K-Beauty (Korean: 케이뷰티; RR: Keibyuti) is an umbrella term for skin-care products that derive from South Korea. The fad gained popularity worldwide, especially in East Asia, Southeast Asia, South Asia and the US and focuses on health, hydration and a preferred lack of pigment. K-Beauty is associated with the Korean Wave; for example, the South Korean cosmetics company Amorepacific sponsored My Love from the Star, a 2014 K-drama whose constant marketing of Amorepacific products resulted in an increase in skincare and lipstick products of 75 and 400 percent. The combination of increased international tourism in South Korea combined with K-Beauty products' presence in duty-free shops has also worked to increase sales of cosmetics in Korea.
Korean beauty standards in the 21st century prize a youthful look and the appearance of moisture on the skin, which results in a preference for cremes over powders. K-beauty products are also more often designed for export, as a result of South Korea's history of import substitution industrialization. Products used include ingredients such as snail slime, morphing masks, bee venom (an anti-inflammatory “faux-tox” alleged to relax facial muscles), moisturizing starfish extract, and pig collagen. The regimen involves a series of steps including cleansing rituals (with oil and water based products), sheet masks, essences, serums, moisturizers, cushion compacts, fermented products, and SPF 35 sunscreen. At night, the sunscreen is replaced by a “sleep cream”. Each regimen is addressed differently depending on complexion factors including hormonal fluctuations and lifestyle choices.
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