Korean women are renowned for their flawless skin–whenever I pass by one, they look borderline translucent. It’s literally quite crazy, because I have more or less similar genetic disposition, but my skin is far from perfect. Recently, at a makeover event hosted by Real Simple magazine, I was being touched up by a makeup artist who had worked with a lot of Korean models in Hong Kong. I sheepishly volunteered that my skin isn’t perfect, like most Korean women’s, and she didn’t even pretend to contradict me. Instead, she offered that Korean women are obsessed with their skin–after all, this is the country that invented the BB cream.
So what exactly do Korean women do? According to the makeup artist (and from observing my cousins), they protect themselves against the sun. Not only do they apply sunblock religiously, they also wear hats and avoid direct sunlight as much as possible. So already I’m falling way behind, with my cursory application of tinted moisturizer (mere SPF 30), and previous years’ solar sins. Plus, I think some sun is not just enjoyable, but essential for your health, so I’m not too keen on skulking around shadows like a vampire for the sake of getting milky white skin. But some of their other proactive skincare routines, I’m happy to adopt. One is a DIY beauty tea steam facial: many Korean women do this at least once a week. Many of them practice oil cleansing, or incorporate beauty oils into their skincare. And finally, they do a stimulating DIY lymphatic massage almost everyday.
What is a lymphatic massage? Your body’s lymphatic system is a network of lymphatic vessels that carry lymph, a clear liquid, toward the heart. Imagine it as the body’s janitorial system, carrying away toxins and waste matter from your extremities. When the lymphatic flow is poor, you may experience swollen lymph nodes, or more commonly swollen eyelids and face. When you practice this self massage, you encourage better circulation, which in turn helps your skin regenerate. This is believed to keep skin youthful, firm, and soft, while defining your bone structure and jawline. This massage can be feather light or gentle-but-firm–just make sure you don’t tug on the delicate skin, especially around your eyes and neck.
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