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Home » ‘I obtained €20 botox in South Korea and I’m hooked’

‘I obtained €20 botox in South Korea and I’m hooked’

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Inside South Korea’s viral magnificence clinics – the place botox prices solely €20.

Regardless of its hostile border, South Korea has by no means struggled to lure in guests, attracting a whopping 17 million vacationers yearly.


It’s simple to know why. The nation has one thing for fairly actually all people: whether or not you’re a part of the Ok-pop cult, a spicy road meals fanatic, historical past geek, or just an admirer of the normal (and extremely Instagrammable) hanok structure.

However, rising on the skyline of Seoul is a brand new development that has vacationers flocking en masse: botox.

Tapping into the nation’s personal obsession with perfection and picture, the beauty process has develop into ubiquitous in South Korea’s capital, the place clinics provide it at all-time low costs.

So what’s it like to go to considered one of these low cost botox clinics and are they secure?

Magnificence requirements in South Korea

The societal stress to look good is tangible on the streets of Seoul, which will be sort of intimidating as a vacationer.

Everyone seems to be dressed to impress in high-end designer manufacturers and groomed to meticulous element, whereas someway giving off an air of nonchalance.

However South Korea’s image-focused tradition goes a lot deeper than a luxurious wardrobe. The nation boasts the best price of cosmetic surgery per capita, with studies stating round one in three South Korean girls have gone below the knife in some unspecified time in the future of their life.

Demand for beauty surgical procedure and injectables has develop into so insatiable the worth has develop into extraordinarily aggressive – with some clinics providing botox as little as 29,000 received (round €20).

South Korea’s no-frills botox obsession

Gangnam – house of the eponymous and grating tune – has develop into the center of South Korea’s magnificence tourism.

The neighbourhood is now a concrete jungle of pores and skin clinics and dermatologists that supply a slew of facials, injectables and beauty surgical procedure procedures for costs which are virtually too good to be true.

Muse and Lienjang Plastic Surgical procedure are two clinics recurrently visited and endorsed by social media influencers. They’ve each racked up a powerful following from sharing sufferers’ earlier than and after images, in addition to their newest promotions.


However these clinics aren’t the fluffy sort of spa-like experiences present in Europe or the US. There’s no royal-drying gown and classical music whilst you wait to your remedy.

Actually, clinics like Muse and Lienjang function extra like a militant fast-food chain.

What’s it like inside a Seoul botox clinic?

You self-check in on an iPad and wait till your quantity seems on the TV display above you.

If you need a espresso you may make it your self – you’re not going to be served peppermint tea whereas kicking again on the chaise longue.

It’s sort of nostalgic, actually. It jogs my memory of being eight years outdated and ready for my Argos assortment quantity to be known as out so I might get my curler skates.


You may ebook an English session, however availability is restricted they usually go fast. Right here, you’ll be requested what sort of procedures you need, the potential unwanted side effects, and the entire value.

Brevity is essential in these conferences. You’ll be informed to anticipate swelling and discomfort then have a chip and pin machine shoved in your face.

After that you simply’re despatched upstairs the place you wash your face with the merchandise supplied and put your belongings right into a locker.

When your title known as you’ll be taken into what seems to be slightly bit like a morgue: a perpetual hall of 20-something-year-olds all dying from the concern of not wanting good sufficient.

Once more, this isn’t a sensual, stress-free atmosphere. You go in, get your remedy, then go away.


So, if you’d like the outcomes and don’t take care of all of the thrills, you may like South Korea’s method to magnificence tourism. Should you’re after a extra lavish and pampered expertise, I’d recommend you go elsewhere.

‘I’m hooked’: South Korean botox tourism

Raouia Naji is a medical physician from Tunisia who lately visited Lienjang Clinic in Gangnam.

The 27-year-old had brow botox, below eye fillers and a microneedle pores and skin booster.

In Europe, these procedures would sometimes rack as much as €1,000 or extra. However in South Korea, they’re out there for as little as €158.

In an interview with Euronews Journey, Dr Naji explains how she usually sees earlier than and after movies of South Korean clinics pop up on her Instagram and TikTok pages.

“At first, my sister tried skincare procedures earlier than her marriage ceremony on the similar place and had such expertise, so I used to be tempted too,” she provides.

After ready a few weeks for the outcomes to totally kick in, Dr Naji says she was “very blissful” with the tip product.

“I’m hooked and I don’t suppose I’ll strive anyplace else however South Korea as a result of they had been so mild… I didn’t realize it was this low cost.

“I need to take all of my buddies there!”

Is South Korean botox the following ‘Turkey tooth’?

As magnificence tourism continues to bloom in South Korea, so does concern. Are these procedures being completed safely? Ought to injectables be so accessible to younger folks? And are Europeans quickly going to be strolling round with frozen faces and drooping eyebrows?

Within the put up ‘Turkey tooth’ period, extra individuals are conscious of the potential downfalls of going overseas for a magnificence makeover. However submitting your tooth to tiny nubs appears to be asking for bother, whereas botox is shortly changing into seen as a typical process.

I spoke to aesthetic surgeon Dr Glyn Estebanez of Prima Aesthetics in Chester, UK to seek out out whether or not botox tourism is as secure as marketed – or if vacationers are risking an excessive amount of to eliminate these pesky crow’s toes.

“Botulinum toxin is essentially the most toxic neurotoxin and will subsequently be life threatening,” he tells me. “Nevertheless, when administered in small doses like those which are used for botox, it’s thought of to be extraordinarily secure.”

What are the dangers of getting botox?

The primary dangers with having botox – or any anti-wrinkle injections – aren’t from the drug itself, however from remedy that’s carried out by a practitioner who is just not certified or skilled, Dr Esetbanez explains.

If botox isn’t administered appropriately, or within the right place, problems can happen. These embrace an infection, imaginative and prescient issues, respiratory issues and short-term asymmetry of the face.

Nevertheless, Dr Esetbanez says problems like these are “uncommon if in the appropriate fingers”.

“You must keep in mind that these procedures are ‘blind’,” he provides. “What I imply by that’s that they’re carried out below a affected person’s pores and skin and, while we are able to have a good suggestion of the facial anatomy, we’re nonetheless penetrating the pores and skin and muscle tissue to position the botox or filler.

“If that is positioned incorrectly by somebody with insufficient information it might result in pores and skin necrosis, blindness or paralysis of the muscle tissue inflicting deformation of a affected person’s face.”

With this in thoughts, it’s essential to vet your clinic and ensure your practitioner possesses the appropriate {qualifications} and coaching.

The invisible aspect impact of botox

It’s simple to know how suffocating the stress to look good is for South Koreans, and sadly, it’s a catch 22.

I spoke to Dr Esetbanez a couple of aspect impact of botox that may occur anyplace on the planet – whether or not you’re in a sketchy salon in South London or a famend clinic in Los Angeles: notion blindness.

“What I imply by that is the truth that we’re redefining our magnificence perceptions on a regular basis after remedy,” Dr Esetbanez tells Euronews Journey.

“After a number of weeks, that recent face turns into the conventional face we see within the mirror day-after-day. What will we do then? We’re going to concentrate on one thing else and that’s going to trouble us.”

This could put sufferers in a susceptible place.

“Unscrupulous practitioners will chase and chase this stuff, and the affected person then strikes additional and additional away from the pure place to begin. We lose sight of the place we began and develop into targeted on the person issues.”

This could in a short time develop into a “good storm” if the practitioner can be unable to understand the refined tweaks that improve pure magnificence, Dr Esetbanez warns.

“Many practitioners sadly undergo from notion blindness too, and subsequently concentrate on important transformations which in flip can result in a distortion of magnificence.”

Submit-procedure: The right way to keep secure in case you get botox on vacation

Hygiene requirements in Seoul’s beauty surgical procedure clinics appear excessive, and the potential unwanted side effects of botox – whenever you’re in the appropriate fingers – appear much less scary than these pearly new whites from Bodrum.

However, is it a good suggestion to journey to any nation for a remedy that may trigger threat? I spoke to Shehzeen Ahmad, managing director at Dubai Beauty Surgical procedure, who sees sufferers travelling from all around the world for botox and different remedies.

She advises avoiding locations the place there isn’t any “adherence or strict laws about sufferers’ security” – which is the widespread fault of the Turkey tooth nightmares you see on-line.

“You will need to be sure that you stay within the nation post-procedure to make sure there aren’t any problems,” Ahmad provides. “This timescale can range from two days to 1 week.”

Most clinics additionally advocate returning after every week or two to verify sufficient botox has been injected. They may usually promote low cost bundles the place the second dose is even cheaper.

But when all of that is too complicated and conflicting, there may be a straightforward resolution: simply sleep with a frownie patch.

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