Panda masks, zombie sheets and hours of online content will help you achieve ‘glass-skin’. We are going to show you step by step on what they did to achieve the glass skin effect.

WATCH: The Ugly Side of Korean Beauty.

Welcome to the world of Korean beauty or K-beauty where women are encouraged to look like real-life Instagram filters.

Korean beauty standards are so taught that not Koreans can do it. These bright colors and slick packaging are of the industry that in 2017 was estimated to be worth $13 billion.



It’s one of the world’s top ten markets for beauty products and experts call this a cultural phenomenon that’s here to stay. What we have in the beauty world is a lot of innovation and trends that start in the East and then make theirs to the West.

A Korean product once had an 8000-person waitlist and routines like the 10- step skincare routine and bubble masks have triggered viral trends around the world.


Why do we love K-beauty?

How do Koreans have such flawless skin?

Creative digital marketing combined with clever packaging has caught the attention of beauty influencers, bloggers and journalists.


K-beauty secrets


Ej Bae Marketing consultant:

“It is adapted to the modern life of women who do not have a lot of time”

The use of Asian secrets, herbal products and other quirky ingredients also make Korean products very appealing. When it comes to the K-beauty world skincare is top most important.
This is inspiring international brands to even include Korean fads in their branding. And cosmetic stores across the world have a dedicated K-beauty section. The popularity of K-pop and Korean TV dramas is also influencing people to follow their beauty regime in hopes of looking like their favorite celebrities.

Joo Kwon CEO JK Plastic surgery:

“What’s more interesting is that nowadays a lot of my foreign patients are bringing in Korean celebrity photos into my office. But South Korea’s beauty industry goes beyond lotions and potions that promise the world in a jar”

Beauty specialist Andrew McDougall:

“Everyone is fighting for white skin. Each skin product should be with whitening effect, people try to stay in the shade”


South Korea has the highest rate of plastic surgeries per capita in the world

Korean plastic surgery industry


Estimates suggest that around one in three South Korean women between 19th and 29th have undergone a cosmetic procedure:


  • Nose job

  • Skin whitening

  • Double eyelid surgeries


Nowadays is that a lot of parents are giving double-lid surgeries as high school graduation presents to young girls. Advertisements enticing women to “transform their bodies”. But sometimes, things can go pretty wrong.


Korean plastic surgery industry


Activists say that underneath all the global buzz around the South Korean beauty fad lies the harsh realities of sexism. Products like slimming face mask to breast masks with “anti-aging” properties reinforce beauty standards. That is one of the negative aspects of Korean culture. But then I think it is changing quite a lot.

There are also skincare regimes and products available for toddlers. Beauty experts say trends like these make children internalize social norms and beauty standards from a young age.


Korean beauty for kids


But some women in South Korea are now fighting back. They are posting videos of themselves breaking and emoting out their cosmetics as a symbol of rebellion against strict beauty standards. And it isn’t just limited to rejecting makeup.


Korean makeup


A popular news presenter sparked a debate in May 2018 when she chose to wear glasses on air and became the first do so on a major TV network. The government is also trying to make a difference. South Korean President wants to ban the use of photos in job applications to keep candidates from being rejected over their looks.

Authorities also plan to remove plastic surgery advertisements from the Seoul Metro by 2022.

So is the mask of k-beauty coming off?


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