Skincare in Korea!

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Why do Koreans have such perfect skin?

Why do Koreans care so much about their skin?

Why is skincare so important in Korea, why do even Korean men take such good care of their skin, why why why why why?!

There’s so many questions on Korean skincare and so many ways to word those questions. Let me go over the most common queries.

1.) Why is skincare such a big deal in Korea?

Well it’s not just Koreans that takes such close care of their skin, but I see your point. Korea is known for it’s attention to detail when it comes to skincare. There are a few reasons for this indeed, one of which is that Korea is very appearance centred. Now I don’t mean this in a bad way – again Korea has it’s reasons. But the overall image Koreans go for is naturally beautiful, and how can you uphold that image with visible breakouts and redness and cracks everywhere?

If there’s something on your skin, people will notice, especially in a society that focuses on looks quite often. To be honest, it doesn’t matter if you accentuate your eyes beautifully, or you wear a dramatic lipstick, if your skin doesn’t look healthy or clean, your art will be overlooked. Healthy skin is a sign of overall health, this doesn’t mean that everyone who experiences breakouts or pimples is unhealthy, it’s just that healthy skin most often means you’re a healthy person. So to achieve the natural and effortless beauty image, clear and, if possible, flawless skin is a must.

2.) Why do even men take such good care of their skin?

This has mostly been answered in the above response however it is also to do with the difference in Korean men’s beauty standards. In Korea, pretty much everything cosmetic nowadays is unisex.  All make-up can be worn by both genders and, unless a product specifies a gender, hygienic, cleansing and moisturising products are also unisex. My male Korean friend E and I, as I mentioned in another post, are exchanging cosmetics from our countries and I ended up showing him the Revlon CC Cream that has recently been released. It’s clearly aimed at women, but he just said he didn’t care! I was like ‘okay!’ nyaha! In fact he even went as far as mentioning that a lot of men in Korea don’t go for ‘male cosmetics’ because they tend to smell too strong – LYNX is unheard of over there.

Men, as well as women, are usually expected to take care of their skin – cleansing is a no-brainer for them over there. All types of masks are used – clay, peel off and most commonly sheet masks are regularly applied to maintain hydrated and clean skin. In fact, if you check the packaging of most sheet masks, the majority will have come been made in Korea! As I mentioned above, additionally, using BB creams and CC creams is completely normal for men. When I mentioned that everything cosmetic was unisex in Korea, this includes beauty standards! Achieving the naturally attractive image is important for men as well so decent skin is again, a must!

3.) Why does Korea as a whole promote skin care so much more?

Again, a lot of this comes down to Korea’s society and how it views and holds appearance as an important aspect of somebody. I will write a blog post on this topic soon. But what I can mention is that appearance can affect someone’s chances of becoming employed. EYK talked about how Korea has acknowledged the unfair truth that people who tend to be slightly ‘more attractive’ in general also tend to have the advantage of using their looks to get their way, seem a better option or even more employable in some cases which is why Korean companies, employers etc. always require a photo of you on your CV. In response to this, Korea has tried to “level out the playing field” by providing and promoting plastic surgery. But plastic surgery is another story, one you have find blog posts about EVERYWHERE so there’s no shortage of information about that. Check out EYK’s tl;dr video on the subject of plastic surgery, they cover literally everything you could possibly ask about Korea in general and more. Skin care is one of many elements that can contribute to an attractive image as is plastic surgery. In short? Korea promotes skincare so much in order to encourage people to achieve healthy, clear skin. Whether that’s for their own personal health or because they want to appear attractive to other people – that’s up to them, as it is everywhere in the world!

4.) Why are Korean skincare products so good?!

Why do you think! Korean skincare industries want to produce attractive people or to create a certain image, this involves having clear skin. The best way to go about this, and to obviously keep their businesses running of course, is to listen to the consumer. There are TONS AND TONS AND TONS of different needs, conditions, skin types and of course consumers who each require a certain product that will tend to their own personal needs. Therefore, in order to keep all these different levels of skin conditions at a certain desirable stage, one must listen to what the consumer wants and needs and give it to them in order to actually achieve their aim – healthy, clear skin. Unlike other countries ,who may possess certain companies that produce products advertised as fantastic spot removers or that help to clear skin immediately but really do crap all in order to make money, Korea listens to the consumer and provides them with what is necessary to achieve their certain image. The reason Korea has less companies that produce products for money and more companies that genuinely listen to the consumer is because they have this aim of creating clear, healthy skin. Other western countries don’t have this aim, and even though we do have genuine companies that make the effort to tend to the consumers actual needs, we don’t have this goal to achieve like Korea does. It has been estimated that Korean skincare technology is 12 years ahead of US skincare technology. That’s how good they are!!

Now I’m not saying that European, Australian, American, or any other non-Korean brands of cosmetics don’t tend to the consumer or work very well because a lot of them do. The brand ‘Simple’ is great for me! I also have a Japanese moisturiser called Yu-Be which I reviewed and that’s fantastic for plump skin. It just depends who you are. I am however saying that since Korea spends so much time and effort into creating skincare products with the aim of actually effectively treating skin, their products are most likely going to be…well…very effective! They take advantage of natural resources, plants, rocks, clays, muds, certain waters, oils and juices and fish! Many other countries do the same thing, it’s just that Korea’s paid a lot more attention to this whole industry than anyone else for their own reasons and I know from personal experience that any sheet mask made in Korea is seriously the shiz.

So there’s a couple of the most common questions on Korean skincare which really only go over the basics I’m sure. Anyhoodledoodle! My favourite Korean skincare products personally are those from SkinFood and Laneige! I also lurve Innisfree oh my god, Innisfree peel of jelly softeners that remove the dead skin cells are amazing. Oft!

Korean ‘gummy smile’?

After reading comments on KPOP stars ‘gummy smiles’ on various forums such as ‘I can’t believe they don’t like gummy smiles…’ and ‘Oh this guy criticized Hyosung’s gummy smile too’ I was like ‘wtf is a gummy smile?’ All I could imagine were little Haribo bears under someones top lip – weird I know.

But it turns out it’s exactly what the name suggests. A ‘gummy’ smile. A smile where you show a lot of your gums. Trust Korea to come up with another name for it. Written in Hangul it’s 거미스마일 (geo-mi seu-ma-il) but apparently it can be referred to as 잇몸웃음 (meaning laughter/laughing gums) or 함박웃음 (meaning toothy smile).

Hyosung from Secret (yep again, she’s got everything baby!) has been known to have a gummy smile. And er unfortunately has been criticized for it. Not too harshly but  apparently she was told that “showing your gums excessively like that can actually be a negative for advertisements’.

1hyosungHyosung’s adorable ‘gummy smile’.

Regarding Korea as a whole, I’m certain that this ‘gummy smile’ business isn’t a massive deal across the public, but in media I suppose it can be treated as a small flaw like having a crooked nose that ‘needs’ to be fixed. To be honest, who really cares about ‘gumminess’. It’s a cute asset. But since the KPOP industry most likely rolls with striving for near perfection, of which a ‘gummy smile’ is not, differences will be pointed out if they don’t fit the set image. It’s not a matter of personal opinion really when it comes to this sort of industry which can be both a good and bad thing.

Anyway HALLELUJAH! The definition of a ‘gummy smile’? Showing lots of gum when you smile, ofttt. And  don’t mean the extra mint type. Laters guys! (: