Is K-beauty and J-beauty skin care worth the hype? Here’s my experience and skin care review of K-beauty and J-beauty for mature skin (and a few other products too).
Before we get into the nitty gritty of the products and my results. Beauty isn’t something I normally review, but wanted to share my experience with the K-beauty and J-beauty products since it has become such a huge thing.
State of my Skin
I grew up in the 70’s when everyone was chasing that suntan kissed skin. Nobody stressed the importance of sunscreen. Slathering on coconut oil to bake in the sun was THE thing to do, especially in Hawaii. Coconut oil has an SPF of maybe 4-5, so it’s not nearly enough to protect the skin from sun damage. And boy, did I do some damage!
So what’s a girl to do? Well, like any aging mom, I complained about the state of skin to my kids. I talked about my face going south, the visible wrinkles, and the sun spots appearing out of nowhere. That’s when my oldest daughter, who takes great care of her skin, introduced me to K-beauty.
Now, before embarking on this K & J beauty journey, I knew that there wasn’t much that I could do to reverse the years of sun damage. In other words, I had realistic expectations and wasn’t expecting any miracle face transformations. However, what I hoped to do was to slow down and prevent anymore damage to my skin by taking better care of it. For reference, I have normal to dry skin with the majority of my dryness around the side of my nose and cheeks. The following reviews will reflect how the products performed on my skin.K-beauty and J-beauty skin care product review
Skin Care Review of K-beauty and J-beauty for Mature Skin
When my daughter introduced me to K-beauty, I started researching some of the products and found Soko Glam and Yesstyle that have lots of K-beauty products. The Soko Glam site focuses on K-beauty and has a blog site that talks about the 10-step Korean skin routine, which REALLY dried out my skin. I ended up simplifying the steps (see at the end of the post) for my skin. But you’re here to check out the K-beauty products reviews, so let’s get to it!
This Klavuu White Pearlsation Toner contains pearls and is supposed to have anti-aging and whitening properties (even out skin tone). According to the Klavuu site, it also helps removes dried skin, evens out skin tone, and helps prep the skin absorb other skin care products.
When I first tried this toner, I wasn’t sure if I liked it. It’s completely different from any toner I’ve tried. Unlike typical toners, this one has a milky white color and has a very light fragrance. When applied to the skin, it didn’t dry it out, but rather felt like it was depositing a moisture barrier. As you can see from the image, I’ve already gone through half the bottle and grew to love it! The one drawback is the price. If it’s not on a promotion sale on Yesstyle, it’s about $48.
Innisfree My Real Squeeze Facial Mask -Shea Butter
Innisfree My Real Squeeze Facial Masks come in three different levels of hydration: water base for light hydration, essence base for deep hydration, and cream base for intense nourishing. The masks are made from 100% biodegradable eucalyptus fibers and currently come in 17 different treatment masks. The cream masks will be soaked in a white cream like essence, while the water base and essence base masks will be a lighter clear essence. It’s recommended to leave the masks on the skin for 10-20 minutes after using a toner. These masks all have a slight fragrance.
I choose the Shea Butter essence Innisfree My Real Squeeze Facial Mask, which is a cream base mask (cream jar image on bottom right of package) for brighter and firmer skin. I left the mask on for 20 minutes and it left my skin extremely moisturized. I definitely saw my fine lines a lot less noticeable after using this mask and bought more for my beauty stash. The drawback of this cream mask is that it leaves a slight tacky feel on the skin, so I would not recommend it for oily skin. Also, the shape of the masks are wide and round, so those with long faces could find it slightly problematic. For oily skin, I would try using the water or essence base masks. Update 5/8/2019 – I tried the aloe essence mask and it also left a tacky feel on the skin. If you don’t like anything tacky on the skin, these masks are probably not for you.
Green tea masks are supposed to be soothing for the skin and great for anti-aging. My daughter gave me her Cosmetea masks because it irritated her skin (she has super sensitive skin). I left this mask on for 15-minutes and while it did moisturize my skin, it made the skin under my chin extremely itchy. It didn’t irritate any other area, but I’m not going to be using these masks in the future.
This is Korea’s number one snail skin care brand. It is a gel like cream that heals skin with 80% snail filtrate. It is said to brighten dark spots and hyperpigmentation with arbutin, and nourishes/protects skin with botanical extracts. Free of paraben, artificial fragrance, mineral oils, and alcohol.
Snail mucin is such a huge thing in Asian skin care and I thought that this was going to be my next ‘go to’ cream, but this caused a break out on my chin and cheeks. It’s also VERY sticky and felt like my skin was suffocating. To make sure it was the product causing the issues, I stopped using it and tried it again. And once again, I broke out with pimples. Needless to say, this was returned and replaced with Mentholatum – Hada Labo Goku-Jyun UV White Gel.
On a side note, I was sent a sample of SMD Saromae Snail Secretion Cream and loved it. Although this cream didn’t cause a break out, it still left a slight tacky feel on the skin. I liked this cream a lot more than the Elensilia cream, but it comes at a hefty $70 and it didn’t make enough difference in my skin to justify the price.
On my mature skin care journey, I found Dr. Dray on Youtube, who re-introduced me to J-beauty. Due to several of her skin care videos, I’ve been slowly incorporating more J-beauty and CeraVe into my skin care routine. I highly recommend subscribing and watching her videos if you’re interested in skin care. She has answers for almost any skin care concern you may have. She talks about skin care ingredients, skin care brands, and even goes into stores to review brand name and drug store skin care products.
Mentholatum – Hada Labo Goku-Jyun Cleansing Oil is a combination of high purity olive oil and two types of hyalrounic acid. Has no fragrance, no colorants, alcohol free, and mineral oil free. I use this cleansing oil on a dry face to remove waterproof mascara and makeup. Then, I rinse off with warm water and follow with a foaming cleanser.
I’ve tried other oil cleansers and this is the first one that doesn’t leave a greasy film after washing. This Hada Labo Goku-Jyun Cleansing Oil leaves my skin clean without drying it out. I use two pumps on a dry face and cleanse for at least a minute before washing off with warm water. The bottle is a little over $14 (sale) and there are refill bags that can be bought to replace the product in the bottle. I follow up with Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Foaming Cleanser to remove any traces of oil and leftover makeup.
Mentholatum – Hada Labo Goku-Jyun UV White Gel is an all-in-one moisturizing gel with UV protection (SPF 50+). Use this after cleansing as a lotion and sunscreen protection. It’s fragrance free, colorant free, and mineral oil free. Can easily be layered with other skin care ingredients.
This is one of my favorite new skin care products because it helps me keep things simple. I hate putting on too many layers on my skin, so this all-in-one sunscreen and moisturizing gel is perfect for me. I use this gel all over my face and neck before foundation in the morning and I’m good to go. I can also use this as-is on days when I don’t wear makeup and it doesn’t leave any white cast on the face.
According to Yesstyle, this Pure Smile Pearl Essence Mask cotton mask is great for dry skin. The pearl essence helps whiten, brighten and purify skin. The Vitamin E, collagen, hyaluronic acid and arbutin contents keep skin supple and even-toned.
I found this mask at my local Japanese store and loved it so much that I went back and bought more. It helped moisturize my skin without leaving a heavy residue. This is a pamper day mask that I enjoy it for light moisturizing.
This mask contains collagen to help maintain skin elasticity, wrinkle prevention, reduces saggy skin and age spots. Skin care technology to quickly absorb into skin to restore ideal moisture levels.
I use this 1-2 times a month for 30-minutes when I need to go to an event/party. I saw immediate reduction in my forehead wrinkles, which lasted about two days. The reason I don’t use this more is the cost, $12 for 10.
Overall K-beauty & J-beauty Thoughts
Current p.m. routine:
- Mentholatum – Hada Labo Goku-Jyun (skip this step if not wearing makeup)
- Algenist GENIUS Ultimate Anti-Aging Foaming Cleanser (2/2/2020 I no longer use this. I now use Hada Labo Gokujyun Hyaluronic Acid Face Wash for my second cleanse. This removes makeup and dirt much better when tested against the Algenist cleanser)
- KLAVUU White Pearlsation Toner
- Mask (1-2 times weekly)
- CeraVe Night Cream
Current morning routine:
So, is K-beauty and J-beauty worth the hype?
I’ve been on this K and J-beauty journey since the beginning of the year. While these products didn’t perform any major skin miracles, there was the biggest improvement in evening out my skin tone and less redness on my cheeks. Also, continued and consistent use of face creams did reduce the wrinkles under my eyes and on the sides of my nose. What hasn’t changed are the wrinkles on my forehead from sun damage. I don’t think these will ever really disappear as I’ve had them since my late twenties. However, the wrinkles did diminish after mask treatments, so I like to do those treatments on the nights before I have an event/party. Personally, I think the key is to take care of your skin early, unlike me, to really reap the benefits of these products.
Korean 10-step Skin Care Routine:
Again, I hated the 10-step Korean skin care routine. For me, the 10-step Korean skin beauty routine was too harsh and not beneficial for my skin. The constant a.m. & p.m. double cleansing dried out my skin and made my wrinkles more noticeable on my cheeks and nose bridge. Once I cut back the double cleansing to just the night, the dryness and fine lines seemed to get better. I would not recommend the 10-step for those with dry skin as I feel like it’s stripping your skin of it’s natural oils and can make wrinkles and pore appearance worse and exacerbate dry skin issues.
As for the cost, the majority of the products are more affordable than U.S. brands, especially when bought on special sales from Yesstyle (Get a discount using my link).
Overall, I enjoyed using most of these K and J-beauty products and plan to incorporate more into my daily routine. Keep an eye out for updates and more reviews!
What are your favorite K-beauty and J-beauty products?