Korean skincare comes with a series of words and concepts that describe different skin conditions, different types of glow and techniques. You've probably heard several of them before, but do you know what they mean?
Get an idea of who they are with our list of words and terms!

Glow and finish:

Chok chok – dewy, hydrated skin that has received a lot of glow through different layers of hydration

Glass skin – healthy, clear, and hydrated skin whose texture and luster are reminiscent of mirrored glass

Gwang – describes a natural glow and skin that is fundamentally smooth, soft and supple

Honey skin – shiny, supple skin with a glossy glow reminiscent of the texture and shine of honey

Water skin – also known as water glow, a plump and highly hydrated skin whose glow almost gives the impression of being wet


AC – a product intended for acne-prone skin, AC stands for "acne care"

Ampoule highly concentrated serum, which making it more potent and result-oriented

BB Cream – a Korean innovation that stands for blemish balm, a tinted cream that provides light coverage without clogging and has skin conditioning properties and often contains SPF

CC/CCC Cream – stands for color correcting and often has the same properties as a BB cream but with more coverage, evens out the skin tone and contains a higher amount of SPF

Cushion compact – a Korean innovation that consists of a box with a moistened sponge/pad filled with product that is mainly used in makeup, for example for BB Cream or highlighter

Emulsion – a light moisturizer in liquid form that is quickly absorbed by the skin, can act as an extra step between serum and day cream

Essence – fokuserar på återfuktning och kan ha tillståndsspecifik inriktning, är tjockare än toner och tunnare än ett serum

Hydrogel – water-based jelly that is pressed and shaped into masks, such as an eye mask or sheet mask, and provides hydration and has a cooling effect

Lotion – moisturizer in light-flowing form, slightly thicker than an emulsion and but thinner than a moisturizer

Pack another word for face or hair mask, for example in gel form or as clay, and is usually washed off

Pad compressed cotton sheet (sometimes cellulose) that can be bought in multipacks like cotton pads and used for cleansing and application, alternatively in a jar where they are moistened and used for cleansing and exfoliation or for its soothing, cooling properties

Patch – patch made of hydrocolloid that protects, reduces inflammation and accelerates the healing of pimples

Sheet mask – a single-use face mask, often made of cotton sheets and soaked in essence with the aim of providing rapid hydration and often has an additional purpose, for example to have a smoothing or soothing effect

Toner – often has a thin and watery consistency, alternatively slightly thicker and gel-like, used after cleansing to restore the skin's pH value, moisturize and prepare the skin for the next step

Treatment – within skincare it is an umbrella term for the products that treat specific conditions or are otherwise adapted to one's own skin type (toner, essence, ampoule, day cream), while in hair care it corresponds to a hybrid between hair wrap and conditioner


    7 skin method – a method where you apply your toner in up to seven layers depending on your day shape and need to saturate the skin with moisture before moving on to the next step in your routine

    Brightening – sometimes called whitening, refers to evening out the skin tone and has nothing to do with bleaching or bleaching chemicals

    Double cleanse – a method that involves first washing the face with an oil-based cleanser followed by a water-based cleanser to remove all types of dirt (makeup, SPF, sebum, exhaust gases, sweat)

    Physical sunscreen/SPF – provides direct protection through mineral-based ingredients that reflect sunlight away and bounce it off the skin

    Chemical sunscreen/SPF – its ingredients form a chemical reaction on the skin which absorbs, transforms and neutralizes the UV rays, should be applied at least 20-30 minutes before sun exposure to start working

     – designation followed by one or more plus signs (for example PA++++) and is a classification system for how much UVA protection a sunscreen product has

    Tok tok – or patting technique, is a technique for applying skin care products through patting movements with the hands instead of dragging them over the skin to reduce friction on the skin