Korean skincare has been all the rage in the last few years. Radiant and younger-looking skin? What bride doesn't want that?
Although Korean beauty regimens have increased in popularity worldwide, darker-complected women of color often think these methods aren't suited for their needs. And it's understandable why many black women would be apprehensive to try Korean skincare, especially with so many products labeled as "whitening." However, don't fret- this term is just lost in translation and really means "brightening." Despite this discrepancy, Korean beauty products and routines are appropriate for all skin types. Whether you have dry, oily or combination skin, there's something out there that will work for you. South Korea leads the world in skincare science and provides everyday citizens and celebrities flawless complexions.
You don't need to use Korean products exclusively to follow a Korean beauty regimen. You can simply use what you have on hand, or a combination of brands you love. Just be careful the ingredients you use don't counteract each other, for example vitamin C and benzoyl peroxide lose their potency when mixed together.
After you've determined the ingredients you need, you're ready to start your Korean beauty regimen. The key to Korean skincare is layering products for maximum hydration. This is not just beneficial for drier skin types, properly moisturized skin also helps with sebum control.
How To Do A 10-Step Korean Beauty Regimen
Cleanse: Start off with a clean canvas before applying other skincare products. You'll need to cleanse not just once, but twice. This will ensure the day's dirt and grime will be removed. An oil-based cleanser can easily dissolve makeup, while a normal face/body wash can get rid of bacteria leftover.
Exfoliate: A few days per week, you'll want to exfoliate to rid your skin of excess dead skin cells. This helps remove impurities and counteracts dullness. Women of color are more susceptible to hyperpigmentation, aka dark spots. Physical exfoliants like scrubs or chemical exfoliants like alpha hydroxy acids can help diminish uneven skin tone.
Tone: A toner is an essential step in a skincare regimen. Toners provides moisture, balances the skin's pH level and removes any residue your cleanser may have left behind. Some Korean beauty fanatics like to apply multiple layers in their routine, sometimes up to seven applications, but it's not absolutely necessary to do so.
Essence: An essence is watery in consistency and are often touted as the secret weapon to achieve that dewy glow. Essences are concentrated liquids packed with specified ingredients to treat skin concerns, such as acne treatment and fine line reduction. You might be familiar with essences if you've ever used a sheet mask.
Serum: A serum is a heavier concentrated version of an essence, but it's also less concentrated than an ampoule. Serums provide much of the same benefits you'd find in the essence of a sheet mask, however it's thicker in consistency and provides extra hydration to parched skin.
Emulsion: An emulsion is typically applied after an essence or serum. Emulsions are applied to ensure your skincare is fully absorbed and isn't in vain. They are essentially lightweight moisturizers that combine ingredients that don't naturally mix together. It's much like applying a beauty cocktail to your face and body.
Ampoule: An ampoule is a hyper-concentrated version of a serum and is meant to be used as a treatment for blemished skin. Ampoules are meant to be used from anywhere between two to four weeks, and can help diminish acne, clogged pores, hyperpigmentation, wrinkles and so much more.
Moisturize: This is something you're probably very familiar with from your everyday routine. Applying a moisturizer locks in hydration and keeps skin supple. Those who are acne-prone should look for moisturizers with non-comedogenic ingredients to ensure their pores aren't clogged.
Sheetmasks: Sheetmasks are cotton sheets soaked and they can perk up skin in as little as 15-minutes. Depending on how intense you want your routine to be, you'll want to use a sheetmask anywhere from once a week, or daily. Some Korean beauty fanatics even use a sheetmask for day and night routines, but it's not absolutely necessary that you do so.
Sun Protection: Having melanin is no reason to skip out on sun protection. Harmful UV rays can wreak havoc on skin, so it's important that you do as much as you can to prevent premature aging and discoloration. Sunscreens with SPF 35 are more than sufficient to give you the protection you need.
Brown beauties, do not fear Korean skincare. Feel free to modify your routine any way you see fit. A ten-step regimen can be overwhelming or time consuming for busy schedules. However, a wedding is an event that will be memorialized for years to come. If you're willing to exercise your muscles for the big day, why not exercise the biggest organ on your body? And who knows, you might even be able to cut down your wedding day makeup costs if you're able to have flawless skin all the time. So, take time to pamper yourself in a regimen that's been treasured for ages. You deserve it.