Why Korean beauty rituals hold no appeal for me
I just Googled Korean beauty/ Korea skincare/ Korean beauty rituals to research a little bit before writing this post. And about 99.9% of all features have put K-beauty up on a pedestal. But unfortunately I am going to be that .1% that will rain on the K parade. Before I begin I must clarify that I have nothing against Korea or Korean people, it’s just that I don’t understand why the whole world is going crazy about these faddish routines.
I’m only writing this post today because I've got more than a few requests to talk about Korean skincare. Let me just begin by saying that just because something’s the rage doesn’t mean it's the holy grail of beauty. And while my foray into K-beauty rituals has only been till sheet masks, cushion foundations and snail creams (all of which I find rather unimpressive), here are the reasons why I’m not jumping on the bandwagon anytime soon. I’m sure there are some really good Korean beauty products, just like there are really good Indian, Brazilian or African beauty products, and I would love to discover them. But I’m not buying the whole K-package.
- Most of the Korean beauty bloggers are in their 20s. They apply masks and creams on their super young skins, and then show how they have no wrinkles and pores. I mean if you are militant about skincare at that age, obviously you wont have wrinkles and pores! I much rather prefer Caroline Hirons, who is close to 50, although I don’t agree with her recommendation of daily acid toning and retinol. And even you shouldn’t blindly follow anyone - not even me. Use the blogs to gather information and then make up your own mind. So if you like K beauty despite what I say, great! Stick with it.
- They start anti-ageing care very young. In fact, Peach & Lily blogger Alicia Yoon has said that she started facials around the age of 11. How lovely to be obsessed with beauty at such a young age…NOT!
- They encourage plastic surgery and doctor’s office treatments. If we had bi-weekly peels, acne-scar remodelling, anti-pigmentation lasers then even we would have baby skin. Raw like a peeled egg…but smooth. After so much of dermatological help, sheet masks, snail creams and essences have jack to do with great skin.
- They promote whitening. They hate dark skin. When that happens in India we all get offended, but when that’s part of Korean skin rituals, we applaud. And while I do think that whitening creams have de-pigmenting benefits, I’m not so much in favour of a ritual that puts fairness up on a pedestal.
- Sheet masks are the biggest bloody waste of money. Just buy a tube or jar of face mask instead, it will be more effective, much cheaper, and it will allow you to walk around, instead of lying down horizontally so the sheet won’t slip away.
- Cushion foundations. Great for application, not so good for hygiene. How many times do you wash that cushion in your foundation?
- The 10 step routine. My skin was at it’s worst when I was plastering on so many products. It’s also a big risk. Most of us are not aware of what beauty combinations work and what cancel each other out. Also, using so many products and so many ingredients is terrible for sensitive skin.
- Don’t even get me started on that bright, plasticky packaging.
Lead image: Shutterstock