The Japanese mochi-hada versus the Korean ulzzang glow
(guest post by Yanna Zhang)
Fire with fire. Because, how else would two major competitors fight if not head to head?
Perhaps it doesn’t come as such a big shocker to us when these two similar Asian countries are highly competitive in which skin care routine will guarantee the most beautiful and ethereal results.
A whole culture based on their keen ability and skill to be ahead of whatever trend is in the beauty industry. Their K-pop idols practically embody the agelessness and radiance the vain crave. With their 10-step skin care routine being a sure formula for that much desired white glow, the Koreans have been crowned the ultimate masters of skin care.
For a nation that is big on the minimalist, the Japanese, on the contrary, do not hold themselves back in the skin care routine area. Passing their traditional secrets on getting mochi-hada white skin from generation to generation, they have long since polished and perfected their routine for plump, youthful-looking skin. Someone who is not new to the competition of the beauty industry is the Japanese country.
JAPANESE SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS
Broken down into a basic outline, the Japanese put more emphasis on prevention rather than absorption.
- Starting off with emulsifying oils and balms (removes make-up residue and oil), the routine would consist of double cleansing with the following foam cleansers (removes sweat and dirt).
- Skin conditioners or “lotions” then hydrate and soften the skin – serums or “beauty liquids” following soon after for no other purpose, but to whiten dark spots and diminish redness.
- The last being the highly-important sunscreen or protection against UVA and UVB.
What’s that? Expecting more? Well, that’s it. Sensei would be so proud.
Extra tip: My mother taught me how to use the power of using rice water for better skin and hair just as the Japanese do. Not only does it leave the skin feeling smoother, but also plump and dewy.
KOREAN SKINCARE: HOW IT WORKS
Misconception aside, the 10-step routine would not necessarily require all ten products for every single day. The Korean lather-rinse-repeat program would typically consist of:
- Oil cleansers and foam cleansers would the ultimate first to the long road of Korean skincare.
- After cleansing, that’s when they do exfoliating products to remove dead skin cells. Duh.
- The most important of all: toner. Newsflash. The Koreans love their toner as it makes it easier for the skin to absorb the next products.
- Essence for hydration and serums and/or boosters for dark or red spots.
- Face masks are the next step. Whether clay, peel-off, or other, the face mask industry thrives on how frequent the Koreans use face masks. I have one product review on Innisfree
- And if you think this routine was near over, bam, eye cream. Time to get rid of those droopy, saggy, miserable-looking bags and turn them into aegyo-sal, the currently trending cute, puffy under eye bags.
- Face cream, the figurative hair net keeping all the products on your face, is then applied to guarantee maximum absorption.
- To top it off, they finish the routine off with SPF for protection against the sun. Of course, we wouldn’t want to ruin all that hard work by leaving our skin exposed for harmful ultraviolet rays, would we?
PICK YOUR POISON
With the more minerals and vitamins (one of their products is literally labeled ‘essence’), the Korean skin care routine is said to result in glowing, radiant skin while the Japanese had a more plump, youthful-looking and more on the white side complexion. While it may seem easy to mix and match, the two routines would actually have significant differences in the results.
We also have to take note of the highly noticeable routine efficiency. Everyone wants to know, “is it worth our time?” Being a busybody personally, I would dislike having to diligently follow the lengthy Korean skin care routine for radiant, young skin I could get from the Japanese routine, anyway. But, the idea of attaining the much envied glowy look from the Korean skin care is a little tempting.
I mean, why not? Their Korean idols look like such visions that it would be only normal to idolize them for the intricate procedures they go through. But, you do you.
With their shorter list of products, the Japanese skincare routine is said to be the better recommended program for beginners – or those who don’t have the diligence to persevere the many steps of K-beauty like me. The typical Korean skin care routine, having more minerals and essential ingredients and product variety, more recommended for those willing to go through the hard work of it and desiring the natural glow it provides.
I think, overall, there is no definite winner as it will always be in the eye of the beholder which seems more appealing and attractive to them. While the two beauty industries have always been argued about and debated on, it only ends up highlighting how much technology and innovation they have had in the beauty and cosmetics industry of the world.
So, who’s the winner? Who deserves that Iron Throne (heh, did you get the reference)? I’d say both of them did. Along with all the other countries who have their traditional, culturally diverse beauty routines as well.
With that, concludes our skin care showdown.