This is the story of Hyewon’s <Miindo>, which is the most famous artwork of Hyewon that has captured the essence of many women on his canvas and the face that comes to your mind when you think of the traditional beauty of Korea. If you look at it again, the bright-looking face that has never faded all this time will mesmerize you. The compliment of Seolbuhwayong (雪膚花容: snow-white skin and flower-like face) does not seem like an exaggeration. How did women with traditional beauty keep their skin looking fine during a season with freezing winds? <Gyeongheombang>, which is a collection of various medical experiences in the palace, mentions ‘Jobyeong’, which refers to dull, rough, and itchy skin due to the lack of fluids in the body. The use of Jiseonjeon, along with mashed Dioscoreae rhizoma roots, finely ground gingko, and milk to replenish the fluids and treat the cause of dryness, allows us to assume that the royal women were also worried about dry skin. There is also an apparent ancient wisdom that focuses on refining the excessive or insufficient conditions of the body.
There are records stating that calming an agitated mind will help in rejuvenating and healing the skin. Myeonyak serves as today’s moisturizing cream. <Gyuhapchongseo(閨閤叢書)> explains how to use it based on ‘Myeonjibeob’. “During winter, the face becomes rough and it breaks out. Dip three eggs in wine and cover the container with a thick lid, so that the bubbles will not escape. Keep it for four weeks and then apply onto the face to make it look radiant and smooth. If your face and hands crack and bleed, mix hog feet grease and Sophora japonica to patch onto the skin.” It is also said that honey debris was applied and removed to exfoliate the dead skin cells, while the oil extracts from sesame seeds, perilla seeds, and cotton seeds were applied for skin whitening and emulsification. Pearls were also used for skincare. <Donguibogam> ‘Appearance Section’ recommends the pearls and states that they “remove the freckles on the face for the refinement of complexion.