Skincare In Korean: 15+ Guaranteed Trendy Vocab

Skincare In Korean

Want to have flawless skin like Koreans? Today, Korean skincare products have been a global trend. So, let’s learn about 스킨케어 (seukinkeeo) or skincare in Korean in this post.

Jaehyun (NCT), Arin (Oh My Girl), Baekhyun (EXO), and IU. They are just a few of many Korean idols with amazingly perfect skin. Many of us want to achieve Korean fair, flawless, and glass skin. We tend to try different Korean skincare products hoping for the same results. This might be the reason why Korean skincare products are known worldwide.

Korean beauty is one of the global standards when it comes to beauty. The world is going after the different Korean beauty products. Everyone wants to know how Koreans, especially the K-pop idols, actors, and actresses, got their skin so flawless and healthy. What’s the perfect Korean skincare routine? What are the top Korean skincare products to use? What are the Korean brands that are proven effective in the skincare industry?

It will take us a lifetime to talk about Korean beauty and Korean skincare, so, why don’t we start by learning some words about skincare in Korean?

History Of Korean Skincare

The Three Kingdoms

The history of cosmetics in Korean culture can be traced back to the ancient times of the Chosun Era. During this era, they used cosmetics to color their face and show their social class. This continued until the three kingdoms.

The three kingdoms in ancient Korean history are the Goguryeo, Baekje, and Shilla. These were the periods when skincare and make-up came into popularity. During these periods, emphasizing looking healthy is the key. The skincare products during these times were homemade and stored in earthenware containers. The purpose of having these products homemade is to individualize the products based on different skin types and avoid the ingredients from going bad in a short period. But, what’s interesting is both girls and boys are expected to take care of their skins.


People were obsessed with different Korean skincare products and make-up products to alter their appearance during this period. The introduced skincare products were cleansing soaps, various oils, powders, eyebrow inks, and blushes.


The Baekje dynasty began making K-Beauty items in a more technologically advanced manner. The Japanese eventually used these techniques to build their own products.


The major thing that you should know about Korean cosmetics during this era is that make-up makes your body beautiful and your soul. The more make-up products you use, the purer you are.

Modern Times

In these modern times, Korean skincare products have reached the global market. Many skincare products from the US are produced and manufactured in South Korea. This country has become the hub for make-up and skincare products for all skin types and beauty procedures.

Nowadays, Korean beauty transitioned from make-up products to Korean skincare products and Korean skincare routines. The most common is the 10-step Korean skincare routine to achieve healthy skin and a clean complexion.

Korean skincare products are so popular because of their active ingredients and beneficial ingredients. These products are made to suit all skin types, even sensitive skin types. You can also deny the cute packaging that makes it more attractive to buyers, especially the younger generations.

Now that you know a bit of the history, you can also check the blog about Korean make-up vocabulary. I think you’ll enjoy that, especially if you’re into K-beauty.

Skincare In Korean Famous Routine

The Famous Korean Skin Care Routine

We cannot talk about skincare in Korean without talking about the famous 10-step Korean skincare routine. If you ever want to start using Korean skincare products to achieve a Korean-like skin type, this is a K-beauty routine that you can try.

  1. Oil-Based Cleanser – This is effective in removing all the oil-based impurities you have in your skin. Using an oil-based cleanser will also help remove SPF, make-up, and excess sebum without stripping the natural healthy oils of the face.
  2. Water-Based Cleanser – This helps remove all the water-based impurities in your face that oil-based cleansers cannot remove. If you’re familiar with cleansers, this might be the first kind of cleanser that you could ever think of.
  3. Exfoliant – This is a product that removes the dead skin cells in your face. Examples of exfoliants are scrubs, pads, and peels. In using exfoliants, you should start slow and work your way up.
  4. Toner – In using toners, you should consider your skin’s Potential hydrogen or pH. The pH refers to the acidity level of substances which ranges from 1-14, with seven being the “neutral.” Toners aid in the restoration of balance and moisture to the skin.
  5. Essence – You might not hear this if you’re new to K-beauty because this is unique to Korean skincare products. Essences are made with fermented ingredients that hydrate and protect the skin.
  6. Treatment – Treatments, usually referred to as serums, in skincare are used to aid specific skin concerns. These specific concerns may be dark spots, acne, wrinkles, or others.
  7. Sheet Mask – Sheet masks are paper sheets that have been soaked with serum. Use this for 20 minutes. You should also learn that sheet masks aren’t used every day like the exfoliants.
  8. Eye Cream – This step is done to aid with dark circles, puffiness, and fine wrinkles by targeting the thin, delicate skin around the eyes.
  9. Moisturizer – This product seals everything you put into your skin.
  10. SPF – This product is used to protect your skin from the effects of sun damage. It can be in the form of a foundation or moisturizer.
Skincare In Korean Top K Beauty Brands

Top K-Beauty Brands

Searching for the right beauty products can be overwhelming because of the wide variety of products you can find in the market. So, here are the top K-beauty brands that are known to produce quality products:

  1. Mediheal
  2. Innisfree
  3. Sulwhasoo
  4. Soko Glam
  5. Sweet Chef
  6. The Crème Shop
  7. Cosrx
  8. Dr. Jart+

Top Korean Skin Care Products

Korean skincare brands and routines have changed the standards of the global skincare industry. People are also changing their standards, and one perfect proof of this is our fondness for double-cleansing routines.

The Korean skincare philosophy is based on pure hydration and respecting the skin barrier. This is the reason why K-skincare products are formulated with essential vitamins and ingredients such as vitamin C and hyaluronic acid.

Now that you are geared up with the history, top K-brands, and a 10-step routine, let us now learn words about skincare in Korean. This will surely be easy for you because most of these are pronounced almost the same way as in English. So, shall we start?

Skincare In Korean Pibu Gwalli Skincare

피부 관리 (Pibu Gwalli) / 스킨케어 (Seukinkeeo) – Skin Care

The first word about skincare in Korean that you should learn is the word skincare. There are actually two ways to say it, so feel free to use what you feel is easier for you. The first one is 피부 관리 (Pibu Gwalli), and the other one is 스킨케어 (Seukinkeeo) which sounds more like the English word.

1. 에이씨 (Eissi)

English Translation: Acne-Care (AC)

The first vocabulary about skincare in Korean that we will learn is the AC or 에이씨 (Eissi ). This product is for those who have acne-prone skin. If you have this type of skin, make sure to consult your dermatologist first before putting anything in your skin.

Acne is a skin disorder that occurs when oil and dead skin cells clog your hair follicles. Acne is common during puberty, caused by the hormones to overproduce sebum. Most of the oil-producing parts of our face are the forehead, chin, and nose, called the T-zone. The T-zone is the part of our face that is prone to pimples.

Although it’s part of growing up, we should still take action to avoid the severity of pimples growing on our faces. If you’re looking for a Korean AC, here are some of the popular products that you can try:

  • THE FACE SHOP – Clean Face Blemish ZERO Line
  • It’s Skin – Clinical Solution AC Line
  • BEYOND – Ever Star AC Line
  • HOLIKA HOLIKA – Skin & AC Mild Line
  • SKIN WATCHERS – AC Clearing Line

2. 앰플 (Aempeul)

English Translation: Ampoule

If you’re not familiar with ampoules 앰플 (aempeul), these are skincare products that belong to the family of serums and essences. Ampoules are supercharged serums with higher concentrations of active ingredients that you use for a limited time as a booster. It is also good to use when you’re suffering skin problems of some sort. Ampoules are recommended to be used twice a week.

  • Mizon Snail Repair Intensive Ampoule
  • Be Plain Cicaful Ampoule
  • SKIN1004 Madagascar Centella Ampoule
  • N Ample: N Peptide Shot Ampoule
  • COSRXPropolis Light Ampoule

3. 클렌저가 (Keullenjeoga)

English Translation: Cleanser

The next vocabulary about skincare in Korean that we will learn is the cleanser 클렌저가 (Keullenjeoga). There are different types of cleansers. Some popular cleansers are gel cleanser, foam cleanser, cream cleanser, oil-based cleanser or oil cleanser, water-based cleanser, clay cleanser, micellar cleanser, and cleansing balm. Below are some famous Korean ampoules that you can try:

Cleansers are skincare products used to clean your face and wash away grime like make up, dead skin cells, excess oils, and other things that pollute your skin. It is essential to cleanse your face every day to avoid clogged pores. Some of the famous Korean cleansers are:

  • Cosrx Low pH Good Morning Gel Cleanser
  • Song Glycolic Acid Face Wash
  • Mizon Snail Repairing Foam Cleanser
  • Aesthetic Hydration Cosmetics Aqualuronics Facial Cleanser
  • Etude House Foam Cleanser
Skincare In Korean Emeoljyeon Emulsion

4. 에멀젼 (Emeoljyeon)

English Translation: Emulsion

Emulsions 에멀젼 (Emeoljyeon) is also an important vocabulary about skincare in Korean. Emulsions are light moisturizers. It has a lotion-like texture. The emulsion is applied to the skin after using serums and essences. Just a tip in layering skincare products start from lightest to heaviest.

Some of the best Korean emulsions are the following:

  • Cosrx Natural BHA Skin Returning Emulsion
  • Laneige Balancing Emulsion
  • Dr. Jart+ V7 Emulsion
  • Etude House SoonJung 10-Free Moist Emulsion
  • The Face Shop Yehwadam Pure Brightening Emulsion

5. 에센스 (Esenseu)

English Translation: Essence

Essences are also an important vocabulary about skincare in Korean to learn. It is a skin treatment that has a light texture. Apply the essence after the toner and cleanser. It adds extra hydration to the skin and has a brightening and anti-aging effect.

If you wonder about the essence, serum, ampoule, and emulsion differences, here it is.

  • Essences are more fluid than serums and have a lighter consistency. Small molecules in both include the ability to penetrate deeper and disintegrate faster. In general, serums are more powerful than essences. Serums are often thin compositions with a few active components that target your present skin concerns, such as brightening, acne scarring, and a dull complexion.
  • Ampules are a form of a supercharged serum, which means they have a higher concentration of active chemicals in them.
  • Emulsions are used as moisturizers, but they can’t replace serums. Some emulsions, like serums, contain active chemicals that treat specific skin concerns, making them a combination of serum and moisturizer.

Now, let here are some popular Korean essences that you can try:

  • Blithe Vital Treatment Essence
  • Laneige Water Bank Hydro Essence
  • Innisfree Fermented Soybean Firming Energy Essence
  • Hanskin Real Complexion Hyaluron Skin Essence
  • Then I Met You The Giving Essence
Skincare In Korean Gagjiljegeoje Exfoliator

6. 각질제거제 (Gagjiljegeoje)

English Translation: Exfoliator

Exfoliators or 각질제거제 (Gagjiljegeoje) are also essential vocabularies about skincare in Korean that every K-beauty enthusiast should learn. The main purpose of exfoliators is to remove dead and uneven skin cells on the surface. Exfoliators are not used every day as they can damage your skin.

Exfoliating the skin can help cleanse it, speed up the skin renewal process, smooth skin texture, even out skin tone, and prevent blackheads and whiteheads from forming.

If you’re not familiar with exfoliators, there are two kinds. The first exfoliators are physical exfoliators that manually remove dead skin, such as scrubs. The second kind is a Chemical exfoliator that uses acids like BHA or AHA.

Here are some popular Korean exfoliators that you can use:

  • TonyMoly Floria Brightening Peeling Gel
  • SkinFood Black Sugar Strawberry Wash-Off Face Mask
  • Secret Key Lemon Sparkling Peeling Gel
  • Dr. G Brightening Peeling Gel
  • SkinFood Black Sugar Mask Wash Off

7. 아이크림 (Aikeurim)

English Translation: Eye Cream

Did you know that the skin around our eyes is the most sensitive skin part of our face? Eye creams are used to brighten the skin around the eyes. This is another vocabulary about skincare that shouldn’t be missed. It is used to make the eyes look instantly awake and fresh. Although the result cannot be seen right away, this is still one of the top Korean skincare products because it’s really effective.

Eye creams usually contain Hyaluronic Acid, Ceramides, Retinol, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Neuropeptides. It is best applied with serum and moisturizer. If you want to shop for the best Korean eye creams, here are your options:

  • Laneige Water Bank Eye Gel
  • Shangpree S-Energy Repair Eye Cream
  • Mizon Cosmetics Snail Repair Eye Cream
  • COSRX Advanced Snail Peptide Eye Cream
  • Nature Republic Snail Solution Eye Cream

8. 로션 (Rosyeon)

English Translation: Lotion

Since we are young, we are told to put lotions on our skin. These might be the most used skincare products that are popular worldwide. It is a hydrating treatment that is slightly thicker than an emulsion but not heavier than a cream. Lotions will keep your skin hydrated and elastic, increase cell turnover, and protect those vital moisture levels to keep dry, flaky skin at bay.

If you’re wondering about Korean lotions to use, here are some that you can start with:

  • Somang Milk Body Lotion
  • Nella Oneday Whitener Magical Whitening Lotion
  • ILLIYOON Total Aging Care Body Lotion
  • Nella Oneday Whitener WHITE SNOW Tone Up Body Lotion
  • Esthete Aloe Hand & Body Lotion
Skincare In Korean Subun Keurim Moisturizing Cream

9. 수분 크림 (Subun Keurim)

English Translation: Moisturizing Cream

Moisturizing creams are also essential vocabulary about skincare in Korean. Using moisturizing cream will help reduce extreme dryness and oiliness of the skin. It can also reduce the chance of skin problems, reduce the appearance of blemishes, and help the skin stay young.

If you’re looking for Korean moisturizing cream, here are some that are making news in the K-beauty markets:

  • Be the skin Botanical Nutrition Power Cream
  • Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream
  • InnisFree Intensive Hydrating Cream with Green Tea Seed
  • Sweet Chef Ginger + Vitamin C Oil-Free Gel Moisturizer
  • Peach Slices Citrus-Honey Aqua Glow Hydrating Moisture-Gel
Skincare In Korean Misteu Mist

10. 미스트 (Miseuteu)

English Translation: Mist

Mists are indeed one of the OG Korean skincare products that K-beauty enthusiasts love; that’s why it is an important vocabulary about skincare in Korean to learn. Mists are also known as “sprays” in other countries. These are usually toners that are put in misting bottles. Mists are usually sprayed in the face to prep the skin before make-up to relieve dryness. There are also mists that are used to hold make-up and last longer.

Below are some all-time favorite Korean mists:

  • Seoul Ceuticals Marine Mineral Plump And Glow Essence
  • SIORIS Time Is Running Out Mist
  • I DEW CARE Thirst Things First
  • Missha Time Revolution – The First Treatment Mist
  • Glow Recipe Watermelon Glow Ultra-Fine Mist

11. 팩 (Paek) And 시트 마스크 (Siteu Maseukeu)

English Translation: Pack And Sheet Mask

When you watch K-dramas, it is impossible not to catch a scene without them using a sheet mask or pack. It just shows how serious they are in taking care of their skin. Sheet masks are also one of the most important vocabularies about skincare in Korean. This is another term for the mask. It has a cream, gel, or clay formula. This is applied by spreading them over your face, leaving them for at least 20 minutes, and then washing them off.

  • Laneige Lip Sleeping Mask
  • Mediheal Tea-Tree Essential Blemish Control Sheet Mask
  • Dermask Water Jet Vital Hydra Solution
  • COSRX Ultimate Nourishing Rice Overnight Spa Mask
  • DERMAL 24 Combo Pack

12. 슬리핑팩 (Seullipingpaek)

English Translation: Sleeping Mask

This is another essential vocabulary about Korean skincare in Korean. It works the same way as sheet masks, but the only difference is sleeping masks are left overnight. So, it means that the mask will stay while you are sleeping and wash it off when you wake up. Some Korean sleeping masks that you try are:

  • Laneige Water Mask
  • Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin E Mask
  • Nightingale C-Toning Sleeping Mask
  • Etude House SoonJung 5-Panthensoside Cica Sleeping Pack
  • Missha Super Aqua Cell Renew Snail Sleeping Mask

13. 혈청 (Hyeolcheong)

English Translation: Serum

Apply this supercharged serum at night to help your skin absorb all the hydration it requires. It also treats the main concerns of aging skin, such as dark spots, wrinkles, and hyperpigmentation. This is applied after you wash your face and apply toner. Because serums are made up of smaller molecules, they penetrate the skin deeper than other products, ensuring that your skin receives all of the tender, loving nourishment it needs.

Here are the proven effective Korean serums to try:

  • Green Tea Seed Serum by Innisfree
  • Yehwadam Pure Brightening Serum by The Face Shop
  • White Seed Brightening Serum by The Face Shop
  • Dear, Klairs Freshly Juiced Vitamin C Serum
  • Some By Mi AHA-BHA-PHA-30 Days Miracle Serum
Skincare In Korean Seonseukeurin Sunscreen

14. 선스크린 (Seonseukeurin)

English Translation: Sunscreen

Sunscreen is definitely one of the most important vocabularies about skincare in Korean. The main purpose of this product is to protect the skin from UV rays that can damage the skin. In these modern times, even the gadgets we use radiate UV rays that can harm our screens. This is the reason why it is important to always wear sunscreen. Putting sunscreen is a shield to protect skin and prevent premature aging.

If you’re looking for highly-rated sunscreen, here are some products and brands to consider:

  • Etude House Soon Jung Mild Defence Sun Cream
  • Cosrx Snail Essence Sun SPF50+ PA+++
  • Suntique I’m Pure Cica Suncream
  • Make P: rem UV Defense Me. Moisture Sun Cream
  • d’Alba Waterfull Essence Sun Cream

15. 토너 (Toneo)

English Translation: Toner

The last vocabulary about skincare in Korean that we will discuss is toner. Toners remove all the remaining traces of grime and impurity stuck in your pores after you wash your face. This is one of the major skincare products that can make huge changes when included in an everyday skincare routine. This is the first product you apply after you wash your face and before layering other products such as serums and essences.

Here are some Korean toners that have been changing the game of the Korean skincare industry:

  • N.M.F Intensive Hydrating Toner
  • THANKYOU, FARMER Rice Pure Essential Toner
  • AHC Aqualuronic Toner
  • Enough Project Face Toner
  • Dear, Klairs Supple Preparation Facial Toner
Skincare In Korean Products

Other Korean Skin Care Products

Now that you have learned the basic words related to skincare in Korean, here are other skincare products that you should also learn, like the makeup remover and more. Aside from these products, still, the best way to take care of your skin is to wash your face before and after sleeping, remove make-up at the end of the day, eat healthy food, drink lots of liquid, and sleep properly.

English TranslationHangul (Korean)RomanizationSound
anti-wrinkle cream주름 방지 크림jureum bangji keurim
cleansing water클렌징 워터keullenjing woteo
cleansing lotion클렌징 로션keullenjing rosyeon
cleansing soap클렌징 비누keullenjing binu
cleansing milk클렌징 밀크keullenjing milkeu
cleansing gel클렌징 젤keullenjing jel
cleansing cream클렌징 크림keullenjing keurim
cleansing tissue클렌징 티슈keullenjing tisyu
cleansing pad클렌징패드keullenjingpaedeu
cleansing foam클렌징 폼keullenjing pom
cleansing oil클렌징 오일keullenjing pom
face oil페이스오일peiseuoil
face maskpeak
gel mask겔마스크gelmaseukeu
make-up remover리무버rimubeo
massage cream마사지크림masajikeurim
modeling mask모델링팩modellingpaek
milk cleanser밀크 클렌저가milkeu keullenjeoga
nose strip코팩kopaek
point make-up remover (eye and lips)포인트리무버pointeurimubeo
peeling gels필링 젤pilling jel
peeling pads필링패드pillingpaedeu
peel off pack필오프 팩piropeu paek
sun lotion선로션seonrosyeon
sunscreen gel선스크린 젤seonseukeurin jel
sunscreen spray선스프레이seonseupeurei
sun stick선스틱seonseutik
sun cushion선쿠션seonkusyeon
spot treatment트러블 스팟teureobeul seupat
soap barsop
skin booster스킨 부스터seukin buseuteo
targeted face mask부분 마스크bubun maseukeu
under-eye patch아이 패치ai paechi
wash-off mask워시오프 팩wosiopeu paek

Other Words Related To Skincare In Korean

English TranslationHangul (Korean)RomanizationSound
acne아크네 / 트러블 (피부)akeune / teureobeul (pibu)
acne-prone skin여드름이 발생하기 쉬운 피부yeodeureumi balsaenghagi swiun pibu
all skin types모든피부modeunpibu
combination skin복합성 피부bokhapseong pibu
dry skin건성 피부geonseong pibu
dead skin cells죽은 피부 세포jugeun pibu sepo
healthy skin건강한 피부geonganghan pibu
oily skin지성 피부jiseong pibu
sensitive skin민감(피부)mingam(pibu)
smooth skin부드러운 피부budeuleoun pibu
Skincare In Korean Slangs

Korean Slangs Related To Skincare

English TranslationHangul (Korean)Romanization
rubbing부비부비Boobi boobi
positively dewy, moist skin촉촉Chok chok
radiant, glowing skinGwang
very hydrated skin물광Mul-gwang
natural glow and dewiness속광Sok-gwang
kind of shine is achieved by highlighting high points of the face윤광Yun-gwang
“flower-water toner”꽃물스킨Kkot-mul skin
beautiful, natural face that requires no make-up쌩얼Sseng-uhl
youthfully taut, firm, and bouncy skin탱탱Taeng taeng
gentle, tap-tap method톡톡Tok tok
the best face얼짱Ulzzang

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