How do Koreans take such good care of their skin?
Koreans are well known for their admirable skincare routines and dedication to protecting their skin. From young children to adult men and women, everyone is encouraged to nurture their skin.
This has quickly become a hot topic in the industry due to the rise in K-pop stars and has left everyone wanting to know how to achieve flawless skin like these Korean celebrities.
It has also been influenced by the explosion of unique skincare products out of Korea, including snail essence cream and other trending skincare sensations.
You’ll be pleased to hear that this doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. We’ve taken note of some of the best tips and tricks so you can also achieve impeccable skin.
Korean Facial Massages
Daily facial massages and regular exercises can help fight wrinkles and signs of ageing. If you are feeling stressed or have tense facial muscles, this can have a long-lasting effect on your skin.
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To battle wrinkles and signs of ageing, lots of Koreans regularly treat themselves to facial massages to keep their skin toned and relaxed.
Skin clinics are visible on every block in Seoul, where you can get a cleansing facial or face massage as easy as a budget manicure.
Facial massages can be done at home though, luckily!
While you’re in the shower, the hot or warm steam will encourage your pores to open, so you can clean out any impurities and cleanse your face. Whilst you do this, it is a good habit to massage your face gently to improve the circulation and brighten skin tone.
Otherwise, you can achieve the same results with a warm cloth. Massage your skin with the cloth and move in circular or up and down motion. Some aestheticians even swear by coconut oil to help loosen and relax your skin.
Korean Makeup and Skincare Routines
In Western cultures, we spend a lot of time and care when we are selecting makeup products and applying them each morning. You need to make sure you select makeup that supports your skin, rather than causing additional skin concerns such as blemishes or spots. It’s also super important to make sure you regularly clean your make up brushes, to avoid rubbing dirt around your face. Find out how to clean your make up brushes here.
Instead of spending lots of money and time on makeup, Koreans spend more time selecting the best quality skin care products, face masks and regimes to make sure that their skin is looked after. Koreans have sacred routines to take care of their skin. This includes cleansing, exfoliating and moisturising at the bare minimum. While you may assume these routines are particularly expensive and time-consuming, the focus on good quality, natural products makes this completely untrue.
If you don’t have a skin routine, you need to find one that suits your skin. Read our article about ‘The correct order to apply skincare products’ to read our handy guide on day and night skin routines.
Some of the most popular face masks have derived from Korean culture. The bubble face mask has grown in popularity over social media and this initially started with K-Beauty skin routines. These foaming face masks work with oxygen in the air to activate and can help cleanse out your pores removing dirt and oil.
Other popular face masks include Charcoal. Charcoal based face masks are all the rage in Korea. Activated charcoal draws bacteria, impurities, dirt and oil to the surface of the skin, making it easier to remove and wipe away. These facemasks are usually peeled off, exfoliating and removing dead skin cells along the way.
Unlike the western diet, Koreans don’t tend to include fried or processed foods in their diet. Some types of meat are expensive in Korea, so many individuals regularly rely on vegetables, fruit, grains and protein replacements such as tofu.
Locally grown food is also heavily encouraged and due to the tariffs on imported products, many can’t afford the luxury anyway. As a result, people eat a lot of Korean grown food in the form of fruit, vegetables and wheat.
Your diet is extremely important when it comes to your skin. ‘You are what you eat’. Eating greasy, oily, deep-fried food is only going to irritate your body and encourage impurities underneath your skin.
“Nutrient-rich whole foods like fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and healthy fats are good for your whole body, and that includes your skin,” Dr Katta says. “If you’re considering changing your diet for the sake of your skin, however, talk to a board-certified dermatologist first.”
Dr Katta is a professor of dermatology at the University of Texas Health Science Centre in Houston.
It's also worth noting that drinking alcohol is much less common in Korea, with many Koreans having a genetic condition that makes them intolerant to alcohol.
Drinking alcohol regularly dries out your skin and makes it more prone to spots and damage, so we can safely assume this is a minor factor too.
Sun damage can cause pigments, blotches, spots and wrinkles over time, so it is no surprise that you need to avoid it if you want to achieve flawless skin!
It’s not unusual in Korea to see everyone holding umbrellas even when it isn’t raining. Many people use umbrellas to protect themselves from sun damage, even on more cloudy days.
Korean culture and lifestyle habits encourage everyone to protect themselves from UV damage. Tanning is well known as a taboo so many men and women won’t spend too long at the beach without covering up.
In addition to this, SPF and sunscreen are some of the most popular skin care products. This should be a core element of your skin condition, even if it doesn’t seem sunny outside. No matter what climate you live in, the sun’s UV rays can still penetrate through clouds, smoke and pollution.
If you are also a fan of a sunbed, then this will likely dry up your skin and increase the likelihood of wrinkles.
If you stick by some of these lifestyle habits, you will be sure to see an improvement in your skin. Ditch the fatty foods, find a skin care routine that suits you and protect your skin at all costs!