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Bizarre beauty rituals from Korea

I Iove myself a good evening pamper session (See I do like things that aren’t travel insurance). I’ll find any excuse to pour a glass of wine, run a nice hot bath and put on a face mask. But in Korea, many people take their Sunday evening pamper session to a whole new level.

There are many different skincare and beauty regimes that Korean people believe will keep their skin looking young and flawless. Some a lot weirder than others. Here are some of my personal favourites.

Jamsu (or as I like to call it, ‘the ice bucket challenge of the beauty community’)

I am yet to try this ritual, but it sounds right up my alley. Jamsu is a ritual which is supposed to help your make-up stay put all day and leave you with soft flawless skin. It involves a bowl of freezing cold water, and your face in said bowl.

The word “jamsu” translates as “submerge” or “dive”. You first apply your base make-up, which is generally foundation and concealer and then smother your face with powder (this can be setting powder, or even talcum powder). And then you pretty much jamsu your whole face into the water. Afterwards, you gently pat your face dry and voila! A very pretty, yet frozen, flawless face of make-up! Apparently.

Snail mucin

Snail Credit: Rasbak (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Now this one I’m not sure of. To achieve a lifted, tightened appearance, people smother snail mucin over their face. And yep, you guessed it – mucin is snail snot.

Snail Credit: Peter Shanks (CC BY 2.0)

You can buy pots of snail slime in shops, or if you’re feeling really brave, there are beauty salons that offer snail slime facials, which literally involves live snails crawling across your face. I think I’ll just stick to my No7 face cream, thanks.

Donkey milk

Donkeys Credit: Martijn Nijenhuis (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This a famous formula in Korea, as it’s a brilliant multi-purpose cream. They use donkey milk as it’s highly nourishing and great for sensitive skin. But why not use cows’ milk, or even goats’ milk?

Donkey milk advert Credit: JD Lasica (CC BY 2.0)

Well apparently, donkey milk is packed with vitamin C (lots more than cows’ milk for that matter), so the nutritional value makes this product a must-have in Korea. I mean personally I’d rather have milk in my tea than on my face, but each to their own.