Vacations are definitely earned in Korea and I just spent the most wonderful five days on Jeju Island, South Korea’s own little Hawaii. Volcanic beaches, white sand, clear water, rolling mountains, and tons of tangerines and green tea. It was pretty much paradise and rest assured, I’ll be writing a lot about it.
I mean… look at that.
To kick things off, I want to let you all know about one of my favorite things we did on the island. Did you know you can make your own soap on Jeju?
Innisfree, a famous Korean beauty brand, has their flagship store there. Not only can you get lots of amazing skincare products and Jeju-only products, but you can make your own soap!
For W15,000 you get three bases in your choice of tangerine, volcanic, or green tea. You’re allowed the split the kit with one other person, so my friend Elizabeth and I sat ourselves down to get soap making!
When I read this was a possibility here, I made sure we were able to do it. I’ve become a bit of a Korean beauty nut since my move here, and the chance to make my own (at Innisfree no less!) was too good an opportunity to pass up.
The process is quite fun and there’s screens that lead you through the entire process in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, or English. There’s tons of tables, as this is the main thing people come to this store for, so we were seated almost immediately as the staff was quick to clean stations once others were finished.
Basically you buy a kit, we chose volcanic, which has everything you need. We each took a soap base and split the third one, and then got to work. The screens are easy to follow and the work stations are cute.
First you’ve got the warm up the base, so we spent most of our time kneading the base until it was soft, and then began working in the volcanic powder. Things got a little messy, but not too bad. It smelled rather nice and earthy though!
After you’ve worked in all the powder, you need to mold it into your shape of choice. Innisfree recommends a circle, but the child next to me really wanted a long bar, much to her mother’s annoyance. We went the traditional route, though I spent most of my time marveling at the man’s molding skills next to Elizabeth. It was perfectly rounds and smooth and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t match it. My soap molding skills are subpar in comparison to the average Korean male’s apparently!
After molding, you get to decorate! The silicone mat you have provides a texture element, though I only texturized the bottom of my soap. I was more concentrated on the array of adorable stamps on display. In the end I went with a fat pony… because why not?
Satisfied, I put my origami skills to work and wrapped up my soap in the provided paper (makes it seem so official!), and that was it! You can’t use the soap right away however. It needs to set for one week at room temperature to settle.
The kit bag doubles as a carrying case, which is quite cute. Overall, I was really pleased with the experience. For only the equivalent of like $14, you can make up to three soaps, so it’s a really unique souvenir that you had a part in creating!
My hands were super soft after making the soap as well, so I’m really excited to finally try it tonight!! I can’t recommend this enough, especially because Innisfree Jeju House is right next to the O’Sulloc Tea Museum and cafe. While there’s a lovely cafe at Jeju House, I definitely recommend heading next door to get some truly exquisite green tea and various tea flavored drinks and sweets.
Make sure you hit both of these up when you go to Jeju! Because… you MUST go to Jeju!
Innisfree Jeju House | 이니스프리 제주 하우스
Address: 425, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로 425 (안덕면)
Open: 09:00–18:00 (until 19:00 in the summer)
O’Sulloc Tea Museum and Cafe | 오설록티뮤지엄
Address: 15, Sinhwayeoksa-ro, Andeok-myeon, Seogwipo-si, Jeju-do
제주특별자치도 서귀포시 안덕면 신화역사로 15 (안덕면)
Open: 09:00-18:00 (may close early if too crowded)