Why I Got Into Korean Skincare....and Why I'm Sticking With It

8:53 PM

Hello all! I've thought about this for months and have read everyone else's discourse on the AB subreddit but finally thought I would throw in my two cents. The big question:

Why Korean skincare?

Korean skincare, in my experience is innovative, clever and cute--all at once. It has a way of bringing people together from around the world (as like other communities would), online and offline. Korean skincare (and makeup) generally promotes for self-care to yourself and allows opportunity to express yourself, however you like. This slice of the beauty community also gives room for ample discourse on a range of products and services while giving the platform for growth and opportunity.

I'm going to be very upfront: I am often overly stressed and sad--that is life. I tend to keep most emotions internalized; I either grey rock or maintain a happy facade and use humour to cope. It has been hard to admit this publicly (outside of my personal Twitter account) but I am trying my best to climb through.  I do use skincare (and makeup) as a way to pamper and provide self-care to myself. On my better days, I will wear makeup and try out new looks. I also learn more about myself through expression, usually in the form of a certain makeup look, fashion and quirky accessories. It's a very normal way to cope with everyday shit, just like everyone else. It almost normalizes and blocks out the drama, making hobbies seem more exciting.

The Eastern beauty world, in particular, has a way of being interesting and novel--the products work! You can see results! Sometimes, it's really exciting! Cute packaging! Collabs! Sweet scents! Unusual "cool" or clever marketing! I generally enjoy the cuteness and honestly, my hearts warms every time I see my fruit-shaped hand creams on my desk as much as gushing over there various recent character collabs!

Now don't get me wrong, I like Japanese and Taiwanese skincare too, just as much as Korean skincare. I won't entirely devalue Western, particularly American skincare products per se, but more the routine. I'm into a Korean skincare routine. I like using a couple of products that are specifically targeted to one area--and works, rather one all-in-one that half-asses the job. Following a routine also give me a set ordered way to tasks in the morning and at night, and help give structure to my day. It can also give me something to look forward to at the end of day, like using a more expensive hydrogel sheet mask.

I also enjoy the interesting, sometimes unusual ingredients that is found is a number of Korean skincare products. It's not in a "Cool Korea" way but rather, thinking abstractly about ingredients and their combinations and strengths to give a result. The concept of snail poop extract on the skin can yield such positive (consistent) results is fascinating. Being innovative with common ingredients to create something new--water cushions.

Through SNS, anyone remotely interested in skincare and beauty can connect and post. It's so rewarding to see a fellow skincare enthusiast to be as excited as you are, and can share together rants and rave of products, or those Memebox fails, PSA's of sales and results of products. It's also equally as exciting to hear opinions of chemists and cosmetologists on occasion, regarding the serious side to the industry or on a product. Everyone is so willing to help, armed with information! Seeing everyone's hauls, stashes and organization!

I enjoy the research aspect, including reading a number of beauty blogger's reviews, first impressions and watching demos. Google searching for swatches! Hunting for the ingredients in English or Japanese, while trying to do some minor Korean study with Google-sensei. Hunting for the best deals on Amazon and eBay, or trying to make the perfect order so your TK and RSS won't be pushed into the shipping tier.

Actually using the products is the best part for me (duh?!)

sensory stimulation

  • taking the time to smell or feel the products as you apply them on your skin
  • that feeling of being refreshed
  • if it's a skinentertaiment type of product, then enjoying its hilarity
  • seeing yourself in the mirror (sheet mask on or not) and realizing "hey, that's me!"
Time is an illusion so really, no one is too busy to take care of themselves, but with the ebb and flow of life, daily pressures and often unavoidable drama, there is only a set amount of hours per day to do everything. Sometimes, self-care can't happen everyday/night as other things take higher priority. But it shouldn't--you are important and alive for a short amount of time. No other thing is more important than your health* (unless it harms yourself and/or others in any way) and no one should be able to take that time away.

I write all of this to say that the days that I take care of myself and even just wash my face in the shower, and put on a sleeping pack or moisturizer (the bare minimum), I'm doing miles better.  The days when I do my full routine and see my face the next morning, I feel accomplished for following through and completely something, even if it's such a minuscule thing, and seeing results.

All of it is fun.

Why I'm Sticking With Korean Skincare?

Unless I run out of money, I'll probably be after the snail poop and sheet masking for a while! I need the self-care and this is one of the facets to give myself that love I deserve. I know I could say, own twelve cats or be into motorbikes, but just the same as cat moms and bikers, skincare is cathartic.

tldr; I like to put snail poop on my face because it makes my skin soft. Then I like to blog about it, just like a bunch of other people!

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