Our spa clients can be heavily influenced by the latest and greatest prevailing topics in the beauty world. As of late, it seems like many of the current trends consist of imported beauty routines from all around the globe.

K-Beauty, J-Beauty and G-Beauty are all the rage and our clients are just as intrigued as we are. These international beauty care paradigms are shaking up what it means to take care of our skin and actually align quite well with many of the spa practices that we hold near and dear to our hearts.


Korean beauty has been popular in the United States for many years now. I am not shocked when clients tell me that they are incorporating K-Beauty products and rituals into their daily routines and having success.

In general, K-Beauty promotes some simple skin care principles: health, hydration and even skin tone spiked with some interesting textures and unheard of ingredients (think snail goo). According to Elle.com, in an article from this past October, K-Beauty is still as strong as ever here in the U.S. and is changing how many Americans are approaching their own skin care routines at home.

Because K-Beauty is famous for at-home protocols that contain anywhere from five to 15 steps (morning and night) for flawless skin, they are really upping the ante for what it means to put effort into skincare.

Because the Korean model aims to achieve long-term and lasting effects, everything is customized for the individual and their skin care needs. Furthermore, the K-Beauty model is not just for women, men are also expected to follow the same strict regimens morning and night and tend to do so with just as much enthusiasm as the ladies!

A typical morning and night routine consists of: removing makeup (if applicable) with a separate makeup removing product, followed by a double cleansing of the skin — first with an oil and then with a foaming cleanser. An exfoliation step using a peeling gel or scrub is next and can be done daily or weekly depending on the condition of the skin. This is followed by a pH balanced toner of some sort to hydrate and fortify.

After toning, a very unique step of K-Beauty is a “treatment essence” which is used to promote cell turnover and prepare the skin for the subsequent steps. A serum is then applied for concentrated, targeted care followed by an eye cream, moisturizer and SPF.

K-Beauty die-hards will also use sheet masks on a daily or weekly basis and night packs, which are leave-on moisturizing masks worn while sleeping.

K-Beauty’s impact on the spa industry

As you can see, this is not a routine for the lazy and lackadaisical skin care client — it’s a specific, customized, skin care discipline that makes most people’s routine look like a sad cop-out! Many U.S. clients are starting to see that putting effort into an at-home skin care regimen is possible and achievable.

Even if your clients aren’t willing to perform 10 steps morning and night, maybe they will be persuaded to do three to four! K-Beauty is all about layering different formulations in a certain order to achieve an effective result.

And as we know, homecare is crucial for creating lasting change in the skin and supporting in-spa services, so if there is one thing that K-Beauty is teaching us, it’s that you can’t scrimp on your at-home beauty routine!


Japanese beauty is another trend from Asia that is becoming more and more popular in the U.S. Its philosophy is rooted in health and wellness from the Japanese bathing rituals of centuries past. Because of this, J-Beauty followers tend to favor massaging their skin to increase muscle tone and aid in lymphatic drainage.

According to Samantha McMeekin of Glamour Magazine U.K., J-Beauty, like K-Beauty, is all about preventing damaged skin and signs of aging in lieu of heavy corrective techniques. In fact, the Japanese like to use the word “anticipation” to describe how they are tackling aging skin concerns.

Skin care is a ritual that starts at a young age because J-Beauty is all about the “long game” of skin care not the instant or quick fix. In other words, J-Beauty can be described as a skin care philosophy based on “innovation and reliability” with a sense of humility.

The Japanese have lead the way in the formulation of advanced SPF, moisturizer and foundation formulations because they understand the harmful effects of UV damage and want their skin to glow without photo damage and heavy makeup.

Though we don’t see a long list of morning and night products being applied like their K-Beauty counterparts, you can be sure that the steps of a J-Beauty routine are efficient, high-performance and pure, with a heavy dose of SPF during the day.

As a rule of thumb, a typical J-Beauty routine will include a double cleanse with an oil and then a gel; a lotion (which is more like a liquid serum for hydration and moisture), skin care oils as leave-on treatments and mineral SPF’s.

J-Beauty’s impact on the spa industry

J-Beauty serves as a great model of a less is more beauty routine that provides a huge impact. For clients who aren’t so keen on an eight-to-10 step routine morning and night, then a J-Beauty-like routine will be more up their alley.

Pick a solid collection of cleansers, serums, oils and creams that can be used to purify and fortify in a calming, at-home ritual. Tools like jade rollers and at-home massage techniques are great suggestions and fit very well with these types of self-care protocols.

J-Beauty represents simplicity and elegance, encourages efficacy, and respect for ingredients and purity. These are lasting principles that our clients here in the West will surely appreciate.


German beauty is the newest international beauty trend gaining traction here in the U.S. This European beauty model is known for its no-nonsense, no shortcuts, high-quality and filler-free approach to beauty.

According to Liz Ritter’s piece from October in NewBeauty magazine, G-Beauty is popular because it utilizes the highest grades of medical strength ingredients and supports pre- and post-surgery outcomes, to boot! In the age of plastic surgery, cosmetic fillers and laser resurfacing, G-Beauty will have your back.

But don’t be fooled into thinking that G-Beauty is filled with synthetic ingredients because it combines the best of organic and medical grade into highly effective and clean formulations. This is due in part to Germany’s strong connection to the spa lifestyle that promotes healing and rejuvenation as a way of life and not just a luxury for vacations and special occasions.

In fact, Ritter reports, “German spa towns have become the go-to destination for wellness…products have trustworthy and clean formulas” that ensure positive outcomes coupled with pampering and relaxation.

Moreover, because of the EU’s strict guidelines that ban over 1,300 known carcinogenic chemicals used in cosmetic formulations, you can rest assured that products that come from this area of the world are held to a much higher standard of health and purity. In contrast, the U.S., via the FDA, only bans about 11 of those chemical ingredients and many Americans are catching on to this fact and demanding more products from Europe and changes to our regulations here at home.

G-Beauty’s impact on the spa industry

G-Beauty is a perfect marriage of medical-grade ingredients and respect for spa culture. It supports pre- and post-operative outcomes with clean and organic formulations, which is exactly what so many medical spa clients are requesting these days!

If you own a medical spa that needs to change up its product offerings, then consider a G-Beauty line. Higher standards of ingredients, efficacy and a no-nonsense approach will certainly win the admiration of your trusted clients.

Many busy, working, spa guests want a cut-to-the-chase approach to skin care for home and in-office procedures that can give them timely results as well. This, coupled, with clean, organic ingredients will certainly please just about everyone that walks into your spa.

Follow my expert advice: look beyond our borders and find inspiration in the international beauty and skin care trends that are here to stay!

Our spa clients are exposed to these beauty routines via popular magazines, celebrity endorsements and social media platforms. Perhaps there is room in your spa culture to add some of these interesting and worldly routines into your business’ list of service and product options. At the very least, be familiar with these trends and know that clients are fascinated just as much as we are.

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