So we’ve all heard of Korean beauty (k-beauty).
When I discovered it about 6 years ago, I automatically thought it would not be for me. Understandably, I wasn’t alone in this thinking. The marketing definitely lacks diversity – off putting. Feels exclusionary.
My thoughts: Would these products even work on me? Would they work well with my deep skin tone, which is more likely to experience hyperpigmentation and skin sensitivity because of its melanin abundance? Was I even welcome in this space, what with so many K-beauty products advocating their “whitening” powers?
The facts are, K-beauty skin care regimens are actually ideal for people with deep skin tones, because they focus on hydration, exfoliation, and protection — the three essentials.
A K-beauty regimen can feel long-winded (think: 10 steps – essences, serums, ampoules, etc.), but it really works. Is it a quick fix? Absolutely not. But if you’re struggling with hyperpigmentation, dullness and breakouts, this process works.
What makes K-Beauty so unique and successful? Well, it’s because of their mastery in the use of natural ingredients such as rice water, aloe, honey, birch sap, etc. These ingredients are usually combined with modern actives to create extraordinary products. They are also affordable.
THE K-BEAUTY PROCESS
1. Oil based cleanse
2. Water based cleanse
3. Chemical/ physical exfoliator
6. Treat (serum, booster, ampoule)
7. Sheet mask
8. Eye cream
WHICH PRODUCTS ARE BEST FOR DEEP SKIN TONES?
An essence is like a moisturiser, but it hydrates without the heaviness of a cream. This one is formulated with over 80% bacteria-rich fermented ingredients (think probiotics for your skin), as well as polyglutamic acid, which is like hyaluronic acid but even more hydrating (up to 10 times more, in fact). To use, pat on a few drops after you cleanse but before you apply serum.
The brightening queen in K-beauty is vitamin C. This serum is made with ascorbic acid. And even if you’re not necessarily worried about uneven skin tone, it also fights environmental pollutants that can lead to a compromised skin barrier.
Sunscreen is one of the most critical steps in everyone’s skincare routine! Especially (yes, especially) for deeper skin tones, which can develop hyperpigmentation when exposed to too much sun. My favourite SPF from the K-beauty world is COSRX Aloe Soothing Sun Cream. It provides SPF 50 protection. The formula is also fast-absorbing, non-sticky, and doesn’t leave a white cast. Perfect!