Inside Korea's Intricate Approach to Treating Fine Lines and Wrinkles

by Rejuran Malaysia on Apr 12, 2022

Getty Images

South Korea didn't become the home of glass skin simply because of good PR and amazing genetics. The epitome of K-beauty in America — smooth, clear, seemingly poreless complexions — is actually an act of lifelong dedication to glowing, healthy skin. It's not the result of one miracle product that we often vie for here in the U.S. 

Just as Koreans approach acne completely differently from Americans, fine lines and wrinkles have their own course of action that is uniquely Korean. In fact, Seoul is a growing hub of innovative medical technology to combat fine lines and wrinkles with injectables and laser treatments, says Daniella Jung, the founder and CEO of Seoul-based K-beauty incubator agency Most Inc. "Ulthera, Thermage, and InMode have a huge market size in Korea," she adds. "We are super obsessed with having 'perfect' skin."

I asked Korean beauty experts, as well as board-certified dermatologists based in Seoul and New York City, to share with Allure what exactly separates Korea's ways of fighting fine lines and wrinkles from America's. 

Prevention Is Pivotal  

If you ask Sophia Hong, an aesthetician licensed in Korea and founder of sheet-mask subscription service Mask Moments, Koreans start treating fine lines and wrinkles the second they are born. Y. Claire Chang, a Korean-born, New York City-based, board-certified dermatologist, will tell you the same thing. "Most Koreans take a preventative and multifactorial approach" to aging and often start preventative skin-care routines early in their lives, Dr. Chang adds. 

Children are taught the importance of cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing their skin alongside other typical hygiene practices, like brushing their teeth, Hong says. Let's be real, most kids in America aren't truly taught to care for their skin until puberty wrecks havoc on it. 

Speaking from personal experience growing up in Florida, I didn't own a face wash until I was about 13. But I often watch The Return of Superman, a Korean reality show about celebrity dads taking care of their children solo while their mothers are out and about, and those adorable babies are constantly shown washing their faces of their own volition, which amazes me each time. It's as if, along with the alphabet, they are taught facial cleansing is the most important part of a skin-care routine, as I've learned from Ban Jae Yong, a board-certified dermatologist in Seoul and director of Banobagi Dermatology Clinic.

The Western approach to skin concerns, in general, veers more toward treating them after they strike rather than preventing them from happening. For Koreans, on the other hand, skin care is "about creating a healthy environment for your skin before it shows signs of aging," Hong explains. "When your skin is in this optimal state of hydration and balanced, your skin is in an environment to heal itself, and thereby, signs of aging can be delayed."

Board-certified Korean dermatologist Choi Bo Youn supports Hong's statements, noting, that if you continually allow your skin to get dry, wrinkles are sure to appear. With that in mind, Koreans, again, constantly keep their skin hydrated and nourished in any way they can. Dr. Choi says she continuously slathers on moisturizer from the second she gets home from work to when she falls asleep at night. 

Skin Boosters

Koreans are also all about what's often called "skin booster shots," which do just that. I like to think of them as superpowered versions of my favorite skin-care products mainlined directly into my skin cells. I received the most popular skin booster — the Chanel injection — the last time I traveled to Seoul. Professionally known as Filoga 135, this shot is infused with amino acids, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins A, B, C, and E and injected all over the face for brighter, plumper skin in two weeks. It also helps stimulate collagen production for about three to four months.

Another amazing injectable innovation that's highly sought after in Korea is called Rejuran, which features the magical healing powers of salmon DNA. Also known as PDRN, short for polydeoxyribonucleotide, this salmon extract is a 95 percent match to the human DNA that has anti-inflammatory and tissue-repairing properties. Dr. Choi says it also boosts general skin health, making it thicker and tighter. Although it's injected all over the face, Dr. Lee might add it to his patients' undereye area if it's sunken in or droopy. 

Read full article on Allure website