Why do many South Korean women have good skin?
It’s no secret that Korean women desire flawless, porcelain skin. In fact, they’ll go to great lengths to get it. Here’s how:
Korean Women Are Anti-Sun
On sweltering summer day in Seoul you’ll often see young and middle aged Korean women walking down the sidewalk with umbrellas.
These umbrellas shield them from the sun’s harmful UV rays. It’s an odd site, since their is no rain, but as a foreigner, you’ll quickly realize their purpose.
These sun- umbrellas are technically called Parasols.
Parasols are “sun shades” or anti-uv umbrellas.” You can buy them on Amazon if your sun adverse.
Tanning Is TABOO
While you WILL see Korean women at Korea’s famous beaches in Busan and Jeju Island, they won’t be sunbathing for hours on the hot sand in Bikinis like Western women to achieve that perfect tan.
Instead you’ll see them covered up in shorts, thin long sleeved shirts, sun hats, with sunglasses and sunblock generously applied hiding under large beach umbrellas.
If a Korean woman does decide to take a dip in the water, then she’ll strip down to her swimwear but it won’t be more than 30 minute (if that). They’ll quickly retreat to the shade of their large beach umbrellas to avoid UV damage.
They’ll often complain the whole time they are in the water, and how they’re getting to much sun and don’t want to be perceived as a “farmer or labourer” who spends entire days outside in the sun working. So tans are TABOO!
It’s not uncommon to see Korean women in cars driving around Seoul with these long arm and hand sleeves (photo below) to keep their skin white and free of blemishes.
Some Korean women suffer from ATOPIC – a kind of serious sun allergy which causes a severe itchy and burning rash. This is one of the reasons they wear these arm and hand sleeves. Protecting is not ONLY about vanity.
While I must admit I haven’t seen face-kini masks yet in Korea, these extreme forms of wearable protection are gaining popularity in China.
Chinese women, like their Korean neighbours are also risk adverse with sun.
Here’s an interesting photo below of three Chinese people in the water wearing their face-kini masks.
(And don’t forget to wear your sunglasses too)
Sunscreen Every 2 Hours
Korean women carry sunscreen with them year round, even in the winter and lather up on the cloudiest of days.
They know that UV rays still penetrate through the clouds and into their skin will inevitably cause facial brown spotting and pre-mature aging. That’s a no-no in an image driven culture like Korea.
In addition to applying a 30–50 block sunscreen every couple of hours (even on cloudy days), some Korean women will also don these “Darth Vader” like sun visors.
For Korean women, the benefits of protecting their skin outweighs the risks of looking silly and more importantly – PERMANENT sun damage.
They Visit Jjimjil-Bangs
A jjim-jil-bang is a large segregated spa in Korea with hot tubs, showers, and traditional hot saunas, and massage tables.
Jjimjil means heating. In these heated saunas Korean women (and men) sweat out through their pours all the dirt and toxins from the pollution of Korean cities. This contributes to healthy and vibrant skin.
At the massage tables is where Korean women go to receive exfoliation style “scrubbing massages.” These massages improve the vitality and elasticity of their skin.
These massages are like no other. You lie down, and you’ll get scrubbed like a dirty potato.
The masseuses literally scrape away all the old or dead skin from your body. It can be painful because they use 2 gloves that are literally as rough as sandpaper. And they don’t hold back either.
Such massages are well worth a little pain and suffering for Korean women who wants to give their skin a youthful glow.
These massages tone their facial and body muscles, fights wrinkles and prevents their skin from aging over time. It’s nothing special for Korean women, but a MUST DO!
If you’ve never had a scrub massage, try it. You’re skin will look amazing and feel as subtle as a baby’s skin for weeks after.
They Spend “Heaps” On Skin Care
Lotions, whiteners, buffers, make up, sunscreen, hydrants, moisturizers all filled with collagen and special agents to protect, repair and contribute to healthy skin.
And, these ingredients are all part of a Korean woman’s 10 step daily skin care procedure.
Whether you have bad skin, normal skin, or exceptional skin, if you’re a Korean woman, these skin treatments are part of the cost of beauty.
Did you know?
Korean women spend more on prevention (skin care), then they do on skin dermatological treatments (repair).
And at least 2–4 nights of the week they’ll apply cucumber scented face masks or mud packs to their face to firm up the skin.
And this goes for Korean men too!
They EAT Clean
While the western diet contains greasier, sugary and saltier foods, the Korean diet is quite the opposite.
Not only do the clean foods Korean women eat help them stay trim, but these help create amazing complexions as well.
The Korean diet is composed of fish, rice, vegetables, lean meat and of course plenty of fruit – for desert.
Almost every meal is home cooked – even in restaurants so few additives or preservatives are included.
Koreans also prefer fresh and delicious home grown fruit for desert instead of sweet things with refined sugars like cakes, pastries, cookies and ice cream.
Refined sugar such as sodas and baked goods cause your insulin to spike and create inflammation in the body. Inflammation breaks down collagen and elastin causing sagging skin and or course, wrinkles.
They Swear By Their Teas
Koreans are not big fans of juices and soft drinks.
If you go to a Korean restaurant you will rarely be asked what types of drinks you would like. The server will assume water or tea and just bring it over. No American style up-sells from the server on sodas.
Green Tea is a daily beverage Koreans enjoy. The antioxidants in green tea apparently do wonders for the skin.
Barley Tea which is consumed often is also rich in anti-oxidants.
Ginseng Tea is a popular beverage that’s been a major contributor for Korean beauty and kicked off the whole skin care market.
There are plenty of antioxidants in Ginseng. It has a long history in Korea for curing the sick and provide energy to the weak.
Check out this Seafood + Ginseng blended SNAIL CREAM. Must do wonders for the skin of Korean women.
And how could we forget Korean seaweed soup and kimchi.
Seaweed’s natural, anti-inflammatory compounds can have a positive affect on acne.
Seaweed baths have cleansing and exfoliating agents cleaning out dead skin cells and facial impurities.
Seaweed, when consumed or applied to the body, pulls out excess water and waste products from the skin.
Fermented and traditional foods like Kimchi kimchi can aid in the prevention and treatment of both acne and wrinkles.
Considering Koreans eat many different kinds of kimchi as part of their breakfast, lunch and dinner, it’s no wonder they can keep their skin subtle, shiny and youthful.
They GO UNDER the Laser
In Korea laser skin treatments are very popular.
It’s a quick fix for everything from facial pigmentation, sun spots, freckles, acne, moles, dermatitis, eczema, scars, and even psoriasis.
Some of the best laser skin treatments in Seoul cater to women who want to make their skin blemish free.
Often this means having a skilled and licensed dermatologist literally “burn away” brown spots or moles on one’s face or other body parts.
Expect to smell your “burning flesh” while you undergo the procedure.
Don’t worry, though…
There’s a slight sting to it and you won’t be able to wash your face for 3 days, but those 100 + tiny age or sun spots you had singed away will disappear in two weeks after your skin heals.
Here’s a before and after photo of a women who had a similar skin repair laser treatment.
To sum up:
If you spend a year or two living in Korea, you’ll soon see advertisements evidencing the dozens of ways to improve and repair your skin.
SKIN CARE is an OBSESSION in Korea.
But Beauty Ain’t CHEAP for Korean women… MEN TOO!
Did you know that Korea ranks #1 in the WORLD for MALE BEAUTY products?
Interested in learning more about Korean women and their pregnancies?
Check out this post on my blog: 8 Crazy Facts About South Korea (you’ve probably never heard of)