Saturday, May 14, 2016

Beauty – Korean Beauty History

Photos are from Google.

These days we can see so many Korean beauty lovers around the world, by pretending don’t care about those cute packages, but we can’t close our eyes on their best cosmetics and skin cares quality.
Maybe some of you have ever thought about where all of these came from? And why does suddenly it spread all over the world? Why does it this much epidemic all of a sudden? Click continue to receive all your questions.

There is no longer that Korean beauty frenzy are not limited to the beauty districts of Korea, but you can find it global. The two famous brands Dr. Jart and Belif are already have been selling in global chain stores, Sephora.
This globalism epidemic has been start since Hallyu (Korean Hollywood word!) waves spread all around the world little by little. Korean stars promotes clear, radiant skin as spokespeople for cosmetics brands in Korean daramas, Korean music videos and reality shows. Little by little this kind of bright and glowing skin type changes to every girl’s dreamy skin (I don’t mention Korean boys, but all of us know they becomes our ideal type prince charming!). Korean beauty become more popular these days until there is no age or gender difference among K-Beauty lovers. Korean beauty products are even provide men line skin cares and cosmetics, such as BB cream! Yup, you heard right! Korean boys wear BB cream (Not all of them, and you can’t say the boy who wear BB cream is gay.), it becomes some part of their culture to be flawless in public.

Since centuries ago, there was always some beauty standards in every culture. There is so many historical characters who their beauty will never fade away from our minds.
Cleopatra (69 B.C - 30 B.C) took baths in donkey milk and fresh honey. Marie Antoinette (1755 - 1793) bathed in a gold bathtub filled with champagne. Yang Guifei (719 - 756), one of the four beauties of ancient China, massaged her face with mixture of apricot seed powder and musk and bathed in baby’s urine for firmer skin.
Korean beauty products are mostly contained of these historical formulas, and they all produced with natural materials than creating in chemical laboratories.

According to the “History of the Three Kingdoms” (1145), a historical text about the three kingdoms of Korea (57 B.C - 668 A.D), dancers in Goguryeo dynasty (37 B.C – 668 A.D) applied red pigment to their forehead, and tomb murals depict women with bold eyebrows. People took an increasing interest in beauty in Unified Shilla (668 – 935) as a result of flourishing trade and exchange. Crystal-adorned combs were particularly popular. Women loved the combs so much the King Heungdeok (r. 826 - 836) dictated the types of combs that women of different classes could use. In Goryeo dynasty (918 - 1392), women started wearing makeup that indicated their social rank. Professional women put oil on their hair, drew narrow, defined eyebrows and wore face powder. House wives preferred the natural barely there look.

Makeup styles became simpler in Joseon dynasty (1392 - 1910). In keeping with concepts of Confucian values, people focused on their inner beauty, so women only wore subtle makeup. Women of higher classes put on makeup when going outside or welcoming guests and used powder of a peachy hue to set themselves apart from professional entertainers, who used whiter powder.
Regardless of class or profession, everybody wanted to look more beautiful. During King Sukjong’s reign (1647-1720), merchants sold cosmetics door to door, clear evidence that people put great effort into making themselves look beautiful and that a cosmetics industry was even then starting to form.

The first mass-produced Korean beauty product was Bakgabun (박가분), a beauty powder trademarked in the 1910s. It was very popular for its excellent applicability and affordability, until people gradually stopped using it in the 1930s due to its high lead content. The next popular item was the facial cream Dongdong Gurimu (동동그리므). When world War II broke out with the Second Sino-Japanese War (1937), beauty products in Korea became very hard to come by, as were everyday necessities. Dongdong Gurimu cream was a great option during this time because it didn’t come fully packaged. People could take the amount they needed in their own containers.

The beauty industry experienced a boom in the 1960s, and some 100 makeup manufactures were established. The invention of foundation altered makeup styles as women increasingly showed natural skin color rather than putting on powder to achieve a porcelain look. In the 1970s, more and more women became interested in hair flips and colorful accessories. It was also during this time that Pomade (포마드), the first men’s beauty product, was introduced. Because many advertisements featured Caucasian models, women preferred wearing heavy makeup to make their facial features look fuller. In the 1980s and 1990s, women started focusing more on accentuating the uniqueness of their features. Today we can see more Korean women are focus more heavily on skin care products that improve the complexion. Light, natural makeup has now become global preference. Across the world, BB creams (blemish balm creams), cushion compacts and sheet masks are the essential items for creating dewy, luminous skin.
In recent years, makeup companies have been incorporating plants and vegetables into their products. For example, rice, black beans, tomatoes, lotus seeds and plankton are used as ingredients in some moisturizers and creams.1
The most famous and loved Korean products across the world are: Sulwahsoo (설화수), su:m (), Dr. Jart+ , Belif, Amore Pacific, HERA (헤라), IOPE, The Story Of Woo..
Don’t forget to leave comment and tell me what is your favorite Korean beauty and skin care brand?

1- KOREA monthly magazine of tourism & cultural organization, July 2016