Trends, Wellness / Self-Care

Breaking down trending K-beauty and J-beauty Skincare routines

At the end of the day, which one is better?

words by: Natasha Marsh
Jun 10, 2022

Famous for glazed-donut skin and hydrating ingredients, K-beauty, also known as Korean beauty, continues to gain traction year after year. But in more recent months, J-beauty, or Japanese beauty, has started to make a name as a top competitor to K-beauty. But which one is better and why? What benefits do you get from each? And can you mix both of them into your routine? Let’s find out.


What’s the difference between K-beauty and J-beauty?

For starters, both K- and J-beauty have the same overall goal: To hydrate skin and reduce pigmentation (discoloring, brown spots, and melasma). Both focus on protective barriers against the damaging UVB and UVA rays. Further, both spotlight the importance of a good cleanse, with Japanese beauty taking the world by storm with the double cleansing method.



Japanese beauty has a focus on tradition and the culture’s heritage, using indigenous ingredients (green tea, hyaluronic acid, ceramides, tea tree oil, etc.) that are simple and ultra effective. Additionally, the products work long after application. J-beauty emphasizes minimalist routines and lightweight products (milk, gels, and emulsions).


Japanese beauty takes a velvet-skin approach; so aside from products, the use of lymphatic massages with facial rollers or hands stimulate repair as well.



Korean beauty thrives on innovation. For instance, some of the most hydrating ingredients, textures, and formulas originate from K-beauty. At the center of this skincare method: Dewy, glowy skin. Korean beauty utilizes serums made of snail mucin, moisturizers infused with honey, eye creams with tea tree oil, and similar others.


Korean beauty is also what reintroduced the world to essences, the buzzy liquid serum and toner hybrid. Typically applied after cleansing and toning, this serum has hydrating ingredients that work hard to prep the skin for absorption of products.


How do you incorporate K- or J- beauty into a routine?

Now that you know both methods incorporate hydration and cleansing, how do you actually add this to your routine? It might sound like you need to buy a new arsenal of skincare products in order to do this. And although it would help, you can also just start with a sheet mask to target redness, dull skin, dryness, uneven texture, or any other skin condition you are wanting to treat.


By starting with a sheet mask, you avoid the intimidation of a serum, essence, or lotion. Plus, you can see how your skin reacts. Then, continue to add more Korean or Japanese beauty steps to your regimen based on your skincare goals. Sheet masks are ultra-hydrating, and a pinnacle of both beauty regimens. Focus on hydrating products, and you will be following the method. Oh, and don’t forget to gently massage your skin to help stimulate blood flow.


For a complete guide on hydration, check out this guide on hyaluronic acid—a mainstay in both beauty routines.