You have probably heard of Korean slug and snake venom creams, but do you know what makes a 10-step beauty routine
Did you know that Korean women spend twice as much time taking care of their face and body than an average American, or that their men take a lot of care of their skin? The whole world has been obsessed with South Korean beauty products for the past couple of years, and travelers in the far east are especially eager to spend a couple of hours at the Seoul airport roaming through thousands of top beauty products from this country. I have recently learned, from my young coworker who studied abroad in the US, that even teens from this country spend two to three hours together browsing on the internet in search of the perfect routine. Simply put, it’s a daily habit that doesn’t stop once they move West. And what makes these products so special?
Sea algae are also one of the major ingredients in Korean cosmetics, as well as different mushrooms, which are the new ultra hydrating ingredients in the beauty industry
Most of their products are organic, but are also made of substances, which would make a westerner screech. Creams made out of slug slime are one of the most favored products together with ones made out of snake venom extracts which claim to stimulate skins elasticity and collagen buildup, and are proven to remove skin blemishes and hyperpigmentation.
Sea algae are also one of the major ingredients in Korean cosmetics, as well as different mushrooms, which are the new ultra hydrating ingredient, which gives necessary moisture to the skin – a base for maintaining a youthful look. Once BB creams hit the global market, they started a revolution. But did you know that this invention originated from Korea six years ago as a combination of a need for hydrating the skin, covering imperfections and sun protection.
An important difference in our beauty regimes is that we are taught to follow three steps, while they follow 10
Women from the Far East never forget to protect their faces from sun damage, and wear facemasks even in elder life stages, in order to maintain the whiteness and youthfulness of the face. While in Vietnam, a tour guide told us how their women couldn’t understand why we spend hours sunbathing when our skin is such a nice shade of white! An important difference in our beauty regimes is that we are taught to follow three steps, while they follow 10, and focus on deep hydration, ampules and masks in simple packages that started a revolution.
In order to explain a beauty routine of a South Korean woman and it’s steps, as well as the parts that can be excluded, short guidebooks explain what each step of the daily routine accomplishes. As expected, it starts with a cleanse – an oil cleanser removes make-up and other products containing oil and dirt particles – enemies of the skin. In the next phase we use a foam cleanser, water-based and applied to a wet face. The goal is also removing impurities, sweat and dirt. The third step of a Korean beauty routine is exfoliation that aims to remove dead skin cells. A useful tip regarding this is that is can be done once in a week, especially if your skin is sensitive. In the next step the skin is treated with a toner and is the last preparation for the hydration phase. Products like serums, but much more hydrating are the core of a Korean beauty regime and are used on all skin types. Recommendations for people with hyperpigmentation are special ampules, serums and boosters. The next step is a hydrating mask that should be applied twice a week. This is the main difference between habits of women from the Far East and the West – European and American women often give up on facemasks while Koreans use them religiously.
The next steps include different creams, specializing in different skin areas, an eye and under-eye cream, a hydrating cream for the skin, and a mandatory SPF sun protectant. And that is all. There are thousands of South Korean products, but if you were to choose the best and most effective you should turn to specialized websites. Good news for the Serbian market is that one such website was recently launched.
And if you are, or someone you know is at the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeong Chang, ask them to bring you some of the authentic products. My best experience was with a chia seed based face serum. That smell and sense of hydration is impossible to describe.