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Nature vs. Nurture in Korean Skincare: Guest Blogger

As skincare buffs, we wish we could spend our days wandering the world in search of the latest miracle serum, but most of the time we have to wait for the best products to find us. That’s why we’re fans of Peach and Lily, a blog and new online boutique that brings hard-to-find, best-selling beauty products from Korea and Japan to the US. This week, Alicia Yoon and Cindy Kim, the site’s co-founders, will be sharing her globetrotting experiences and dispensing her hard-earned wisdom. 

I’m a believer in skincare. I trained as an aesthetician in high school (it was my side hobby), and I’ve seen the science to prove why some ingredients and formulas can help prevent aging. Right now, I’m in Seoul with the team behind Peach and Lily scouring for the best brands—and all my research in Korean beauty regimens has made me believe in a good skincare regimen even more than I ever used to.

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One of our favorite Korean actresses who also models for beauty brands—Song Hye Kyo.

How can I begin to describe the skincare obsession in this country? Products fly off the shelves, and market research shows that Korean women spend seven times more on beauty than women in the US. Stores are stocked with toners, serums, ampoules, emulsions, lotions, creams, paper face masks—the works! 

I’ve been carefully observing the rituals out here, and I’m thoroughly impressed. There’s a TV show that picks people with the most radiant skin and asks them to share their beauty tips. My favorite episode featured a woman who uses a vibrating foundation puff (an awesome applicator everyone uses out here), with a clean plastic wrap over it, and uses the whole device to rub serums and eye creams quickly and deeply into the skin. Genius!

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Korean women have the most radiant skin I’ve ever seen, and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the beauty spend per capita is higher than most other countries. Sure, nature plays a role in achieving flawless skin, but nurture is a huge factor out here, and it seems to be working.

So while I probably won’t adopt the nine step skincare regimen that many Korean women seem to follow, I fully recommend the bare minimum Asian skincare regimen: a good cleanser, toner, serum, eye cream, lotion, and cream (for the winter). And of course, it’s hard to resist indulging in a luxurious paper facial mask every so often. After all, there’s nothing better than nurturing your skin.

—Alicia

Ready to try a paper face mask that’s all the rage in Korea? Here’s one of our favorites—Masquelogy’s Brightening Mask.

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