A lot of people ask me, ‘how do Korean men take care of their skin — are they as fanatical as the women?’ That’s what prompted my chat with Kangmin, a proud Seoulite and owner of luxe leather store, L.Chamber. Well-groomed and ambitious, Kangmin is the quintessential new generation Korean male.
1.Where were you born? I was born in Seoul but I spent a lot of my childhood in various parts of the US, including Oregon, Ohio and New York.
2.How do you take care of your skin? Compared to a lot of my friends, I probably use fewer products. Many of them have 5-10 steps in their routines. I’ve tried out a lot of products but the one I’d recommend most would be Sulwhasoo’s Bon Yoon essence and toner. I was actually gifted this set but Sulwhasoo works terrifically on my skin.
3.Do you think Korean men approach skincare differently to men in other countries? I think they pay more visits to the dermatologist, that’s for sure! In all seriousness, they do care a lot more about their skin and making sure they give it utmost care.
4.Do you have any skincare tips/secrets? When I have a big meeting, I like to use a Sulwhasoo sheet mask the night before because it brightens your skin instantly. But I guess my biggest tip would be to always ensure you’re using adequate sun protection.
5.A lot of people believe it’s super common or Korean men to wear makeup like foundation. Is this true? From what I know, not really. I certainly don’t wear it myself and I don’t think it’s prevalent. However, Korean men are very diligent about sun protection.
6.Speaking of sun protection, you’re quite an avid golfer and are involved in the production of PXG accessories and golf equipment. What makes PXG unique? PXG is a truly luxury option for passionate, style-conscious golfers. It was launched by Bob Parsons of Go Daddy fame. Interestingly, although Korea’s a small country, it’s actually the third largest market for golfing apparel.
7.What’s something you love about Seoul? Seoul never switches off. There aren’t many places in the world where you can go shopping at 1am. Its nightlife will satisfy even the craziest partygoers. On the flip side, when the weather’s right, there is nothing like lazing around the Han River with some chicken and beer and soaking in the sun.
8.Are there any Seoul restaurants you would recommend to a visitor? If you’re in Seoul, you have to visit Jungsik. This is the place I take anyone from out of town who I’d like to impress. It’s Michelin-starred and although it’s not cheap, it’s more than worth a visit.
9.Do you do any home cooking? If so, what’s your specialty? I like to make Sujebi, which is a very traditional Korean dish consisting of hand torn noodles in an anchovy broth with various vegetables. It harks back to a time when Korea was impoverished and many citizens couldn’t afford rice. This was their comfort food.
So, what are your thoughts on male beauty? For more interviews and updates on K-beauty, don’t forget to subscribe to our mailing list in the box at the top of the page (desktop) or at the bottom (mobile). Yeon & Bee strives to bring you the best from Seoul, unfiltered, untouched.