Beauty clinics are easy to find in South Korea. Gangman is especially saturated with places that offer beauty enhancement services. Recently I had my first experience visiting a clinic in Apgujeong, which is one of the most competitive prices in Gangnam due to just how prominent and prosperous the industry is in the area. The clinic I went to is called Me & I Clinic (ap-meiclinic.co.kr). A fellow foreign teacher recommended this clinic to me, so I thought why not give it a shot. For all of you curious about this unique aspect of Korean society and culture, I will give you all the details of my experience.
I made an appointment in advance to have a consultation. My main objective was to start getting acne and acne scar treatments. Also, my coworker had raved about the cheap laser hair removal treatments at Me & I Clinic, so I knew I was going to look into underarm laser hair removal. I took a Korean friend with me to help me by being my translator.
When I arrived, I told the receptionist that I had an appointment and was told to wait in very modern and trendy lounge area. Once called into a private consultation room by a doctor, I was asked to list all the treatments/procedures I was interested in. Then, one by one, the doctor described each treatment/procedure in great detail. She went over how each treatment/procedure works, possible side effects, and (of course) the prices. At the end of the consultation, the doctor asks to know which services one is set to move forward with. One can always come back when they are ready to follow through with a procedure, but for those that know what they want, the whole process is fairly quick.
In fact everything is quick, not just the consultation. I picked the services I was set to go through with and was guided to the front desk to pay. I waited for about five minutes in the waiting area before being escorted into a room that had a doctor and assistant ready to get to work. I was on my way home only ten minutes after that!
I was sad to find that I would need to search for another clinic to treat my acne and skin care. The clinic didn’t have enough English speaking staff to treat me at their clinic. This is good for anyone to know, for treatments that require a lot of communicative interactions, you need to look for a clinic that promotes themselves as catering to foreigners. Sadly, they tend to be pricier. Something I was trying to avoid, but oh well. Anyway, I settled for underarm laser hair removal. Five sessions is only 30,000 won at Me and I Clinic! My Korean friend was shocked, for she had done the same treatment for 100,000 won elsewhere. Also, I got underarm botox. It sounds silly, right? Why I do I need wrinkle free underarms? Well, it is because botox injections to one’s underarm is for sweat reduction. I am not gifted like Koreans and Japanese people who don’t seem to sweat a lot and when they do sweat, they don’t smell! But I found a solution that works for six months that cost me 200,000 won. Goodbye sweat and any smell because the hot, humid Korean summer is welcome to come as soon as it wishes, for I am prepared. It really works. I am satisfied.
As for how the procedure felt, well the laser hair removal treatment is a bit painful, but it is endurable. Everyone has different pain tolerances. I was just fine. I was warned that the botox injections would be painful. However, I found that they didn't hurt at all! This may be due to the fact that they were injected right after I experienced my laser hair removal. The botox may just have not compared to the first pain I felt. Who knows! I didn't really mind either.
Koreans are known for their good skin and high beauty standards. The opportunity to benefit from the many services available to cater towards such needs and the great prices in Korea are yours while working as an English teacher. Beauty clinics vary in their specializations from dermatologist skin care, dental care, laser hair removal procedures, to plastic surgery. Regardless if you are interested in it personally or not, it sure is interesting and unique to South Korea.
Giselle Moreno is from California, USA where she attended the University of California, Riverside. While a student, she always worked with international students and she decided to teach English abroad upon graduating during her third year of university. It was through the experiences of being an English tutor for international students that she felt really fulfilled. She found it particularly easy to get along with Korean students which is why she decided to pursue a teaching opportunity in Korea. She even attended Yonsei University in Seoul for a semester as a study abroad student and fell in love with the city. She is currently working at ChungDahm Learning’s April Daechi branch located in Gangnam, Seoul.