What Do Koreans Know About Anti-Ageing

In recent years, we have seen an uprising trend of Korean beauty (aka K-beauty) on a global scale. Needless to say, Koreans take their skin very seriously regardless of their gender and age. When the 10-step skincare routine became viral on the Internet, many became curious and eventually started adopting it. It’s no surprise that the results were amazing and whether you believe it or not, K-beauty has a cult following worldwide. 

Just last week, Vogue released a video featuring Korean model and social media star, Irene Kim, who was seen sharing her 25-step beauty regimen with the world. Is it too much? Well, let’s just say that her skin is speaking out loud for itself. To put it simply, any Korean’s beauty advice should be heeded. Here are 5 common anti-ageing myths which many Koreans find questionable:

Myth 1: The more expensive the product, the better. 

Unlike luxury bags or jewellery, heftier price tags on beauty products don’t always equate to better quality. Especially anti-ageing products, a little jar of eye cream could easily cost an arm and leg. But at the end of the day, the ingredient list matters more than the manufacturer or even the packaging for that matter. Many K-beauty brands have done this well as their main business focus is to deliver top-notch products at an affordable price.

Myth 2: Wear sunscreen whenever you leave the house.

Most people would agree that it’s important to wear sunscreen, only when you are exposed to the sun. This is equivalent to saying that you only put on clothes when you leave the house (not the best analogy but you get the point). Particularly during this time of Circuit Breaker, most people are stuck indoors and have neglected their sunscreens. However, UVA rays can penetrate through window glass, which means you’re still exposed to harmful UV rays while you stay indoors. So, don’t skip your sunscreen!

Myth 3: Retinol is your new best friend.

Retinol could be the ultimate anti-ageing hero but too much of it may be damaging to your skin. Why? Depending on the concentration of retinol, it can be too harsh because its primary function is to help slough away a layer of your skin to reveal a smoother zone below. As such, most K-beauty products are sensitive skin-friendly. For a gentler option, find anti-ageing products that are formulated with Vitamin A instead. Pro tip: products containing retinol should only be used in the PM, and always wear sunscreen in the day if you have this active ingredient part of your skincare routine.

Myth 4: Ageing is determined by your genes.

Just because your mom looks 30 in her 60s, it doesn’t mean that you will take after her. This is the pitfall for many women who take anti-ageing or proper skin care for granted. Although genetics may play a tiny role in determining your ageing rate, there are bigger factors like environmental stressors, your sleep hygiene, and stress levels in general. Pollution is just as harmful as sun exposure to the skin as it oxidises your skin cells, which is why antioxidant is highly recommended in both diet and skincare.

Myth 5: Cut off all alcohol consumption.

Too much of anything is bad for you; same goes to alcohol. But when consumed in moderation, according to MayoClinic, it actually has health benefits such as reducing your risk of developing heart disease and stroke. This is also why some people believe that moderate drinking helps to improve blood circulation and make their skin glow. No wonder Ajummas’ (Korean middle-aged women) skin still illuminates like no other because of the Bokbunja, Makgeolli, and Soju they consume (oh, and kimchi too!).