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.
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 are the 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.
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 the Korean-like skin type, this is a K-beauty routine that you can try.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Eye Cream – This step is done to aid with dark circles, puffiness, and fine wrinkles by targeting the thin, delicate skin around the eyes.
- Moisturizer – This product seals everything you put into your skin.
- 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.
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:
- Soko Glam
- Sweet Chef
- The Crème Shop
- 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 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?
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 – Clincial 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 serum 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 grimes 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
4. 에멀젼 (Emeoljyeon)
English Translation: Emulsion
Emulsions 에멀젼 (Emeoljyeon) are 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 putting serums and essences. Just a tip in layering skincare products starts 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 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
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 the 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 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 as 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
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 to 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
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 over your face, leaving them for at least 20 minutes, 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 concern 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
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 skin. In this modern times, even the gadgets we use radiate UV rays that can harm our screen. 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 do 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
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, drinks lots of liquid, and sleep properly.
|Hangul (Korean)||Romanization||English Translation|
|주름 방지 크림||jureum bangji keurim||anti-wrinkle cream|
|클렌징 워터||keullenjing woteo||cleansing water|
|클렌징 로션||keullenjing rosyeon||cleansing lotion|
|클렌징 비누||keullenjing binu||cleansing soap|
|클렌징 밀크||keullenjing milkeu||cleansing milk|
|클렌징 젤||keullenjing jel||cleansing gel|
|클렌징 크림||keullenjing keurim||cleansing cream|
|클렌징 티슈||keullenjing tisyu||cleansing tissue|
|클렌징 폼||keullenjing pom||cleansing foam|
|클렌징 오일||keullenjing pom||cleansing oil|
|밀크 클렌저가||milkeu keullenjeoga||milk cleanser|
|포인트리무버||pointeurimubeo||point make-up remover (eye and lips)|
|필링 젤||pilling jel||peeling gels|
|필오프 팩||piropeu paek||peel off pack|
|선스크린 젤||seonseukeurin jel||sunscreen gel|
|트러블 스팟||teureobeul seupat||spot treatment|
|스킨 부스터||seukin buseuteo||skin booster|
|부분 마스크||bubun maseukeu||targeted face mask|
|아이 패치||ai paechi||under-eye patch|
|워시오프 팩||wosiopeu paek||wash-off mask|
Other Words Related To Skincare In Korean
|Hangul (Korean)||Romanization||English Translation|
|아크네 / 트러블 (피부)||akeune / teureobeul (pibu)||acne|
|여드름이 발생하기 쉬운 피부||yeodeureumi balsaenghagi swiun pibu||acne-prone skin|
|모든피부||modeunpibu||all skin types|
|복합성 피부||bokhapseong pibu||combination skin|
|건성 피부||geonseong pibu||dry skin|
|죽은 피부 세포||jugeun pibu sepo||dead skin cells|
|건강한 피부||geonganghan pibu||healthy skin|
|지성 피부||jiseong pibu||oily skin|
|부드러운 피부||budeuleoun pibu||smooth skin|
Korean Slangs Related To Skincare
|Hangul (Korean)||Romanization||English Translation|
|촉촉||Chok chok||positively dewy, moist skin|
|광||Gwang||radiant, glowing skin|
|물광||Mul-gwang||very hydrated skin|
|속광||Sok-gwang||natural glow and dewiness|
|윤광||Yun-gwang||kind of shine is achieved by highlighting high points of the face|
|꽃물스킨||Kkot-mul skin||“flower-water toner”|
|쌩얼||Sseng-uhl||beautiful, natural face that requires no make-up|
|탱탱||Taeng taeng||youthfully taut, firm, and bouncy skin|
|톡톡||Tok tok||gentle, tap-tap method|
|얼짱||Ulzzang||the best face|
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