Asian beauty trends have carved a respected place in the global beauty industry with product formulas and cosmetic rituals that can take one’s skincare game to whole new levels. Whether it’s the Ayurvedic skincare offerings from India, sheet mask craze from Korea or the clean beauty rage from Japan – Asia definitely has a lot to choose from. In Japan, J-beauty wonders are a given, as well as a great range of K-beauty products being popular and widely available. The only issue with having such a plethora of Japanese and Korean products on the shelves is how to decide what to buy.

That’s why we decided to break down J-beauty in detail and how it differs from its Korean counterpart; and which products to check out to get started on your way to beautiful skin.

What is J-beauty?

J-beauty or Japanese beauty is all about simpler products that derive from Japanese ingredients, scientific innovations, and beauty methods that have been used by local women for ages to achieve perfect skin. J-beauty heavily emphasizes skin prevention and care from an early age, and naturally glowing clean skin is considered the highest standard of beauty.

What is K-beauty?

K-beauty or Korean beauty is known for its elaborate multi-step skin rituals that originate from the fascination for achieving a glass-like luminous skin. The main idea behind K-beauty is using a combination of beauty products customized for every individual, and also not shying away from trying unusual ingredients like snail mucin or mung bean that have proved to work wonders for one’s skin.

beauty products

J-Beauty vs K-Beauty Showdown

Skincare Routine

K-beauty focuses on a multi-layered skincare routine that includes ten steps that focus on hydration, sun protection, and achieving a flawless skin complexion.

Korean 10-step skincare routine :
1. Oil Cleansing
2. Water Cleansing
3. Exfoliation
4. Hydrating toner
5. Essence
6. Face oil, serum, or ampoule
7. Face mask
8. Eye cream
9. Moisturizer
10. Sunscreen

On the other hand, J-beauty has a simpler, fuss-free routine with four crucial steps that focus on using the most vital products with long-term benefits.

Japanese 4-step skincare routine:
1. Double Cleanse (Oil and Water)
2. Hydrating lotion or essence
3. Serum
4. Moisturizer (with SPF)

While both skin routines vary drastically when it comes to the number of products used, they do have some common aspects like double cleansing and hydration. J-beauty combines the two cleanses in step 1, and moisturizer and SPF in step 4 for fewer steps compared to the separate moisturizer in step 9 and SPF in step 10 of the K-beauty routine. Ultimately, deep cleansing to remove all impurities and dead skin, and hydrating the skin for a youthful effect is an essential beauty goal for both Korean and Japanese women.

skincare beauty

Formulas & Aesthetic

J-beauty is known for its innovative formulas that blend the traditions and rich culture of Japan with science-driven ingredients with high functionality. No matter which Japanese skincare product you pick, they boast the highest-quality ingredients that target more than one skin concern. Their simple yet proven formulas ensure that you don’t spend your money on endless products that eventually just grab extra space in your beauty cabinet.

K-beauty relies on products that are made using the most unique ingredients derived from nature that work on targeted skin concerns, hence their emphasis on a multi-step skin routine. While some of their ingredients might seem bizarre at first – snail mucin, bee propolis, birch tree juice – they have time and again proved to be really beneficial for many skin problems.

k-beauty products

When it comes to the aesthetic, there’s no doubt that K-beauty products are more popular for their gram-worthy packaging and cute illustrations that make them stand out on the beauty stores’ shelves. Whereas J-beauty products prefer sleek and minimalist packaging, letting the product’s functionality grab a buyer’s attention.

The aesthetic and formulas also relate to the culture and heritage of both countries, and how they want to present themselves. While K-beauty takes inspiration from pop culture and fun elements that have put Korea on the world map, J-beauty takes pride in its age-old beauty traditions as well as understated luxury.


All in all, when it comes to the best beauty routine among the two, there’s no one clear winner. It’s always best to customize your skincare routine by adapting products that can work together and give you the desired results. To start you off, here are some of our product recommendations.

Our Picks from J-Beauty :

  • SK-II Facial Treatment Essence
    Talking about J-beauty one must mention the revolutionary SK-II essence with its iconic PITERA™ aka miracle water that helps you achieve crystal clear skin.
  • Clé de Peau Le Serum
    A luxurious serum specially developed to enhance the skin’s ability to repair and defend itself. Perfect if you’re looking for something to give you a radiant and youthful look.

Our Picks from K-Beauty :