K-Beauty – the inside story on the Korean beauty trend

Everyone is talking about K-Beauty, but what’s behind it? In order to get to the bottom of this new trend, two of our internal specialists went on a mission to check out the local market first hand. They came back from Korea feeling amazed and full of insights.

As early as 2011 American experts realised that the modern and innovative technology used in cosmetics and dermatology in Korea is the most advanced in the world. Korea has taken the lead as the new skincare superpower and K-Beauty is THE innovation driver within the cosmetics industry.

10-step beauty ritual Korean women have a holistic approach to beauty, focusing primarily on care products and less on decorative cosmetics. It is therefore no surprise that instead of the classic cleanse-tone-moisturise care routine used in Europe, Korean women follow no less than 10 steps in a highly celebrated regimen that is deeply engrained in their everyday life. Our specialists tested the 10 steps themselves and were impressed by the array of beauty measures:

  1. Cleansing oil: First makeup is removed with a cleansing oil by massaging the oil gently into the skin and then rinsing with warm water.
  2. Facial cleanser: The skin is thoroughly cleaned with a cleansing foam to remove any last traces of dirt. Circular massage movements are used to stimulate circulation.
  3. Peel: A gentle peel frees the skin from dead skin cells and ensures deep cleaning for pores. This step should only be done once a week.
  4. Toner: The toner/refresher has a calming effect and restores the skin’s natural pH balance. It refreshes the skin and provides the ideal preparation for the next care steps.
  5. Essence: This step is one of the most important in the Korean skincare routine. Essence is a moisturising liquid with a light texture. It enhances the skin’s cellular renewal process and ensures a smooth, radiant complexion.
  6. Serum: Serum, also referred to as an ampoule or booster, has a more highly concentrated viscosity than essence and can be used to address different needs. It delivers an extra dose of moisture, eliminates impurities, minimises fine lines and tightens the skin.
  7. Sheet mask: Sheet masks are infused with various skin care ingredients and are designed to address almost every skin need. It is the optimal way for the skin to absorb the active agents and moisture. After 15-20 minutes the sheet mask is removed and the remaining fluid is gently massaged into the skin with your fingertips.
  8. Eye cream: As the skin around the eyes is especially thin, extra care is required for this area. Korean eye creams often contain collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines and to prevent the creation of new ones.
  9. Emulsion: Like essence and serum, emulsion and cream are two different products with different concentrations. An emulsion is a light moisturising cream with a milky lotion texture that is mainly used to remedy skin problems.
  10. Cream: A rich facial cream is the crowning finale to the Korean beauty ritual. It nourishes the skin with moisture throughout the night and leaves it looking wonderfully radiant.

Here are a few more exciting, surprising and useful insights from Korea:

Always equipped – the cushion foundation compact

The moment a Korean woman sits down in the underground, she immediately whips out her cushion foundation compact complete with integrated mirror. In Korea cushion foundation is not only used for makeup, it also serves as a skincare product and sunscreen. There is a huge range of products to choose from – not only in terms of properties (which UV protection, which skin tone, etc.), but also with regard to design. As compacts are frequently on public display, they say a lot about who you are. Nothing is left to chance. And Koreans love playful designs!

One store after the next – the beauty street

Beauty as far as the eye can see – in the streets of Myeongdong there is one beauty store after the next, inviting shoppers to embark on an extensive shopping tour. If this doesn’t appeal, then you can enjoy a cup of tea in one of the many cat cafés. Here cats wander around all over the place, and their purring makes for a truly relaxing experience.

Mirror, mirror on the wall
Beauty Mirror
Which product is right for which look and how should it be used? In Korean department stores you will find monitors with tutorials to answer these questions. They explain what you need to look for and which products work together. You don’t even have to test them out yourself; you can have the products applied to your face virtually via the beauty mirror.

Sun protection at zebra crossings

A rather unusual phenomenon for Europeans are the large sunshades located at pedestrian crossings. Health-conscious southern Koreans shelter under the sunshades to protect their sensitive and delicate skin from the sun and air pollution.

Experience nature with all the senses

A connection with nature is important in Korea – and this is also reflected in the area of beauty. One particular company, for example, has created a unique experience for customers at its beauty café: fresh salads featuring a variety of exotic ingredients are served against a backdrop of living green walls – natural beauty on the inside and outside!

Our specialists were able to experience K-Beauty first hand during their trendscouting trip. As an innovative cosmetics company, the Mibelle Group strives to keep its finger on the pulse of the latest trends and to impress its customers with new product developments in the beauty care segment. We will continue to keep a close eye on K-Beauty in the future and will be using it as a source of inspiration.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

*

Group Management Team