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J-Beauty vs K-Beauty: Which is Better for Me?

Updated: Dec 26, 2019

By Meagan Tan |

Skincare For Rookies:

If you often feel like you don’t know enough about skincare, or often get overwhelmed by the choices and varieties of skincare in the market, this article series is here to help!


We will dive into topics that help you understand skincare better, and why it is important to us, and also how to find the right skincare that will suit your skin, keeping it healthy and happy, so you will feel more confident than ever.


This series is brought to you in collaboration with Rooki Beauty.

We often hear many obsessing over K-Beauty (Korean Beauty) trends but J-Beauty (Japanese Beauty) seems to be picking up on the radar. It’s no secret that K-Beauty is known for its extensive skincare routine with cute, colourful packaging. J-Beauty, on the other hand, is known to keep things simple and minimalistic as most Japanese beauty brands don’t go too crazy with their products and packaging.


Image: Wildflower and Company


At the end of it, both beauty trends share the same concept in their products; for maintenance and to achieve better healthier skin but in their own different ways. The goal is to always use sun protection to prevent sunspots and to slow down signs of aging and of course, providing intense hydration to your skin to always look glowy and supple. Hence, all the sheet masks!

If you’re looking to see which suits your lifestyle or to update your existing regimen, we’re here to share with you what both beauty trends have to offer:


If you’re always in the loop of trying new products…

K-Beauty could perhaps be suited for you because their products are generally more experimental in terms of the different ingredients and not forgetting their cute and fun packaging.


The Popular Korean 10-Step Skincare:

For Korean women, they take their skincare regimen to the next level; being known for their extensive 10-step skincare routine (which includes an oil cleanser, face cleanser, exfoliator, toner, essence, ampoule/serum, face mask, eye cream, moisturiser, and sunblock). So if you’re into trying new and different products, K-Beauty could be more suited to your preference.


If You Don’t Mind Experimenting with Interesting Ingredients:

The K-Beauty industry is also known to be pioneers to include unique and unexpected ingredients in their skincare products such as snail mucin, ginseng, donkey milk and many more. It definitely sounds crazy but it’s known to provide intense hydration to your skin to achieve that glowy, glass skin look.

Dewy “Glass” Skin Finish:

If you’re not familiar with the glass skin trend, the idea would be to layer on different products from ampoules, serums, emulsions to give your skin enough hydration to achieve that dewy, poreless look - almost as clean and flawless as glass.


Image: @ponysmakeup


You will also find that this trend is mainly adapted from beauty influencers and celebrities like Pony Make Up, Park Shin-hye (ambassador of Mamonde), Lee Sung-Kyung (ambassador of Laneige) and many more which plays a huge role to the K-Beautysphere.


Image: Tony Moly


Aside from the ingredients, K-Beauty skincare products are normally colourful and fun as well. Brands like Tony Moly, Skin Food, Dr Jart, and Etude House are known to be more experimental with their packaging and Instagrammable.


If you prefer a minimalistic skincare routine...

You could opt for J-Beauty products because Japanese women prefer to simplify their routine as much as possible by including fewer products in their skincare routine. This has been shown even from the earliest days of Japanese beauty and also perhaps because of their very fast-paced urban lifestyle, they prefer to keep things minimalistic.


Research-Based Skincare Formulas:

Although fewer products are included in their everyday routine, it doesn’t mean that they aren’t able to achieve good, healthy skin. Instead, the Japanese focus on including key ingredients backed up by years of research in their serums and essences to provide hydration and slowing down the skin’s aging process as well. For example, SK-II’s famous facial treatment essence which has a main key ingredient called Pitera (a unique yeast fermentation). Miyabi Kumagai, Shiseido Brand Manager shares that Japanese beauty is more about taking the matter in depth with respect and basing the results on scientific research and logic.


Matte Porcelain Skin Finish:

Another step that is essential in every Japanese women’s skincare routine is the famous double-cleansing method as they always focus on keeping their skin clean to prevent having clogged pores. Compared to K-Beauty products which aim to help you achieve the ‘glass skin’ effect, J-Beauty products aim to allow you to achieve a more clean, matte-velvet base look.


Image: Nanao Arai, Japanese model (@nanao_official)


This simplicity is also reflected in their packaging design - J-Beauty prefers to keep things simple yet functional and straight to the point with brands like DHC, Kose, SK-II and Rooki Beauty as examples. Rooki Beauty’s products combine these two principles, maintaining your skin’s overall health in the long run while boasting a chic and functional aesthetic. They also take their research seriously for their products; combining natural ingredients (superfoods) with advanced extraction techniques.


Image: @gabriellediaz on Instagram


Rooki Beauty is made in Japan and they aim to provide simple, uncomplicated and clean skincare products.


So, there you have it! We hope that we’ve given you a better idea of both of the trends to see which one suits your preference and lifestyle best. On the other hand, if all of this sounds a tad bit intimidating and you’re looking to change up your routine, start small by introducing products like a hydrating, antioxidant mask, a serum or something as simple as a face mask to help your skin’s needs.


All the best, Skincare Rookies!

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