J-Beauty Vs K-Beauty: What’s the Difference?

The differences between J-Beauty vs. K-beauty come down to more than just one letter in the alphabet!

They’re entirely separate methods each complete with its own standards that define it.

If you’re curious to learn more, just keep reading and I’ll break it all down for you!

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J-Beauty vs K-Beauty: The Secret to Radiant Skin

Japanese and Korean skincare products are now taking the world by storm.

Due to the rise of both Japanese and Korean pop culture, recent years have seen more and more women worldwide shift to Japanese and Korean brands when it comes to their skincare regimen.

Women from these countries have always been known through history to have radiant, young-looking skin.

J Beauty v k beauty f

Much of this can be credited to time-tested products that have been developed for decades.

What defines the beauty standards of both the Japanese and Koreans when it comes to skin care?

Both Koreans and Japanese are very meticulous when it comes to their skincare regimen in order to meet the standards set by their culture and rightfully so.

Indeed, when it comes to radiant and youthful-looking skin, theirs come unparalleled.

Japanese women like to compare their skin to what they otherwise term as mochi hada – a reference to rice cakes, which are popular desserts in Japan.

Both countries put focus on skin health which results in the glow that they are known for.

Both put emphasis on three main steps: cleansing, hydration and protection against the sun’s harmful UV rays which are a cause of premature aging.

Japanese and Korean skin care: a difference in approach

Although both Japanese and Koreans pour in a lot of research when it comes to product development, the Japanese consider a minimalist approach when it comes to skin care.

This is perfect for ladies who cannot devote much time to a regular skincare regimen.

Japanese like to approach product development based on their traditions and culture. The ingredients used are time-tested and based on what is easily available and common to them.

This involves time-honored traditions that define Japanese culture. The use of rice, for example, is not uncommon when it comes to their beauty products.

Korean skincare, on the other hand, is more experimental in nature and innovative. They are not afraid of exploring ingredients that they think may be beneficial, all being based on years of research.

It isn’t surprising to see ingredients such as seaweed extract and ginseng in their products, such as their toners and moisturizers.

Five vs. Ten

Koreans are famous for their ten-step skincare regimen. Korean women put in a lot of effort when it comes to their skincare routine.

Although these steps need not be done simultaneously, they still have to be done on a regular basis:

  1. Oil-based cleansing meant to gently remove oil-based ingredients from makeup and other sources of sebum.
  2. Water-based cleansing meant to further eliminate any dirt and impurities that oil-based cleansers aren’t able to remove.
  3. Mild toning meant to maintain the skin’s pH balance.
  4. Application of essences for maximum absorption of ingredients from moisturizers and other skincare products.
  5. The use of serums and ampoules that have a high concentration of necessary ingredients for maximum effect.
  6. The application of eye creams, which provide the necessary moisture around the eye’s sensitive areas.
  7. The application of moisturizers and oils to for added skin hydration. These are either absorbed by the skin or they add a protective layer to the skin to prevent moisture from evaporating.
  8. Exfoliation done through either physical or chemical means that slough away dead skin cells and encourage the formation of new skin cells.
  9. The use of sheet or sleep masks to provide an extra barrier of hydration.
  10. The application of SPF to protect the skin against harmful UV rays.


 Unlike K-Beauty routines which can in some cases be upwards of 10 steps, J-Beauty routines are short and sweet. 

As L’Oreal Skincare expert Nicolette Pezza explains, “Japanese are known for their minimalist approach in life which shows in almost everything they do. Skincare is not an exception to this way of life for them.”

Where Koreans devote time to their skincare routine, the Japanese cut their routine into just five basic steps.

  1. Double cleansing using oil-based cleansers to remove all impurities from the face.
  2. Exfoliation done twice a week to get rid of dead skin cells, allowing for the growth of new ones.
  3. Hydration using products that usually contain ceramides and hyaluronic acid.
  4. The use of serum that contain ingredients meant to combat acne, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation, which may be a source of age spots.
  5. The application of moisturizers, usually milk-based, which are SPF-15. These are dual purpose. They provide hydration, as well as a protective barrier against harmful radiation.

Now you know the secret to Japanese and Korean beauty!

They are both different approaches that you may take in order to achieve the glow that comes with having flawless skin.

Getting to know how it is done and which products are best suited for you is the best way for you to get the results you want.

After all, doesn’t every woman want to have the radiance that comes with having good, healthy skin?


  • “J-Beauty vs. K-Beauty: What’s the Difference? | Skincare.com by L’Oréal.” 2018. Skincare. 2018. https://www.skincare.com/article/j-beauty-vs-k-beauty.
  • “What Is Mochi Skin? | DHC.” 2020. Dhccare.com. 2020. https://www.dhccare.com/blog/mochi-hada/.
Japanese woman applying cream with text, J-beauty vs k-beauty

Which do you prefer, J-beauty or K-beauty? Share your thoughts below!

About Leneha Junsu

I'm just a girl who likes to review everything. I have a sensitive and very dry skin type. Miss Nail Art 2014! Loves makeup & skincare. Read her Latest Articles Find her on YOUTUBE AND Instagram. Learn more about her HERE.

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