Dead skin, don’t scrub it off, give it to your skin
LOVBOD  ·  2021-03-31

Do you know the K-Dead Skin Towel?

From the soup which is ‘siwon’ (delicious) to scrubbing off dead skin which is ‘siwon’ (satisfying), massage which is ‘siwon’ (relaxing) to personalities which are ‘siwon’ (cool). Why are Koreans are obsessed with the word [siwonham] (this is also used as [siwonhada] a word meaning ‘cool’ in English in different situations, but it is also an interesting word that is used in situations such as eating ‘hot soup’ which is opposite from its meaning)

As a Korean, who can’t survive without [siwonham] and a lover of [siwonham], I used to take the K-Dead Skin Towel with me every time I left the country. If I had to stay overseas for quite a long time, I used to take more than 1 K-Dead Skin Towel with me, of course, 1 was mine and the others were for gifts. It’s an object in between as a strategy to make friends with someone who is on the same page with me and as a pure gift. My dead skin towels aren’t the common Italy towels, are shaped in quite cute animals. It was an intended point for an easy approach.


In overseas(especially in the West) they don’t understand scrubbing off dead skins.

Since there was no culture of scrubbing dead skin, but I didn’t care and  introduced the ‘[siwonham] of scrubbing off dead skin’ as if I was the ambassador for my culture. My friends who were not used to this culture asked me about this ‘Dead Skin Scrub’ for a whole day after scrubbing off their dead skins. They asked me questions such as where this was sold, how to use this amazing towel more better, if they could also get it from their country (it was when the ecommerce market was not developed like it is today) and so on. To the [siwonham] we shared, there wasn’t any country borderline or the language barrier between us. I have accomplished uniting the world that no one ever could by the ‘K-Dead Skin Towel’ Even years before BTS appeared.

Dilema of Dead Skin Scrub

But that was just a moment, sorry to my friends on the other side of the world, I haven’t been scrubbing my dead skin as I did before. But instead, I just do a light scrub. Since my skin was too thin and sensitive, except during the winter, I removed the dead skin once every 2~3 weeks but suddenly I could not feel my skin as soft as it was before no matter I how much I took care of it. Ironically, the more I scrubbed my skin to get rid of the dead skins, more dead skins arose. The more I scrub, the [siwonham] that seduced me disappeared but it even stung sometimes.


After finding out that the only thing left was me with reddish skins, I could now see the backsides of the dead skin scrub.

Even I scrubbed until white skin cells appeared, I found out a shocking news that the white skin cells were not dead skin cells but the epidermal layer which protects our body from the outside. After then, I started reflecting about my life of dead skin scrub, where ‘siwonham’ became the main goal instead of exfoliating dead skin cells. Through searching, I found out that many specialists were already banning dead skin scrub from long time ago as it could rather adversely affect the skin.


Then I started falling into a dilemma. ‘What if all the dead skin cells arise on the surface of the skin or turn black and looks dirty. Do dermatologists just watch their elbow with dark dead skin cells, no way, I’ve never seen a dermatologist with dark elbows.’

Take a look again at the dead skin cells

My dilemma of dead skin scrub started off as thinking negatively of dead skin cells. Like I do, most of the people might think that dead skins are something dirty and they have to be removed as quickly as possible, but in face it’s not even like that.


Human’s skin has three layers, the epidermis, dermis and the subcutaneous tissue, starting from the surface of the skin and the layer that is affected by the dead skin scrub is of course the most outer layer, that is, the epidermis. Dead skins are old cells which have been pushed out due to the formation of new cells inside the skin and is firmly woven that it plays a role of defending the inside of the skin from germs or foreign matters from the outside. Not only that but it even functions as preventing water loss or nutrient loss from our body and dead skin scrub is an act that removes the dead skin layer which is essential for a healthy skin. All this time, we did not know this true function of dead skins and destroyed the shield of the skin with our own hands just for that ‘siwonham’.


A dermatology professor in Seoul National University Hospital and also one of the specialists who asserts ‘Never scrub off your dead skins’, Jeong Jin-Ho conducted an experiment in 2009 with the laboratory interns to prove the hypothesis, ‘The habit of scrubbing dead skins is not good for your skin’. The interns scrubbed off the dead skins of their right arms and legs in a public bathhouse, located near Seoul National University Hospital once in a week, for 4 weeks, then observed how their skin changed after 1, 3, 6, 24 hours ~ 3 days, 7 days. As a result, the right side where the dead skins were removed had 20% decrease of elasticity, 10% decrease of moisture and the skin which should be slightly acidic, turned alkaline. It’s quite shocking to check it in numbers.


Therefore, dead skin scrub delays the reproduction of the dead skin layer and accelerates aging.

The skin aging period accelerated much earlier then it should have been to get that sense of pain, [siwonham] (a sense which is sometimes even painful). If there is a guy called Benjamin who’s getting younger as time pasts in the West, there are dead skin lovers in Korea who are running towards their far future of aging. And that, at full speed.

Dead skins, if you still have to get rid of them?

1. Warm up your body in lukewarm(37°C) water for a minute. Be careful as it can cause dryness in your skin if you stay in the water for so long or use a hot water since it will destroy the natural skin oil layer and evaporate the moist faster.

2. Scrub the skin as if you’re massaging, distributing equal strength, following the skin layers.

3. Scrub until grayish skin cells appeared and stop right away if white skin cells appear.

4. After scrubbing, apply the moisturizer so that it forms a thick moist protective layer on the dry skin and coat the skin so that the moist don’t evaporate.

5. Refrain from scrubbing during winter where your skin easily becomes dry, scrub once in a month during summer and except that season, once in 3~4 months would be fine.

We all have dead skins and we all have the right time when it leaves

Medically, it’s good to not scrub your dead skins. If you still need to scrub off your dead skins, remember. You should not think of scrubbing the dead skin just by artificially rubbing them. How about redefining dead skin scrub as including ‘the post-and-post process of getting skin swollen and sufficiently moisturized.’


Dead skin scrub helps in blood circulation and prevent pimples in oily skins but at the same time, it also removes the healthy protective layer on the skin, therefore the specialists recommend at most once a month. Suitable to your skin condition, but if you warm up your skin enough and take special care in moisturizing your skin later, you can maintain a soft and healthy skin.


If you are a person with extreme dry skin, atopic or allergic skin, you should avoid scrubbing off your dead skin if you can. Also, you should be careful with scrubbing off your dead skin if you have diabetes or hypertension, lymphoma or heart diseases since you can easily get xerotic eczema. There are other things that could present us with ‘siwonham’ apart from scrubbing off your dead skins. From now on, let us enjoy ‘siwonham’ from other things except dead skin scrub. What about the dead skins? They’ll fall off by themselves. There is always the right time when it leaves.

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