K-beauty is an umbrella term for Korean skin care, makeup, beauty regimens and beauty related items that invented from South Korea. In the past few years, the wave of Korean society (hallyu) has been sweeping the globe from K-pop, K-movies, K-dramas to K-fashion as well as K-Beauty. K-Beauty has constantly been among hallyu’s trend leaders and now it’s becoming a part of the normal beauty market in the United States. You might be wondering, what’s the difference between Korean vs American beauty?

Focus on Skincare

While Western beauty trends are focused on camouflaging imperfections with overly-coloured structures as well as make-up, Koreans and Asians generally, on the other hand, are interested in enhancing and nourishing their skin. This dedication to improving skin complexion rather than hiding them has led many Korean beauty companies to creating advanced cosmetics to fight any kind of skin flaws.

In fact, the Korean beauty trend of glass skin focuses on having healthy and dewy skin without makeup. This look is achieved by providing your skin with sufficient moisture such that it looks as if it is made of glass. By emphasizing having good skin, it reduces the need for makeup as your natural look already provides a healthy glow.

Natural Ingredients

Using mainly ingredients that have been used by Korean ancestors from thousands of years ago, the K-beauty industry focuses on using natural ingredients in their products. Common active ingredients you can locate in your favored items consist of centella asiatica, birch juice, propolis, licorice origin, rice water, mugwort, and also various fermented active ingredients. With the use of natural active ingredients passed down multiple generations, Korean formulas are generally gentler and better for the skin. On the other hand, these herbs and ingredients are hard to find in Western beauty products.


Westerners tend to prefer having “sun-kissed”, tan skin which they achieve through frequent sun tanning. Having tan skin to an American indicates that they have been having fun and been on a vacation. On the other hand, Koreans prefer to have a lighter skin complexion due to their history. In the past, commoners usually did work out in fields under the hot sun and were thus tanner. As a result, having a lighter skin complexion implied that one had a higher social class. That could be why Korean makeup products tend to include SPF to provide protection against the sun. The high SPF likewise gives the makeup look more shine, ultimately helping Koreans achieve that light and fresh appearance they like. Koreans also tend to have less wrinkles as they get a good amount of sun protection. With the knowledge of SPF protecting against early aging skin wrinkles, many Westerners have also begun applying SPF and look to incorporate Korean makeup products with SPF into their beauty routine.

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