7 Crucial Beauty Lessons That I Learned From K-Dramas


My K-beauty and K-dramas obsession has a chicken and egg conundrum to it – I am not sure which of the two came first? If I really have to track it, I’d confess to unknowingly using, and falling in love with, Korean beauty products way before falling for K-drama’s second leads. So when I finally discovered the incredibly binge-worthy genre, I was partially informed about the interspersed world of K-dramas, beautiful leads and routines that the characters follow to look so damn good on (and off) screen. 

Stating the facts, Koreans take skincare very seriously, and this cultural aspect is often represented in Korean shows and movies. Apart from the obvious product placements – given the increasing number of Korean celebs roped in as global ambassadors for beauty giants – K-dramas closely follow the character’s beauty routine. These definitely make for some exciting beauty tips and here are the best ones that I picked up from my recent watch history!

1. Sheet Masking Before Bed

Sheet masks are great but the struggle to find it a solid spot in either the AM or PM routine is real. While we usually keep it for our weekend TLC, K-dramas call for sheet masking before bedtime. Weightlifting Fairy Kim Bok-joo’s tomboy lead puts her trust in a DIY compressed sheet mask before a big date. While she wakes up with a glaring pimple on the nose, not all sheet masking adventures turn out that way. 

With sheet masks, you can relax after a long day and let the moisturising agents in the mask lock in the benefits. Plus, nothing says ‘K-drama fanatic’ better than sheet masking with your BAE before bed!

2. Be Consistent With Your Routine

Not even crash landing in North Korea should stop you from keeping up with your routine! K-drama fanatics would get the reference; for others, if you want to binge-watch a hopelessly romantic drama, tune in for Crash Landing On You. K-drama characters, no matter the emotional state they are in, do not like missing their skincare routine. From the hunt for skincare in CLOY to Kim Da-mi’s character in Our Beloved Summer doing her routine even in a Soju-induced blur is proof enough. It’s crucial to focus on both – the kind of products that you use and the consistency with which you use them.

3. Amp Up The Ampoule

Freeze frame on any K-Drama lead’s vanity, and you can spot the products that they are using. Apart from the usual essences and creamy moisturisers, a constant that I managed to pick up from incessant stalking is the ampoule. Similar to serums, ampoules are more concentrated formulas that focus on delivering a higher percentage of active ingredients to the skin. Unlike serums, which are used for daily skin upkeep, ampoules are meant to target a particular skin concern that needs immediate intervention. It makes for a short-term routine that is result-oriented. For someone whose skin is constantly on the mend from one pressing concern to another (I’m an overworked city girl!), this tip was a welcome one.

4. Gut Health Is Crucial

On her first night stranded in the picturesque Gongjin in Hometown Cha-Cha-Cha, Shin Min-a’s character gives up on having dinner to indulge in Sikhye – a fermented sweet beverage that is made from cooked rice. Korean beauty is equally about internal health as it is about external routines. This makes gut health extremely crucial – as is indicated by the sheer number of fermented foods which are staple to the Korean diet. Romantic walks in a park while sipping on Yakult is also a common sight in Korean dramas. No wonder their skin has a blinding glow on always.

5. Snail Mucin Is Cool Not Gross!


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Queen of Aegyo (exaggerated cute and childlike gestures) Kim Ji-won from Fight My Way is the last person to give in to the whims and fancies of being a pretty girl. She spends her downtime in jersey shirts and skips hair washing without guilt. But when that girl reached for snail mucin sheet masks for her routine, I was sold. K-beauty experts, actors, pop-icons and maybe even toddlers in daycare are treated to snail mucin. It is a humectant that has a sticky texture and is responsible for the plump, glowing complexion. Dry or oily skin type, including snail mucin in your skincare routine, can take care of most of your hydration needs.

6. Make A Dermat Pal

Korean medical dramas are led by two professions – dermatology and dentistry. The aesthetic nature of these professions and their popularity is proof enough to show Koreans pay major heed to their appearance and image. Characters are often seen having their dermats on speed dial for skin emergencies, which btw are real! It is not uncommon there to make a weekly visit to the dermatologist. As someone who only started interacting with a dermat in her mid-20s for adult acne, I have now consciously made an effort to have a more involved relationship with my skin expert. 

7. Foam Cleansers Are Not The Enemy

As someone who had been starving her skin for years to relieve acne, foaming cleansers became public enemy number one after a while. That was until I realised the power of double cleansing and the fact that it is such an integral part of the K-beauty practice. Hey, if foam cleansers are the reason Park Min-young’s character from What’s Wrong With Secretary Kim looks flawless at the end of a busy day, I am convinced!

Photos: Instagram

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