Sunday, August 5, 2012

Skin Care in Korea

Sun umbrellas! That's right, in Korea people are completely and utterly obsessed with skin care.  It is to a degree that isn't fathomable.  Walking around in the sun with an umbrella is just the tip of the iceburg. 

On any given street in Korea, even in the outskirts, there are at least three skin care/cosmetic shops.  There are tons of procedures out there as well to clear up skin or make it milky white.  Most cosmetics here have skin whiting in them. (which isn't a problem to me, since you know, I'm already white).

The shops aren't just for women either, men care a lot about their skin as well.  While the majority is for women, in every cosmetic shop there is a corner for men.  I thought at first that it was just curtesy but the men really do use them. In fact, when shopping with a Korean for gifts back home, my friend Juyong suggested we buy make up. For a guy! Ahhh I was so surprised. It's not just lotion either. There are men here that wear bb cream, which is like foundation.  That's usually the extent of it though, you don't usually see men wearing lipstick or anything.

There are a few excentrics who wear eyeliner, but it's not common unless you are a celebrity. (Male celebrities wear eyeliner all the time)

One time I was in class and I was playing bingo with my students. I asked them yes or no answers and they got to cross off a square depending on their answer. I asked them, "Do you wear make up?" I laughed as I said it, but then was shocked when a few of them wrote yes. I asked one student if he was joking, and he then proceeded to pull out his small skin colored toner. He told me he put it on either side of his nose to make it look bigger. He didn't seem embarrassed by this at all, he stated it with confidence actually.  Koreans also have this obsession with the bridge of their nose. They think faces with a lot of countours look really nice, and a lot of Koreans don't have nose bridges, so they use make up to give their faces more depth. 

EDIT: I forgot about the older ladies in Korea! If they are above 40, they will always wear long sleeves when they go outside, and if they are 55+, then they wear sunvisors and gloves! I faint just looking at them..


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