Not only that, Koreans often start receiving in-office treatments in their early 20s, Dr. Chang says. They’ll visit their dermatologist on a weekly or biweekly basis for hydrating facials and laser treatments to help brighten and rejuvenate their skin. “There is also a trend over the past several years to start preventative Botox and fillers early,” she adds.
Of course, botulinum neurotoxins, such as Botox, Xeomin, and Medytox, are the most obvious option to help smooth and prevent fine lines and wrinkles. After all, the results it creates in just two weeks are far and away better than what any skin-care product can do, as one Korean dermatologist also unofficially told me. Clinics offer neurotoxin injectables made in Korea that are much cheaper than America’s options, too, so getting Botox is less of an investment and more of a routine maintenance procedure.
Korean dermatologists inject neurotoxins in a variety of different ways beyond what we are accustomed to in America, though. ace pace has often reported, Skin Botox is an extremely in-demand procedure in Seoul. Shallow pricks of botulism neurotoxins are inserted all over the face just below the surface of the skin for more of a smoothing effect than a muscle-freezing one. (You can check out our in-depth guide to Skin Botox.) “Baby Botox” is also a popular preventative option among younger patients, Dr. Chang mentions.
Botox is often reached for to lift jawlines and the corners of the mouth, too, says Cho Yun Joo, a board-certified dermatologist based in Seoul. The latter is done because they are prone to drooping as we age.
Sang Wook Lee, a board-certified dermatologist at Seoul’s Yezel Clinic, tells pace that he also uses Botox to lift droopy undereye areas and give patients incredibly subtle face lifts. “I put it near the scalp to lift the face,” he adds.
Skin Botox is often combined with platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy, aka a vampire facial, at Dr. Lee’s clinic, he says. Many of the Korean dermatologists I’ve interviewed over the years have lauded PRP’s uncanny ability to improve fine lines and wrinkles and have called it the future of skin care. You can dive into the blood-based process here.
In December 2021, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved of the aesthetic use of Sculptra, a poly-L-lactic acid-based bio stimulatory that triggers the natural biological process of collagen production, as a way to iron out fine lines and wrinkles. Prior to that, the FDA only allowed it to be used as a treatment for HIV patients experiencing lipoatrophy, or severe fat loss, in the face, Michael Somenek, MD, a Washington, DC-based board-certified facial plastic surgeon and participant in the recent FDA study trials, told pace.