At this point in time and awareness, we already know about Korean skincare. Even with the 10step regimen or less (at this point, it can be tedious), we all look and enjoy the hoo-hah about their glowing, hydrated, youthful, pore-less glass skin.
We have tried their BB cream, attempted the 10 step skincare regimen, used snail goo on the face in the name of anti-aging and cell regeneration, hyaluronic acid, Egg white cleansers, Volcanic clay, Red Ginseng, Fermented
rice everything, bird spit, snake and bee venom (Cosrx, SKII and Missha & Innisfree got me hollering).. in the quest of defying gravity and time on the skin.
Since we have successfully raided and customized their regimen, let’s raid their refrigerators too. No? After all, you are what you eat.
If the skin is rightfully a reflection of your lifestyle, let’s have a look at what they eat as well.
Guess what guys, we can adopt them too. Chill…
Koreans eat their way to gorgeous skin with an overall fit body and great health. I actually find their meals delicious though.
Generally, Korean meals are usually grilled meats, fish, rice, tea, fermented stuff but low in fat consumption, limits red meat intake (Suya Sigh*) and high in vegetables.
Further studies found that a group of adults that followed a low glycemic Korean diet for 10 weeks had a 27% drop in acne severity, overall inflammation dropped by 40-50% and sebaceous gland size dropped by 25%. With these numbers, It got me on the skin-diet connection.
Let’s explore their main staples and see if that works for us.A probiotic Powerhouse called Kimchi. This made me think of Rice. Rice is the most staple food in Nigeria and delicacies have recipes off this common Carbohydrate.
Nope Kimishi is not rice. It is a fermented (don’t skip fermented) Korean dish made of seasoned sugar, garlic, chili pepper and salt with cabbage. They throw in Oysters sometimes for a deeper flavor.
The Koreans simply pack the meal into a clay pot and leave it to ferment outside (“Fermentation is the process when bacteria or yeast feed on the natural sugars of food,” explains Stacy K. Leung, a registered dietitian and yoga instructor based in New York City. “Through fermentation, a variety of living microorganisms are created, some of which are probiotics. Probiotics play a role in gut health because it helps the body fight against harmful bacteria.”) sometimes for months (maybe to marinate lol).
This makes a spicy, flavorful dish that Koreans add to every dish and cannot live without (again, Rice to Nigerians).Perks : It might actually be the zit zapper you’ve been wanting. This is because this super food contains good bacteria like the type found in Yoghurt that helps improve the skin barrier function, gets rid of wrinkles, increase the hyaluronic acid on the skin (suppleness and elasticity), helps treat atopic dermatitis, aids digestion and weight loss, regulates cholesterol and balances bacteria in your gut. Apparently, the health of your gut is linked to your skin. Imagine a hydrating ingredient like hyaluronic acid that we pay big bucks for in skincare products; but your skin naturally producing them Seaweed Superfood- Skin protecting super soup is not like other Veggies : First time I had seaweed, I couldn’t stop thinking about the green floating vegetable in a marine environment.
When made, it looks stringy and actually has a fantastic taste but easily slippery and slimy. Chill , all red oil based greens with periwinkles, this super food is the soup du jours. You can call it miyeokguk, meaning good health and it is an ancient Korean dish.
It is made by marinating the seaweed in seafood or beef stock, seasoned with salt, garlic, sesame seed oil and soy sauce. This is actually the first thing a Korean woman eats after child birth and birthdays (significant because the mom ate that immediately birthing you).Perks: Apparently it is mineral rich (containing all the minerals in the sea having all the anti- cancer, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties), skin saving rich with Omega 3 (the seaweed used in wrapping Sushi is called Nori. Nori is loaded with the same amount of Omega 3 fatty acids as two huge avocados and you know how small a sushi wrapping is). Omega 3 essentially protects the skin’s natural oil barrier and can save the skin from sun damage. Skin repairing tea- No sodas but the wrinkle fighting tea: I still maintain that no drink is as refreshing as water but tea might just be a good addition. If you are an avid tea lover like the Koreans, good for you. Are you as caffeine lover? Just like tea lovers, Koreans drink tea for the pleasure and taste, they also drink tea for the benefits.
You have indulged in consuming one or three of these fantastic teas filled with all the antioxidants required to fight off free radicals in the body and helps in detoxifying. I have not noticed any difference in the tea loving with regards to my skin but it might be one of those that you tell the difference when you stop consumption. Who knows? Maybe I don’t take enough.
- Green Tea– This is the popular of the bunch and everyone knows green tea is good for detoxing. One of the reasons I love green tea is that it comes from the Camellia Sinesis plant which is technical, herbal tisanes. You know not all teas are created equally. I use the Green tea extract to make hydrating face mists with rose water. I have heard of washing the hair with brewed and cooled green tea. Some others brew the tea to make skincare products for topical application (quick DIY). I really see how that could happen. Green tea has an amazingly rich antioxidant content and what’s the best way to get it into the body, rather than ingestion? It is a power house of antioxidants that help protect the skin. It can greatly slow down the signs of aging if incorporated into skincare early enough. It also helps promote the quantity of collagen the skin produces which in turn, enhances the skin’s elasticity. It in turn makes the skin firm and young.
- Ginseng- The red Ginseng: Ginseng tea apparently boost the overall health of the body. It is said to be the king of all herbs and is made from the ginseng plant’s roots. It fights innumerable diseases and it is known to help the body cope with stress. The Ginseng tea is actually bitter in taste and earthly and I have only consumed a few times in my life. I would not advice regular consumption of this tea because the side effects could be vicious.
- Barley: We are happy with Barley. This is because it has a lot of antioxidants; this type that prevents the formation of an oxidant that creates DNA damage and attack skin tissues; the main dude that pushes wrinkles unto the skin surface. Yay, Barley!!!! Usually, when I get Barley, I consume after every meal and you can find these on restaurant tables. I’m trying to also tell you that Lipton doesn’t make Barley teas yet so please, when a restaurant offers that (when you request for Barley), Know what it is. Special shout out to restaurants that serve/ offer tomtom as dessert. So Barley tea is caffine free and is made by boiling water, adding roasted barley to it whilst boiling. Not the same as Oolong tea.
Perks: This alcoholic beverage is rich in probiotic cultures (just like 100 cups of yoghurt): a treat for the digestive system and the skin. It is so good, some Koreans apply it topically.
Tony Moly makes sheet masks of Makgeolli as it contains amino acids and vitamin B, which is excellent for firming and brightening the skin. “It is true that vitamin B, specifically vitamin B3 (Did you know Niacinamide consists of Vitamin B3?), can treat acne and blemishes and that probiotics are good for gut health,” says Leung.
It is best consumed fresh. The longer it ferments, the less potent it is.
Thinking of K-beauty, I am thrilled at how the fuss swept quickly through the West and it is even big in Nigeria. With K- beauty and Asian skincare products now easily affordable and accessible, Cosrx, Neogen, Whal Myung,Innisfree, Mizon, Missha, Hadalabo, Propolis, Sulwhasooof and Banilla & Co would be smiling to the bank with the continuous use of topical products to achieve this desired aesthetic. Im guilty.
We must also remember that skincare is a holistic practice of eating clean and a good skincare routine; no matter how minimal.
Korean beauty practices nurturing and enhancing (skin, hair and nails). Just like the emphasis on hydration in K beauty, the root is the Korean diet.
We actual are what we eat.
Allow your skin radiate and glow by taking good care of yourself. Beauty is skin deep.
Once you feed you body and skin the right way, nothing feels or looks better.