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Is Korean Skincare Similar to Japanese?

Jason Park
Published by: Jason Park
Published on:

Many individuals consider Korean or Japanese skincare. But without knowing which ones actually deliver results, it’s hard to choose one. And it’ll have a huge impact on your skin when chosen wrong.

So, to help you understand the differences between Korean and Japanese skincare, I spent days researching the brands, ingredients, and science behind it.

Keep on reading. 

Quick Summary

Korean skincare is less expensive than Japanese skincare because of the number of skincare products produced in Korea.

Products from both Korea and Japan use similar products and can be seen as very similar.

There’s no one-size-fits-all for skincare products because everyone has a different skin type.

Differences Between Korean and Japanese Skincare

If you haven’t chose between Korean or Japanese skincare yet, it’s important that you know the differences between these two.

It can make a huge difference in money, time, and energy. You don’t have to waste money on products that won’t even work. I’ve tested many products over the years and compared both Korean and Japanese skincare.


The main difference when I looked at both the products was that Japanese skincare uses a lot of parabens, whilst Korean skincare doesn’t.

Now, that doesn’t mean that it’s bad to go for Japanese skincare, but it can be somewhat harmful to the skin. Especially when used wrong.

As I said before, not all skincare products are suitable for every skin type. It highly depends on your own skin and if your skin can handle such ingredients.

When I looked at Korean skincare products, I noticed that they use phenoxyethanol which is safer than parabens. [1]


The price difference is also huge. For Korean skincare products, you save at least 20 to 30% more compared to Japanese skincare.

For me, this makes a huge difference, and it’ll probably save you a lot of money.

However, if you can afford to buy Japanese skincare, it can be a great option if that works for your skin type. And some skincare products do work for you, while it doesn’t for others.

Considering the huge price difference between these products, I’d recommend the following:

  • Buy Korean skincare if you have a smaller budget
  • Buy Japanese skincare if you can afford more expensive products

Similarities Between Korean and Japanese Skincare

Most ingredients in both products are quite similar. Ingredients such as snail oil are often used in both Korean and Japanese skincare. 

That’s why people often compare these two.

It’s because they use very similar products and deliver the same results. 

Products from Asia

Both of these come from Asia, and people tend to lean more toward Asian countries when it comes to skincare. Both South Korea and Japan have a huge beauty industry.

This also makes it more appealing to try one of those skincare products. There have been countless people trying out skincare products and prefer Korean skincare.

And both of these can be bought from YesStyle, which is an online store that sells all beauty products from Asia.

These are divided into different sections like J-Beauty and K-beauty.

Skincare and Beauty Standards

With many skincare products, there are also many beauty standards. And each country has their own beauty standard. You’ve probably heard about “Korean Beauty Standards” or “Japanese Beauty Standards.”

These are very famous overseas but also very dangerous. Because these beauty standards are often unrealistic, it’s very hard for people to achieve them.

Examples are:

  • Big round eyes
  • V-shaped jaw
  • Double eyelids
  • Smooth skin

These are just a few examples. But from that, you can see that people take beauty standards extremely seriously in these countries. Some people even get plastic surgery as their graduation gift.

It’s actually a very common gift in Asian countries. 

This makes it even more normal because the parents push their children to do better in school, university or college. And by getting those top grades, they also get plastic surgery as a gift.

Compared to Western countries, it’s not as mainstream as it is in Korea and Japan. 

Also, the whole point of Korean and Japanese skincare is getting that perfect silky smooth glass skin. That’s what everyone strives for, which can often be seen in Korean dramas or Japanese TV series.

But at the end of the day, it’s not all that matters as long as you’re confident in your own skin. 

Final Verdict

When it comes to skincare products, most people tend to choose Korean skincare. The K-beauty industry is huge and almost worth 10 billion.

However, you also go for Japanese skincare if that works better for your skin type.

That said, there’s no definitive answer to this. My preference goes for Korean skincare, mainly because I’ve been using it for over three years now.


Where To Buy Korean Skincare?

Korean skincare can be bought everywhere. Because there are so many products available, you can purchase it anywhere in the world.

Where To Buy Japanese Skincare?

There are many online stores where you can buy Japanese skincare. Stores like YesStyle or Stylevana, for example.



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    About The Author

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    Jason Park

    Jason has been living in Seoul for over 4 years, and during that time, he has experienced many of the city's hidden stores. He loves to write about his experiences and share them with others. Jason has been quoted and referenced by different major media companies like Mashed, Distractify, ThePrint and TastingTable. In his free time, he likes to watch Korean dramas and learn more about Korean culture.

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