Zhenia talks about some of the things in K-beauty that surprised her while working at Eunogo.
As an American working at Eunogo, a Korean premium beauty concierge, the past two years have been completely eye-opening. When I first started I did not have a good sense of exactly what K-Beauty entails but I definitely do now! I sat down with Joy, CEO of Eunogo, to discuss some interesting things I learned along the way as well as aesthetic and skincare trends coming out of Korea. Here are some highlights:
Yes, Koreans Are That Serious About Their Skin
Skincare in Korea starts at a very early age because there is an emphasis placed on skincare and protecting your skin from the sun. Even when children are little they notice that the adults around them wear long sleeves and umbrellas as well as visors to get minimum sun exposure. As teenagers, the guidance from adults around them also molds the attitude towards taking care of skin. Each neighborhood will have several dermatology and aesthetic clinics that are accessible to even teens in terms of readily available appointments and price, so that instead of popping zits at home in their bathroom mirror, they are going to a professional to give maximum attention to their skin. It is interesting also that this is by no means limited to women only - Korean men take sun protection and skin health very seriously as well!
Facials Facials Facials
Sometime around their early 20s, it is popular for Koreans to begin getting facial treatments regularly. As stated above, dermatology and aesthetic clinics are readily available at many price points for those who are interested in taking regular care of their face. But the biggest difference between Western style facials and Korean is that in Korea facials are very technology-based.
When you walk into a Korean aesthetic clinic you should see a lineup of different machines. The Korean style of facial is machine-based down to cleansing and your aesthetician will assess your skin condition and recommend treatments. You have your pick of everything from Aquapeel, a machine that sucks out impurities to cleanse the skin and infuse antioxidant vitamins into the epidermis, to an Astrodome Oxygenated Facial which combines medical grade oxygen and violet LPE (light pulse energy) to strengthen the skin barrier, to PDT (Photodynamic Therapy) Lights, which can utilize the power of red, blue, or violet infrared rays to help cell regeneration and turnover and heal scars. And that’s the tip of the Korean facial iceberg. To top it all off, Koreans tend to go for facial treatments every 2-3 weeks (with some as often as every week!) Amazing!
Skin Boosters Are Amazing
Before I began working at Eunogo I definitely knew about Botox and fillers but I had never heard anything about “Skin Boosters.” What I found out is that skin boosters are usually injectable ampoules of concentrated vitamins, minerals, Hyaluronic Acid and Polydeoxyribonucleotide (PDRN), to name just a few. Skin Botox is also quite popular - it uses neuromodulators in a different, upper layer of your skin instead of injection straight into muscle, for a dewy glow. Because these injections are more invasive than regular facials, you will see desired results much more quickly and for a longer period of time.
The most popular boosters in Korea at the moment are Chanel Injection (no, it’s not made by Chanel, it's just clever marketing for a vitamin ampoule made by a French pharmaceutical company, and Rejuran Healer, which uses salmon DNA aka PDRN to restore your skin’s bounce and glow.
Here are some of the Skin Boosters Eunogo recommends:
Glass Skin is In!
K-Beauty is synonymous with skincare, and Korean skincare is some of the best in the world. In general, it concentrates more on natural but very effective ingredients. Many of these have been used for over 100 years in medicine and skincare in Korea, such as Mugwort, Centella Asiatica (Cica), Aloe Vera. In general, Koreans will rely more on clinical skincare for efficacy but with mild and gentle ingredients in combination with dermatological procedures.
In terms of trends in K-beauty there is an overarching theme of glowing, dewy, and healthy skin. The most popular recent trend, and one that we feel is here to stay, is Korean Glass Skin. This look encourages a natural glow and looks effortless, however it does require some consistency to achieve “Glass Skin.” You can watch Joy’s uber popular YouTube video on the topic here:
Western vs. Korean Aesthetic - Show It Off!
Finally, Joy and I discussed the difference between Western beauty standards and the Korean aesthetic. This is easily seen in terms of makeup trends in Korea and the West. Whereas in the States, where I’m from, there is an emphasis on covering up the face with foundation and contouring to give yourself enhanced features, the Korean makeup aesthetic focuses on featuring your natural beauty and looking as natural as possible. After all, if you’ve done all the work to get your skin looking flawless and glowing, why cover it up?
You can watch our conversation in full here: