South Korea is not only famous for its fantastic food, fast forward fashion, and innovative beauty products. It is an archipelago set against the thoroughfare of easterly and westerly winds. Also, it’s infamous for its harsh winter beset with high winds, non-stop rain, and heavy snowfall. Many people equate winter with Russia, but most don’t realize how unforgiving the winter is in South Korea with temperatures that can drop to minus 25.
South Koreans epitomize the fact that no one should put winter as an excuse to dress like a wasted drab. Even in January, the height of winter, the streets of Seoul will not be without the women’s super-short skirts, high boots, and sheer leggings, and the men’s skinny jeans, tiny coats, and oversized scarves. Items that look weird when seen alone look amazingly good when put together by many young South Koreans.
If fashion is far from understated during winter, more so is the Koreans’ beauty regime. Because of the country’s cruel winters, beauty and makeup products are continually updated and improved to match the needs of consumers. Companies have to keep on innovating to get by with global warming that is increasingly getting worse at an unprecedented rate.
What are the Koreans’ beauty secrets for surviving winter? And what can we learn from them? Here are top tips from a country that has given birth to BB creams, and lipstick tattoos:
1. Use serum religiously
Many South Koreans swear by serum. A product rich in Vitamin E and hyaluronic acid. It is applied to the face and neck after putting on a skin toner. There are different types of serums to choose from, as a part of the steps to the Peach & Lily skin care. But the thicker versions are advisable during winter. So moisture is better absorbed by the skin. This product can be used in the morning and evening to help the skin fight against dryness that winter always certainly brings.
Serums with a touch of honey are all the more recommended in winter. Because they do not only moisturize the skin but can also rejuvenate and hydrate it for hours. Hydration is so important in winter when the weather is so dry.
2. Put on a sleeping mask—and don’t forget the lips, too!
Putting on a sleeping mask is part and parcel of the everyday Korean beauty regimen. And the reason for this is to add an extra layer of protection against dryness as you sleep. In winter, this additional layer is even more critical because of the heater in the room which can undoubtedly siphon off moisture from your skin.
Traditional sleeping masks only cover the skin; but now, even lips are covered. Lips are the first to go dry during winter, so it’s just right also to put on protection for the lips even as you sleep. Make sure that the sleeping mask contains aloe vera, charcoal, or snail as these help you moisturize naturally. Stay away from masks that have alcohol-based ingredients on them.
3. Don’t forget sunscreen
Even in the dead of winter and without sunshine for hours ‘til end, do not forget to put on sunscreen. Sunscreen protects you from the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays, and these UV rays do not go together with sunlight. It can penetrate your skin even without the sight of the sun.
In winter, it’s best to use gel-based sunscreen because it will still allow your skin to breathe. When you use cream-based sunblock, the moisture gets trapped in your skin. And while you also want this during winter, your pores need to breathe, too, for good circulation to occur.
Winter may be harsh in South Korea, but the beauty industry continues to keep pace with the needs of locals and foreigners living in this country. If you’re new to Korea and traveling in winter, it’s also advisable to ask a local on strategies on how to survive this season with style—and in good health.