Whether you are a K-Beauty Newbie or K-Beauty Veteran, often we all get confused by the labels, thanks to the speedy innovations of the Korean cosmetic companies. Here is a Beginner's Guide so that you get to navigate the K-Beauty world slightly faster. Before you start, we also recommend reading our guide on Korean Skincare Routine.
Ampoule: Ampoule is a popular skin treatment with a high concentration of active ingredients. Usually, they come in small bottles with droppers. When layering treatments, ampoules should be used after essences and before serums.
BB Cream: A BB Cream is an abbreviation for blemish balm or beauty balm. BB Creams is famous for its light coverage along with other skin benefits. Majority of BB Creams contain SPF, but not replace a sun cream.
CC Cream: CC Cream stands for colour correction cream. CC Creams is a perfect solution when you don’t want to use a lot of products. It even out your skin tone and act as both foundation and corrector.
Cleansing Balm: A Cleansing Balm is a cleanser that comes in solid balm form, also known as ‘sherbert’ cleansers. Usually, Cleansing balms are used to remove makeup and sunscreen at the end of the day. They are used on dry skin and then emulsify (turn milky) when they come in contact with water.
Cleansing Oil: Is an alternative to a Cleansing Balm. Cleansing Oils are another first cleanser used to melt away oil-based impurities, like makeup and sebum.
Cleansing Water: Also called beauty water or micellar water. Cleansing Water is multi-purpose water that gently removes makeup and impurities. With some cleansing waters, rinsing is unnecessary.
Cushion Compact: The coverage product in the form of a cushion and comes out only when the cushion is pressed. Nowadays There as BB Creams and CC Creams in the form of cushions, as well as sun creams.
Double Cleansing: Double cleansing is a cleansing technique in the evening routine. First, you use an oil-based cleanser, which can be either balm or oil. The first step will remove oil-based impurities like makeup, sunscreen and excess sebum. The second step, water-based cleanser, will remove any residue left on the skin surface.
Essence: Essence is a light texture skin treatment, that is used after toning. Essences are used to add extra moisture, but some can offer unique skin benefits such as brightening or wrinkle-care.
Emulsion: Emulsion is a light moisturiser that has similar to a lotion texture. The emulsion is heavier than essence and can be used together. Emulsions add another layer of hydration and often used after essences and serums.
Enzyme powder cleanser: Is another type of cleanser but in the form of powder. Enzyme powder wash deep cleanses pores to wash away all the impurities - like sebum and dead skin cells. It is a perfect product for those with dry and sensitive skin.
It is travel-friendly and effortless to use – take a small amount of powder and add a splash of water in your hands. Mix and gently massage over your skin. Rinse thoroughly with water.
Exfoliator: Exfoliators help to renew the skin surface by removing old dead skin cells. There are two types of exfoliators, physical and chemical. Physical Exfoliators are scrubs, where small physical particles remove dead skin, whereas in Chemical Exfoliators acids are the main active ingredients.
Facial Oil: Facial Oils are highly-concentrated skin treatment, often are single-ingredient products. Oils can be applied directly on the skin or mixed with a moisturiser.
Mist: Mists is one of the types of toners that come in a spray bottle. They are used the same as toners after cleansing. Some mists are also can be used throughout the day when you fill you need a boost of hydration.
Lotion: Lotion is another hydrating treatment that is slightly heavier than an emulsion but not as heavy as a cream.
Low pH Cleansers: Naturally skin needs to maintain a slightly acidic pH balance (about 5.5) to function at its best. A low pH cleanser will regulate your skin’s pH level and support a skin-healthy environment, that will prevent the inflammations.
K-beauty: The umbrella term used for all beauty products that are produced in Korea, including skincare, cosmetics, terms and trends.
King Swab: King Swabs are exfoliators that look like oversized Q-Tips. Usually, they come in individual packaging and are soaked with exfoliating acids such as AHA and BHA. King Swabs can be used 2-3 times a week after cleansing. Dr oracle
Packs: 'Packs' are very similar to mask; they are rich and reparative treatments, formulated to give your skin boost of moisture and create a barrier between complexion and the dehydrating atmosphere.
Peeling: Peeling is a term for exfoliating. Good examples are Peeling Gels and Peeling Pads. You should be careful with peeling and not do them often than a 2-3 a week.
PA: PA indicates a rating system developed in Japan to represent how much UVA protection the product offers sun protection from UVA rays. PA ratings range from PA+ to PA++++. More + signs mean longer protection will last.
Pads: are the special cotton pads that are soaked in the product usually toner. This is the most hygienic way to apply toner, as well as the pads, are perfect for sensitive skin.
Sebum: Sebum is the natural oil that is produced by our skin. Excess sebum can lead to clogged pores and oily skin. A lot of K-beauty products aim to help control excess sebum.
Skin: Skin is another term for toner.
Serum: Serums are like concentrated essences. They add an extra layer of hydration, and like all the treatments, target specific skin concern.
Sheet Mask: A Sheet Mask is a single-use face mask. They are typically made from cotton fibres or gel-type materials, which are soaked in essences. Sheet Masks are used as the extra step in skincare after toning and then followed by a cream.
Sleeping Mask or Sleeping Pack: A Sleeping Mask is a time-released hydrating treatment that you use at night as the last step in your evening routine. Sleeping Masks are typically used once or twice a week in place of or on top of a moisturiser.
Snail: Naturally rich in hyaluronic acid, glycoprotein enzymes and copper peptides, snail extract (also called snail mucin) is both protective and reparative – battling bacteria and stimulating synthesis of skin-essential collagen to delay signs of ageing. You'll find it laced through Mizon's marvellous 'snail' range...
SPF: SPF indicates sun protection from UVB rays. Higher numbers mean more extended protection against UVB.
Sun Cream: Sun Cream is one of the names for sunscreen.
Treatments: In a K-beauty routine is the step after toning and before cream. Treatments treat specific skin concerns such as wrinkles, enlarged pores, age spots, etc. Treatments include liquids, essences, serums, ampoules, emulsions, lotions and oils.
Toner: A Toner is the second step in Korean skincare, that is applied after cleansing to help balance skin’s pH. Toners can be in the form of light mists or have an essence texture.
UVA: Long wave ultraviolet A (UVA) rays that penetrate deep into the dermis, the skin's thickest layer and causes premature skin ageing, wrinkling and pigmentation.
UVB: Short wave ultraviolet B (UVB) rays burn the superficial layers of the skin and is the leading cause of sunburn and skin cancer.
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