What Is J-Beauty? Skincare Fans Listen Up, Because This Mantra Is About Prevention Not Cure

I get it: all you've heard about for the past few years is K-beauty (beauty products or methods deriving from Korea). But 2018 has seen another hero rise up through the ranks to become a new favourite in the industry: J-beauty. If you're feeling a little confused and wondering, what is J-beauty, I've got you covered. Here's everything you need to know about it, including the best J-beauty products.

Put simply, J-beauty involves products, techniques, or ideas relating to beauty industry in Japan. As Fashionista reports, it's not fair to call J-beauty the "new K-beauty," as Japan actually has a long history in skincare of its own. “So much of what is exciting in K-beauty originally came from Japan," BeautyMart co-founder Anna-Marie Solowij told Get The Gloss. "With South Korea investing in beauty research and development, K-beauty stole the limelight. Now, Japan is taking it back.”

Much like with Korean beauty, Japanese beauty focuses on skin first. Their skincare needs come first before makeup, and there's a definite gravitation toward prevention rather than treatment. "Western culture is more concerned with correcting damages after they have occurred, whereas Japanese beauty care is more about anticipation," Shiseido's brand manager, Miyabi Kumagai, told Glamour.

For example, using SPF and starting a skincare regime from a young age is crucial. Deep cleansing and effective moisturising are both top of the list when it comes to priorities, though BeautyMart co-founder Millie Kendall told British Vogue that is is rooted in amore low maintenance approach, explaining:

“There is a simplicity to Japanese rituals that is midway between our own European methods of skin and body care application and Korean, for example. The Japanese use fewer products in a more methodical manner, they use massage and technique to get the best out of their skincare routine."

Visit Japan and you'll find endless streams of sheet masks, deep cleansers, and SPF formulas, but what's available to buy over here? Some of our favourite brands have Japanese roots, from Shiseido to SUQQU, and the market has introduced several up-and-comers this year, including Shiro and Decorte. Here's what's worth paying attention to.

DHC Deep Cleansing Oil


Feel Unique

Packed full of vitamins and antioxidants, this cleansing oil works perfectly for removing makeup and nourishing skin in one go. It also comes with a handy, user-friendly pump.

Decorte Liposome Serum



Beloved by stars such as Kate Moss (she's the brand's current creative director) and makeup artists like Val Garland, Decorte features some of the most high quality ingredients in its skincare, and the most gorgeous textures in its makeup. This serum is pricey, but it's incredibly hydrating and will leave you with a flawless finish.

Sensai Bronzing Gel



Japanese brand Sensai has a whole range of beautiful makeup and skincare, but my personal fave is this bronzing gel, which subtly builds up a lovely glow.

SK-II Facial Treatment Essence



Described as a "miracle water" in Japan, this features a yeast-based ingredient which controls sebum production in the skin to leave your complexion clearer and feeling refreshed.

Fairydrops Scandal Queen Waterproof Mascara


Cult Beauty

If you've never tried this mascara, the time has come. With its uniquely shaped brush and glossy black formula, it's one of Japan's greatest beauty creations.

SUQQU Extra Rich Glow Foundation



SUQQU's loyal fan base will tell you just how amazing the products are, but if you're only going to try one thing, I'd opt for this gorgeously glowy full coverage foundation. Pricey, yes, but due to its little-goes-a-long-way nature, it'll last you aaaages.

Shiro Kombu Lotion



Containing kelp and kombu (which helps the skin to retain water), this is the extra step you need in your routine when skin feels tired, dull and sensitive.

Shiseido Waso Quick Gentle Cleanser


Cult Beauty

This is one of my all-time favourite morning cleansers. It foams up brilliantly and smells lovely, cleaning skin thoroughly but never drying out.