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Korean Skin Care and Skin Whitening

May 22, 2014

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So, after we filmed our TL;DR, we were curious about something. In Korea, people protect themselves from the sun. I wonder if their skin cancer rates are lower as a result. We asked Soo Zee to look into this, and here’s what she found:

Skin Cancer in Korea

That’s the list of the most common cancers in four countries. Korea, then Japan, then the US, then the UK. Skin cancer isn’t in the top ten in either Korea or Japan, but 5th and 4th in the US and UK, respectively. Coincidence?

Anyhow, speaking of skin cancer, we mentioned in our video a bit about mole removal and how we got some of ours removed. You might remember, if you’ve been around for a while, how we had bandaids on our faces for a bit. I actually tried looking for those videos but they’re so old that I can’t remember. High five to anyone who does!

Point is, we didn’t remove them for cosmetic purposes, but because we noticed that they were looking a bit irregular, and we know that can lead to health complications in the future. I also had one on my chin, and at least five times a month, I’d cut it open while shaving. So, we went to a dermatologist to get some of them removed. Quick, easy, painless, and TEN BUCKS! That’s it! It was ten bucks a mole. And we didn’t need an appointment or anything. Just walked in to a place we were told about and got it done.

Then again, procedures in Korea are pretty cheap compared to procedures elsewhere, probably because there are dermatologists and clinics just about everywhere. Hell, across the street from us, where all the chicken shops are located, there’s a dermatology shop on the third floor. Great location! Feel like chicken? How about stopping by for some laser hair removal first? Great plan!

Anyhow, let us know what skin care is like where you’re from. Are we wrong in thinking that people take better care of their skin here in Korea than in North America? Do you wear sunblock on your face every day? How cautious are your friends about sun damage? We’d love to hear if it’s just a Korea thing!

Oh! One last thing we forgot to mention: a really cheap and easy way that Koreans take care of their skin so they can stay looking young and beautiful is – how could I have forgotten to mention this? – by clicking on the subscribe button below. Oh man! It’s so good for your health!

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Korean Skin Care and Skin Whitening

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  1. Tanning is big here in Utah but I am one of the ones caking on the sunscreen I burn quickly and it doesn’t even turn to a tan it just goes back super white again. If Any one laughs at my vampire legs I just laugh.

    2 years ago
  2. I use a skin “lightener” now but that’s because I’m old and have sun damage. I think maybe if they called it lightener instead of whitener, often they are called “fade” creams. I use one that has been around for years and marketed to African Americans. Black women I work with have used these products for years. Not to be white but to diminish the look of acne scars and even out their skin tone. I’ve been using one on my face and tops of my hands now for several years. I mix it in with my moisturizer even though you can buy it now with a moisturizer in it. I also use BB cream but BB cream in the U.S. hasn’t caught on and doesn’t have a skin lightener. It’s basically a tinted moisturizer with 15 SPF. I’ve started using an SPF moisturizer on my entire body every day now. I have no desire to bake in the sun and never really did. I do still have sun damage anyway. Believe me it makes a huge difference a few years down the road how much sun you get. You may not notice until you hit your 40s.

    2 years ago
  3. Here in Portugal is BURN! The toastier you look the better (or at least that’s what the majority of the population seem to think). You can find tanning salons very easily and the trips to the dermatologist are mostly made to treat/remove skin imperfections. Luckily for me, this year there have been more rainy days than sunny ones so people are whiter than usual. As a naturally pale girl (that’s been taking better care of her skin recently) i don’t feel like the white part of an oreo cookie whenever i walk around anymore XD

    2 years ago
    • it’s the same in spain
      After summer break everyone’s comapring skin tone to see who’s more tanned lol

      2 years ago
    • Oh boy, it is always the same thing around summer time in Portugal. Everyone going to the beach and turning into a lobster. I like the beach, I just don’t like getting tanned. Sunblock max protection for me. Of course I always get those comments “oh you look so white… are you sick? You should get some sun, it would be good for you” …. great thanks e_e

      2 years ago
  4. In England you see a lot of people going on holidays just to get tan, since sun here is a rare occurrence, however majority chose to use fake tan as a replacement which doesn’t usually look nice…actually it never really looks nice XD There are a lot of tanning salons but the don’t really look very busy so I’m assuming year there are not many people interested in that sort of tanning ^^ majority of people on the streets are just chalky white to be fair, unless their ethnic heritage gives then that olive skin for which people would kill for XD There isn’t really a standard of beauty linked to the skin tone since England since there is such a variety of ethnic backgrounds ^^ also, if you are really pale, It is absolutely necessary you have a suncream for that one day in the year when it’s actually sunny XD

    2 years ago
  5. i see MINHO~HO~HO~~~
    hehe i like Etude ads!!

    oh…i thought they really did have whitening products!
    when i was in Bangladesh on holiday as a kid i remember watching adverts showing how your skin will turn whiter if you used this certain cream or even soap, back then i just used to think ‘why don’t we have this this in England?’, not in a way that i thought people should use it, i grew up in one of the most diverse areas in England so skin colour was not something i first noticed of people (if that makes sense), i just remember thinking of it as an invention and why has Bangladesh got it and not England ahahah!!

    ZOOLANDER!!

    2 years ago
  6. Story time:
    For me living in the US being tan is a big thing but I don’t tan. To be honest I don’t do well in the sun or heat. I have to wear sun screen all year round and if I’m going to be outside for hours I need to have an umbrella. So for others to see this on the east coast its really weird. I get made fun of all the time because of my pale skin. Yesterday actually i decided to wear shorts and I had a bunch of people come up to me and tell me I need to tan. I guess my pale legs are blinding lol.

    2 years ago
    • Kat

      I KNOW! I get that too! Every time I wear shorts in the summer I have at least one friend that tells me I need to tan because I look like I have vampire legs.. but I don’t tan at all! I’m either pasty white or lobster red. No in between colors there.

      2 years ago
  7. Tanning now has negative connotations here… That’s because there was a big boom in fake tanning (since England is like a sun-less hole -.-)
    I don’t know if its just in England, but people who get really over the top fake tans usually have a “ew gross you look orange” reaction but that’s because people go over board with it (Google Essex fake tan and you’ll see.)
    But then it gets worse and some people (mostly girls) then get a bad name attached to them – “Look she’s got a fake tan, she must be a slut.”
    Which is awful really :/

    2 years ago
    • England is a sun-less hole??
      not for me the past few days!!!! i’m jumping under any shade i can find!!

      2 years ago
      • It has been where I live!! For no reason at all the sun has decide to skip my town -.-
        And you have to admit if we do get any good weather it doesn’t last for long X(

        2 years ago
        • oh….well then maybe it’s our areas!
          cos god i hate the summer!!! *comic book guy voice* WORST.SEASON.EVER!

          2 years ago
  8. OMG yay someone else who pick at there significant others face for pimples and what not Lol my boyfriend thinks I’m weird cuz I do that a lot

    I don’t mind going out in the sun but I like slather sun block on Cuz I tend to burn then tan and my mom always made sure I was protected by the sun I guess that explains a lot cuz my mom is from Korea and she always flipped out in the summer when I was younger never understood why until now

    She also but a lot of cream on her face she had like 7-10 different face creams and lotions it was crazy

    2 years ago
  9. try to live in Portugal! you can’t survive the summer without your friends ‘making fun’ of you because you’re not tan, when the school/college starts at september you only can ear ‘look how tan I am’ or ‘you look so tan, so pretty’ and comparing arms to see who is darker. the weather is changing so much that last year you could go to the beach at october so you almost look tan at christmas which is really weird ahah

    2 years ago
    • Agreed! I don’t g to the beach often during the summer (or care to) and every year its the same comment “Oh you look so white. You should get some sun. You look sick.” bllaaahhhh

      2 years ago
  10. So glad you guys talked about it because I was also curious. One thing
    you didn’t discuss though, which I’ve seen on lots of dramas is like
    that water in a bottle they put on their skin? I think it’s called like
    emulsion or toner? I also noticed they use like air purifier to moisten
    the air when they’re sleeping sometimes. I have a question though –
    maybe you could make another TLDR about this because no one seems to be
    able to answer it.
    WHERE DO KOREANS GO TO GET THEIR EYEBROWS DONE?
    I’ve heard that some just use those straight shavers and do it
    themselves and that they avoid waxing because it could cause wrinkles. I
    just want to know because I’m terrible at doing it myself and their
    brows always look so perfect!! Also is hair removal cheaper there than in North America?

    2 years ago
  11. I agree with you on the “you look sick, you should get tanned a little” comments from everyone XD It’s like there’s some kind of contest to get as tanned as you can as soon as the summer arrives. I’m from the south of Spain and I have fair skin by choice. That surprise people sooo much. Everyone asumes I’m pale because my skin is sentitive or that I get burned instead of tanned if I do sunbathing. Whenever I say “Nope, I tan easily, but I prefer not to” the automatic answer is “Wtf, WHY?”.

    2 years ago
  12. I live in Texas, land of the sun. Here, being a certain level of tan is considered “healthy” and “pretty” and whatnot. People always comment on how white I am. But I HATE being sunburnt, since I’ve had it quite bad before. I do not know anyone who uses sunblock on a daily basis. It’s incredibly uncommon. My mother never ever uses sunblock and tans
    pretty much every single day if it isn’t freezing outside. Luckily I use Korean BB cream (Missha) which has pretty good SPF in it. I wish the United States had more products like this that were actually somewhat beneficial to one’s skin.
    Even in Texas there are a lot of tanning salons. However, at least from the people that I’ve encountered, no one ever uses tanning beds since they are so dangerous. Spray tanning is still rather popular however. Although if discovered that your tan is fake, society here likes to frown on it.

    2 years ago
  13. I think most people guys and girls in the states just don’t know how to take care of their skin! You see all these acne commercials but half the stuff doesn’t really work. Besides that everyone has different skin types and skin issues. I don’t think most people are educated enough on their skin and what they can do. It’s also so expensive to go to a dermatologist! I’m sure if I went to Korea I would be obsessing over how bad my skin looks compared to everyone else. Being tan in the US is seen as a good thing. People think it’s weird when I apply sunscreen and I’m not going to the pool or beach. Being from a Hispanic background I can easily tan but I choose to stay out of the sun. People tell me I’m too pale but I’d rather be pale then get skin cancer or early wrinkles.

    2 years ago
  14. I agree with you on the “whitening” means – more white/caucasian when it comes to skin products. There isn’t a single Asian girl that I’ve met that didn’t want to be paler because it is advertised as the standard of beauty and every one of them would take great (and sometimes hilarious) lengths to keep the sun from ever touching their faces. I think that whatever Koreans Simon and Martina asked, were probably lying out of embarrassment to the two white people. Now, I don’t agree that whiter is prettier – in fact, I think it’s ridiculous, but to say that it’s not the goal/marketing of these creams (or the implied goal) is extremely naive.

    I think that part of the stigma with dark skin in Asia is historical in that there were African slaves/eunuchs in China and elsewhere in the 1800s-early 1900s as well as farmers/yokels/slaves that worked in the fields/rice patties all day and got very tanned were also looked down on by the big city gentry. But don’t quote me, I’m not an expert.

    2 years ago
    • Thank you for this. This is a nice/logical/clear/concise explanation and Phillipino-centric even which is where this conversation thread started. I couldn’t find any references to black slavery in Asia from a quick internet search but I’m pretty sure that if I dug out my university books on it, I would find it but you came at it from the other end which was likely even more prevalent.

      2 years ago
    • Field workers being sun browned is one thing, but please don’t assume that all Africans worldwide were instantly perceived as slaves everywhere they went. That’s a very Western and relatively recent mindset, in terms of human history. (Browse medievalpoc.tumblr.com for an interesting take on this.)

      2 years ago
    • But also (I had to add this in) whitening on Korean skin products does NOT mean skin whitening. I’ve used quite a few skin products from Korea that feature whitening (my entire routine is Korean, actually) and they do not lighten or bleach my skin. They do get rid of dark spots and acne scars, though, so my face overall looks “brighter” because it’s all one color (and a brighter, healthier color than the scars that were there before). I have also come across some skin cleanser that was whitening that made my face look paler/brighter immediately after using it for some reason, but again that was not bleaching my skin (it didn’t change the color, it just made it look like there was light inside of my skin) and it wasn’t permanent (I would run screaming in the opposite direction if these whitening creams were bleaching agents). From when I was in Vietnam, if you want a “whitening” product like you’re speaking of, they’re just labeled as “bleach.”

      2 years ago
      • I am a little confused. While “whiter skin” obviously doesn’t DIRECTLY mean “Caucasian”, aren’t Caucasian’s being held up in the ads as the pinnacle of “success”? Are there any WHITEr people than Caucasians except maybe Albinos and I’m not sure is anyone is holding them up as beauty icons (although there is something ethereal about most albinos and I could see this actually happening). I don’t know – I think to say that you want paler skin, while you may not want to be Caucasian, you may want to have been born with the same skin tone, how is this really any different? It’s kind of skin semantics, no? And also, to say that “bleach” and “whitening” are not the same is also wrong because, at least in English, the words are synonyms, whatever you are making paler. I agree that there are some skin products that add “luminosity” or smooth out your skin tone with colour “correcting” action, but 1) while these are not always the same products as the “bleach” products, there are a lot of products that do both, and 2) adding luminosity can be through light reflective ingredients but these are almost always – white! – because it reflects the most light so……….yeah. See what I mean?

        2 years ago
        • Okay, that *was* long. I said that it was “confusing” because that’s how I feel about it. You can say that “not all Caucasians are pale” but……..being pale is kind of what defines being Caucasian these days, whether you’re a hybrid of several ethnicities or “pure” somethingorother. I believe that I said that wanting to be paler didn’t mean that you wanted to change your ethnicity to Caucasian but you would like the same skin tone. Frankly, this is all whohah to me as I don’t really care one way other the other about skin tone (as long as mine is healthy) but not so far back in the past (like the 1980s, 1990s, and even into the 2000s) these “whitening creams” did indeed have bleach in them. Lots of people damaged their skin using them and that’s why you hardly see them any more. I can agree that these days MOST of the whitening products do not directly bleach your skin but give some of that effect however, if you go a step further and get chemical peels and such, you really are bleaching your skin. Since Korean dermatologist are so much more accessible and botox is more in the norm – and I’m pretty sure you can get this from a dermatologist – I wouldn’t be surprised if bleaching “professionally” isn’t also more common place. Plastic surgery is all FAR FAR FAR more common place in Korea than in North America so the lines of what’s convenient and common place are very different than over here.

          Cyber_3 – from one long-winded person to another, I think we both agree but just want to get the last word in now ;)

          2 years ago
  15. The tanning culture is very real in the states. I have a few friends who still use tanning beds (the coffin ones that are guaranteed to give you cancer). I’ll never understand that. But I’ll admit that because I don’t naturally tan, when I go to the beach I’ll slap on a boat load of self tanner before putting on sunscreen.

    2 years ago
  16. I’m from the Netherlands and having a bit of a tan is considered healthy here and having white legs or arms with shorts/dress whatever is kind of considered ugly quite a lot. So many people spend a fortune on tanning spray, tanning salons or spend hours baking in the sun.
    As for myself I’m really pale and people have asked me if I’m sick when I wasn’t and last year someone made a comment my legs can glow in the dark because they are so white. I take sun protection seriously. During summer or sunny days I always use sunblock with a high SPF as body lotion and apply a special face cream with a high SPF on my face and my normal face cream does contain a bit of SPF too. There is no way I go outside unprotected when it’s very sunny because I turn into a lobster very quickly. I tried tanning spray because people said I should give it a try but that turned me into a cow so I just stay pale and I’m happy with it. I also have a slight allergy to the sun so no the sun isn’t my best friend.
    Ohh and people always think I’m at least 7-8 years younger then I actually am, no wrinkles what so ever yet.

    2 years ago
  17. Here in the US, I have been having a problem watching YouTube videos because of a problem with Google Syndication (or something) . I did a search and found that Windows 8 has an Add-On that blocks Google. I added this block and now have no problems watching YouTube videos. However, I wonder if this block affects EatYourKimchi rankings as I am no longer shown by Google as watching your videos. I do not want to take the bread from your mouths. What should I do?

    2 years ago
  18. Heh – love the vampire sun – “Your star – it burns me!”

    The funny thing about me and skin care – I totally didn’t care most of my life. I think about caring a bit now that I’m in my 40s but….I’m lazy. My husband (definitely NOT a metro-sexual) really surprised me when we started dating because he has skin products and accessories (tools?) galore. See, he worked in a really industrial environment (foundry then powder paint coating plant) and that stuff will ruin your skin and make you itchy, etc. etc. so he exfoliates and creams, and soothes and sunblocks not just his face, but his whole body. I feel really ungirly next to him sometimes but he lets be borrow his expensive stuff so *marriage bliss!*.

    Now, my skin isn’t awesome, I have to at least wash it a bunch to keep it kind of clear but probably part of why I was turned off the whole skin care thing is that my mother’s family are all sun worshippers (in the 1970s sense). My Mom would be outside in Canadian winters sun tanning at least her face and hands and in the summer: it’s full body mayonnaise all day nudeness that, even though she has a smokin’ body, it really stank and turned me off the whole thing. At least the mayonnaise undoes the aging the sun has done to her skin but it seems like a constant battle. Her Dad also has had several melanomas on his head over the years due to heavy suntanning, even though he puts a facecloth on his bald dome but he doesn’t seem to care (just cut/burn/laser it off and move on). I sunburn very easily myself (totally fair-skinned) but I’ve learned that the SPF scale is more of a logarithmic thing so that using SPF60 instead of SPF 15 only gets you marginally more protection and yet has much more harmful products in it. I’ve started using SPF 30 these last couple of years and I’ve actually seen better results than all the years I used SPF 60-70. The Neutrogena non-oily formulas are excellent and they absorb right in. I will have to try that green cream, it looks interesting/useful.

    Having mole removal at that cheap price and convenience is awesome. I have a couple I’ve considered removing as I age but it’s minimum $300 per mole and you have to go through the whole doctor referral process, etc. etc. and that’s even if you’re suspicious that they are becoming irregular.

    Cyber_3 – can’t stand mayonnaise – 1 jar for Mom, 1 jar for sandwiches, which is which? You only know when you find the pubes in the jar – ewwwwwwwww!

    2 years ago
  19. To get tan is the biggest priority for many Norwegians during the spring and summer. As soon as the sun is up after 6 PM (yes, the sun sets at 3:00 PM during the winter) and the temperature gets above 10-13°C, it is an implied competition to get as tan as possible. The first opportunity after the winter is during easter break, when most Norwegians go to their cabins (not really a good English word for it) in the mountains to enjoy the first glimpses of sunlight (and go skiing, eat chocolate and read criminal novels, but that is a story for another time). Then after the easter break, everyone goes back to work or school with sunglasses tan-lines in their faces.

    2 years ago
    • …..
      This photo is lies. There aren’t stacks of money next to everyone. Why must you lie?

      2 years ago
      • This photo is (judging by the fashion and merchandise the people in the picture brought with them) probably from the early 80s. Oil money had not yet spilled over into the private economy. B-) Jokes aside: Tanning in the snow is an important part of easter break. The white snow reflects the sunrays and and thus make the skin tan more effective. It is becoming quite common to develop skin cancer among Norwegians lately with 350 people dying every year (and increasing). Especially in the age range of 30-60.

        So what are you Swedes up to during easter? No mountain trips or days of from work/school?

        2 years ago
        • Sun is good, sun is life. I once saw my old man neighbor out on his deck at 4 in the morning, trying to get tan by the sort-of midnight sun (it was just the glow of the sunrise). ._. And he was all naked, too!

          2 years ago
        • Oooh, that’s good information! I knew some of it so at least you were able to give that~ It’s sort of like that here too, but more up north and towards Finland. I have a friend who lives in the U. Her grandparents are all from Norway and she has pretty dark skin. Dark green eyes and black hair, too. Personally, I always associated you silly Norwegians with more darker appearances from all the coffee you drink. ;D Just kidding.

          Oh uhh, my family and I just try to do volunteer work and then eat a lot. c: Most people I know spend time with their relatives. They’ll have bonfires and yes, we go into the mountains and hills, too. There’s lots of cleaning to be done for people who go to their cottages.

          Wait–350?! Holy crap, calm down with the skin cancer! D:< Do it or we'll force another union and make sure you all stay more pale than Icelanders.

          2 years ago
    • Is there a hot spring just out of the shot? I’ve seen people in British Columbia skiing in bikinis but isn’t it cold when you’re not moving around?

      2 years ago
      • Same for Canada: -50° C in winter and +40° C in summer, but except for the mountains and the very north, no snow in summer…but as I look at the map, I guess that Scandanavia has both those things so that explains everything ^_^

        2 years ago
    • With our viking ancestry, snow feels like laying on a thick layer of marshmallows (room temperature).

      2 years ago
      • Why would I lie about something like this?
        http://www.tnp.no/norway/exclusive/2836-introduction-to-paske-traditions-in-norway
        Tanning, snow and skiing is an important part of most Norwegians’ easter holiday.

        “Another Easter tradition unique to Norway is the mountain trip, where Easter is celebrated up in the mountains enjoying the sunshine, skiing, and eating oranges and Kvikk Lunsj, a famous chocolate bar com prising of crunchy wafer covered with milk chocolate. The brown skin tone one gets after long outdoor days and sunbathing in the mountain air and snowrich environments, are often called “Easter brown” (Påskesol), while the increased traffic from the moun tain in the first and last days of the holiday is called “Easter traffic”. Also “Easter Lead” is a term usually used for skiing at Easter, when the snow is often old, rough and grainy, wet during the daytime and crisp in the evenings.”

        Yes, we enjoy warm summers in the south by the sea. It is usually between 20°C-25°C. It is the winter which is the worst. So dark and cold.

        2 years ago
        • None taken! English is not my first language, thus I sometimes interpret things wrong when written. :)

          2 years ago
  20. Im from Slovakia and i wear sunscreen even in winter because the sun pretty harsh in winter. And yeah, i look pretty pale. Usually people dont really notice it cause im often dressed up to my neck but when summer comes and i wear a tank top or shorst or anythign that exposes my skin, people approach me and ask if im sick or not feeling well and such (of course not complete strangers, duh, just when they are drunk)
    and oh my god beware that i wanna go swimmming! people will just stare or giggle or anythign becausemy whole body is pale, even paler then my face
    The girls here often look fresh and bronzy, wear heavier makeup or go to tanning salones in winter just to look “healthy and sunn kissed”. And that also counts for young guys. Oh and, SPF 20 is already considered as “high” and if you use sunscreen for everyday use, you are considered a pussy. I even have a bottle of SPF 100 from Neutregena for when i want to do sports outside is summer or such!
    I also noticed that the sunscreens I order from Korea are much better then any drugstore sunscreen or even expensive sunscreen form the pharmacy that i can get here!
    And when it comes to the dermathologist, people usually go when they have a problem like bad acne or scaring or skin pigmentation problems or if they have malformed moles. and of course for hair removal. I wouldnt say that its sooo very expensive but going 2 a month for a procedure can get on your wallet.
    But in all, people here dont think of their skin as much as they probably should. Once they get older and notice that their skin is damadged, women try to fix with a ton of creams(man after a certain age dont care at all :P ) but majority of people does not concider using sunscreen as an anti-aging product.

    2 years ago
  21. In Australia since we are so multicultural for those who do want tan skin, its either bake it or fake it. But the general consensus is a tan is healthy and pasty is bleh… Vitamin D deficiency? Id rather take supplements than take chemo thank you very much

    2 years ago
    • My biochemistry lecturer had told me that there have a lots of studies on vitamin supplement have a high likely hood of not working because most of it essentially get excreted from the body and do not go where you want them to go due to how the systems in metabolism.

      2 years ago
    • “Pasty is bleh” <– I used to get teased so badly in primary school for being pasty white.

      2 years ago
    • That’s because we get a higher concentration of UV rays down here. The skin health culture here has rapidly changed over the past decade or so. Its gotten to the point where there is now a fear of vitamin D deficiency (which can lead to increased risk of osteoporosis) because people are paranoid and wear sunscreen all the time. Parents of young children seem to be the most paranoid about skin cancer.

      I’m pretty sure almost all the tanning salons here have either shut down or are in danger of shutting down.

      But I’m sure there’s still a ton of young people who don’t give a crap and try to tan anyway. From what I’ve noticed my friends of Asian background apply sunscreen religiously.

      2 years ago
    • I live on the Gold Coast (a major beach city in Australia) and am unable to tan. Not to mention, I don’t even LIKE tanning! Even the beauty industry doesn’t seem to like pale people, as the majority of “pale” colours for foundations are for people who still like to pile on the bronzer or have the same colour skin as Big Bird’s (from Sesame Street) feathers.
      I have to order Korean and Japanese BB and CC creams from importers so that I can have both effective protection and a shade that goes with pale.

      2 years ago
  22. I think why it is not so common to go to dermatologist is it’s expensive you have to have good health insurance and I am guilty I only go when I have problematic skin. I suffer from a form of ecezma on my face dry patchy skin. As I gotten older in my 30s now I have a skin regime and i use more sunscreen then before bc my skin burns easily. Thankful for my genes and how i care for my skin i still get carded lol they think im still in my early 20s. People just assume going to dermatologist is key its also important to get your sleep and drink plenty of water which is good for your skin and your skin regime.

    2 years ago
  23. I’m from Canada and was thinking about getting laser resurfacing done for some old acne scars. $500 dollars a session at my dermatologist. Asked my Korean friend how much it cost for him to get it over there and it wasn’t even $100. The only negative thing I heard about getting procedures done in Korea is that some people will try to overcharge foreigners.

    2 years ago
  24. For men in the States, I think the culture has for so long held up rugged heroes as the ideal male type, cowboys, cops, soldiers, often working outdoors with a tan and with some sort of facial hair- that American male beauty hasn’t really been equated with poreless, glowing, dewy soft skin- so guys don’t think about it much for themselves. Seriously I can’t think of one that had great skin, maybe Elvis, or maybe because that kind of skin makes you look young, and leading men in American films are usually older than their costars. Pretty is the job of the girls.

    2 years ago
  25. I’m part Mexican but white-looking, so I tan really easily and almost never get sunburned. I don’t worry about skin protection, because there’s no history of skin cancer in my family, and being tan is considered attractive here in the U.S., so why bother? I do find that people of Asian descent here tend to have unusually healthy skin, so I can only assume it’s a genetic thing that’s exacerbated in Asian countries thanks to cultural emphasis on skin care.
    Random question: Do people in other countries have “skin tone comparison contests”? I don’t know what else to call them. Basically, something in conversation that indirectly or directly relates to skin color will trigger a bunch of people to spontaneously compare their skin tones. Everyone sticks out their arm and compares, like, “Oh, you’re darker than me,” “Wow, your skin is really light,” etc. I wonder if this is an American thing because of all the racial diversity, or if people in other countries do it too.

    2 years ago
  26. I love that you showed those comparison photos of what celebrities really look like compared to what they look like in magazines. I work as a package designer for hair appliances and I see how much models get photoshopped for our packages. Not only is their skin “perfected” their hair is cleaned up, goodbye split ends and fly-aways. Their hair is made fuller, softer and don’t even get me started on how much their hair color is changed. I’ve even seen a models body altered to be skinnier and smoother. Every photo out there selling or promoting something has been altered in some fashion and I really wish we could all stop comparing ourselves to them. Actually since I work in this field I stopped a long time ago.

    A few months ago this video came out and I think everyone should watch it. Four women see themselves turned into cover models and how they feel after seeing the end result.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zRlpIkH3b5I

    2 years ago
  27. I’m from the US, where even my family pokes fun at me for being pale because I prefer healthy skin over being tan. I wore a cosplay last summer that had a bare stomach, and I realized it was probably the first time my stomach had seen the light of day since I was about 10 and owned a little-girl bikini. :P Much sunscreen was worn at that con!

    Apart from sunscreen, I own just about zero skin-care products (aside from oil-removing pads). I’ve always thought of them in the same way that we think of the dermatologist here — only something you need if you actually have skin problems.

    2 years ago
  28. Skin care? We have two sorts of people here. Sunbather and nonsunbather. There was a time when looking like a leathercouch was supposed to be cool. But most of them were the less educated. Its a fact.

    We have free healthcare here (we pay taxes for this) but it starts getting more and more like america so that a lot of people have private insurances. So they go to private doctors. Why? Because private doctors normally do more, have time for you and you dont have to wait. I am one of the mix-people. I search for the best doctor and visit. Doesnt matter if its private or public. If its the best its the best.

    But one thing do all our skindoctors have in common: every thing they do costs. Yes they will check your moles for free but removing costs. And not just ten bucks. Make it like 80-100 euro for 1 mole!! It only costs between 20-40 euro if its threatening.

    Oh and good skincare products? Not to be found or rarelly to be found. When i was in australia i was stunned how much careproducts there are. Here you have just a few regals and thats it. And its expensive. A normal cheap mascara costs 15 euro. A make up remover thats for sensitiv or allergic skin costs 20 euro. So you see skin care did totally go by. Dont know why. I get all my products from other countries because i have allergic skin and no product from here will fit me.

    2 years ago
  29. Oh, I WISH men were more careful about their skin here because great skin is very attractive to me. I remember my ex’s skincare consisted solely of using this horrible astringent toner that BURNED when you put it on (“That’s how you know it’s working”). It was far too harsh and drying and he had these dry patches, not to mention acne scars and huge pores. He refused to moisturize/wear sunblock and claimed his leathery-hide-of-an-excuse for skin was a mark of masculinity and he didn’t want to “be a woman” and do skincare. Paradoxically this was a guy who used to buy lip gloss from Bath and Body Works for himself to wear.

    My current boyfriend, on the other hand, will use any skincare product I buy him and occasionally steals mine (I CAN SMELL IT ON YOUUU).

    My friend uses the 10 cent razors from the convenience store, shaves with just water, and complains about how much acne (this is a guy in his mid-20’s) he gets on his chin. I keep telling him it’s because of the razors! He works at Microsoft and he could afford $300 razors if he wanted–he gets $50 haircuts every other week and buys expensive clothes! But he would rather be scabbed and pimply than spend more on stuff for his actual body.

    Anyway, most guys I know would not do anything for their skin (even if they had the $$$ to do so) unless they had horrible, oozing, cystic acne, in which case they pick up some Proactiv.

    2 years ago
    • I read about that recently…I think they have linked that with a bacteria present in the human intestinal tract but some people are genetically predisposed to have higher concentrations which can lead to stomach cancer….Something like that…I’ll see if I can find the article again….

      2 years ago
    • I don’t think that cheap razors can cause acne. You might get ingrown hairs or irritated sweat glands on your chin from cheap/dull razors and using just water though and that’s very similar to acne. You should tell him that even a cheap double blade (Gillette/Bick) and some Noxema instead of shaving cream would be awesome on anyone’s skin and not cause “girly” stigma ;)

      2 years ago
    • Cheap razors can cause acne? O.o

      2 years ago
      • Cheap razors (plus my friend’s crappy shaving regimen) irritate the skin/follicles through razor burn and introduce bacteria, which can then result in acne. Plus he had some acne before to start with, and then he ends up slicing his pus-filled pimples open, resulting in somewhat of a ripple effect around the original pimple. Yum!

        2 years ago
  30. Ah yes there is a lot of obaasans protecting their skin in Japan the same way they do it in Korea. Sometimes they look a bit scary with their face covered…
    I always feel out of place when I’m wearing my t-shirt and they have their umbrellas, etc… I wear sunscreen when I know I’m gonna be long time in the sun because I might get red, especially my nose. But I’m not that used to do it I guess because in Finland the sun is not that deadly since… winter is dark and all. And I just don’t go out that often. XD Sucky thing is that I do want to protect my skin but sunscreen is kinda sticky and those arm sleeve things seem hot… I sweat more than Asians so no can do! OTL
    Funny thing about tanning though. As a kid I wanted a nice tan but as I got into visual kei and saw those beautiful men with milky skin, I wanted to have one too. My dad still keeps saying every summer to me that I should go out and get tanned and I’m like NO!!

    2 years ago
  31. I’m a girl from Poland (cześć) and I started taking care of my skin when I started listening to kpop and getting into korean culture. I went to a beauty salon (?) and got my face cleaned and the lady told me to what kind of skin type I really have etc., but I didn’t really know or care about it earlier.
    People in Poland go to dermathologist when they have a real problem with their skin, but I think going to beauty salon to have your pimples popped is quite common, especially with teenagers. But sunscreens? SPF face creams? Not very common in daily use. And as for tanning – usually after summer holiday people would talk about it, but it’s not a thing here…

    2 years ago
  32. Hi from Australia! here all through school they hammer Slip Slop Slap (Shirt, sunscreen, hat) but asides from my sister and I know one i know does the sun protection thing. We love our beaches and sunbaking (frying) too much. Apparently tho scientist recently discovered that the sun on skin produces endorphines, which means you can legitamately be addicted to the sun! Oooh let me hop in the sun and get my fix~!
    But look now you can Drink!!! your sunscreen. Eeeww?

    2 years ago
  33. I had a really funny encounter last year with some korean exchange students from Seoul and Busan. They asked me where they can buy these kind of sleeves Simon and Martina are talking about here in Germany. I told them that this is a korean thing and something like that isn´t available here. They were so mind blown and shoked and didn´t believe me haha. You should have seen their faces, really it was hilarious…its really a funny story….

    2 years ago
  34. People in Japan too are definitely more aware of skin health than back home in the States. Tanning is definitely a no no. Even on hot days I see people walking around with jackets on to cover up their skin. I’m not sure if people in Japan see dermatologists as often as people do in Korea. I’ve definitely seen a lot of acne though. I wondered about products with “whitening” on the label. Thanks for clarifying ^^

    I’m always amazed by the vast number of skin and beauty care products in Japan/Korea. I just wish some of those products would be sold in the US. BB cream, for example, is really lacking in the US. I’m quite pale so even if I buy the lightest shade it is too dark for me. The last time I went to Etude House they gave me a bb cream sample to try and halleluiah it was like the perfect fit for me. I’m really going to miss skin care products here OTL

    2 years ago
  35. I wish visiting the dermatologist was cheap here in the States. I can’t even see one because my family’s insurance doesn’t cover it. Instead, I have to consult with my doctor about my skin.

    When I was in Korea this past summer, I was so self-conscious about my complexion since I had so many crater-like acne scars and everyone had nice skin. I’ve become more consistent about having a skin regime though, thanks to Korea. But being from America, being tan is still the trend, even amongst my Asian friends.

    2 years ago
  36. I live in America and I think a lot of people here, especially guys, don’t really care so much about their skin. I don’t know anyone who goes to a dermatologist unless they have an issue, and I can only think of 1 guy who takes care of his skin! (Happens to be my boyfriend, lol. He tries to take care of himself, which I think every human being should, male or female. I spend way longer on skincare, but at least he uses face washes). As far as sunblock, I refuse to go outside without sunblock at least on my face. I tend to wear jackets all the time, so I’m pretty much covered. I also rarely go outside xD But I’m the only one in my circle of friends/family that will put sunscreen on every day, even if it’s cloudy.

    2 years ago
  37. Since my eighteenth I’m wearing sunblock with SPF50+ PA+++. Yes, I’m bloody pale because of that, but I don’t mind. Since I’m protecting my skin from the sun, I’ve had less acne and my skin looks better and healthier overall. And as you guys mentioned: my face won’t look old and saggy when I’m hitting 35. With just putting on some sunblock every day you can make so much difference. It’s not a hard thing to do and you’ll be grateful in the future.

    2 years ago
  38. My best friend was born in the Philippines, lives in Texas- and whenever she returns to Cebu for a visit her grandmother gushes about how beautiful it is that she is so pale. During the visit the grandmother has someone following her around with an umbrella to make sure that she doesn’t get any darker. I don’t know if it is a beauty standard or a class standard- she doesn’t want her getting dark because it is considered less pretty or because you only get dark if you are poor enough to have to work outside and theirs is a well-off family- but its definitely a generation thing- her mom and dad don’t care if she gets a little browner in the summer, but it freaks her grandmother out.

    2 years ago
  39. I’m an Asian American from LA and honestly didn’t think about protecting my skin from SUNNY DEATH RAYS OF DEATH until college. In high school I would never wear shorts because I had such pale skin and my classmates would tease me about being unhealthy or having “engineer’s tan”. My mom on the other hand, made me shower in sunscreen, because “cancer! bad skin! wrinkles! SUNNY DEATH RAYS OF DEATH!”. So it might be a cultural thing, where one culture values the “healthy, tan” look and another values…health? haha
    Thanks for doing a tl;dr on this! I think it’s time I really put some effort into nicer skin.

    2 years ago
  40. We’ve got plenty of orange faced people here in the UK, and you used to hear about so many people having an ‘addiction to sunbeds’.

    2 years ago
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