Top K-beauty trends in 2020

What goes and what stays in K-beauty skincare in 2020:   

This segment was originally part of my large article enlisting the current best and most popular products in South Korea (K-Beauty). But with its 8 pages, it’s still way too large for any sane person to read all through. Therefore, I thought to release this piece as a separate segment using it as a shorter informational piece for everyone who’s hooked on K-Beauty or simply Asian beauty products. All the actual products will be referenced in my upcoming blog. So, let’s see what K-Beauty is up for in the quest for that Chok Chok skin.

I would be very thankful if you can help me support my blog. If you do not have the means to contribute, please feel free to digest from among the ads featured on my page. One click is free for you but a HUGE help for me. Thanks a million in advance.

To all who contribute: I m ready to do a skincare plan only our of Korean or Japanese products of your choice.


this pic represents the perfection what all Korean girls and women dream of

The Key Specialties of Korean skincare products

  • The love for fermented products: fermenting food and also traditional skincare products were generally used in Japan first but it was still Korea who used this ancient, traditional method to make skincare products strive. These days there are several brands that have gained popularity through their fermented products.
Whamisa a co-brand of Glow Recipe is completely built on using fermented soy and other natural products. It also claims to be an Organic and cruelty-free product
  • The love for rice products: fermenting and rice often walk in the same shoes, however, I wanted to enlist the importance and popularity of all those products which naturally contain rice and/or rice water either in fermented or in other forms. The use of rice and its derivatives in every possible way has been both a tradition and a need in both countries.  (The Face Shop Rice Water Cleanser+Cleansing Oil  (UK) (US link here)
The Face Shop is one of the top brands in South Korea: its products are made out of rice (over 80%)
  • Organic labels: out of the two countries it’s South Korea who has managed to establish several brands that are organic and/or vegan and cruelty-free. They did so, in order for their products to remain relevant in the US, EU markets. As Japan doesn’t focus on their skincare sales outside Japan and/or Asia, this has always been a less important factor for them.  (Whamisa)
  • Mucin/Snail slime products: Koreans love and strongly believe in products that are made with snail slime and many of these products have proved to be effective in skincare. (COSRX advanced snail 96 mucin power essence (US) (Link for UK)
Products containing snail slime are extremely popular as they claim to be soothing, hydrating, anti-aging at the same time. But are they really cruelty-free?
  • Korean Sheet masks: The Korean beauty industry is the founder of sheet masks and therefore there are dozens of brands that focus on solely sheet masks. ( Mediheal sheet masks are said to be the most effective:  Korean Sheet masks Mediheal and Nature Republic, (UK) Mediheal sheet masks US
  • Skincare focusing on problematic, acne-prone, oily, hypersensitive skin types. The majority of Korean brands like Cosrx, Dr. Jart+, niod, Missha, IOPE, and much more focus on products for women and girls with acne-prone skin.
  • Lower price-range: Korean products are often considered somewhat exotic and more affordable than many quality Japanese skincare products.

The biggest trends in Korean skincare in 2020

Everyone is crazy these days for products with Centella
  • Cica- mania: Extreme number of products packed with Centella Asiatica or “cica” that has anti-inflammatory (skin soothing) properties for oily, acne-prone skin. Last year it was Mugworth which was the next best thing, it’s been followed by Centella. It’s also said to help with skin moisturizing and has anti-aging properties all in the same time. (Purito Centella, Dr. Jart Cicapair products click here for UK link
  • Cream-skin mania – when a creme wants to present itself as a fluid. Cream skin products are geared towards multiuse products, creme, toner, an essence in one following the Japanese trend. What makes this product so attractive is its looks and the image of white skin associated with it. (Laneige cream skin  (UK )
Laneige made it big with their cream skin released in the summer of 2019
  • Tinted pads of all sorts, from moisturizing to acne treatment – which is not a piece of good news to nature.
  • Multifunctional products to make skincare all the easier.  COSRX Toner to Cream
  • Jelly textured peel exfoliants – these are very gentle in return and fun to apply. Matcha Mood jelly exfoliant (US)
  • Gels instead of cremes – due to the target audience having primarily oily skin cremes are too heavy for the majority of the target audience. This is also why the cosmetic companies wanted Essences and gels to make up for the effect of cremes in a lighter form. The gels are not potent for those with dry skin.
  • Snail slime/ mucin products ( often referred to as „mucin”) are highly touted as antioxidants and antiwrinkle. Take care though if you never tried mucin based products before as you may be allergic to it. Snail products may not work fully for those with dry skin.
COSRX Advanced Snail series are among the most popular in South Korea
  • Acne patches – especially with the coming of the summer. These patches are huge now in Korea with many brands releasing their own.
  • The return of physical exfoliants instead of chemical exfoliants: following Japan, Korean skincare is also slowly drifting away from chemical exfoliants and turns back to physical exfoliants. In my opinion, it’s the result of hysterical over-exfoliation and people applying these on a daily level. However, apart from a few exceptions, they have invented a jelly-like peel (also having light chemical exfoliation capacities) to do the job instead of scrubbing. ( Mizon brown sugar scrub(US) Skinfood Black Sugar Mask+scrub and Rice mask + exfoliant (UK9
the next generation peels that are now cooler than AHA chemical exfoliants. Also, COSRX has become legendary thanks to its funny-looking yet very effective acne patches seen in the middle.


  • The ditching of sheet masks in favor of the more potent clay masks: it looks like sheet masks are not as popular as they used to be. Thanks to Innisfree, one of the key brands in South Korea which focus on making products with the use of volcanic clay, these clay masks have become extremely popular. Since then, it’s also been unveiled that clay-like masks are much more beneficial to the skin than textile/sheet masks as their ingredients absorb way better.  (Jeju Volcanic Lava mask (UK) Innisfree Volcanic Pore Clay Mask collection (US)
Innisfree Volcanic clay pore-clearing mask is among the most popular masks these days
  • Cosmeceutical products –which are also called medicated products are a mix between a normal cream and an extra potent cream which must actually be subscribed by dermatologist doctors to cure skin issues. this also means products looking like medications are cool. ( NEOGEN Dermalogy collection is a perfect example) UK link here
  • Serums sold in ampoules – to look more potent or medicine like. Serums are still preferred over cremes. (The Yeon Canola Honey Ampoule (UK)  Seoulceuticals Vitamin C+Hylauronic Acid  (US) one of the coolest newcomers



  • Products with hyaluronic acid: after the immense success of the Japanese Hada Labo which literally took over all skincare fans in the US and Asia alike, I feel K Beauty companies are soon to flood the market with Korean hyaluronic acid products. ( UK link for Seoulceuticals Vitamin C+ Hylauronic Acid) US link see above

I will follow up this post with many others, all about Japanese skincare trends, instructional posts on Japanese and Korean skincare regiments, the top brands, the best products, and will also talk on achieving the Korean Honey Skin, The Korean Glass Skin or the Japanese Mochi Skin. Check back for follow-ups.

Please support my site and check out the products alongside their descriptions by clicking on their respective links. I have purposefully chosen the best examples for each sort of product.

Thank you and happy weekend!