So many people ask me why do Korean women have such great skin. Everyone now seems so obsessed with Korean dramas, K-pop, Korean food, etc, which is wonderful — I’ve never been so proud to say that I am Korean (well, more Korean American than Korean Korean). Anyway, who doesn’t love all the Korean dramas on Netflix, like My Love from the Star, Crash Landing, Mystic Pop-up Bar, It’s Okay Not to be Okay, etc. Anyone knows that once you start one episode, you can’t stop … it’s like me and Doritos … give me one, and I will eat the entire bag. My husband and my son, Grant, can attest to that. They’ve seen me eat the whole bag as my eyes are on a K-drama filled with tears (it isn’t a K-drama if there isn’t some crying involved).
OK, so what is the secret? You can see all these pretty Korean women on K-drama and they have perfect skin, what is more infuriating, is that the men have great skin too. Well, I’ve been thinking about this, and I think there are three basic things that all Korean women do:
1. Stay away from the Sun and use Sunscreen. They start young … really young. We never ever want to go out in the sun and get a tan … if you did, our moms would scold us and say: “Michyeosseo (are you crazy)”? We all know that sun can cause wrinkles later in life, but it also causes pigmentation (like melasma). If you think about it, young kids have great skin because they don’t have blemishes and they don’t have pigmentation. They have really nice, clear skin. Once you get older, your skin gets more dark spots – freckles, beauty marks, melasma, etc. If you don’t have nice, clear skin, then you will look OLD. So, one main thing that you can do to prevent pigmentation is to stay away from the sun, apply sunscreen everyday.
2. They are always exfoliating at home or at Korean saunas. If you go to Korea, you will see a Korean sauna in almost every block. Koreans will go there and steam or go into a hot room, and then exfoliate … usually using a hand scrub. When I go to Korea, I will get this done and usually I will get the “special” package which includes a scrub and body oil massage. The scrub is on a stone bed and the woman is scrubbing you like crazy. She will yank your legs wide open and scrub everywhere. The best part is that you can see all the dead skin because they like to keep it on you because they want to show you all the yucky dead skin that they were able to scrub off you. Usually I have tons of it … to the point where it is embarrassing. The scrubber will usually say, “My my, you have a lot of dirt … really tooooo much!!” I think she secretly enjoys it because she loves the satisfaction of seeing results from her hard labor!
3. They eat Kimchi. Why is that important? Well, it is FULL of probiotics, so it is great for your gut. Doctors are now all saying that we should take probiotics supplements since they can reduce inflammation and help with digestion … HELLO, Koreans have been eating this stuff FOREVER. If you have good gut, then you have more of an outer glow. Most Koreans (including me) eat Kimchi almost every day … I love that stuff. It is loaded with vitamin C and full of probiotics. If you have a good gut, then you will have clearer, better skin (point 1 above). And if your gut is good, then you don’t feel sluggish and heavy. So eat it!