Is J-Beauty the new K-Beauty?
K-Beauty, with its whimsical plethora of innovations and kitsch packaging, needs little introduction. It was a trend that brought with it an avalanche of BB and CC creams, sheet masks, cushion foundations, ampoules and snail essence (no, really). With its fun, innovative and accessible approach to skincare, K-Beauty quickly became a mainstream phenomenon.We're not high-maintenance types, but we swear by the sheet masks from The Face Shop – in fact, we've even been known to wear them as we type; a foolproof way to a good skin day.
But as with all movements, once they become established, people begin speculating about what's next. And the whispers of the newest Asian beauty trend being J-Beauty have suddenly become pretty loud.
To call J-Beauty a trend, however, would be like calling red lipstick a passing fad. Hailing from a country that has the highest per-capita spend on skincare, beauty is an art that is deeply rooted in Japanese culture. Beauty rituals are revered traditions based on the classic principles of kanso, shibui and seijaku – simplicity, understated beauty and energised calm.
Favouring a more pared-back approach than its gregarious Korean counterpart, J-Beauty methodically combines ancient ingredients with groundbreaking research and development to deliver simplified routines that that cleanse, polish and renew the skin. J-Beauty products have long maintained a foothold in Western markets with beloved classics Shiseido, SK-II and Shu Uemera taking the lead. However, with prominent brands such as Tatcha, Decorté and Albion adapting their strategies to target the global millennial market, J-Beauty is now experiencing a renaissance, catapulting the industry veteran into the spotlight once again.
Will J-Beauty replace K-Beauty, though? Well... it's unlikely. Both have their own appeal, and their own place within the industry - and our bathroom shelves. K-Beauty offers a fun, affordable and instantaneous solution which caters to the Now Generation, whilst J-Beauty focuses on quietly delivering high-quality products that offer long-lasting results. Two different price points and two different approaches, but whichever you choose, it’s a win-win scenario for your skincare regime.