What Is K-Beauty?

What Is K-Beauty?

K-Beauty is the shortened term for Korean Beauty, one of the biggest beauty revolutions for a long time. It originates from Seoul, the capital of South Korea, and is quite a complex multifaceted skincare system. It uses similar products to the usual skincare regime that we all expect, with a few extras, and a very modern twist. All we need to do is say the word “sheet masks” and we are sure that you get what we mean. The routine has become so popular that sheet masks have become an everyday product for many people. The question on everyone’s lips is how effective is this regime? To answer this Nakin investigate further. We should say though that as with any type of face routine, it will depend on the quality of the actual products, and the actives that are within them. In fact, you do not actually need to use Korean products to follow the routine, you can use any skincare range, such as Nakin's Natural Anti-Ageing Skincare, which is all made in the UK.

Our first impression of Korean beauty products is that it’s super innovative, the fun and sometimes out of this world packaging brings a smile to our faces. Maybe one of K-Beautys super powers is the relaxing happy benefits that it brings. We all know that being happy reduces the ageing process, as it keeps stress hormones like Cortisol at bay.

Introduction to K-Beauty

Korean beauty, also known as K-Beauty, has taken the world by storm in recent years. It refers to the skin care and makeup products that originate from South Korea, which are now highly sought after and widely used globally.

The Origins of K-Beauty

South Korea is well-known for its advanced technology and innovation in the beauty industry. In the 1960s, Korean cosmetics brands started to gain popularity in their home country and eventually expanded to other Asian markets.

It was not until the early 2000s that K-Beauty began to gain global recognition with the rise of social media and influencers promoting its products. Today, K-Beauty is a multi-billion dollar industry, with South Korea being the fourth-largest exporter of cosmetics in the world.

What Sets K-Beauty Apart?

So, what makes K-Beauty stand out from other beauty products on the market? One of the main differentiators is its focus on natural ingredients and gentle formulas. Korean beauty brands often incorporate traditional herbal extracts and use advanced technology to create effective yet gentle products.

Another aspect that sets K-Beauty apart is its multi-step skincare routine. While Western beauty routines typically consist of 3-4 steps, K-Beauty encourages the use of 10 or more products to achieve flawless skin. This extensive routine includes double cleansing, exfoliation, toning, essence, serums, sheet masks, moisturisers, and sunscreen.

The Benefits of K-Beauty

The extensive skincare routine of K-Beauty may seem daunting, but it comes with several benefits. Firstly, by using a variety of products, you can target specific skin concerns such as acne, ageing, and hyperpigmentation. Additionally, the use of natural ingredients and gentle formulas helps to prevent irritation and sensitivity.

K-Beauty Steps

The K-Beauty trend also has more steps than the traditional cleanse, tone, treat and moisturise package. It actually has 10-steps, which at first sounds a bit over the top. But when we broke it down, these 10-steps are things that we probably already do as part of our face care regime. We maybe just don’t do them every day. The first point to note is that the K-Beauty face care regime starts with four steps of cleansing. You therefore need to have a fair bit of free time to complete all the steps. The elements are detailed below, and at Nakin we do not recommend completing all ten steps twice daily, as we do not believe in overloading skin with products and procedures. If you fancy trying the regime then listen to your skin and see how it feels, and use your intuition for what works best. Below we have outlined each of the steps and how they are carried out.


The first cleanse - usually with an oil based cleanser and applied onto dry skin. So it’s really easy to massage into all the right places and dislodge debris. Our Advanced Cleansing Milk is the perfect companion for this.


The double cleanse – this might seem a little unnecessary, but those of us that tone after cleansing will know that rarely is skin perfectly clean from just one cleanse. This is especially true if we have been wearing make-up. The Korean double cleanse uses a foam cleanser for this stage, but for those who find a face wash strips skin a bit too much, you could double cleanse again with the gentler oil based product used in step one.


Exfoliation – an easy way to liven up skin by removing dead skin cells. We suggest only doing this weekly, and by removing a cleanser using a luke warm muslin cloth in small circular motions, although you can also use natural face scrubs. Just check it’s not too harsh for the face.


Toning – this removes the last traces of cleanser, purifies skin and conditions. We recommend using quite a gentle natural toner, such as our natural Purifying Face Toner. This is because skin might be feeling a little delicate after the triple cleanse, and it’s never good to use a harsh product on the face. We usually suggest sweeping a toner over the face with cotton wool, to clear away the last traces of cleanser. However, with skin being so clean after the triple cleanse, you may wish to just apply some toner to the fingertips and pat over the skin.


Essence -  this is the step that at first we thought was quite knew to us, but actually it’s just like a watery face serum. In Korea though, this is an essential part of the system. Although, we feel that just using a face oil like our Revitalising Face Oil, and/ or serum like our Performance Face Serum is more than enough for skin. The only way it would not be enough, is if you were using products that contained only 1-2 active ingredients. But most prestigious skincare like Nakin’s natural anti-ageing contains multi-faceted content and actives, to assist skin in an array of functions.


Ampoule, serum, oil and boosting treatments – this is now a key part of every beauty routine, especially for skin that is showing signs of ageing. But as we suggested, we feel it’s covered in step five.


Mask – and as we already mentioned, the traditional method for this in Korea is a sheet mask. We agree that a mask can be really nice once a week. It’s a time to relax skin, and it can be a good way to sort out any very specific skincare concerns. So if for example your skin is very dry, a hydrating sheet mask might really help. Although if you need to remove black heads, then we recommend using a Mud or Charcoal mask, as they are able to draw the dirt out of pores.


Eye Cream – an essential part of skincare. An eye cream does the job that a normal moisturiser should not do. Eye creams should be silky and gooey, so as not to weigh down the delicate eye skin. They really help keep the skin around eyes looking tip-top and alive, alleviating crow’s feet, lines, dullness, dark areas and puffiness. Our Eye Cream Complex is an excellent natural choice for this.


Face Cream – probably the one step that pretty much everyone uses. At Nakin we don’t like to leave the house without a face cream. That’s because as well as stimulating skin with a nutrient burst, and offering lovely hydration, they should also provide an invisible layer of protection to skin. This shields the face and neck from things like the wind, cold and pollution. Use a natural long lasting face moisturiser like our Matt Formula Face Cream for oily/ normal skin, or our Active Dew Cream Face Cream for normal/ dry skin. We also wanted to mention not to forget the lips in the moisturising step. Lips can get very dry, and so a good hydrating, conditioning and protecting lip balm is vital. Try a natural lip balm like our Lip Treatment Balm, which also have a gorgeous plumping effect.


SPF – we love that K-Beauty includes this as an essential every day step for skincare. It really is important to keep skin looking as best it possibly can. Always apply when going out in the sun, over your moisturising face cream, and about 15 minutes before sun exposure.


Now we know what’s involved in a K-Beauty skin care regime, let’s look at some of the products available. We have picked a few of the best-selling Korean Beauty products and compared them to some of the products in our own range, to see how these delightful products work.

Let’s start with Klavuu Nourishing Care Lip Sleeping Pack. Sleeping Pack makes it sound very high tech, although when we inspected the contents it was really just a balm made with Apricot, Sweet Almond and Avocado oils. It is designed to be used at night, and has lots of good reviews. You could use a more traditional Lip Balm like our 100% natural Lip Treatment Balm, which can be used throughout the day as required, and is gorgeous for dry lips.

Next we look at TonyMoly Tomatox Magic Massage Pack, which comes in a beautiful red tomato container. It’s designed to be massaged into the skin, or used as a face mask, with the aim of cleansing and brightening the complexion. We notice when looking at the ingredients list that instead of the main ingredient being water, as is the requirement for any real cream product, Tomato Fruit Water (Solanum Lycopersicum) is used instead, which is a nice idea. The rest of the cream contains a lot of common skincare ingredients, found in many products, plus sadly it does contain Parabens. But a couple of ingredients do stand out as being different, and not your usual, and they are Pearl Powder and Coral Powder. Both are exactly what you would expect, Pearl and Coral from our magical seas. The Coral Powder for instance, is usually harvested from bits that naturally come out of the reef, and is moved by the current. The bits are collected by boat, dried, micronized and sieved (depending on the particle size required). Then it is processed to guarantee the hygiene. The minerals and trace elements found in the sea are immense, and the benefits of using coral are the cleansing and remineralising of the skin. But be aware if you are a Vegetarian, as Coral is made up of thousands of tiny animals called polyps. Nakin have an excellent natural vegetarian cleanser, our Nakin Natural Anti-Ageing Advanced Cleansing Milk, which uses the powers of seaweed to detoxify and brighten skin. Pearls are used in lots of beauty products in Asia, and Cleopatra is thought to have used them in her beauty regime. It’s a very versatile ingredient as it can be broken down to a very fine powder, which means that it can be utilised in many beauty creams and potions. Again, as with most skincare products derived from natural sea ingredients, they are full of minerals and amino acids.

Next to look at is the Vitamasques Hydrogel Face Mask. It’s a sheet mask that promises 120 hours of hydration. In some ways we do love the sheet masks, the need to not have to wash them off makes a very convenient beauty treat, that can be used at anytime and anywhere. They can deliver large amounts of ingredients to the skin, such as Hyaluronic Acid for a rapid moisture boost. But many beauty professionals feel they are a one trick pony, as they cannot offer the same multi-functioning benefits as a traditional mask, which might have specialist benefits such strong grime purging properties. It’s also important to check that the sheet mask you use is biodegradable and recyclable. So all in all, it might be cheaper and just as convenient to use a repairing hydrating serum such as our Performance Face Serum, which is packed with exceptional natural ingredients like Hyaluronic Acid. All the products in the Nakin range are designed to deliver optimum naturally active ingredients to skin, for the best in anti-ageing beauty.

So our overall impression of K-Beauty is a positive one. Although it’s a bit of a trend, it does Inject some fun into your beauty regime. It’s not always environmentally friendly, as we saw a lot of products with lots of large plastic use, plus throw away bits and pieces, like syringes for the sheet masks. It does seem though to contain some unique high quality ingredients, although some are not vegetarian, but they do contain good vitamin, mineral and nutrient concentrations. The movement seems to be a bit behind with natural skin care sometimes, although many of the products contain high quality natural ingredients, there does seem to be a fair amount of parabens in some of the brands. But natural Korean beauty is easily accessible and seems to be on the rise, as the demand for natural skin care builds around the world. The only other thing to remember is that you need a fair amount of free time to engage in the whole 10-step system, but you can just pick and choose a bit of what you like.

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