If you’ve been searching about South Korea’s culture or you’re a fan of it in general, you’ve probably come across the word “Hallyu” many times. The term Hallyu, or Korean wave, refers to the popularity and influence of Korea’s culture over the world.
From K-pop, K-movies, and K-dramas to Korean cuisine, K-beauty also plays a huge role as one of its trend leaders.
K-beauty involves beauty products and effective skincare techniques that make Korean women (even men) look younger than their actual age. But apart from products and skincare, other factors related to lifestyle, food, and habits also contribute to their healthy-looking complexion.
Why Korean Look So Young? 15 Reasons
If you’re wondering what makes Koreans look so young, you’ve come to the right place! We made a list of some Korean beauty secrets and tips that you might want to try:
- 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine
- Light Makeup Style for a Natural Look
- Beauty Treatments
- Regular Visits to Dermatologist
- Natural Ingredients on Beauty Products
- Fermented Rice Water
- Korean Red Ginseng
- Vitamin C
- Korean Healthy Diet
- Regular Workout and Facial Exercise
- Tap, Don’t Rub!
- Protect the Skin with Sunscreen
- Avoid the Sun
- Hydrate the Skin
1. 10-Step Korean Skincare Routine
From as early as 10 years old, Koreans are taught to take care of their skin as they believe that maintaining healthy skin is beneficial and that prevention is better than cure.
To achieve glowing and flawless skin, they prioritize skincare over makeup. Although their skincare regime follows lots of steps—from cleansing, clarifying, exfoliating, and toning to hydrating—they consider it a part of their wellness routine.
Their trending 10-step Korean skincare routine usually goes as follows:
- Remove dirt or makeup with an oil-based cleanser (see top 10 Korean cleansing oils)
- Cleanse again with foam or water-based cleanser (see our top 10 Korean foam cleansers).
- Loosen clogged pores and get rid of dead skin cells with an exfoliator.
- Prepare your skin for products with a toner.
- Hydrate your skin using essence.
- Brighten your skin with ampoules (see the 10 best Korean ampoule) and serums (see top 10 Korean serums).
- Use sheet masks for dewy and soft skin.
- Prevent dark circles and fine lines with eye cream or eye patches.
- Protect your skin using moisturizer. Note that moisturizers come in different forms, such as gel, lotion, and cream. Each depends on your skin type. For example, we selected here the best Korean moisturizers for dry skin.
- Leave your skin with sunscreen to prevent skin damage by the sun’s rays.
Want to know what kind of skincare products you should use at night? Make sure you read our full guide about the Korean nighttime skincare routine.
2. Light Makeup Style for a Natural Look
Since Koreans take good care of their skin, they don’t cover it with heavy and dramatic makeup. They always go for light or minimal makeup style for a natural, sheer look to emphasize their healthy and glowing skin.
For this look, you’ll only need a few makeup products. It’s important to start by doing your skin care routine and then apply BB cream or cushion compacts to cover blemishes. You can also use a concealer to cover stubborn blemishes and acne scars.
Remember to pick neutral or light colors for your eye makeup, and try to shape your brows straight with a slight arc at the end. Gently pat rosy pink or coral blushers on your cheeks and finish off your lips using a lip tint and gloss.
3. Beauty Treatments
Apart from committing to a skincare routine and mastering a light makeup look, Koreans also do beauty treatments to maintain and enhance their skin. One of the most trending beauty treatments in Korea is the ‘skin booster treatment.’
It is done by injecting revitalizing ingredients into the dermal layer of the skin. It rejuvenates, plumps, and hydrates the skin from within for a healthy and young complexion.
If you don’t want to deal with needles, the ‘laser facelift treatment’ is a great alternative. Instead of injection, this treatment uses ultrasonic waves to create a skin-lifting effect.
You can also try other beauty treatments such as Botox and fillers to enhance your facial features.
Read More: Korean Female Beauty Standards
4. Regular Visits to Dermatologist
Since there are many skincare clinics or dermatologists in South Korea that deliver great service at an affordable price, Koreans frequently visit dermatologists at least once a week for skin maintenance.
Usually, the purpose of their visit is to monitor their skin and know what they should and shouldn’t do to it. It’s because what works for one might not work for you. It’s very important to have insights about your own skin and get advice on what products and treatment it needs.
Read More: How Do K-Pop Idols Remove Body Hair?
5. Natural Ingredients on Beauty Products
Korea is innovative when it comes to beauty products. Instead of using harsh chemical ingredients, they tend to make the most out of active organic components and exotic ingredients to formulate affordable yet highly effective beauty products.
The most common natural extracts from plants in Korean beauty products are Propolis, Centella Asiatica, and Birch extract—they all contain antioxidants, nutrients, and enzymes that keep the skin healthy and glowing.
Another common ingredient is snail mucin or snail secretion filtrate. Although it sounds weird, its slimy, watery sludge is used in sheet masks, serums, and moisturizers because of its moisturizing and soothing properties.
You May Like: The 10 Best Korean Whitening Creams
6. Fermented Rice Water
Traditionally, Koreans use rice water to wash their skin and hair. It’s great for lightening blemishes, scars, and pigments, and it increases the collagen in the skin to avoid wrinkling. It also works wonders for hair as it contains amino acids, which promote hair growth and repair.
Plain rice water already works great, but fermented rice water has higher nutrient and vitamin levels, making it more effective. If you want to try this beauty hack, below are the steps on how to make fermented rice water:
- Rinse a cup of rice and discard the water.
- Soak the rice with water, stir until it becomes cloudy, and leave it.
- After 20 minutes, strain the rice and put the water in a container.
- Set it aside overnight and let it turn sour.
- Put the fermented rice water on your preferred container and place it inside the refrigerator until you’re ready to use it.
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7. Korean Ginseng
Ginseng is often used in traditional herbal medicine because of its healing properties. There are different types of ginsengs, but Korean ginseng, in particular, brings many benefits to the skin.
It can be used for sheet masks or food supplements. And it contains Vitamin B, saponins, and minerals that improve skin texture, dullness, and puffiness. Plus, it boosts radiance for a glowing skin effect.
8. Vitamin C
Vitamin C or ascorbic acid is a vital nutrient to health, but Koreans also give importance to it because it has plenty of benefits on the skin, and it can aid most skin types.
It promotes collagen production to prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It also brightens the complexion and fades hyperpigmentation, resulting in younger-looking skin.
Koreans increase their Vitamin C intake by eating citrus fruits such as orange, kiwifruit, grapefruit, and lemon. It is also often used as an ingredient in beauty products like sheet masks, serums, and moisturizers.
9. Korean Healthy Diet
Given that their cuisines consist of meat, fish, rice, teas, and vegetables, one of the secrets why Koreans look so young is their diet itself. Since they have high vegetable intake and low-fat consumption, their diet brings good effects not only on the skin but on overall health.
Kimchi, which comes in every meal, has anti-aging properties, and it’s rich in antioxidants, helping them achieve a radiant complexion. It also lowers cholesterol levels, boosts the immunity system, and promotes healthy digestion.
Another reason that makes the Korean diet exceptional is that they often drink ginseng, barley, and green tea. These types of tea also have antioxidants, and they help protect the skin from environmental pollution. For bonus health benefits, drinking teas brings a calming effect. Plus, it helps in reducing stress levels.
You May Also Like: 15 Healthy Korean Foods With Low Calories
10. Regular Workout and Facial Exercise
Aside from a healthy diet, Koreans also do regular workout routine. It does not only make their body fit but also makes their complexion glow. It improves blood flow to nourish the body cells, including skin cells, and removes toxins from the skin.
They also focus on facial exercises to contour and shape up their face.
One facial exercise that Koreans often do is the “A-E-I-O-U exercise.” To do this, pronounce each vowel with wide and big mouth movements to give your cheek and lip muscles a good stretch. It prevents the skin to sag for firmer, plumper, and more youthful-looking skin.
Want to know some tips to lose weight? Read How Do K-pop Idols Lose Weight?
11. Tap, Don’t Rub!
When it comes to skincare, the way you put products on your skin also matters.
Koreans try to be as gentle as they can when putting in skincare products. Tapping or patting skincare products on your skin, especially on your face, is so much better than rubbing it aggressively. Since skin loses elasticity over time, rubbing it vigorously will only make it lose elasticity faster. It can also cause wrinkling and sagging because of the friction.
On the other hand, tapping or patting is gentler, and it increases blood flow, absorption, and effectiveness of the ingredients on the skincare products you’re using.
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12. Protect the Skin with Sunscreen
Since Koreans are very much educated on skincare, they know well that the sun’s UV rays can cause so much damage to the skin, so sun protection should always be in their skincare routine.
Aside from protecting the skin, they also use sunscreen to hydrate, brighten, and smoothen it. It’s because Korean sunscreen formulas are more advanced, and they feel more like lightweight moisturizers. They also leave a transparent, glassy, and grease-free finish.
13. Avoid the Sun
Aside from just applying and reapplying sunscreens often, Koreans tend to avoid the sun at all costs. When going outdoors, they always bring an umbrella, and they also wear long sleeves to cover their skin from the sun’s harsh rays.
If you observe Korean dramas or movies, you’ll notice that even farmers wear thick, protective clothing and wide-brimmed hats. Although tanned skin is slowly becoming accepted in Korea’s beauty standards, another reason why they stay out of the sun is to avoid getting a tan.
Read More: How Do K-pop Idols Get White Skin
14. Hydrate the Skin
Hydrating replenishes water to skin cells to plump up the skin. To avoid having dry and oily skin, Koreans also hydrate their skin apart from moisturizing. To hydrate the face, they use sheet masks. They even leave it on their face while they sleep at night.
They also use toners, serums, essence, and ampoules with hydrating ingredients, and they hydrate dry spots by putting hydrating lotion on a cotton pad and leaving it on the spot for as long as 10 minutes.
Although it’s not really a secret and a tip, one of the reasons why Koreans exceptionally look younger than their age is their genetics.
Clear skin is often genetic, and Korean genetics also influence their complexion. Their skin tends to age slower, and they have youthful-looking skin because of high collagen and elastin.
Read More: 8 Reasons Why Koreans Don’t Have Beard
Now, you know why Koreans look so young!
Just because genetics affect Korean’s healthy-looking complexion doesn’t mean you can’t do anything to achieve flawless skin like theirs. The K-beauty industry has so much to offer, and there are many other ways to have perfect skin and look young.
We hope that you enjoyed reading our blog post. If you have comments, feel free to tell us what you think below!