Glowy Skin: 9 Korean Food and Drinks for Flawless Skin!

Glowy Skin: 9 Korean Food and Drinks for Flawless Skin!

Have you ever wondered why most Koreans have porcelain, glowy skin? Beauty products? Maybe. But we already spend a fortune on beauty products for skin care but our skin just. doesn’t. care! Beauty starts from within. That is very true. And it is equally true if we take the meaning literally – good health leads to healthy skin. Meaning a good diet is the way to go if you want to make your skin glow. South Koreans have had a good, balanced diet since they were little, which attributes to their flawless skin. If you’re here, you are in luck. Because your girl is going to share the secret Korean food and drinks that guarantee a glowy skin!

Must-haves for Glowy Skin?


They are substances that can be found in fruits and vegetables, including vitamin C, E and selenium (dairy and whole grain products are good sources of that). In general, they help our skin in two ways – repairing and anti-aging. When our skin is irritated and inflamed, it might get warm, red and itchy. Some may even experience pain. All this is harmful for the skin. But antioxidants help calm these symptoms, soothe and reduce inflammation from happening. This allows time for our skin to heal.

Also, having a large amount of antioxidants in our system helps minimize the damage UV rays or pollutants can do to our skin. I’m sure many people enjoy going to the beach and feeling the gentle sun kiss. But I can tell you this with confidence – there’s nothing gentle about the sunray to our skin.

In fact, sunlight is our skin’s kryptonite – it is the primary reason that causes our skin to age rapidly. That’s why it is so salient to always wear sunscreen, even when we are indoors, because UV rays could be creeping in. With the help of antioxidants, it offers a double protection, and shields your pretty skin from the sun. Now you can fully enjoy yourself on the beach!

Last but definitely not least, they help your skin produce something called collagen…


So what is collagen? It is a kind of protein in our body that holds our body parts like our skin and bones together – so, it’s vital. We usually have a rich amount of collagen in our body, but as we grow older, it becomes fewer and fewer. That’s why our skin starts to lose its glow and moisture. Collagen regenerates our skin and keeps it young and plump! The science in this is that it helps retain moisture in our cells, thus hydrating our skin – which fights off fine lines and cracking (we definitely do not need that). 

Eating food that consists of vitamin C and amino acids, like oranges and kale, helps facilitate the production of collagen. Food like chicken, fish, egg whites and garlic are also great for collagen production.

So, now you know the advantages of antioxidants and collagen to our skin. But what kind of Korean food and drinks help us get them?


As we all know, Kimchi is a type of fermented veggie, a pretty famous one in South Korea too. It plays a major part in Korea’s society – even when Koreans smile for pictures, they say “kimchi” instead of “cheese”. We see them every time we step into a Korean restaurant – they are a must-have in every typical Korean meal and they usually are free. So, local Koreans eat them everyday.

Famous singer and actress, Bae Suzy, actually gets her goddess-like glow from having kimchi every chance she gets!


The traditional and classic Kimchi consists of red cabbage, red pepper, fish sauce, garlic, ginger and spring onions.

Kimchi And Glowy Skin?

Fermented food is known for its health benefits – I’m sure you’ve heard of that from your friend’s friends or have seen it on one of those online forums. But did you know that it is extremely beneficial to our skin as well? To understand the relationship between eating kimchi and having nicer skin, we first have to understand the functions of fermentation first. It is a process in which we soak vegetables in salt water to promote the growth of gut-friendly, healthy bateria.

Our gut is closely related to our skin health. If you have some kind of skin condition or severe acne, it is very possible that there’s something wrong with your gut. Without getting too scientific and complicated, a healthy gut = a healthy skin, and fermented food helps us obtain a healthy gut. One of the examples of how it helps is that it produces good gut bacteria, thus improving our digestive system and in turn “removing” waste within our body more regularly and efficiently. As a result, when our body is clean, our skin will clear up with it too. 

On top of that, the fermentation process also produces a lot of antioxidants which are, as I mentioned earlier, known for slowing down the process of premature aging. Especially in kimchi, it has garlic which has a rich amount of selenium (a kind of antioxidant) that protects our skin from UV rays. 

So, to summarize, if you get too bored from reading all that, kimchi does wonders for our skin – it is the key to youthful skin. Because like Gandalf, the probiotics and healthy bacteria in it helps us (sorry for lack of better words) dump out junk in our body AND soak up nutrients (eg. vitamin B). All of that blesses us with younger skin, and a clear, beautiful complexion!

How To Get Them?

They are usually available in the produce aisle of a grocery store, being refrigerated with other fermented food.  Asian markets will definitely have them. If you can’t find it in your nearby grocery store, go ahead and order it on Amazon!

Glowy Skin: Korean Soup – 

If you watch Korean k-dramas or have traveled to South Korea before, you would notice Koreans love their soup. Like kimchi, they have soup in almost every meal. And sometimes it’s not just an appetizer or a side dish, but the main course. Drinking soup daily helps to hydrate and replenish the skin, promoting skin health. Different kinds of soup also have different properties…

Miyeok Guk (Korean Seaweed Soup)

Seaweed soup is an essential when it comes to Korean breakfasts. The main reason why they are eaten so often is because of its high nutritional value (superfood!). That is also why it is a tradition for mothers to eat it after childbirth, to gain back the nutrients lost and recuperate when they were bearing the children and giving birth to them. Fun fact: they are often featured in traditional Korean birthdays, instead of sugary junk food, as a homage to new moms.

Miyeok Guk And Glowy Skin?

Seaweed has profuse essential nutrients, minerals (calcium, iodine, omega-3 healthy fats & amino acids) and vitamins – they are not only good for our general health, but also fends off inflammation and cleanse our body. By fending off inflammation, I mean it helps soothe the blunt- red skin of all the sensitive babies out there when breakouts or allergies attack. This amazing staple is also rich in antioxidants. 

How To Get Them?

Of course making it yourself is the best, which you can find the recipe here. Super easy to make! But you can also get the pre-packaged ones on Amazon.

Duen jang Jjigae (Korean Soybean paste Soup)

Soybean stew is another staple soup in South Korean culture. The soup has high nutritional value and guess what? It is super cheap and easy-to-make, that’s why pretty much every Korean cook them at home every single day.


Fermented soybean paste, made with only soybeans and brine. 

Duen Jang Jjigae And Glowy Skin?

Soybean Paste is another superfood as soy has abundant antioxidants, specifically vitamin E. Who knows something this cheap would have so many benefits on our skin? Duen jang Jjigae is what every broke person who dreams of having dewy, glowy skin needs! 

How To Get Them?

Korean soybean paste isn’t easy to find in most markets – so, try ordering on Amazon instead! If you want to make them at home, feel free to check out this recipe. And if you don’t want to make the fermented version, check out this recipe instead! Still have tremendous benefits on the skin. And it is very simple to make.

Korean Bone Broth

Remember the last time you went to a Korean restaurant? Remember how many broth + rice combinations are available on the menu? Koreans have collagen-based broth as a main course a lot, with meat like chicken and fish. Despite being delicious and savory, they also have a ton of health and skin benefits. 


Acids (vinegar or lemon juice), chicken/fish/shellfish/beef bone, water, salt and pepper.

Korean Bone Broth And Glowy Skin?

Korean bone broth like oxtail broth ( Seolleongtang ) has bone marrow, which is rich in collagen and keeps the wrinkles away!

How To Get Them?

You can get these stews in most Korean restaurants. But if you don’t have one nearby you can always try making it at home! Here is the recipe for beef bone stew!

Glowy Skin: Drinks – 

Drinking tea is a significant part of South Korea’s culture. It not only nourishes us from within and keeps us hydrated, but various teas also have a wide range of properties and substances that help us get that perfect skin!

Bori cha (Barley tea)

It is a roasted tea drink you can find in almost every fridge in a Korean kitchen, especially during Summer. Korean women love drinking it because it is not only refreshing and tastes good, but also helps them get that supple skin!


Roasted barley and hot water.

Bori Cha And Glowy Skin?

Bori Cha has a rich source of antioxidants and fiber. It helps detoxify our skin and keeps it youthful!

How To Get Them?

You can get roasted barley tea leaves on Amazon. Or just get the bottled ones in most Asian markets (It is available in Walmart as well). 

Nok cha (Korean Green Tea)


Green tea leaves (preferably Korean ones) and 8 oz (~240ml) hot water. 

Nok Cha And Glowy Skin?

It is full of antioxidants. Green tea also helps with inflammation and reduces the chance of us getting pimples because it lowers the level of a zit-producing hormone –  dihydrotestosterone. 

How To Get Them?

(online) Korean Green Tea: U-jeon, Dae-jak

Insam Cha (Ginseng Tea)


10 slices dried, peeled ginseng root, Honey, 5 cups of water.

Insam Cha And Glowy Skin?

The rich vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed in Ginseng greatly improve our skin complexion and help us get that natural glowy skin. 

How To Get Them?

Visit the nearest Asian market or go to the Asian aisles! Or you can get it on Amazon!

Makgeolli (Fermented Rice Wine)

For all of the wine lovers out there, the next time you’re craving for alcohol, you can opt for a glass of makgeolli instead. Not only does it have a sweet and refreshing taste, it also has way more health benefits than the other alcohol. However, it is a kind of liquor after all. So, don’t drink it up like it’s water. 


1 kg sweet rice, 3/4 cup nuruk (fermentation starter), 1 tsp dry yeast, 1 litre water

Makgeolli And Glowy Skin?

Along with the benefits of fermentation, the rice wine is full of amino acids such as lysine and methionine to keep the skin firm and plump. On top of that, a high dose of vitamins B2 and B3 in it are also known to brighten up our skin. 

How To Get Them?

Making it yourself would be long and complicated but it will still be fun! You can find the recipe here! Or you can always try to find an already-made one in the liquor section of your local grocery store or in Asian markets!

Extra Tips For Your Glowy Skin Goal

  1. Drink filtered water like a fish: key to dewy skin is to stay hydrated. Always. When you are hydrated, your skin will naturally look clear and brightened up. Also, try not to drink tap water but get filtered water instead.
  2. Swap processed sugar for fruit: I know I know. Fruits are never going to taste as good as cookies and ice cream. But cut back on those sugary desserts for a bit (if you’re a sweet tooth like me), your skin will thank you as these junk food gives you pimples.
  3. A balanced meal of grilled protein and rice (never bread), with lots of various fermented vegetables such as kimchi and miso paste.
  4. Eat golgoru : meaning don’t be picky and gorge on kimchi, fish and broth

Which Korean Food And Drinks Would You Try?

At the end of the day, you are what you eat. So, choose wisely and be aware of what you’re eating before putting them in your mouth, gradually, you’ll have the glowy skin you desire!

If you would like to know more about Korean food, feel free to check out our Food Blog Page or watch the video below! If you just want to know more about Korean culture in general, go to our Blog Page!

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