Tips for Surviving Winter in Korea

If you’re like me and you hate padded jackets, you’re gonna stand out like a sore thumb (or, I guess, a slim thumb) because you don’t look like a giant marshmallow compared to the rest of Korea. The good news is, you can still be warm and sleek without padding! Here’s how I stayed warm inside and outside the house during Korea’s winter. A lot of these seem like common sense if you’ve lived in a region that has actual winter, but I’m gonna spell it out for those who’ve never gone through the horrors of winter.

  1. Layers of Heat-tech (or other thermal clothing). Sleep in heat-tech. never take your clothes off. Become one with the heat-tech.
  2. Hot packs
  3. Drinking warm beverages in the morning and at night. (Hot tea, hot toddy…whatever floats your boat)
  4. Fuzzy socks
  5. Lined boots. As of December, Koreans have gone full winter garb everywhere else except their feet. I still see destroyed jeans that cut off right above the ankle, ankle socks and thin flimsy sneakers. And then they’re still hopping around from foot to foot claiming that it’s cold. Wear some thick socks and warm shoes. Your feet will thank you by not turning purple and falling off.
  6. Gloves
  7. Face masks. they’re not just good for preventing the spread of germs. They’ll protect your face from the biting wind.
  8. A humidifier
  9. Carmex
  10. Face spray
  11. Hand lotion. Trust me, Korea is DRY. I’ve never been so ashy as I’ve been in Seoul during the winter months.
  12. If your home’s water doesn’t get too warm (like mine) here’s what you can do to take a semi-decent shower. Stop up your sink and pour in some boiling water. Use that to later up, then if the water from the shower head decides to get hot, use it to rinse off. You could also shower during the daytime.
  13. Heating pads for the bed.
  14. Switch out your skin care routine.
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