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And you thought K-pop and TV Drama were the most wonderful phenomenon to come out of Korea! Korean beauty has taken the fancy of beauty enthusiasts worldwide and for good reason.

Korean men and women are known for their flawless and glowing skin, innovative products and unique ingredients. The country saw an incredible rise in makeup exports which was $4.18 billion worth in 2016, compared to $451.15 million in 2009.

With the market demand so strong coupled with the government’s huge push to R&D, the Korean beauty scene has these fascinating trends to offer in 2018.

1. Sheet Masks 2.0

Korean beauty believes that the skin cannot be moisturized enough. Overnight sheet masks have become a huge trend over the past years so for 2018, this product will become bigger and better than before.  For example, there is the foil mask- you heard it right!

Instead of traditional fiber masks, aluminum foil is used to prevent the liquid and skin-benefiting ingredients from evaporating. And then there are the slice masks which are masks with cutouts slices of cucumber, strawberry, kiwi, tulip, rose, and other fruits and flowers. Not only do they provide the benefits of the underlying fruits but are oh-so instagrammable!

fruits sheet masks

2) Peel off Makeup

There have been some serious peeling videos taking Instagram by storm. There are products for eyebrow tinting, lip color, eyeshadow and even peel off foundation. The latter is likely to explode this year and is a product applied throughout your face before applying makeup, which will act as a barrier between the layers.


3) Cloudless skin

We’ve seen the glass skin, mochi skin, honey skin and 2018 brings you ‘cloudless skin’! To put it simply, it isn’t a trend but a condition where the skin is vibrancy, clear almost transparent and free of imperfections- almost like a baby’s.  The name derives from the effect of a clear, translucent sky without the looming clouds!

There isn’t a specific product to achieve this look rather a routine of healthy living habits. This includes the 10-steps of skin care including cleansing, toning, moisturizer, priming and also puts emphasis on diet, sleep and stress levels- which can impact optimal skin health.


4)   Face Routine For The Scalp

If you thought nothing could beat the ten-step facial care routine, wait till you hear about the scalp care routine. The basic 5-step process includes:

●       Exfoliating the scalp with dry brushing using a boar bristle brush which increases blood circulation

●       Cleansing with a shampoo while massaging the scalp

●       An apple cider vinegar rinse is an old Korean tradition which involves applying the rinse to the length of the hair. Lightly massage the hair and rinse after two minutes for extra shiny AND healthy locks.

●       Hydrating the hair with a repairing conditioner

●       Moisturize your strands with a second, deeper conditioner by running your hands through your hair from middle to ends, working your way up.

●        Use sheet masks for hair once a week to restore shine and bounce to damaged, stressed, and dry hair


5) Unusual Ingredients

Royalty now extends to skincare with diamond powder being used in in them can actually create an illuminating effect on the skin that makes it appear healthier and more radiant.

Egg whites are great for nutrition and for the skin too, as the components of protein and collagen can help rebuilds skin tissue. So sheet masks and serums enriched with egg whites can help your anti-aging efforts.

Volcanic ash is the new charcoal with amazing antibacterial properties which can also remove oil, dirt and debris from the skin. Volcanic ash is basically bentonite clay which is used in face washes, packs and scrubs.



6) Punch Drunk Eyes

Applying blush had been simple, you would brush the product on the apples of the cheek. But Korea has something else to say about it! Dubbed the Igari look (or hangover look), the blush is applied in an inverted triangle shape directly under the eye. Originating in Japan, Korea adapted this in a big way after K-pop stars were seen sporting the Igari look.

This year, we can expect the look to expand to a ‘punch blush’ look which makes you look like you have been punched! This look extends rich color .like rose, magenta and red, around the eyes and cheeks, creating a “blooming” look.


7) Reconstructing the face:

Cosmetic or  aesthetic surgery is mainstream in Korea with such procedures seen as imperative to help young millennials get jobs, as employers are seen favoring a good-looking workforce. With botox, nose jobs and lip enhancement becoming common, 2018 has seen these procedures gaining popularity.

–         Korean HIKO or Nose Thread Lift

This procedure aims to give you a straighter, higher and defined nose bridge or tip.  Being non-invasive, this procedure has a short recovery time and has gained a nickname of ‘lunchtime nose job’.

Polydixanone (PDA) threads are inserted in the nose which dissolves over time, creating new collagen, and tissue fibroblasts in the skin. The end result is tighter skin which enhances the nose’s definition and contour.

–         Korean Ultra V Lift or Face Thread Lift

The Korean V Lift was created after modifying invasive thread lifting and Ultra V Lift. Ultra V Lift threads are used to lift the forehead, temples, facial tissues and jawline. The tightening of skin contours of the face to give a heart-shaped face which is seen as desirable in Korea, Taiwan and China.

–         Eye smiles

Aegyo sal also known as “eye smiles” or “baby eye fat” is a minimally invasive procedure that involves achieving a fatty, under-eye bag. Whether though makeup, surgery or fillers, these fat deposits are said to make the face look more youthful and innocent.

Be sure to approach a reputable and professional aesthetician from a trusted aesthetic clinic if you want to try such procedures.

Which of these Korean beauty and skincare trends are you most excited to try? Let us know!

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