Jamsu: How the Korean Make-Up Hack Works

Don't shy away from water after applying make-up. Contrary to what many women believe, in theory, moisturising your complexion will help cosmetics last longer on your face.
Jamsu: How the Korean Make-Up Hack Works

Last update: 17 April, 2023

Wetting your face after applying makeup? This is what jamsu is all about, a beauty hack that uses cold water to seal foundations and powders.

Like other Korean beauty trends, this method has gone viral on TikTok, where videos are shared showing that moisturizing the skin contributes to the smoothness, finish, and hold of products.

This trend is followed by those who have oily skin and find in the procedure the promise that the wetting won’t detract from the matte effect or melt the layers of makeup. In addition, it imitates the appearance of oriental faces, known for looking flawless.

If your curiosity has been aroused, continue reading and discover the advantages of one of the most popular beauty techniques at the moment.

Jamsu: wetting your makeup to seal it

The term jamsu means “dipping in water”. In the K-beauty world, it’s literally applied as a makeup technique. It’s a plan implemented by Korean women to show off shine-free, long-lasting makeup.

The secret is that the water needs to be very cold, as it would close the pores and help the foundation and powder blend into the skin. So much so, that it would look like a natural polish.

Unless you have a very sensitive dermis, you can add ice cubes to the water, in order to maximize the result.

Benefits of the jamsu makeup technique

Followers of this routine advise doing it twice a week, so that the skin gains softness. Apart from helping the makeup look, soaking momentarily in cold water is associated with facial hydration and minimizing the risk of acne.

Also, soaking in cold water is associated with good blood circulation. An article published by WebMD Corporation states that skin contact with ice water strengthens contractile fibers, promotes firmness, and reinforces arterioles essential for the dermis to respond to injury.

How to apply the jamsu technique?

To carry out this procedure you need a bowl that you can dip your face into. Fill it with cold water, at a tolerable temperature; with ice if you prefer. But, before you immerse your face, it’s indispensable that you clean it.

If your complexion is clean, the makeup looks better. Experts tell us that daily facial hygiene is essential in order to get rid of sweat, sebum, and pollution residues impregnated during the day. Once the complexion has been cleansed, proceed with the following steps.

1. Apply creams

Start with primer, foundation, and concealers; everything that is creamy and similar to the complexion. Don’t do your lips and eyes yet. Concentrate on applying a layer that covers imperfections. Do this with a sponge or brush, just as you would normally apply makeup.

2. Seal with powder

A sealing before doing the jamsu technique is done with powder. Put a sufficient amount of translucent or matte powder all over the face; some women opt for talcum powder.

3. Dip in cold water

Put your face in the water-filled container for half a minute (ears are left out). After 30 seconds, remove your face.

This phase is the jamsu makeup technique.

4. Pat dry

Don’t wipe the towel over your face. Use a clean cloth and press or pat gently to remove excess water.

Don’t do this right away. Wait at least 30 seconds before dabbing lightly to allow the cloth to absorb the liquid.

5. Finish the makeup

Once the creamy products and skin-toned powders have been sealed and dried, continue with the eye, lip, and cheek makeup.  These aren’t included in the jamsu technique because mascara, lipsticks, and blushes are intense shades like black and red, and they’re prone to run once they are wetted.

What kind of products are suitable for applying jamsu?

A review of Korean beauty standards points out that blemish creams, color-correcting serums, and face masks represent 3 of the most purchased cosmetics in Korea. In their culture, having a young-looking face is becoming increasingly important and trendy.

The South Korean Ministry of Food and Drug Safety endorses the label “functional cosmetics” in their market. They would be optimal for preventing wrinkles, erasing blemishes, increasing elasticity, and protecting from the sun.

Although with the jamsu technique you only need cold water, in the phase prior to the immersion, that’s to say, in the cleaning and preparation, it’s best to apply the substances corresponding to this label.

Having specified the details, everything is up to you. Don’t wait for a specific day; practice the jamsu effect in advance. Although the technique is simple, it’s always better to practice until you get the hang of it.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.