Beauty hacks can be dubious at best, dangerous at worst (don’t even get us started on that fake tan lipliner trick). At first glance, a Korean beauty hack currently going viral is the former. The makeup technique called ‘jamsu’ – which roughly translates to ‘submerge’ in Korean – has been around for some time, but is now regaining notoriety across the globe thanks to a TikTok video starring supermodel Bella Hadid and makeup mogul Huda Kattan.
In the video, which was actually filmed several years ago, Hadid tells Kattan she swears by the jamsu Korean beauty hack for flawless makeup. Kattan tries the technique, which involves dunking your fully made-up face in ice cold water for 20-30 seconds for a matte base that stays on all day. The original video recently resurfaced on TikTok, leading to more than 7.8 million views of the term ‘jamsu’ on the social media platform.
Like most viewers, watching people place their fully glammed-up faces into water initially gave me acute anxiety – mainly due to the many unfortunate experiences I’ve had personally, such as watching my makeup drip off my face from sweat. Wouldn’t it be the same? The thought of dripping makeup is just… a lot.
Wanting to understand more about the technique and its origins, I watched TikToker @j.uuuuudy break it down. She says the beauty hack began in South Korea and involves setting your foundation with powder first. “I think originally it’s done with baby powder but we’re using translucent powder today,” she says in the video, before submerging her entire face in a big bowl of cold water.
She continues, “You’ll want to put [your face] in for 30 seconds if you have oily skin, or 15 seconds… if you have dry skin. The result you’re gonna get is matte skin for the entire day.” After placing her face in the bowl for the right amount of time, she gently pats her wet skin dry with a towel to reveal a flawless complexion.
The K-beauty ethos, which is largely based on hydrating the skin, is tried and trusted so I’m willing to give it a go. The jamsu beauty hack follows this philosophy and is said to work by infusing freshly-set makeup with hydration, as the water locks in moisture for a glowing complexion.
Kattan, although hesitant at first, also found that the jamsu technique worked for her. “As you can see it looks like my skin is almost illuminated – it looks airbrushed, it looks amazing” she says after patting her face dry from the dunk, before admitting, “I don’t know if this is good for your skin because if you think about it, you’re kind of closing the makeup into your pores! So you’ll really want to make sure that you’re removing it properly.”