G. I. Joe : Byeonghun Lee, who became a world-famous actor with ‘The rise of Cobra’, said in the interview, “Other actors, without knowing my age, treated me as a young boy at first. When I said later, ‘To me, you guys are like my kids’, they were so surprised.” Born in 1970, he is already forty years old. But, from the eyes of Westerners, he looks only thirty.
In fact, this happens quite often. Asians look very young compared to Westerners. The reason is that first of all, Asians have more round face and a smaller body.
But, the more important reason is the difference in skin. According to the studies, the percentage of epidermis or the outer skin among Koreans’ whole skin is 8.3%, which is twice much thicker than 4.2%, that of Caucasians. Thicker outer skin helps melanin’s blocking of UV rays and therefore slows skin aging. Furthermore, it increases elasticity of the skin and stops the skin from having wrinkles. The outer skin of the black people is even thicker than that of Asians, and they have better skin than Asians.
In that case, what would be the reason why Koreans’ skin looks better in particular than other Asians? Weather would be one of the important reasons. Korea has four different seasons, not so dry and not so humid. It is not so hot or cold, either. Therefore, their skin is less prone to damage. Besides, eating a lot of vegetables helps their skin keep clean.
However, it is hard to conclude that it is ascribed only to genetic or environmental differences. North Koreans are far from having good skin. It is because North Korea is a very poor country, and people do not have time and energy to take care of their skin. This shows that one of the reasons why South Korean women have better skin is skin care.
First of all, the way Koreans wear make-up helps their skin look better. Compared to Japanese women who wear heavy make-up, Koreans prefer to wear light make-up that looks natural. They mostly use cosmetics that keeps the skin glowing and that has whitening effect. This is also the reason why the BB cream was developed in Korea. With this type of make-up, Korean make-up is often referred as ‘Korean magic’.
Furthermore, Koreans have strong interests in taking care of their skin. If you look at a dressing table of a Korean woman in her twenties, you will be so surprised to find that about one hundred cosmetic products fill the table and the drawers. It shows that Korean women use various kinds of cosmetic products and take good care of their skin. It is quite common for a couple to have a fight because of long time spent on wearing make-up. Some women interested in make-up even have a separate refrigerator for their cosmetic products.
Some foreigners visiting Korea believe that Sauna or Jjimjilbang (Korean dry sauna) is the main reason for the good skin. It is not true, however. As body wastes are eliminated, the skin becomes clean and soft temporarily, but soon it goes back the original state.
Trivia : High quality of Korean cosmetics is another reason for the good skin. If you go to Myeongdong, a big shopping street in Seoul, you will find foreigners who filled their bags with Korean cosmetic products in each cosmetics store. .
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