We are all obsessed with the affordable, amazingly formulated and always innovative K-Beauty brands. However, one can find herself often overloaded with all those different product names and what they are actually used for. So here we break you down the most unusual k-beauty product names.

 

Ampule / Ampoule

Ampules or ampoules are very high concentrated serums. They often come in a small packaging and you only need the tiniest amount. Use it like you would use your serums.

Cleansing Water

Makeup removers, similar to micellar water. They often have calming, soothing properties.

Emulsion

They are in between toners and lotions. Usually water-based, hence very light in texture. You can use them as stand-alone moisturizer (e.g. in summer) or as an extra step before your moisturizer if you have very dry skin.

Essence

A light serum. It is less concentrated than a serum and you can use it after cleansing / toning and before your moisturizer. A lot of sheet masks are drenched in essence, actually.

Lotion

Light moisturizer. Similar to emulsions, however a bit thicker, often rather oil-based.

Pack

Packs are masks that can come in a wash-off or sheet mask form. Often they are called “mask packs”.

Pads

They are small, single-use pre-soaked toner or essence pads that you can use as a treatment or an all-in-one product. They come really handy when you are simply too tired to care for a 10-step skin care routine in the evening…

Power Liquid

COSRX names their treatment essences – aka chemical peelings – power liquids. It is really just a fancy name for chemical peeling liquid.

Skin

just another name for toner. In Korea people call toners skins. As weird as it sounds. But really, they are just toners.

Sleeping Mask/Overnight Mask

Wash-off (or better said leave-on) type of masks that you can use in the evening on the top of your moisturizer. And yes, you can go and sleep in them.

Softener

Typical Japanese naming for toners that is often used in K-beauty as well. Toners are used to bounce back your pH to normal after cleansing and “open up” or soften your skin as preparation for a serum or treatment.

Zsuzsa

Founder of The SKIN Stories and the indie-beauty shop, The Curated SKIN.

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