Entendendo o glossário do K-Beauty

Understanding the K-Beauty Glossary

Posted by Camila Montecino on

Do you know what Gwang means ? Have you ever heard of King Swab ? If you are already part of the “ k-beauty world ”, you are probably familiar with these terms, but if you are just arriving, you may be a little lost with these and other words that accompany Korean products.

That's why we've put together a glossary with great care, which will help you take your first steps in this universe and understand more about Korean products, which, as you may have already heard, are soooo many!

1,2, 3…take a deep breath and let’s go! :)

AC Collection Acne Patch by Cosrx, Teatree Biome Blemish Cica by Mediheal and AHA-BHA-PHA 30 Days Miracle Starter Kit by Missha


AC - Indication that the product is for the treatment/prevention of acne.

AHA (Alpha hydroxy acid) - Acidic chemical exfoliants, extracted from plants and fruits, remove dead cells promoting cell renewal.

Ampoule - Ampoules of active ingredients in high concentration. They are normally presented in small dropper bottles and are used for some type of treatment. They should be applied after essences and before the serum.


BHA (Beta hydroxy acid) - Oil-soluble chemical exfoliants. Used to clean pores, deeply removing dead cells and excess sebum.

Bo-seubi - Moisturizer

Broad spectrum - Indicates that the product protects against UVA and UVB radiation.

Bubble Cleanser - Cleansing foams that help remove impurities.

BB Cream - Known as beauty balms or anti-blemish balms, they offer hydration, nutrition, sun protection and light, natural coverage. Furthermore, they even out the skin in the long term.


CC Cream - Color correction creams that help neutralize tones. Similar to BB Cream, but more suitable for skin with blemishes and imperfections.

Cleansing Balm - Cleanser in the form of a semi-solid balm. Used to remove makeup, sunscreen and impurities without drying out or removing natural moisture from the skin.

Cleansing Oil - Oil-based cleanser that, like the cleansing balm, removes makeup and impurities.

Cleansing Water - Known as micellar water or beauty water, it can be used for cleaning, makeup removal, toning and exfoliation.

Cushion Compact - These are compact cushions, that is, sponges with liquid makeup, which release the product when pressed. They keep the skin moist, creating a natural finish.


Dewy (“gwang”) Skin - Term used to describe super hydrated, shiny and natural skin.

Double Cleansing - This is the double cleansing characteristic of Korean women's routines. It is done in two stages , the first with an oil-based product (cleansing oil), which removes makeup, sunscreen, impurities and the second (cleansing water) with a water base, which removes any other residue.


Emulsion - Light moisturizers, with a lotion texture rather than a cream, normally used during the day and applied after essences and serums.

Essence - Essences, as well as serums, have concentrated active ingredients, but have a lighter texture and rapid absorption. They prepare the skin to receive other products, increasing their effectiveness.

Exfoliator - Exfoliants remove dead skin cells and can be chemical (with acids in their composition) or physical, where removal occurs through friction.



Foot peel - Foot masks that remove dead cells, leaving the skin soft and feet clean and hydrated.



Hydrogel Mask - Masks made from a gel texture, adhere to the skin offering refreshment and more essence.



Glass skin - “Glass skin” is what Koreans call “flawless” skin, which must be blemish-free, without enlarged pores, luminous and translucent, just like glass.


Jelly - Gelatinous moisturizers. They are lighter than cream ones, working well on oily and combination skin.


K-beauty - Generic term used to refer to Korean skincare, trends and beauty products.

 King Swab - Exfoliants that usually come in individual packaging, soaked in acids like AHA and BHA and look like cotton swabs.



Lotion - Lotions are moisturizers that are thicker than an emulsion and less heavy than a cream. They are watery or viscous liquids, they also serve as toner.

Low pH Cleansers - Cleanser with low and gentle pH, does not strip the skin of its natural oils.



Mist - These are facial hydration sprays, used to spray before or after makeup. They can be used after cleansing in place of a toner, or before toning, preventing the skin from becoming dry throughout the day.


Oil - Highly concentrated treatments that can be applied directly to the skin or mixed with a moisturizer.


PA - Means that the product offers protection against UVA rays.

Peeling - Means that the product is used for exfoliation.



Snail - Known as snail extract, it is protective and repairing, combats bacteria and helps with collagen production, delaying skin aging.

Serum - Product with a high concentration of active ingredients, which hydrates and normally treats specific skin problems, such as blemishes.

Sheet Mask - Disposable sheet masks, whose main objective is hydration. They are made from cotton fibers and soaked in essences.

Seven Skin Method - “7 skin method”, is a technique that involves applying 7 layers of toner to the face, one after the other. This allows the skin to absorb all the extra hydration.

Sleeping Mask or Sleeping Pack - Masks used for sleeping that promote long-lasting hydration.

SPF - Indicates sun protection against UVB rays.

Sun Cream - Products that can be lotion, cream or solid and promote protection against UV rays.


Treatments - These are products that can be ampoules, oils, lotions, emulsions, serums, etc. They are applied to treat a specific problem, such as blemishes, wrinkles, enlarged pores, depending on the skin's needs.

Toner - Liquid treatment used to cleanse, hydrate, balance pH and prepare the skin for treatments, essences, serums and moisturizers.



Water-Based Cleanser - Water-based cleanser, second stage of double cleansing, which can be in foam or gel form.

Whitening - Whitening products that aim to lighten blemishes and even out skin tones, leaving it illuminated and radiant.

“Uffa”…we have reached “the end” of our glossary.

Now it's easier to choose your products without complications, right? We know there are several terms to learn at once, but you can save our article and consult it whenever you have any questions.

You can also learn more about the philosophy of Korean skincare, to understand where so much affection and care for every detail comes from.

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