If you’ve always loved watching K-dramas and K-pop variety shows, chances are you noticed how beautiful your bias’ skin is. Too beautiful that we can only wonder what in a South Korean’s genetic makeup makes it possible, because as far as we’re convinced, we never saw a single pore.
It’s no secret South Korea has overwhelming standards of beauty. In this highly-competitive society, intelligence and skills may not be enough to succeed. Women have long paid attention to their looks—many going great lengths in diet and plastic surgery—to ensure some head start in their careers, especially in the entertainment industry. See, even pets get botox.
But what about men?
Apparently, South Korean males are catching up. Today, beauty shops all across the country are teeming with cosmetic products tailored for the demographic. They spend more on skincare than any other country, BBC said.
As it turns out, commitment to the religious usage of these “necessities” is the secret to their beautiful skin, just like their female counterparts.
That’s exactly what Lee Woo-jung, a gym owner, told the Washington Post previously. His skincare routine consists of some toner, essence, moisturizer and blemish balm “BB” cream, and mind you, these are standards. He shared:
“People look at me differently when I take care of my skin. It helps me when I’m working because I have a good image. When I approach other people, they are more open to me.”
So what exactly are these products? Top brands Etude House, Missha, Nature Republic and Tony Moly have plenty in their stores to offer, but don’t be surprised to see packaging labeled with snail mucus, snake venom, horse oil, pig collagen and volcanic ashes straight from Jeju island.
There’s no one routine that fits all, but anyone interested can learn from David Cho, who shared his basics over Soko Glam, a blog he manages alongside wife and licensed esthetician Charlotte. He advises using a gentle cleanser, applying moisturizer and SPF protection daily. That’s it.
New York Magazine writer Jason Chen, who’s particularly fascinated by “mul-gwang,” or “liquid radiance,” took note of Christine Chang’s advice, co-founder of Korean skin-care site Glow Recipe. He used a gel that contained fermented soy:
“I applied the stuff early in the day and tapped it into my face. Rather than feel gluey or thick the way I expected it to, the gel — sorry, lumpoule — actually disappeared immediately, leaving my face with just a hint of brightness, especially around the “T-zone.”
Chen shared his delight, “Over the course of the day, I found my gaze drawn to reflective surfaces — I couldn’t stop looking at my poreless, radiant, and, yes, dewy face.”
There you have it, folks. The secret is out in the open: routine.