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Korean beauty with Vicky Lee: Why Korean women ‘slap’ their faces

Vicky Lee

Words by Korean beauty expert Vicky Lee.

“The more the merrier” isn’t a sentence we usually associate with “face slapping”, but for Korean women it’s all in the name of beauty, as this ancient technique helps to achieve a glowing, flawless complexion.

Although face slapping sounds more like a form of torture than a pampering skincare ritual, this Korean technique is used every day by Korean women, with many celebrities and skincare experts also adopting the ritual if facial massages.

What the term really means is to lightly tap your face whenever applying your skin care products. The patting motion helps to both tone and firm the skin whilst increasing blood circulation for a more even appearance. The movement further allows for oxygen and nutrients to quickly reach the skin’s deeper cellular structure, penetrating the epidermis. As a result, skin takes on a rosy, glowing appearance that looks much healthier and younger as product doesn’t just sit on top of the skin.

To incorporate in to a more traditional beauty routine, start off by using this technique as a more specific way of applying your moisturiser. Take a small amount of product on the end of your fingers, and from the bottom of the chin, so your forehead is the last part of the face to be covered, begin to pat the face with a gentle force, being careful to apply consistently to all areas of the complexion. You can also do with every single layer of products you apply. With a more watery product like a toner or lotion, try and pour the required amount into the cupped palm of your hand and then use your fingers to dab and then tap on your skin directly.

For best results, it is customary to do this beauty routine at least 50 times and there’s a reason why this technique is so popular in Korea: it works!