Korean Beauty Is Taking Over Your Beauty Cabinet (and Here’s Why)

Marie Claire Korea

Ever wonder why the counters at Sephora are stocked with essences, sheet masks, and alphabet creams? There are a few reasons:

First, Korean women have insanely high standards for their face. You might’ve noticed this already watching the backup dancers in “Gangnam Style,” or Olympic figure-skating gold medalist Yuna Kim, or just about any random Korean civilian on the subway. Korean women havezeropores (anddefinitelyno blackheads),zerowrinkles,zerosagging andzerodullness. There is only the illusion of that highly coveted flawless sheen. Filter face.

And it’s been this way for a long time. While you may’ve been stoked about Dr. Jart+’s BB Cream back in 2011, Korean women have been perfecting their skin since they were teens. Not only is it common for Korean girls to be taught to be diligent about their skin from a young age, the average Korean adult will stock up on ten to fifteen items for their daily rituals and spend at least twenty “Mississippi”s meticulously massaging their face as they cleanse. Even Korean men are into it: They spend more money on skincare than men from any other country. Even I, a Korean-American raised by a Korean woman, was handed an entire regimen — cleanser, toner, essence, serum, moisturizer, mask and exfoliator — when I turned thirteen. (I guess she thought the eye cream could wait.)

Call it vanity or extreme image-consciousness, but the needs of Korean women have driven innovation and competition among Korean beauty brands, compelling them to pony up investments into research and development to satisfy their highly knowledgeable customers. According to thereport, “Korean Innovation in Beauty,” by Fung Global Retail & Technology, the lofty standards of the average Korean woman has created “an ideal platform for beauty brands to create and test their innovations, including formulas, ingredients, manufacturing processes and packaging.” In other words, Korean women’s passion for skincare is what fuels all the advancements you see nowhere else in the world. So If you’re wondering why all the newfangled “crazy” stuff comes out of Korea (e.g. bee venom, snail slime, starfish, camel milk), now you know why. And it’s also why Korean products are just that freaking good.

k-beauth主要包括护肤品,而不是化妆品的原因:韩徳赢综合过关国人认为完美的皮肤是你可以拥有的最重要的“化妆”。徳赢娱乐即使是化妆品突破,如字母乳膏和垫子压缩(用抗老化成分和SPF),配制成递送护肤效果first; coverage is almost an afterthought. Plus, Koreans like their makeup minimal anyway. Instead of piling up the smokey eye and black eyeliner to create the illusion of bigger eyes, they’ll useeyelid tapeto transform monolids into double-folds (calledssangkapul).认为k美是小丑的完全相徳赢综合过关反轮廓.


Fortunately, K-beauty is no gimmick, so you can continue to stock up. And if you’re not interested in buying fifteen products, as a Korean-American can I take this opportunity to urge you to try essence, the liquidy stuff that isn’t exactly toner or moisturizer but somewhere in between? My mom is 70 years old and looks better than most of my friends, and she says it’s the one product everyone needs to use OR ELSE.

Move over, France. Korea is the new beauty boss in town.

**Hey, Sephora, yourK-Beauty sectionincludes Tatcha and Shiseido, which are definitely not Korean. Wanna help stop the homogenization of Asians?

This article was originally published April 24, 2017.


  1. Nice post. Korean skin care, beauty and style is definitely on the rise.

  2. I love korean beauty products, but some of it has to be taken with a grain of salt. I don’t know if you saw the fake ginseng ingredients scandal making the internet rounds lately, for example. I feel like marketing claims are less regulated in Asia vs the US.

  3. Definitely, Korean beauty products are awesome.Most of the people like to use this one. I am so excited to buy all these makeup products.

  4. Thanx for sharing! Informative and interesting content to know about Korean beauty. Keep writing and sharing your writings.

  5. Hi,

    thanks a lot for this post, I’ve always loved korean skin care products, I hope their make-up products are of the same quality


  6. 韩国人喜欢完美的皮肤,他们甚至创造了BB焕发治疗。美好的内容!

  7. I agree with you. My family also likes to use Korean cosmetics. And we recognize really good Korean cosmetics. It is very effective after 1 time of use. Especially facial care products

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