Since 2010, Korean beauty brands have been making their way across the pond to us with great success, and it seems that the trend is still rising today. Whether it be double cleansing, sheet masks or snail essence, Korea continues to make a name for itself overseas. Contrary to Western beauty trends, priority is placed on clear, healthy skin and anti-aging first and the abundance of products available now seeks to mimic that natural flawless look. Some of our favourite trends are still going strong:
Dewy over Matte
A far cry from the contoured matte faces of Instagram, Korean women have always favoured dewy, glowing skin over a silky matte finish. Many of the popular brands have cushion foundations and primers available which provide a natural dewy finish, without the oiliness. Barely There Beauty explains, “When it comes to dewy, radiant, exceptional skin, I’ve got to argue that Korean’s just do it best. 촉촉 (chok chok) or ‘moist’ is a korean phrase given to that ridiculously hydrated, eternally young, baby-face skin that, Koreans rate so highly.”
Essences are never to be left out of a Korean woman’s skincare routine. It is used religiously after cleansing and toning, and provides high doses of active ingredients such as hyaluronic acid. Usually a thin liquid (not to be confused with ‘Serums’), an essence is patted and pressed into the skin with your hands. It offers an additional layer of hydration without the greasy feeling of a cream.
In Korea, cute features and doll-like appearances have always been more appealing to Korean girls to what we perceive here in the west. In particular, small glossy lips have been all the rage for years and they are best achieved with a gradient lip look; concealed lips with a bright colour or tint which fades as it reaches the lip’s edge, blurring the real lip line and creating the illusion of a smaller lip. This trend paved the way for a plethora of unique lip products in the Korean market.
Further supporting the belief that Korean beauty -starts- with clear skin are the fermented foods found in Korean diets. Foods such as Kimchi and pickles are a staple in Korean diets, and as a result can provide a positive effect to the skin. It seems a nutritious diet inclusive of good bacteria and an efficient skincare routine is the key to flawless, glowing skin. Asian countries such as Japan and Korea have begun the trend of using fermented foods as ingredients for skincare products. ~And with results such as improved gut-health and skin appearance, how can you say no!
Ahh Korea. Land of the sheet mask. As a strange wet cloth with holes, it was a foreign object to our shores many years ago but now reigns supreme and many brands (both asian and Western) have embraced the product. However, Korea not only creates sheet masks for the face but for many other areas such as hands, feet, lips and under the eyes. It’s hard to argue though, when applying one of these masks makes you feel so cool, calm and hydrated.