Korean beauty regimens are not simple. Instead of the usual cleansing-toning-moisturising routine, these can comprise anything from a five-step to a twelve-step process (it might not necessarily stop there). Despite their cumbersome nature, several people have taken to these treatments because of their results. Recently, Bollywood actress Bipasha Basu, too, inaugurated a Korean beauty store in Mumbai.
Korean treatments use some bizarre elements in their products, such as snail slime (it’s packed with antimicrobial peptides), bee venom (for its micro-swelling effect), and pig collagen (it mimics human collagen and fights ageing signs). With the help of experts, however, we have curated some of the not-so-strange items that are also popularly used for Korean skincare regimens. Dr Apratim Goel, dermatologist and laser surgeon, Cutis Skin Studio, recommends these home-made face and body packs that can be made with easily available ingredients.
1 . Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is a soothing agent. The plant can be sliced and directly used on the skin. It’s a good moisturiser for parched skin.
Mix 1tbsp of aloe vera gel with 1tsp of lemon juice. Apply it on the face for 20 minutes and wash with cold water.
2 . Broccoli
Broccoli is rich in vitamin A and vitamin C. It stimulates collagen production, thus keeping your skin healthy. The former protects the skin’s cell membranes and prevents it from getting damaged by UV radiation.
Green glow mask
Boil a handful of broccoli florets for 10 minutes. Cool and blend the broccoli to make a paste. To this puree, add 1tbsp of honey and yoghurt each. Squeeze 1ts of lemon juice to prepare the green mask. Keep it on your face for 20 minutes. Then rinse and pat dry.
3 . Cheese
Irrespective of the kind, cheese is rich in lipids and antioxidants. It hydrates dry skin and soothes irritation.
Blend 2tbsp of cheese with 1tsp of strawberry puree and apply the mix as a face mask. Apply a thicker layer of the mask around your eyes and mouth. After keeping it on for 10 minutes, rinse and pat dry.
4 . Coconut
Cytokinins, kinetins and trans-Zeatins (a plant hormone) present in a coconut have anti-ageing effects on the body and skin. Also, its antioxidant property slows down the ageing process by protecting the body from harmful free radicals.
Detoxing body scrub
Mix two cups of Epsom salt with one cup of coconut oil. Add 20 drops of lavender essential oil or rose water into the mixture and generously apply this on your body. Leave the pack on for five minutes and scrub it off.
5 . Coffee
The caffeine present in coffee is a diuretic that can banish cellulite when applied topically.
Mix 1 cup of ground coffee, 1 cup of brown sugar and 2tbsp of almond oil. Massage this mixture onto your thighs, bottom and other cellulite-prone areas to get rid of the condition. Repeat daily.
6 . Eggs
Egg whites are rich in collagen and vitamin A. They help in treating scars and burns. Egg proteins, collagen and elastin help in reducing fine lines and wrinkles.
Infuse one egg white in 1tbsp yoghurt and 1tbsp brown sugar. Mix and apply this as a mask. Keep it on for 10 minutes and gently massage your face. Rinse with lukewarm water.
7 . Lemon
Lemon juice is a natural antiseptic and if used as part of a facial mask, it can help clear the skin of oil, dirt and bacteria, which cause breakouts.
Mix a teaspoon of baking soda with the juice of half a lemon. Rub it evenly on the face. Leave it on for 10 minutes and rinse with cold water. Add a tablespoon of granulated sugar to the recipe mentioned previously. Use this as a scrub for dry elbows, knees, ankles and calluses.
8 . Papaya
Papaya contains vitamin A and papain enzymes, which help remove dead skin, thus rejuvenating the skin.
Blend half a cup of papaya pieces until it becomes a smooth paste. Mix this paste with half a cup of sea salt. It should attain a grainy texture. Add drops of olive oil, if you have normal to dry skin. Apply the scrub for 10-12 minutes, twice a week on your face and body.
Watch how to make DIY skincare solutions
9 . Tomato
Tomato contains an antioxidant called lycopene, which acts as a natural sunscreen. The astringent properties of tomato make it an excellent choice for combination skin.
Mix equal amounts of tomato pulp and white vinegar, and apply over your skin. Leave the mixture on for 15 minutes and wash with cold water.
With inputs from Dr Soma Sarkar, dermatologist, About Face, and Dr Milind Salunke, skin expert, Four Fountains De-stress Spa.