What is “K-beauty” really about? Simply put, K-beauty is the beauty industry that comes from South Korea. Just as K-pop refers to Korean popular music and K-drama, to television series.
Something special about the K–beauty industry is that it is not just about makeup but, rather, it focuses on skin care. That is why it is addressed to everyone: men, women and even children.
For Korean culture, hydrating and caring for the skin is fundamental, with habits that are acquired from a young age. Of course, along with skin care products come beauty and makeup products. So much so, that in the main shopping streets of the big cities you’ll find beauty shops everywhere.
In fact, if you travel to South Korea, one of the must-see stops is Myeongdong Avenue in Seoul. It’s literally packed with cosmetic stores… and people shopping, of course.
What k-beauty is about
As we mentioned above, the k-beauty or Korean beauty, basically refers to cosmetic skin care products that are originally from South Korea.
But it goes beyond just makeup. It includes an ancient culture of facial cleansing for smooth, white and flawless skin. Korean cosmetics collect ancient beauty rituals using ingredients and active principles that are not so common in others.
The porcelain like and smooth skin of the vast majority of people is in itself a strong advertising element. That is why the Korean beauty routine has become a Korean brand, as have K-pop, k-dramas, and also Korean cinema.
All this as part of the hallyu or “Korean wave”, a neologism that refers to the expansion of Korean culture and the influence it is exerting in many countries, whether they are neighbors, such as Japan and China, or as far away as Latin America.
As it happens with the entertainment industry, the South Korean government has understood that k-beauty has as much force for the country’s economy as the giants Samsung or Hyundai.
With the incentives and backing of the government behind these industries, Korea has gone in a few decades from a poor, war-stricken country to one of the economically strongest Asian countries.
“Every time you turn on the TV, all you see is just ads for K-beauty.”
The abundance of cosmetic stores everywhere, the government backing the industry, advertisements everywhere… It all contributes to beauty being definitely something that is encouraged in South Korea, making it, along with makeup, in a big business, especially among the young.
Is K-beauty for you?
With all this, you may be curious to know what are some of the best-selling k-beauty products, to see if you can get them close to where you live.
Many Korean women (and men, of course) follow a famous 10-step facial cleansing routine. Imagine the amount of beauty products that are necessary! Not to mention how long it takes …
And you? Do you think the beauty industry puts too much pressure on young people or do you think the focus on skincare is okay? What do you like about Korean culture?
At our academy of Asian languages, Hanyu Chinese School, we know the importance of learning Korean to get closer to its culture. That is why we offer you personalized classes, according to your interests and needs. From the comfort of your home and with native and non-native teachers. Request your free class individually or with your friends and let the fun begin!