[Kim Soo Jung]
Although not everyone fancy a plate of fermented cabbage of Kimchi, it is without a doubt that what’s trending in the Korean beauty world is a universal cup of tea. Be it your fave Hallyu drama leading actress or the average Korean lady strutting through the bustling streets of Myeong Dong, the Koreans have been hitting all the right notes in the beauty department that the rest of us are busy trying to play catch up with. What are the beauty secrets of these mesmerizing Korean ladies that’s worth mimicking? Here’s our curated list of what big in Korea right now, so rev up your engines to own them all, pulling yourself closer to the benchmarks set by the Unnie and Noona.
The new matte look
While previously we are always on the topic of the “dewy no makeup look” that dominated major runways from Milan to Paris seasons past, the ongoing Korean trend gearing for world domination is heading back to matte looking skin, albeit in an all new interpretation from what we previously know of it. In a nutshell, excessive shine looking like you just stepped down from the treadmill is out, so it’s about time to throw out those sparkling reflective dusting powder that you’ve grown accustomed to. Going matte doesn’t mean thick and cakey if you’re trending the Korean way, but more light and airy with a non-grease, shine-free feel to let your naturally well-hydrated skin show through.
Filler Hydrolift is an adored procedure whereby small calculated quantities of natural hyaluronic acid are carefully placed under the skin of the lower face and cheeks using a novel injection technique to give tired-looking faces and lackluster complexions a subtle lift with enhanced skin brightening. Besides replenishing the loss of one’s own hyaluronic acid to desirable levels, studies have shown that these fillers also stimulate your body’s own production of collagen, explaining why over the next 2-3 weeks, you will notice further improvement in brightening, lifting, elasticity and overall appearance of the complexion. Be the cover girl you always wanted to be with this scientifically proven, fuss-free modality, rocking the streets from Gangnam to Rio without a need to cover up with excessive makeup that distracts from your innate beauty.
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See lasers and medical facials
The Koreans are often a step ahead in the Beauty game as they are very receptive to approaching skincare in a comprehensive manner to have all grounds covered. Engaging innot just home care and spa treats alone, regular visits to a trusted dermatologist or aesthetics physician of equal footing for medically proven laser treatments or injectables is perhaps the missing puzzle that sets her beauty quotient way above her counterparts.
“In Korea, most women are gunning for 100% absolutely flawless and pristine skin, and seeking professional help to address their skin issues is not seen as a chore or high maintenance.” Says Dr. Low Chai Ling, medical director of the SW1 Clinic, who had pursued advanced medical training in many places including Seoul. “The priority to decrease hyperpigmentation and increase skin “translucency”, with skin tightening and acne scars treatment coming in as close seconds.”
To address not one but all of the above skin issues mentioned, Picosecond lasers are currently the most adored in game-changing Seoul. As second generation lasers after nanosecond lasers such as Revlite and Medlite, Picosecond lasers hit the skin in super short pulses and can go strong where it’s directed,without harming normal surrounding tissues with collateral damages.
As part of the Glass Skin Program SW1’s Pico Smooth treatment uses the Pico Discovery laser in a skin smoothening protocol specially designed by their team of dedicated medical professional, ensuring maximal benefits with minimal downtime. Tailored to the specific needs of different individuals, specific settings dictating specific intensities are customized to generate controlled damage at a specific depth beneath the topmost layer of the skin, stimulating collagen and elastic tissue production with appreciable improvement in skin pigmentation and uneven discoloration as an added bonus.
As opposed to traditional CO2 lasers and even newer fractionated CO2 lasers commonly used in skin resurfacing treatments targeting acne scars and photo-damaged mature skins, Picosecond lasers do not depend on induced heat generated for reach its therapeutic goals. The Picosecond technology allows the use of light as the unfiltered, direct energy source by virtue of its speed of delivery, achieving similar, or perhaps even better end results; with comparably lowered risk of possible side effects such as hyper or hypopigmentation, often a limiting factor when handling darker skinned Asians. The post treatment downtime might be long at first glance, but the mechanism of high, albeit “controlled” impact actually translates to worse looking but shortened recovery period, largely manageable when one is made aware.
Botox is not a dirty word
In Korea, mention of the word BOTOX® does not send shudders down the spine of Korean ladies, although in recent years, this hugely popular wrinkles eraser have somehow acquired a bad rep. While the mere mention of it’s name might immediately conjure up images of expressionless celebrity photos with taglines such as “too much Botox”, Korean ladies, even those in the younger age group, aren’t shunning it; being aware that a lot of this exaggerated reputation for Botox is due to misinformation and bad results from rampant, uncontrolled misuse.
Akin to the brushes of a professional make-up artist, sometimes less is more when it comes to administering Botox injections. Micro-refine, the “Mini-Me” version of the famed wrinkle eraser is by no means less effective in producing awe-inspiring results. Especially if you are not too ‘wrinkly’ to start off with, this unique Micro-Botox® injection technique is excellent for refining and rejuvenating tired looking faces for a refreshed look. Departing from the usual dilution dosages for Botox, Micro-refine consists of microinjections of miniscule doses of BOTOX® evenly distributed over the face and neck to diminish fine lines and early wrinkling in the treated areas to prevent them from getting etched in as permanent scars of time. In addition, these micro dosages will cause sweat glands and sebaceous glands to shrink and atrophy, resulting in smooth clear skin without loss of movement in major facial muscles. If you have always been tempted but afraid to have your first injection, consider this baby step of Botox therapy— frozen never, fabulous always!
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Oppa ‘nose’ best
Be it naturally gifted or otherwise, most Korean ladies are sporting noses that look best on any face of Asiatic descent. Be it clever makeup techniques, surgical correction or by non-surgical medical aesthetics means, subtle enhancements made to the proportions and 3D angles of the nose will make a huge difference, and the Koreans seemed to have Hybrid Rhinoplasty addresses what’s lacking once and for all. Nose threadlifts is an alternative to Fillers that’s growing in popularity over the past 2 to 3 years for those on the lookout for non-surgical modalities that delivers. By utilizing 100% bio-degradable PDO threads, the Infinity Nose Threadlift can be divided into two parts, nose bridge elevation and nose tip augmentation, creating a harmonious outcome that isn’t jarringly conspicuous of having “works done”. Besides being able to achieve a higher and sharper nose bridge without unnatural widening, this fuss-free lunchtime procedure is able to lift the tip to make it sharper in a manner that nose filler can’t, reducing the size of the nasal ala at the same time for a more refined looking nose. However, this is by no means an indication that nose filler is a replaceable treatment that’s on its way to obscurity. Conversely, it plays a pivotal role in total nasal beautification of selected cases more suited for the 3D Nose Lift, smoothening out unevenness of the surface of the nose (such as a hump) which is something that’s beyond the abilities of threadlifting when done alone.
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The universal appeal of ‘V’
It is not difficult to see why a V-line face is one of the most sought after feature from Gangnam to Barbados. While the word ‘facelift’ by any means,be it the traditional surgical way or via non-surgical options such as facial threadlifts usually conjure up images of a middle aged or elderly woman with a falling face, the Koreans are looking at it and embracing the technology in a different manner. Instead of waiting out till a certain time in life to check in to a surgery for a complete overhaul, younger Korean women are smartly tackling the first signs of aging to stop Time in its tracks.
One of the major breakthroughs in Medical Aesthetics that’s fast gaining a cult following is the newer generation of shorter facial threads that can be better manoeuvred, featured in the series of Infinity Instalift treatments performed by the trained physicians from the SW1 Clinic (formerly The Sloane Clinic) which allow partial facial lifting of selected area(s) that need to be fixed. The Infinity Neck Threadlift beautifully addresses some of the most telling signs of aging, tackling sagging neck skin and double chin to restore jawline to a more youthful and desired state.
Depending on the amount of skin laxity, more or less threads (usually 4 to 8) are inserted to give the best outcome. There are little to no downtime and generally, it shouldn’t prevent from returning to work after a day or two. Slight swelling secondary to the anesthetic injections made for the procedure to be almost pain-free can last between 6 to 24 hours. As with all procedures that involved needles and injections, small pin-prick marks and bruises can happen at times. However, as these are usually placed on the underside of the jawline, visibility is much reduced unless closely scrutinized.
Dr. Low Chai Ling who founded The Sloane Clinic in 2003 is currently the medical director @ the SW1 Clinic, fulfiling her aspiration for a one-stop aesthetics destination that cater to both non-invasive cosmetics dermatology and cutting edge plastic surgery, addressing all possible beauty woes without prejudice and limitations.SW1’s philosophy is “Empowering the world one face at a time. Live Your Dreams.”