Every year, millions of people from around the world travel to and explore South Korea. From its beautiful scenery, to its delicious foods, Korea is a land rich in culture that is decorated with both ultra-modern advancements and preserved historic landmarks.
During recent years, the world has become fascinated with the South Korean skin care industry, and k-beauty has become more popular now than ever. Korea has always placed the highest importance and most focus within their skin care industry, resulting in a highly competitive marketplace delivering top quality products at attractive prices.
However, despite how most North Americans think, the roots of a great Korean skin care routine doesn’t start with creams, ampules and face masks, but through a common pastime etched into the Korean culture itself. Korean skin care practices can be found within their bathhouses in every city across the nation and enjoyed by all ages. It involves the process of hot baths to help relax muscles and open pores, followed by thorough exfoliation, then cold baths to tighten and close pores.
These bathhouses are separated by gender and consist of; Locker Rooms, Shower Stalls, Hot Tubs, Cold Pools, Saunas and Steam Rooms. After disrobing and showering, you indulge yourself in one of the many hot tubs that are designated by temperature. After you’ve taken the time to relax and allowed your skin to soften and pores to open, you then exfoliate your body using a cloth provided. In Korea, it’s also common to have a friend or family member help you to exfoliate and if you’ve come alone, the bathhouses also have an employee designated to exfoliate customers for a fee. Afterwards you rinse off, jump into the cold pool to close and tighten your pores then head off to the common areas which usually consist of restaurants, movie theaters and various themed sauna rooms, each made of different minerals and materials said to be healing for the mind and body. These bathhouses (jim-jil-bangs) are usually open 24/7 and generally cost around $10 - $15 to enter.
The practice of consistent exfoliation stems from the roots of Korean skin care and should be adopted by all those seeking to improve their skin care routine. Not only does exfoliation help to smooth and brighten our skin, but it also aids with slowing down the aging process and allows all of our other skin care products to better penetrate the skins surface.
Unfortunately, we don’t all have a jim-jil-bang across the street, but really anyone can incorporate those same practices at home. Simply find yourself a great exfoliation tool, like our Korean made exfoliating facial glove or exfoliating shower towel. Begin showering with warm to hot water to help open your pores, exfoliate then finish your shower with uncomfortably cold water to help tighten your pores. Simple as that!
Within the Korean skin care market, the shower tools which they use are also quite different than what we are accustomed to here in North America. Loofahs and shower puffs are nearly non-existent because they have been proven to accumulate bacteria, fall apart overtime and are not machine washable. Instead, Korea adopted using machine washable exfoliating shower towel that’s long enough to help thoroughly clean their backs and bodies.
Here at Skintowel, we designed our exfoliating shower towel that incorporated all of the benefits of the Korean shower towel but enhanced the materials used so that they would last longer, promote gentle exfoliation and infused them with green tea and activated charcoal through a natural dyeing process. The exfoliating shower towels became our way of introducing a new skin care tool that would enhance your shower experience and improve your skin care routine, the Korean way and the Skintowel way.