5 Surprising IRL Reasons Korean Drama Celebs Look So Good
The right lip tint? That perfect cushion compact? Sure, makeup goes a long way in making your favorite Korean actors look so good onscreen, but the real secret to K-beauty perfection are the daily habits of Koreans IRL. Here, 5 surprising reasons Korean drama celebs look so good.
What’s her secret? What did she get done? How does she still look so young?
Haunting questions like these ring through our minds as we watch Korean dramas. In fact, we’re often poring over the poreless complexions of the characters so much that sometimes we’re distracted from the drama itself. Thankfully, many K-dramas kindly lend us clues here and there by way of product placement. Remember the not-so-subtle Laneige placement in Descendants of the Sun that made us believe using the Two Tone Lip Bar would help us look like Song Hye Kyo?
But if you look a tad past what the average viewer’s eyes see, you can gain insight into the often-overlooked daily habits of Koreans that help enhance their skin. Yes, these are real beauty tricks that Koreans use IRL that go beyond the #ads. Scroll below and see if you’ve caught any of these reasons Korean drama celebs look so good. Some may surprise you.
1. Every Day Is a Spa Day
We’ll start with the obvious: sheet mask every day, all day! By now it’s no secret that in Korea sheet masking is second to breathing. It’s not hard to spot a sheet masking scene in K-dramas, even with men. (Like in this hilarious clip from Descendants of the Sun, where even some manly soldiers take advantage of a few free minutes to pamper their skin with sheet masks.)
This beauty trend has caught on in the West and isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. It’s no surprise since sheet masking is the easiest, most relaxing way to dewy, hydrated skin sans the wallet-unfriendly spa trip. There are endless varieties in the market, each drenched in rich nutrients that target a wide range of skin concerns such as dryness, acne, dark spots, and wrinkles. Plus, sheet masks are thin and portable, so they can be used anytime anywhere to get your skin looking spa-quality fresh.
2. Ample Samples
Take your cue from Baek Seol Hee, played by Song Ha Yoon, in Fight My Way, and stock up on free samples whenever you can instead of throwing them out. Remember that sad scene in Fight My Way when Joo-Man is regrettably packing up former girlfriend Seol Hee’s belongings? He comes across her stash of skincare samples. While this shows her frugality, it also motivates us to start a sample collection because her skin was on point all series long!
When packing for a trip, we’ve all been faced with the dilemma of leaving behind a treasured full-sized skincare product for the sake of saving space or avoiding a check-in bag. Petite yet just as powerful, samples are travel- and TSA-friendly, saving you from ever having to make that hard decision again. They also eliminate the risk of messy and wasteful blowups in your luggage.
A drawer of samples even comes in handy as your emergency stash when you run out of any given product, not to mention saves you some money by stretching out the time between replacing your products. Finally, samples are a great way to try out a cream, peel, or anything you’re on the fence about without investing your cash. Hey, you never know — a couple dates with your samples may end up in a committed relationship with a full-sized product.
3. Mist Opportunities
Stressed? Tired? Excited? Take any mood and moment of your day as an opportunity to spray on a healthy, fresh complexion. The frequency of guest appearances made by facial mists in Korean dramas attests to their wild popularity. Whether a character is distressed and reaches for a mist to calm her complexion or she’s anxious for a romantic date the next day and spritzes the air around her bed to create an ideal environment for glowing skin, it’s clear these portable refreshers are a trusty quick-fix for a variety of skin concerns.
In the classic Korean drama Secret Garden, Oska’s wealthy mother sits down for a soju-showdown with his girlfriend, Seul. What seems like an unending rivalry for Oska suddenly takes an unexpectedly peaceful turn when the warring beauties connect over their shared affinity for none other than face mists. A spritz here and there, and all was right in the world.
And why not? Facial mists feature active ingredients like hyaluronic acid and botanical oils, instantly replenishing skin with hydrating, anti-aging, brightening, exfoliating, and other beauty benefits, depending on their formulation. IRL, the most ideal times to spritz spritz is right after a cleanse so skin doesn’t dry out, midday when skin feels taut or tired, or after applying makeup as a setting spray (but we won’t judge if you reach for your mist in between).
4. Eat Your Kimchi
Help yourself to a heaping plate of kimchi, the household Korean side dish made of fermented cabbage and spices. In any K-drama scene featuring a bowl of ramen, fried chicken, or a soju bottle, a beautiful red dish of spicy kimchi can usually be found close by.
In the oldie but goodie K-drama Boys Over Flowers, who can forget the scene when rich boy Gu Jun Pyo (played by the complexion-blessed Lee Min-ho) makes kimchi with Geum Jan-di’s adorable family?
It turns out that kimchi is more than just a delicious side dish — it’s one of the secrets to Koreans’ enviable complexions. Kimchi is a rich source of lactic acid and lactobacillus, byproducts of the fermentation process that help strengthen skin and supply dermal cells with vitamin C and beta-carotene to boost elasticity. Seconds, please!
5. Don’t Hate, Hydrate
Apart from throwing water at each other’s faces, the other water activity commonly seen in K-dramas is the drinking of it. Every time a celebrity is asked what the secret to their beautiful skin is and they answer, “I drink lots of water,” we roll our eyes. But gulping down water for that lit-from-within glow is actually backed by science. Lack of water intake leaves your blood no other option than to collect water from your skin cells, which leads to dry skin (the gateway to premature aging), sagging, a lackluster complexion, and wrinkles.
Fortunately, drinking at least six 8-ounce glasses of water daily can prevent this domino effect. And clearly, our K-drama role models have received the memo. Leave it to Korea’s flawless face, Jun Ji Hyun, to show us how it’s done. Here in The Legend of the Blue Sea, her mermaid character Sim Cheong is trying to figure out how to drink water out of the massive bottle.
These beauty tips gleaned from K-dramas are healthy habits that can be easily incorporated into our daily lives. While they may not makeover our complexions into absolute perfection, they build a strong foundation for more beautiful, resilient skin.
Spot any other subtle reasons Korean drama celebs look so good? Share it with us!