Remember learning that Chinese takeout containers were designed to be plates? Or when you realized you were using paper ketchup containers at fast food places all wrong? You still don’t know this? We’ll save that for later. Anyway, we experienced the same feeling learning about what has come to be known as “K-Beauty”.
Korean beauty products have become a hot item worldwide for the last few years. South Korean women have religiously practiced a complex and time-intensive beauty regimen focusing on health, hydration and a preferred lack of pigment. But some of us at GJG are late to this spa party.
Natural Ingredients such as ginseng, snail mucin (You’re not wrong in thinking mucin=mucus), honey, tea tree oil, and propolis (basically “bee glue”) typify the organic ingredients found in K-Beauty products. We tested a few sheet masks on some willing participants who gave some great recommendations. All are very affordable — less than $10 per mask — and can be ordered via Sephora.com or Ulta.com.
Leaders Daily Wonders, What Happened Last Night? Revitalizing Mask (2 pk), $9 but currently on sale for $6.30
The name of this mask caught our attention, but so did the results. The serum in the concentrated mask helped bring the glow back to our tester’s face after 20 minutes. She was skeptical at first. then thrilled with the results. “(My) face is definitely more glowy,” she said. “I look a little like I’ve been airbrushed for a magazine cover. Blemishes are minimized. Not sure how long these results will last but I will take them!”
Tony Moly I’m Real Aloe Moisturizing Mask Sheet, $3.75
Tony Moly is the real deal, an actual person with that actual name whose products are distributed directly from South Korea. Directions for use are written in Korean (or at least we think they are the directions. No one can read Korean around here). His products incorporate some interesting ingredients, e.g. red wine, broccoli, seaweed and tomato. The mask contains aloe leaf extract and is designed to moisturize dry skin. Which it does. A day later, our FBT tester exclaimed, “I can’t stop touching my face, which I know is bad for my skin, but I’m amazed at how soft yet firm my face feels! It’s a complete win when I can stave off plastic surgery another month.”
Dr. Jart+ Ceramidin Skin-Friendly Nanoskin Sheet Mask, $6
Dr. Jart is not a real person like Tony , but instead the brainchild of two real people, Seoul-based dermatologist Dr. Sung Jae Jung and entrepreneur Chin Wook Lee, who launched Dr. Jart+ in 2004. This mask was designed to protect the skin’s natural moisture barrier with such ingredients as bergamot and sage oil, beet root extract, and aloe leaf juice. Our FBT tried this mask on her dry winter skin and reported that “during one of the harshest days of winter, this mask shielded me and kept my face soft and hydrated. Best of all it lasted all day. I felt that my skin was shining.”
Sephora Collection Avocado Eye Mask, $5
While we can imagine the hilarity (and potential SNL skit) of whipping up a homemade avocado mask alongside fellow air passengers, we’ll recommend this product instead. Pop it on your face and, voila, instant nutrition to the fine skin around your eyes. The white, boomerang-shaped pads might make you resemble Batwoman, but it’s a small price to pay to look well-rested after a long flight. Guaranteed conversation starter to boot.
Home-Away -From Home Remedies
If you’re feeling particularly “D-I-Yy,” we have a few simple recipes for mixing your own concoction in a hotel room. For a fancy facial on the road, pack ¼ cup powdered milk in a Ziploc baggie and mix with enough water to form a thick paste. Thoroughly coat your face with the white goop, let dry completely, then rinse with warm water. You’ll step out of the bathroom feeling fresh and rejuvenated in time for dinner with a client.
If you have oily skin and desire more of a toner, pack some apple cider vinegar. After washing your face with your regular cleanser, mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar with 2 cups water as a finishing rinse to cleanse and tighten your skin. You can also create a homemade face mask by mixing 1/3 cup cider vinegar with 1/3 cup water. Apply the solution to your face and let dry.
Finally, you can always rely on good, old-fashioned baking soda to provide a relaxing bath.
Pack a ¼ cup and you’re good to go. Baking soda is odorless, colorless, and won’t leave any residue in the tub (not that you care because you’re not the one scrubbing tub rings this time). Like vinegar, baking soda has many, many benefits, including:
- Detoxes and alkalizes the body
- Soothes itching and skin irritations
- Exfoliates and smoothes skin
- Relieves pain and eases vaginal yeast infections, hemorrhoids, and other delicate nether-region discomfort
- Bonus—if you happen to be traveling with a baby, it cures diaper rash!
We wish you well as you hydrate, moisturize, minimize lines and tone on-the-go!
Journey On, Janes!