A few weeks ago, one of our favorite followers tweeted us:

“Have you seen this @amaliebeautyinc?! I could NEVER ?”

“This” was a link to Jamsu–the newest Korean beauty trend, which is actually the oposite of baking, but has the same effect: Users dunk their faces into a bowl of cold water after applying a full face, to keep their makeup in tact all day.

Sound crazy to you? Keep reading to find out how to reap the benefits of Jamsu…without having to dunk your face in a bowl of ice water every morning.


Note: This blog contains affiliate links. All products reviewed were purchased by us and reviewed by us without compensation.


Jamsu: An Introduction

Jamsu (잠수) is the Korean word for “dive” or “submerge”. So it literally is what is sounds like – submerging your face in water.

The tweet from a follower wasn’t the first time I had been introduced to Jamsu. This video by Japanese beauty guru YoonCharmi (they really do things differently on the other side, don’t they?) had already been making its way around the beauty world online for a few days.

What I didn’t see were any of these beauty writers actually trying Jamsu. Hmm I wonder why…

Probably because it’s inconvenient (who-what-when-where-how am I gonna do this every morning?!), kind of horrifying (what if my makeup melts?) and just really, really weird.

I’m personally not a fan of the Western answer to Jamsu, baking–where one covers their face in translucent powder to soak up the excess oil and “set” the makeup, then brushes it off–because it’s drying and itchy. So Jamsu seemd right up my alley…


Jamsu: Does it Work?

To be honest, I tried Jamsu a few years ago by mistake(?). There was a common game in college where we dunked our heads in ice water and stayed there for as long as possible. You know that I don’t touch waterproof mascara (here’s why), so naturally I was worried about all of my makeup–but mainly my mascara–melting off. But never, never did my makeup melt off.  It actually stayed on longer and the ice water made my face tighter.

Now the whole “dunking your face in ice water first thing in the morning” trend is not new by any means. Many celebrities swear by it. It actually has its own name: Face Icing.

Yes, it’s messy and definitely kind of scary–especially if you’re dunking your face like in jamsu–but face icing has a long ancient history with Ayurveda and other cultures, it actually works, and it’s free.

You know what else? It keeps your makeup in tact!


Jamsu Alternative: Eau Thermale / Thermal Spring Water

When our follower tweeted me about Jamsu, I understood her shock. It is shocking after all, to think about dunking your face in a bowl of water after you’ve labored over your makeup; and the longer you spend perfecting it, the less interested you are in potentially messing it up.

But you know what I really hate? The fact that every single date, without faily, my makeup melts off as the day wears on. And I already know from personal experience that Jamsu and ice Jamsu really do work.

Realistically, I’m not going to prep a bowl of water every morning to dunk my face into it, so I wanted something more realisic. Lo and behold, my answer came to me in the middle of a Watson’s Drug Store: La Roche-Posay’s Eau Thermale:

The first time I was introduced to Eau Thermale (availalbe here) was through a friend several years ago. One day she just pulled it out of her purse and sprayed her face. She seriously threw me off guard… I would never!  But she was China, and in China these type of hydrating face sprays were already extremely popular several years ago. Now I know why.

I picked one up at Watson’s and thought: what the heck. I love the brand already, I want to try Jamsu and my face gets seriously dehydrated on the flight from Chicago to Hong Kong. If it doesn’t work for Jamsu, it will surely be a great spritzer for the flight. 


Eau Thermale / Thermal Spring Water: Why It Works

The flight-friendly size was $5 on sale (typically $10 in the US), which seems hella expensive for a bottle of water. The spray was not a spritzer, but in fact a micro-fine mist spray… making the experience suddenly a lot more luxiurious. 

According to the Ulta site: “The Thermal Spring Water is at the heart of most of La Roche-Posay’s products. Its unique combination of mineral salts and trace elements has been scientifically demonstrated for its soothing properties and used in Europe for centuries. Contains a high concentration of selenium, a powerful natural antioxidant. Mineral-rich micro-droplets provide immediate, intense soothing. A gentle, fine mist of micro-droplets. Last step in cleansing, first step in caring, to tone and refresh skin.”

On my first day, I was skeptical, but the micro-fine mist makes it a lot easier (and less scary) to spray your face with. It settles gently onto the skin, allowing you to run your finger across your face without smuding your makeup.


That’s right. No smudging.

I carried the Eau Thermale spray with me throughout the rest of the day, spritzing if my skin felt dry or if I just wanted a little wake-up mist.

12 hours later, my makeup was stil in tact. Thank you Jamsu – but more importantly, thank you Eau Thermale!


Conclusion: Thermal Spring Water as a Jamsu Alternative

For some reason, this product is just one of those guilty pleasure products: it’s a little pricey, but it’s good for your skin and actually works for two things:

  1. Keeping makeup in tact all day, without any scary chemicals
  2. Refreshing and hydrating your skin

Maybe the trace minerals from the spring water help your skin, maybe they don’t. Possible benefits are better than possible side effects, and Eau Thermale is definitely gentle enough for any skin type.

I keep the 1.8oz bottle tucked in my backpack now, alongside my Josie Maran Lip Sting Plumping Butter (product review here). Together, these two good-for-you beauty products keep me feeling fresh and fabulous all day long–no face dunking required.

Have you tried jamsu or a water spray? What did you think?


Find your perfect spring water:

Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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