- Dec 05, 2018
Along with the rise of the Internet, DVD players, and banging rave music, the 1990s were also the time when hallyu – or the Korean Wave – really began. This refers to the global reach and rising popularity of South Korean culture which started with the spread of K-dramas and K-pop, and most recently, K-beauty.
K-beauty, or Korean beauty as you may have already deduced, has become quite the buzzword. As K-stars began to appear more frequently in the global spotlight, the public started to take interest in the looks of artists like PSY, Wonder Girls and BTS, and wanted to know just how they managed to get their skin looking as smooth and supple as the day they were born.
Thus, a hefty demand for K-beauty products was born and the beauty world was shaken to its core.
Indeed, if the trend continues as strongly as it seems to be today, global sales of South Korean skincare products are estimated to reach Dh26.4 billion by 2020, according to market research firm Mintel.
The reason that K-beauty regimes are such a hit is because the focus lies on skin health for beauty rather than promoting makeup products. They veer more towards achieving an ultranatural look. It doesn’t harm that the products used all have amazing eye-catching designs too.
The products focus on hydration and reducing pigmentations and include a number of weird and whacky ingredients such as snail slime, bee venom, and starfish extract, to name just three.
The routines all involve a fair amount of cleansing and moisturising, featuring a mix of oil and water-based products. Essences, serums, toners and a variety of other creams also make an appearance. This has led the cosmetic industry to dub the products as ‘cosmeceuticals’ due to their proposed medicinal benefits.
Steps to perfection
Depending on who you ask, a Korean skincare regimen can range from anywhere between five to a whopping seventeen steps. Ultimately, it depends on your skin and its condition at the time as environmental factors must also be considered.
The nine-step routine is most popularly employed and discussed. Here it is: