Japanese VS, Korean VS, Taiwanese skincare





What’s your favourite skincare out of these three? Let’s discuss!


Here is my personal opinion :



Japanese Skincare






Japan has always been the forerunner when it comes to Asian Cosmetics. Japan is known for always being ‘in a world of their own’ , doesn’t really follow the trends that are happening in the world, and they set their own trends! That is why till this say, there are still very few Japanese brands are paraben-free, alcohol-free, etc.


Having looked at many Japanese ingredient lists, i have noticed that the Japanese ingredient lists tends to be shorter, 1/4 is filled with the beneficial extracts, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and the other 3/4 are filled with chemicals such as preservatives, solvent, surfactants, etc.


Take for example Kao’s SOFINA Jenne Jelly Moisturizer ingredient list :





Cetyl-PG hydroxyethyl palmitamide

Glyceryl behenate

Cetyl Alcohol

Polyperfluoromethylisopropyl Ether


Butylene Glycol

Thujopsis dolabrata

Eucalyptus globulus

Hydroxyetyl Isostearyloxy Isopropanolamine

Glutamic Acid






Another thing Japanese skincare is well known for is their gel-moisturizers enriched with Hyaluronic Acid. Hyaluronic Acid is also a staple ingredient in most Japanese skincare products. Not to forget, the Japanese were also the pioneers in bringing Coenzyme Q10, a powerful antioxidant, to the world and the first to use it as a daily supplement. Japanese Skincare is also known for their meticulous skin-care steps called the ‘layering method’ ( toner –> serum –> etc )





Korean Skincare







Korean Skincare is picking up at a really fast pace. With the immense growing popularity of Kpop in the world, Korean cosmetics and skincare are also growing at a fast rate thanks to the endorsement of Kpop artists.



Unlike Japanese Skincare, Korean skincare observes the trends of the world, and quickly adapt to it. From packaging to formulation – they make sure that they’re not left behind. Take for example – snail creams, bee venom skincare and snake venom skincare, and of course BB Creams. The Koreans are fast to spot these trends, popularize it, and make a huge mass market out of these products.



lso following the ‘natural-trend’ : Almost every major Korean skincare brand has a line that is nasty chemicals-free and their products are often advertised as ‘5無‘ which means that this product is free from 5 nasty chemicals. Now, almost every product is tagged with this ‘4/5/6/7/8/9 無’ and it seems like a competition which product has the most ‘無’ . More and more Korean products are steering away from parabens, alcohol, artificial colouring, GMO, animal derived ingredients etc.



Formulation wise, it is also opposite from Japanese skincare. Korean products usually have a longer ( or much longer ) , 3/4 of the list consists of beneficial ingredients such as plant extracts, vitamins, anti-oxidants, peptides while the remaining 1/4 consists of the chemicals such as solvents, preservatives, etc.



Another thing about Korean Skincare is Nano-technology. The Koreans are known for using Nano technology, coating the active ingredients with liposomes, on their skincare to enhance absorption and penetration of the beneficial ingredients. The Koreans are also usually well equipped in the stem cells / EGF research area and these are also applied into their skincare.



Another thing i like about Korean skincare is their packaging. I used to love Japanese skincare packaging, but the Koreans are definitely beating them hands down. In fact, i would say that the Koreans have probably the best packaging when it comes to skincare products. This is also one of the reasons why K-cosmetics is blooming ! Take a look at all the Etude House, Holika Holika, History Of Whoo etc. They have such cute, attractive packaging that it’s so hard not to purchase them. Not only that, Korean Cosmetics are also very generous when it comes to samples – and their samples are packaged in a mini-packaging of the full size products. NO other skincare products in the world package their samples to this extent.




Taiwanese Skincare




Taiwanese Skincare is up and coming! It is heavily influenced by Japanese skincare. Basically three things pop up in mind when it comes to Taiwanese Skincare : Cheap and Effective, Niu’Er and UNT.



Niu’Er is Taiwan’s most prominent figure in the cosmetics industry and he has a belt of skincare lines such as Beauty East, AM PM, Naruko etc. Naruko is probably the better ones out of all his other brands and most of the Naruko products have a really good ingredient list, yet they are reallllly affordable. I really recommend Naruko if you’re looking for a natural skincare line loaded with beneficial ingredients. Niu’Er seems to have a thing for Night Jellies which are prominent in every line of his.



Another success story is UNT ( www.shopunt.com ) , and probably Taiwan’s only cosmetic brand that has an international reputation around the globe. The pricing is also great despite the high concentration of active ingredients – which makes UNT very popular around the world. The website is available even in Spanish, Portuguese, French, Dutch, Turkish, and Hungarian! Not to mention, the translation of the products in foreign languages is exactly the same as the one in Mandarin, and as up to date as the Mandarin website! Not many skincare websites offer the same services ( Sulwhasoo’s English website is also exactly the same as their korean one )

Basically, Taiwan’s skincare is well known for their value for money. For a rather impressive ingredient list, you only pay about  $10-15 or even less – something that western brands would charge  5-10 times the price! Other notable Taiwanese brands to check out : Neogence, Dr Wu, Payeasy ( which sells a variety of brands such as BeautyEasy, Beauty DIY and ships internationally ) , and let’s not forget the cheap, effective, and excellently packaged Beauty Diary Masks.



So which do you prefer? Japanese, Korean or Taiwanese skincare?


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0 thoughts on “Japanese VS, Korean VS, Taiwanese skincare”

  1. A lot of Korean skincare was made with Koreans in mind at the beginning, but the mass market corner of the cosmetics industry in South Korea has basically launched the international interest in Korean cosmetics, not the luxury brands. This includes brands like Missha, The Face Shop, Skinfood, etcetera. I believe another reason why Korean skincare is catching up so fast and is popular with Taiwanese and mainland Chinese and other Asians elsewhere alike has to do with its marketing savvy and its ability to harness packaging image to its advantage. Think of brands like Etude House, Hollika Hollika, which specifically caters to the young girl’s fantasy craving for cutesy ideas and concepts in appearance with the colour pink and purple respectively, but also think of the variety inside other brands like the Face Shop which can produce semi-luxury-like lines such as Hwan Saeng Go and Miindo Chilbojasaeng which are so Oriental-inspired and luxurious in design with the traditional trellises and logos of ancient Oriental art, as well as the more functionally designed lines such as their Marine stem cell line which is more minimalist or functionalist in look (light green to highlight the origins of its main active ingredient of marine plant stem cellcollagen). By comparison, Japanese and Taiwanese skincare products are almost minimalist and even under-adorned in terms of their packaging. I always believed that the external appearance affects a consumer’s desire to want to “consume”(use) that product and Koreans succeed in that aspect with their focus on packaging other than the heavy R&D investments.

  2. I love love love Korean skincare!!! ^^

    Only problem is Taiwanese, I love MY Beauty Diary Masks (use them every week!!) but, the thing is.. you never know what is ACTUALLY going inside of their products.. ><!! Especially since China is throwing a whole bunch of stuff into their food, skincare… yuck! I'm not taking chances with my skin.

  3. Haha, Taiwanese skincare are generally safe. If the products do not print the ingredient list on their packaging, don’t purchase it. But i’ve seen a few Beauty Diary Mask ingredient list, and they’re not bad! I posted some on the ingredient list page!

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