J-Beauty, K-Beauty, C-Beauty: East Asian Skincare for You!
Posted on March 26 2020
Hello Cosme Hunt friends! I hope you’re all finding ways to enjoy the start of spring despite the virus- its still an amazing time to start up self-care, clean up your space and try new things. I’ve been full of spring pep myself, and I’m branching out by writing my first ever Cosme Hunt article!
J-Beauty? K-Beauty? Skincare?
J-Beauty! You know all about it- beautifully simple products, dazzling seasonal displays and even at some pretty decent prices. But do you know all about what East Asia can offer for skincare products?
Cosme Hunt is all about promoting the incredible world of J-Beauty, but how much do you know about K-Beauty or C-Beauty? With three vibrant and creative Asian beauty industries so close to each other, you know there’s a huge world of overlap. But who influences who, and what are they all about?
A great way to learn is by looking at these three country’s unique approaches to the skin, and what makes them similar. Whether you’re a skincare buff or a beauty newcomer, today I want to share a fun, simple first-look at three big beauty scenes to get your mind racing!
1. Queen of the Youthful Glow: K-Beauty
South Korea has enjoyed many years of dominating entertainment and creative industries worldwide, and their beauty industry is top-notch too. Focused on seeking out that youthful, radiant look for skin, Korean beauty companies have created a huge amount of impressive and complex routines for people to fall in love with. From overnight fixes on Instagram to time-honored traditions of rejuvenation, there’s nothing that the K-Beauty world can’t touch.
Let’s try it out- the K-Beauty Ten Step Formula
In a Mind Body Green article, contributor Alicia Yoon does a fantastic job simplifying one of K-Beauty’s most famous inventions- the ten-step process for healthy skin. She puts it simply- K-Beauty isn’t all about big expensive or chemical fixes, its rooted in natural and old-time traditions.
Yoon talks about how growing up in Korea, moisturizing was just like brushing her teeth. That routine of self-care is essential to getting the most out of the ten-step routine. Yoon emphasizes that the process is flexible, and everyone should use the products that work for them and as many or few steps as they need.
Reading a few takes on the 10-step routine alongside Yoon’s, I made an outline for you to consider working into your own day to day life!
Step One: Get a delicate cleanser for around your eyes
Step Two: Two-part face cleanse: one oil-based, one water
Step Three: Exfoliate if you feel like it
Step Four: Toner to prep and hydrate
Step Five: Serums and essences for prep
Step Six: Your favorite serums and ampoules for nutrients
Step Seven: Hydrating sheet mask
Step Eight: Eye cream
Step Nine: Moisturize and detox, use a night mask if you like
Step Ten: SPF, always! Know what light sunblock works for you
2. Classic and Reliable: C-Beauty
A bustling, culturally rich and ancient country like China surely has some ways to hold its own against the top dog K-Beauty, right? Well yes, of course, it does!
The big idea in C-Beauty is working towards that healthy, youthful look. Like K-Beauty, C-Beauty is not afraid of the extravagant or expensive, Chinese women are huge importers of the very best products from around the world. However, fancy tastes do not mean C-Beauty is all about chemical nonsense. In fact, the last few years have seen a huge rise of Chen fen dang (成分党) culture or being super savvy about each and every ingredient in your product. This has led to some INCREDIBLE products and traditionally inspired, plant-based Asian beauty that’s taken over the globe.
In an interview with Daily Vanity, Wei Brian Young outlined some of the ideas that lead to his company, WEI. Selling all around the world and based in America, Brian’s company pulls from classic and traditional Chinese medicine.
In order to keep up with the powerful demand for products that can quickly help create youthful looks, WEI is not afraid to mix scientific innovation with classic ingredients. The results can look like this fantastic hydrating mask they offer!
Lotus Blossom Thirst Relief Sheet Mask
- uses the power of Lotus Blossom extract
- works for a wide range of skin types
- sold in nice batches of six
- 80 USD / 8,400 JPY
- sold at Sephora
3. Pure, simple, lifestyle care: J-Beauty
At long last, we bring the tour back around to J-Beauty! As you may know, J-Beauty is famous for its simple products, gorgeous packaging and often its affordability. However, that is certainly not all! What really sets J-Beauty apart from the crowd is its emphasis on good, quality care that prevents aging and wear, rather than simply repairing it.
Glamour magazine shed some light on industry secrets with their interview with Shiseido brand manager, Miyabi Kumagai. She expressed that J-Beauty love simplicity, but brands like hers are not afraid of scientific innovation either. While it may be Japanese to use humble ingredients, it is also Japanese to elevate them to their fullest with wit and creativity.
The innovation of Shiseido has created some fantastic products. One includes the truly visionary neuro-cream the company produced through experimentation to help increase energy levels. This energy cream not only boosts SPF but provides serious energy boosts and brainpower via neurological stimulation!
Shiseido Essential Energy Day Cream
- powers up your nerves for natural energy
- 20 SDF
- sleek and minimalist little container
- 50 USD / 6,500 JPY
- sold at John Lewis
There you have it! There’s a whole lot more to these three industries than I could share in one article, but I hope you see the beautiful way these three ways of thinking use pure, traditional and often natural methods to treat your skin! Whether you’re up for going the whole ten steps of K-Beauty, maybe with a Chinese facemask, or just grabbing up J-Beauty’s best in organic neuro energy, there’s no going wrong with the fresh, innovative Asian beauty these three offers.
Studies Japanese language and culture at the University of Massachusetts. Loves Japan’s pop culture and learning about its trends!