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When it comes to beauty, the world can't get enough of all things Korean. In fact, Korea has even surpassed France as the go-to spot for beauty innovation. The biggest, buzziest launches of the past three years — from BB creams to exfoliating powders — have all come from the Asian country. So, when we were looking ahead to find the next big thing, you can bet the very first stop on our expedition was a Korean spa.
We have to admit we're a little spoiled when it comes to Korean spas. The first time we ever went, we inadvertently visited the mother of all spas in New York. Spa Castle is exactly what it sounds like — four floors of indulgent steam rooms, crystal saunas, and futuristic massage chairs where you can eat a Melona bar in peace. We don’t think we're exaggerating when we say it's literally the most amazing place on earth.
If you’ve never been to or even heard of a Korean spa, the concept is pretty simple: Using hot and cold pools, as well as a series of saunas, you rejuvenate, detoxify, and reenergize your mind and body. We know that sounds like the opening lines of a Scientology recruitment pamphlet, but in plain English, it means you’ll look and feel fantastic. On top of the pool and sauna circuit, one of the key treatments at Korean spas are the intense body scrubs which take years and mega layers off your skin.
While the spas are increasingly popular in North America, they aren’t always that easy to get to. Because we don't think anyone should miss out on this unique pampering ritual, we've gone ahead and broken down the traditional Korean spa experience and provided you with the tips and products you need for a DIY home project. Read on to learn the secrets, and then get ready to get your spa on.
Illustrated by Sydney Hass