Hello my dearest readers! Welcome back to my weekly Beauty Takeover column! Today we’ll be uncovering FIVE beauty secrets that women from South Korea totally swear by. And what better way to learn these beauty secrets than from Korean women themselves, right?
What are the secrets to getting that ethereally beautiful lit-from-within glow that Korean women (like Shin Min-A) are renowned for?
1. FACIAL EXERCISES
We keep ourselves healthy and strong by exercising our bodies, but face and neck exercises are important too! They keep the face looking firm and youthful and help to prevent or reduce signs of premature aging, like sagging jowls, sunken cheeks and droopy eyelids. You can do these exercises anywhere, any time of the day, and they won’t take longer than 5 minutes! You can even extend the exercises and combine it with a facial massage if you have the time. Here are a 3 simple but effective face and neck exercises you can incorporate into your daily routine:
- Mouth Stretches: Pronounce your vowels (A, E, I, O, U) in an exaggerated manner throughout the day (3 times each session) to improve facial circulation.
- Eye Lifts: Gently press down just under your eyebrows with your forefingers. Close your eyelids, stretching your upper lids down. Repeat this 5 times and squeeze your eyes shut for 6 seconds. Relax them for 3 seconds and slowly open your eyes. This exercise is great for strengthening the eye area to prevent droopy eyelids.
- The Neck Stretch: Bend your head backwards to look at the ceiling. Once you feel a stretch on the front side of your neck, hold this position for 30 seconds. This strengthens the neck muscles and prevents premature sagging.
The next time you cleanse your face, try mixing your cream cleanser with your moisturiser!
2. CREAMS, GLORIOUS CREAMS!
According to Korean model, Jin Jung Sun, it’s becoming a popular tip amongst Korean women to combine a 1:1 ratio of cleansing cream and moisturising cream to cleanse the face. Not only is it deeply hydrating, but it helps to clear out your pores as well. It’s a great alternative method for those of us who aren’t into oil cleansers. Also, instead of waiting till before bedtime to remove your makeup, try removing it as soon as you get home from work before anything else. This gives your skin more time to breathe and absorb the serums and moisturisers you’ll be applying afterwards.
Model and winner of Korea’s Next Top Model (Cycle 2) Jin Jung Sun cleanses her face with an equal mixture of cleansing cream and moisturising cream.
Clockwise from top left: Cremorlab Smooth Pudding; LadyKin Elmaju Broccoli Radiance Power Cream; Mizon Multi-Function Formula All-in-One Snail Repair Cream; Sulwhasoo Concentrated Ginseng Renewing Cream; The Face Shop Rice Water Bright Cleansing Cream; O Hui Clear Science Tender Cleansing Cream
3. PAT AND ROLL
Instead of rubbing your serums and essences and moisturisers into your skin, try patting or rolling the product onto your skin using the tips of your fingers instead. Start by warming up the product on your fingertips and patting it on. It’s a better technique for absorption and you won’t be tugging and pulling at your skin and causing premature wrinkles. Model Hoyeon Jung swears by this method as well. Also, an extra tip – if your face is already clean and makeup-free (especially in the mornings after you’ve cleansed the night before), simply wash your face with cold water instead of using a cleanser to prevent your skin from drying out. Gently pat your face dry with a soft face towel and apply your skincare using patting motions. It helps to stimulate micro-circulation too!
Patting helps to improve the absorption of your skincare products.
4. MASKS FOR EVERYTHING!
Sheet masks, gel masks, cream masks, masks for the face, masks for the hair, masks for the lips – you name it, they’ve got it! Applying a leave-in mask on your hair, face, body, or lips can work wonders overnight. It’s like locking yourself in an intensely moisturising, healing and rejuvenating cocoon, and waking up to a butterfly version of yourself.
Clockwise from top left: Tony Moly Angel Glowring Hair Mask; Tony Moly Rice Face Mask Sheet [Clear Skin]; Laneige Mini Pore Waterclay Mask; Laneige Special Care Lip Sleeping Mask; Blithe Patting Splash Mask in Citrus and Honey; Skin Food Argan Oil Silk Hair Mask Pack; Skin Food Egg White Pore Mask
5. WE ARE WHAT WE EAT
The traditional Korean diet consists of sweet potatoes, multi-grain rice, fermented vegetables (Kimchi), seasonal vegetables, mung beans, and a variety of meats (beef, pork, seafood, chicken). There is a balance of protein and fibre and Kimchi contains probiotic lactic acid (lactobacillus) bacteria, which helps to improve digestion and maintain the overall health of your intestinal flora. By taking care of your digestive health, you’re essentially taking care of your complexion as well. The presence of lactobacillus bacteria in Kimchi helps to treat various skin conditions like topical mite-induced dermatitis by reducing any inflammation flare-ups on the skin. As it’s also rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, it helps to reduce oxidative stress on our cells and prevent signs of premature aging from within.
Incorporating more fibre into your diet will help to maintain a healthy bowel habit and keep your digestive system happy and healthy. If you’re a vegetarian, tofu and beans are a good source of protein. When you’re healthy on the inside, you’ll be healthy on the outside too!
So which beauty secret would you incorporate into your daily routine?
(Images courtesy of Google)