If there is one country that the western beauty world is particularly looking at, it is South Korea. This is where trends in the beauty and skin care sector are born and over time they spill over into Germany. Creator Minh is extremely knowledgeable about the skin care scene and knows what is currently popular and which trends you should be aware of. In an interview with him, we talked about korean skin carebeauty ideals and cultural appropriation.

wmn in an interview with Minh about Korean beauty products and co.

Beautytoker Minh has on his TikTok-Account already has over 550,000 followers, who gave him and his skin care tips On his channel, he takes his viewers into his everyday beauty life, shows which products he uses or gives an insight into the Korean scene and the dimensions in which it operates there.

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wmn: You introduce your followers to skincare as a man. Do you sometimes get stupid comments in the process? How do you deal with these comments?

Minh: My community consists of 85% female viewers. I get very positive feedback from the comments. I also bring them Products, ingredients or things they haven’t heard of yet. In fact, I haven’t noticed much negativity in the skincare sector. In Germany, or in the western cosmetics world in general, men are also more integrated into the media.

But I also think that skincare is different to makeup. I don’t use makeup myself, I’m not talented enough for it. That’s why I’ve gotten off very well with skincare.

wmn: The current trend is all about influencing and deinfluencing. What are your top products?

Minh: When I click TikTok or other social media advertisement, I am the person who clicks on it. A product that I have tried is from The Ordinary AHA 30% + BHA 2% Peeling Solution.

wmn: The burning one, right?

Minh: Exactly, the burning one! And it actually felt like the skin on my face was burning. But it was helpful! I really did feel like I had baby skin afterward. It was worth the hype.

Watch out! It is important to mention here that every skin is different. Especially when it comes to skin care, you should always do a patch test first to test whether the product is suitable for you. If you are unsure, you should seek a professional opinion from a dermatologist.

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With skincare it is always very difficult to influence or deinfluence, because you don’t know a person’s skin type. I was in Korea recently and realized that I have oily skin, which means I can’t use oil serums at all and that many products that have gone viral are not compatible with my skin at all. That’s why we shouldn’t necessarily generalize here!

“It’s about inner and outer beauty!”

wmn: That’s a pretty important tip. I personally don’t know my skin type and I still buy all sorts of things.

Minh: It’s so easy to determine your skin type!

This can be done, for example, with Kiel in the store. If you are interested in skincare, it is super important to think about which ingredients are good for you and how your skin absorbs them. It’s also about inner and outer beauty.

My liver doesn’t work properly, so I have to be careful not to eat too many carbs and avoid gluten. There are so many sources and resources these days, and if you do the research, you can find the right product!

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“Skincare is consumed much more in Korea.”

wmn: You said earlier that you were just in Korea. What is the difference between Korean and Western beauty and skin care products and the industry?

Minh: People in Korea are much more skincare conscious. They really have an 8-step skincare routine that is established and that almost every resident believes in.

I think that people often lack the interest to get to grips with the topic of skincare and to develop a routine that they can actually follow every day. The effort and dedication behind this skincare routine is completely different in countries like Korea.

wmn: Is this routine the same for men and women?

Minh: Totally! That’s definitely the case and it’s completely accepted. There are of course skincare lines for men, but everyone there has extremely great skin. I went to the dermatologist in Korea and I thought I would only see women there, but there were a lot of men there too!

If you feel good and your skin feels good too – do what makes you happy! You don’t have to hide from anything.

“It takes ages for these ingredients to reach us!”

Minh: In general, the Korean skin care is also much more advancedbecause it is more innovative. It takes ages for these ingredients to reach us! When people here talk about vitamin C, in Korea we are already talking about vitamin whatever.

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wmn: There are many beauty ideals in Korea. Could you tell us a little about what is currently trendy? In Germany, we also look to Korea to get some orientation and inspiration.

Minh: Glass skin was very popular in Korea for a while. It started there around 2017 and has only just arrived here.

Many people in Korea want to have a light complexion. This is of course also cultural. In the past, if you had a darker complexion, it meant that you were poor, worked in the rice fields and were tanned by the sun. Because you were doing real body work and couldn’t be at home, you were not so respected in society. That’s why a lot of products there are still specialized in whitening.

“The beauty ideals are definitely much more extreme in Korea.”

wmn: Back then, many people also wanted to have a double eyelid crease, right?

Minh: However, the monolid is now back in fashion! Everyone wanted a double eyelid crease and now we go back to the monolid.

The beauty ideals are definitely much more extreme in Korea. They are also very specific: from the shape of the face to the nose and skin. There are even many differences when it comes to make-up. If you are looking for make-up here, there are lots of bright colors à la “express yourself”.

When you go shopping in Korea, you see a lot of peach tones, nude tones, because people with these bright colors cannot go to work there. Society is still very conservative there! Makeup is very limited in tone and that is another difference to western ideals.

Blondminh
Minh is happy that as a skinfluencer he can also pass on Asian values. Photo: provided privately

wmn: Especially in Western countries, Asian, and particularly Korean, skin care is all the rage. This naturally brings up the issue of cultural appropriation. How do you deal with this?

Minh: I am a person who always tries to see everything as positively as possible. I always fought so hard to pass on Asian values, and still do today as an influencer and to pass on our culture to Germany or the Western world.

The biggest compliment I ever received at school was this: “I took rice with me to school and wasn’t bullied like my big sister, I just got questions asking if the others could try it to see what rice from a rice cooker tastes like.”

Many also say that my videos inspired them to do something with rice. This way people are more accepting of the culture and also more interested in it.

wmn: Do you think that is through TikTok came?

Minh: I think so! But also the bubble tea trend and the mochi trend on TikTok have contributed to this. And I think that’s so cool and I always try to see it in a positive light.

In the past, you would be bullied for it. I don’t know where the boundaries are when it comes to cultural appropriation. But when it comes to skin care: If it inspires you to pay more attention to your appearance, you feel happier and at the end of the day you feel better because of it – then in my opinion everything is okay.