Korea is giving traditional beauty countries like Italy and France some hard competition, as “K beauty” is taking over the world of skincare. One of the ideals that form an important part of this beauty trend, is the unusually well hydrated and plump skin. Taken to the very extreme, this results in a particular look often referred to as “glass skin”, where the skin is so moisturised it literally looks wet, shiny like glass. So how is this popular look achieved, and how do the koreans use steam and sauna in their beauty routine? Steamcials and sheet mask sandwiches, are two of the main pillars in K beauty.
What is a steamcial?
The word Steamcial is the result of combining the two words steam and facial. The idea is to first prepare your for the treatment, using warm steam to soften the surface and open up the pores. The steam can be from a shower, from a bath, or - the most effective choice: a steam sauna. The beneficial effects of steam have been known in beauty salons for ages, and if you go to a spa or a salon, facials are almost always prepped for with steam. The trick is just to do the same thing at home: to regularly use plenty of steam before you apply your serums and creams. You will notice that your skin will absorb the skincare products a lot more efficiently, so don’t hesitate to use more product, or to even apply them twice in one session. It may sound like a very simple thing, just adding steam to your beauty routine, but believe us - the difference is quite astounding.
Sheet mask sandwich
Another staple in the korean beauty arsenal, that has quickly spread to the rest of the world, are the sheet masks. You may have seen them on Instagram, on Youtube or on the shelves of your departments store, wondering what the fuss is all about? Well, a sheet mask is, as you may have guessed, a sheet for your face, but loaded with serums, vitamins and all kinds of goodies for your complexion. But for hardcore beauty nerds, just using the mask according to the instruction isn’t enough. The newest beauty hack on the block is the so-called sheet mask sandwich. This is something many people with very dry skin or even eczema swear by, and the principle is simple. All you need to do is to combine your steaming ritual, and add a sheet mask, and under the sheet mask (half-time in the treatment), you also add your favourite serum under the mask for extra effect. Hence the name, sheet mask sandwich, where - yes - your face is part of the sandwich. What’s not to love, right? When you exit this beauty-burger of moisture, you face will have literally aged backwards, and your complexion will be soft and supple as that of a baby.