K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

Monday 26 March 2018

Clochee Soothing Antioxidant Toner K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

When I started this blog I wanted to write not only about natural skincare and Asian beauty but I also wanted to share some of my Slavic backgrounds through beauty content. I mostly write about Korean products but I thought that maybe I should share what differences I see between Asian Beauty and skincare trends from Slavic countries. I want to share with you in this post my personal view on things I saw while living and travelling. In another post, I'll recommend you some brands which I used before and the one which I want to try.

Nature is the key

If you go to Poland you should leave all your parabens at the border. Even if one of the most popular skincare brands from Poland - Ziaja which I see a lot on foreign Instagram accounts and blogs is also popular here too because of the ingredients they use, Ziaja is being criticized all the time by groups of skincare lovers. I feel like Slavic countries are going back to the roots, it's hard to say why but we really like to choose natural products with ingredients from nature. We prefer milder formulas that won't harm our environment but it's not always a thing. There are TV programs about how many bad ingredients in food and cosmetics you can find but on the other hand, because of globalisation you'll see here lots of high-end brands and don't be surprised if new Huda Beauty makeup palette is sold out in the whole country - it's nothing strange but we will talk about it later.

Loccitane Rifle Paper skincare  K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

Checking ingredients is a must

It's a good practice but on the other hand, it can be really bad practice too. There are many ingredient rating systems which I might not always agree. In Poland, we've got an app called Cosmetic Scan which started as a really interesting app but now I feel like it's the most annoying app you can use. I feel like according to this app nothing is safe and I can't really put my own allergens like soy oil which for me is like the worst thing to put on my skin and in general, I accept soy only in fermented form, no matter if it's skincare or food. There are groups related to checking ingredients, like a group made by Kamila - author and owner of mylovelyfuschia blog, I might always agree with opinions that I see on her group especially once I saw there information not strictly related to skincare but to medicine after which I thought that it's my time to leave this planet. Elfnaczi - a blogger which I had a chance to talk with is also a medical student and her blog is also a good source of knowledge about products and ingredients, her view on this topic is different since she has a different background than for example me - a pharmacy drop out who ended up with landscape architecture, programming and dietetics. 

Russian formulas are on top, at least they were

That's something that I was surprised with because I know that people at my age don't really know Russian, but it's really useful language - I used Russian at University with my friend to share some information only to our knowledge. It's even more complicated with Ukrainian, I'm terrible at both of these languages, I understand a lot thanks to my family and thanks to them I usually end up as a translator for my friends. Usually, the first question I got is not - 'what is it' but 'is it in Russian?' And then 'what is it'. Russian products started to be very popular thanks to the ingredients they use and the price - I feel like now because all these products got so popular that you can get them at drugstores, they started to cost a little bit more but they are still inexpensive and affordable but there's a thing - right now it's really hard or impossible to get Russian formula in Europe, there's an Estonian version which belongs to the same brand but there are some changes. The thing is that European Union has strict rules and they have to make everything according to rules if they want to sell their products in EU. Personally, I love the translations of Russian names into other languages - sometimes they don't have any sense, cosmetic names too. 

Cruelty-free is a thing

People started to be more acknowledge and focus on healthy living and making less harm to the planet as well as animals. I think that we still don't focus enough on microbeads which are really harmful to the environment but at least cruelty-free products are more and more popular. Personally, if I have a chance I'll choose cruelty-free over non-cruelty free brand but the thing is that especially in Poland people are really serious about it. It's not like in the US where the brand can have PETA or Leaping Bunny Certificates and it's fine, here the brand shouldn't sell their products in China, if they do such thing - it'll be remembered. Same if the brand belongs to a brand that sells their products in China. Crueltyfreekitty has a great article about this case and how it looks with selling products to China.

Resibo Olej do demakijażu La Roche Posay Effaclar gel K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

OCM instead of double cleansing

OCM stands for Oil Cleansing Method which I personally don't really like but somehow it's similar to double cleansing - both are basing on oils but this time instead of water-based cleanser you just use a cloth soaked in warm water and then cold water. I just bought new oil from a Polish brand called Resibo and in the package, I was able to find oil and a cloth. I think that this method takes more time and if you don't know how to find an oil good for your skin and what type of skin you've got you might have problems with finding ideal mixture of oils. 

Facial oils - try pure one!

In general, you'll find facial oil easily - in my local store with herbal products they have about 50+ oils and usually, they are cheaper than my favourite Korres Wild Rose Oil, they are pure and they can last only 3-6 months. Obviously, we have some cheap mixed oils which are not worth a try because they usually suck in the formulation and they cost more but it depends on what's your preferences. What's interesting some oils are popular for supplementation. 


Right now lots of shops with health food try to add green cosmetics to their selection because it's a source of money. It's quite easy to find shops with organic cosmetics in bigger cities - the smaller cities might be still problematic but the availability of these products is really high thanks to internet, social media and trends. 

Mixing your own formulas

Buying ingredients to make your own products is also easy like a piece of cake, there are lots of websites with DIY products recipes - some of them are made by professionals, other recipes are bit strange and I can't believe that people use them but after all - DIY is cheap and usually based on ingredients with high availability so it's nothing weird that it became something normal. 

Dr Jart+ Shake & Shot rubber mask K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

Don't worry you'll find Korean products in every drugstore chain

Do you need a new BB Cream from Skin79? You'll find it in Rossmann! Do you want some Benton products? Go to Hebe. Need some foam or sheet mask? Check Douglas! Maybe weird masks from Dr Jart? Go to Sephora! Almost every drugstore chain has sheet masks or some kbeauty products from many different brands, the prices are higher than on Jolse but some prices are really good and affordable. There's even a Missha store in Poznań (you can find the address as well as other addresses to stores with K-beauty in different cities and countries here). It's not a surprise, I'm not 100% sure but Polish group called Willcare Group/ Skingarden supplies Douglas in other countries too - thanks to Polish group they are able to sell you Neogen in Germany. It's such a big trend that there are over 20 or maybe even over 50 websites where you can buy Korean cosmetics, it's a bit sad that Japanese cosmetics or cosmetics from Taiwan aren't as popular but I believe that one day some stores will be interested in other Asian brands too. I'm not sure how it works in other Slavic countries but I'm aware that in Ukraine and Russia you can find lots of stores using Instagram and Vkontakte to sell Kbeauty. 

... but there's a Western version of Hada Labo

Yes, and I feel like it's totally the same version as the one you can get in the USA. I only like one sheet mask from this Hada Labo line which I've tried once. Some people believe that this Hada Labo which you can get in Europe is the same as Japanese one but believe me there's quite a large group of people who will tell you - don't do it, buy Japanese version! And they are right. 

Your deodorants or even cleaning supplies will get healthier

I wasn't aware until I saw a blushabc Instagram account and her collection of Simple As That cleaning supplies. Zero Waste trend started to be popular, overall I feel like we are all about minimalism on every level - interior, waste or even cosmetic routines. Lots of people are willing to pay more to get product safer for the environment and to pay local brands to grow. 

Innisfree sunscreen K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

Sunscreens are rising

Couple years ago sunscreens wasn't that popular, even my dermatologist told me to sunbathe to remove acne and post-acne scars... (I have no words to describe how uneducated she was), now thanks to all melanoma campaigns people prefer to go for sunscreen than don't use it. Still, there are some groups of people who will choose oils over sunscreens but we have to remember that oils aren't as stable as Titanium Dioxide or Zinc Oxide.

Minerals instead chemicals

I've seen more posts about minerals in makeup than you can imagine, I also tried some options and for me, MAC Foundation is all I need since my meeting with minerals didn't go well and it's not that easy to find minerals in a store - it's easier to order them online, you can even order samples and the number of colours is quite large.

Women here want foreign high ends brands too

Even if we have cheap foreign brands like Nivea, Garnier or L'oreal - the last one isn't the cheapest but it's not high end too but you would be surprised how quickly some high-end brands are selling out like Too Faced, Huda Beauty or believe me if Anastasia Beverly Hills would be available at Sephora in Poland it would be sold out in a minute. 

Creativity and number of makeup artists

Women in Slavic countries are really talented, I saw so many great artists especially makeup artists - just look at NYX Face Awards on Youtube, every year lots of amazing artists are taking part and gain lots of interest thanks to NYX event. And it's not only a ladies' thing, there's a large number of men and women in the industry that know their job well. 

Haircare is also important

It surprises me how many blogs related to haircare only you can find online and how useful they are! It wouldn't surprise that lots of haircare tips on Slavic blogs are related to DIY hair masks recipes and in general DIY/your grandmother's recipes and tips. Even if there's lots of hair salon based on brands such as Kerastase, Artego and L'oreal Professionnel still DIY haircare and cheaper cosmetics with usually good ingredients are popular, if a product that cost less than 3$ is good and recommended a lot then you can be sure - it'll be hard to find it and you'll see it all over the local beauty websites. 

You can easily buy supplements here

As a future dietitian (only couple months to go), I can admit - I hate how easily you can buy supplements on the internet and how you can even find them in beauty boxes, that's also the reason why I don't want to buy beauty boxes. I believe that if you want to buy supplements then go to the doctor and next step is to go to the drugstore and ask the pharmacist for a supplement recommended by your doctor or pharmacist. You have to be aware that vitamins and dietary minerals have norms, deficiency and excess of a vitamin or mineral might cause lots of health problems that's why I believe that many supplements shouldn't be as available as they are now and that you shouldn't buy supplements through internet because you can't be always 100% sure that the ingredients in the products match the listed ingredients. Herbs are popular too and I think that I prefer to use herbs than supplements from the internet but moderation is needed with herbs too

kingirls sheet mask K-beauty in Slavic countries. The differences and similarities I saw while living in Western Europe

A weird thing about essence and Asian influences

Some brands like SVR (I was writing about SVR Hydraliane Essence in this post) or Bielenda are selling their own essences which are different than Asian essence - I feel like brands do not really know what's going on with essences and why we use them. Overall, the influence of Asian beauty industry in the Western product is visible - we do not only have essences but I also started to spot many sheet masks or some brands like Bielenda started to put Korean names on their products - small fact, Bielenda - a polish brand sells its products in Korea. Personally, I still wait for rubber masks.

10 steps vs minimal skincare

I feel like we've got two different main routines - 10 step routine (which doesn't necessarily need 10 steps, it can be less or more) and minimal skincare based on only couple products, usually a cleanser, toner and moisturizer. The choice of the product is also different, organic products, kbeauty as well as cheaper products from drugstore brands are popular. People are trying to set their own skincare based on products that are available and affordable but you'll see here also lots of people spending lots of money on brands such as Su:m37, etc. 

Overall, Slavic girls are well informed if it comes to skincare. It's a bit harder with men - skin care is still not a manly thing but I see it changes slowly too. We've got lots of our own brands and products and we are not scared to try something new. 

It's all for today, I hope you've enjoyed the post. Let me know how different is skincare in your country.

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