Discover our Korean beauty dictionary and test your knowledge about k-beauty.

The Korean beauty routine has become the new trend in skin care. Because? For its effectiveness for all skin types. Surely, you are becoming more familiar with hearing terms like Sheet Mask, double cleansing, Glass Skin or BB Cream... if so, take a look at our Korean beauty dictionary and test your knowledge about K-Beauty.


K-beauty : It is a colloquial term used to refer to Korean culture about beauty and skin care. It is an abbreviation of Korean Beauty and encompasses everything about the Korean beauty ritual. Its rise occurred in 2012 and was accompanied by the K-drama movement (Korean Drama/Korean soap operas) and K-pop (Korean-Pop).

Note: Do you like K-pop? We recommend the movie Blackpink : light up the sky on Netflix, in which the musical group of the same name tells their story and sacrifices to fulfill their dreams.

Now that you are clear about the most important concept, take note of the following terms that are basic to understanding K-Beauty and the Korean beauty routine.

7 skin method : It is a method that consists of applying the tonic seven times with the aim of intensely nourishing and hydrating the skin. The toner acts in the deepest layers of the skin, so by applying it repeatedly seven times we achieve an even more effective effect in the deeper layers. Try it and tell us what you think!

Ampoule : You may have also heard the term serum , it is basically the same, they are intensive treatments with a higher concentration of ingredients. Its active ingredients are formulated to meet different objectives, such as hydrating, regenerating or correcting the complexion. Remember: The ampoule or serum is used after the essence and the key is to use the appropriate amount (between 3 and 5 drops).

AHA/BHA : It is very important to know that these two acronyms refer to two types of acids with exfoliating properties widely used in Korean cosmetics. Alpha hydroxy acids (AHA) and beta hydroxy acids (BHA) help remove dead cells, sun damaged skin and control acne and excess sebum. Important! You should not abuse them because they can dry out the skin.

BB Cream/Cushion : They are a basic product in the Korean beauty routine . Its name comes from its acronym in English “Blemish Balm”, an anti-blemish balm with sun protection that also has color and helps unify skin tone. BB Creams gained popularity when K-drama stars revealed that they were the secret to their makeup. Then the cushion format (sponge) appeared , with light makeup with sun protection soaked in a sponge. Ideal for not wasting a single drop of makeup!

Cleansing Oil: Its name says it all, it is a facial cleanser Formulated with oil-based ingredients. It is the first step of the Korean routine with which the skin is prepared for the famous beauty ritual . The cleansing oil removes sebum, makeup residue and sunscreen accumulated in the pores. Attention: it is essential even if you have oily or combination skin.

Double serum : This method is the latest trend in the Korean beauty routine and consists of combining serums to offer the skin a treatment adapted to its needs. Apply a thin layer of a serum and when it is absorbed, apply the next serum. Make sure you make safe combinations, such as: Ceramides + Hyaluronic Acid to reinforce the skin's barrier function, or Tea Tree + Niacinamide as an anti-acne treatment

Double cleansing : It is the first step of the Korean beauty routine in which two products are used: an oil-based cleanser (term named above) and another water-based cleanser that helps clean the rest of the impurities. By combining the two products, the effectiveness is multiplied and the face will be pristine for the next steps of the Korean beauty routine.

Dewy Skin : Dewy refers, in English, to the appearance of the skin. It could be translated as “juicy”, since that is how Korean women want their skin. The ideal of beauty in Korea is to have a luminous complexion because it is synonymous with healthy skin.

Glass Skin : In Korea if they tell you that you have glass skin it is a compliment. The objective of this beauty trend is to show off perfect skin, without imperfections, luminous and translucent, with a moist effect, without makeup.

Layering : It comes from the word "layer" in English (" layer" ). It is the principle on which the Korean beauty routine is based and consists of applying products “in layers” according to their texture and function. This system goes from the lightest textures to the creamiest, in this way the skin absorbs the nutrients and active ingredients of each cosmetic in the most efficient way in each step corresponding to the Korean beauty ritual.

PA : Have you read the acronym PA on sunscreen products? It is a rating system developed in Asian countries to represent the amount of UVA protection that sunscreen offers. The more + signs on the product labeling, the more protection.

PA+: low protection for 2-4 hours.

PA++: moderate protection for 4-8 hours.

PA+++: high protection for more than 8 hours.

PA++++: extremely high protection for more than 16 hours.

Sheet Mask: Last (in alphabetical order) but not least. Masks are the star product in the Korean beauty routine and are single-use treatments. They are composed of a thin sheet of cellulose, hydrogel or cotton in the shape of the face and are impregnated with an essence or serum.

Has our K-Beauty dictionary been useful to you? How many terms did you know?

We know that there are many more left to complete it, so stay tuned for a second part.

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