Beauty News

Everything you need to know about the Korean beauty trend

From BB creams and sheet masks, to skin-whitening products - Korean beauty trends have taken the world by storm.

Korea has risen to the forefront of the international beauty pack in what seems like the blink of an eye. What started with the BB cream craze has evolved to include sheet masks, rubber masks, skin-whitening products, clay cleansers and more.

These skincare essentials and their enticingly quirky packaging have experienced a surge in popularity in the western world, and their online availability means we don’t need a passport to hop on this beauty bandwagon – everyone can join in.

As the experts attest, our make-up has its work cut out for it if we don’t prep and prime our face properly before we apply it, but Korea’s tradition of ‘bringing the professional to the home’ sees many locals taking their skincare regimes to a whole new level.

It has become the norm in certain circles to put the utmost care and attention (and perhaps slightly excessive rituals!) into the daily routine, which has us wondering, could we be doing better too?

The introduction of K-Beauty brands such as Chosungah 22 (founded by Korea’s most famous make-up artist, Chosungah) to international markets has led to a shake-up of the entire beauty industry.

Chosungah says the success of the K-Beauty boom can be attributed to its signature healthy, hydrated look. Korean women have long lusted over the ultimate glowing complexion, and it’s a trend that sits well with many worldwide.

Even MAC has jumped on board to explore the vibrant and wonderful world of Korea’s unique make-up trends. The brand’s new collaboration with influential South Korean streetwear designers Steve J & Yoni P has resulted in a collection that’s reflective of the popular clothing label’s style: bold, fun and eccentric.

Keen to find out more, we spoke to Chosungah to get some first-hand insight into the juggernaut that is K-Beauty and find out where her own range of products fits in.

Q & A with Chosungah, founder of Chosungah 22:

What are some of the beauty trends that have come out of Korea?

A lot of the K-Beauty skincare trends come from Korea’s traditional saunas, which inevitably make your skin beautiful. In Korea, skincare clinic appointments are very popular and form part of everyday life for many women. Bringing that home is what K-Beauty products are all about, with packs of products such as masks that you do every day providing a much more affordable way to maintain your skin.

This is where the sheet mask trend originated, as Korean women have one on every night, not just occasionally. The most important thing is hydrated skin; Korean women won’t compromise on that, so it’s always implemented in one way or another.

Why do you think the K-Beauty boom has become so huge worldwide?

I think it’s the result of K-pop music culture becoming big. K-Beauty’s signature look – the glowing complexion and healthy-looking skin – is probably the most important thing that’s caught people’s eye, as it makes you look beautiful without the need for a lot of make-up.

What’s the key K-Beauty mantra?

Everything starts with good skincare – without it, you will not get good results. Skincare needs to flow through into your make-up too.

You’re a big advocate of multi-purpose products – why is that?

As much as I respect traditions and classic beauty, we need to adapt and change. Today’s Korean culture is all about everything being really quick, and that’s spreading around the world. Customers are looking online at YouTubers for reviews and recommendations so they can minimise their time in the store, so it’s about catering to this generation too.

What can we expect from Korean beauty in the next year or so?

Korean products are changing and developing so fast that it’s hard to pinpoint when a trend begins and ends. In the past they were in line with our seasons, but nowadays it’s even faster because that’s the flow of the industry. I think it’s a pleasant surprise when you find something new trending today and each day after that.

Related stories