Korean and Japanese Skincare routines 

Skincare Steps  Korean Skincare  Japanese Skincare 
Cleansing  Use of cleansing oil and double-cleansing with a foam cleanser Oil cleansers and powder-based cleansers
Toning  2-3 layers of lightweight toner  Hydrating toners used throughout the day 
Face masks  Sheet masks with a variety of ingredients like aloe vera, vitamin c, pearl, snail extract Simpler sheets masks that are calming and hydrating 
Treatments  Serums focusing on different concerns and viscosity

Essence or beauty water for hydration and anti-aging 

Moisturizing  Moisturizers that focus on skin regeneration and protection Lightweight hydrating lotions rather than thick creams

Now that we’ve taken a look at the differences between Korean and Japanese Skincare, let’s see what makes Asian Skincare so unique and different from Western Skincare. 

Is Asian Skincare better than Western Skincare?

Asian Skincare
Source: Pexels

Asian skincare is all about prevention and offers long-term benefits for the skin as compared to western skincare which focuses mainly on resolving skin issues as quickly as possible.

While a quick fix might sound enticing, it can often be harsh on the skin. Since a lot of western products include a long list of chemicals, they can easily over sensitize the skin.

On the other hand, Asian skincare is all about natural ingredients exclusive to Asia that are perfect for sensitive skin.

Although different products might work for different people and some may prefer the quickness of western beauty products, it is a great idea to give Asian skincare a try if you want natural, glowing and dewy skin. 

K-beauty or J-beauty: What’s better for dry skin?

Japanese skincare is perfect for anyone with dry skin as most Japanese beauty products focus on hydration and include natural ingredients like Tsubaki oil, Wakame, and Komenuka. 

Harsh products that contain lots of chemicals can be even more drying for the skin. Whereas Japanese products are more gentle on the skin which helps avoid stripping the skin of its natural oils. 

Most Japanese Skincare products are fragrance-free which is beneficial for anyone with dry or sensitive skin


K-beauty or J- beauty: What’s better for oily skin?

Skincare for oily skin
Source: Pexels

 A Japanese Skincare routine might be too simple and short for someone with oily and acne-prone skin while K-beauty offers a wide variety of products targeted at specific skin problems like excessive sebum production, blackheads acne.  

Moreover, Korean Skincare routines lay more emphasis on double cleansing which involves thoroughly washing your face with two cleansers. Double cleansing can be a good addition to your skincare routine if you have oily skin as it helps get rid of excessive oils and sebum buildup.  

Opinions of experts on K-beauty and J-beauty

Veronica M. Kim, Lush Korea’s sales director tells Vogue

A lot of major cosmetic brands in Korea are trying out this concept of personalised cosmetics or skincare, where they'll try to match your skin with their products to provide you with a skincare routine that basically meets your needs

Dr. Kraffert, a board-certified dermatologist further explains Korean Skincare 

Koreans (especially women, but men as well) view the care of skin as something to savor and enjoy. When it comes to daily skin-care regimens, the ‘sense of urgency’ and compulsion to hurry and finish are typically absent. Rather than compress and hurry, Koreans prefer to stretch out the skin-care process.

While Melodies Moria, a New York-based beauty expert and YouTube star, talks about Japanese beauty and Skincare 

The Japanese beauty market is really emphasizing the 'bihaku' category, which are products that aim to brighten your skin,The trend these days is an effortless, natural makeup look — at least in Japan — so people like to focus on having great skin with minimal eye makeup.

Is Japanese Skincare better than Korean beauty according to people?

People’s opinion on k-beauty
Source: Pexels 


Now that we’ve heard what the experts have to say about K-beauty and J-beauty, let’s take a look at what customers and long-time users of these products have to say. 

Japanese products are more ph-balanced, gentle, alcohol free, fragrance free. It’s all about soothing, balancing, and hydrating your skin. I have oily acne-prone skin and Korean products tend to irritate my skin. Japanese products calm it and reduce breakouts. 

People also seem to love the simplicity of Japanese Skincare,

I’m all about few pure and simple ingredients in my Skincare as well as  following a simple routine so I identify more with J-beauty when it comes to Skincare!

However, Korean beauty hasn’t gained all this popularity for no reason. Many people swear by the effectiveness of K-beauty and the positive impact it has had on their skin.

I appreciate K-beauty more because firstly it’s easier to get internationally than J-beauty. Secondly, there are more products you can find that are cruelty free and green which means that they are free of toxins/parabens/harsh chemicals etc. 


In conclusion, it will be unfair to say that Japanese skincare is better than Korean skincare because that’ll just be a generalization.

Different brands and products work for different skin types and cater to different skin needs. It’s better to select skincare that is specifically made for your skin type.

While Japanese skincare might be perfect for people with dry and sensitive skin, Korean skincare might work wonders for people with oily skin. A combination of the two could be best for people who have combination skin. 

Moreover, it’s not necessary to strictly follow one skincare routine. You can pick and choose products from both Korean and Japanese brands as long as you’re keeping in mind what your skin needs.

Most importantly have fun discovering and trying out new beauty products from all around the world!

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