There’s nothing new about how the Asian beauty craze has (understandably) taken over so many Western countries. The passion for trends in all things beauty is undeniably obvious in Japanese and Korean cosmetics (J and K Beauty, respectively), which have recently dominated over your usual faves at Sephora in popularity.
So what exactly is the main difference between J-beauty and K-beauty?
Victoria Tsai, founder of coveted Japanese skincare brand Tatcha gives NYGal some insight on what distinguishes one from another.
“I’ve often found that a culture’s approach to skincare and beauty mirrors its food. Japanese skin care is like sushi—very few ingredients, crafted by expert hands in a simple arrangement. The ingredients they use also rarely change. Korean food is bold and flavorful and fun, just like K-beauty.”
While both K- and J-beauty are all about the ritual of skin care–a focus on cleansing and hydrating, protecting formulas with effective and high-quality ingredients–J-beauty places emphasis on simplicity, unlike K-beauty’s famed multi-step regimens.
When it comes to beauty, both countries are world leaders. The Japanese spend more per head on cosmetics and beauty products than any other nation; and for this investment, they expect results.
Japanese beauty products tend to take a gentle approach. Rather than fighting against your skin and hair, the emphasis falls on nourishment and protection. It’s not so much about the overnight transformation but preventing future issues.
Similarly, K-beauty is centered on beauty advancements. Despite the obvious buzz of Instagram-worthy sheet masks, K-beauty is more about mastering the science behind skincare and leading the way in discovering new formulas.
The adorable packaging is backed up by serious formulations that get the work done. In fact, thanks to its remarkable virality, K-beauty was able to introduce formerly unheard-of products into our skincare rituals–i.e. essence and ampoules. K-beauty is all about the trends!
Here are our fave J-Beauty and K-Beauty products:
Considered Japan’s number one exfoliator, it uses natural plant extracts to remove dead skin and clogged pores without harsh chemicals. It’s ideal for sensitive skin as well, since instead of leaving the face feeling dry, it’s actually very moisturizing.
This mascara is impossible to miss in Japanese beauty stores. It’s famous for the intense curl and lift it provides. The jet black formula doesn’t flake or run, and it definitely doesn’t come off easily!
Formulated with hyaluronic acids of different sizes, this hydrating mist locks in moisture while penetrating deep into the skin for utmost hydration. It can be used over makeup. The spray bottle is easy to toss into your bag and carry along with you, too!