Tried-and-tested Korean beauty secrets for women with darker skin
K-beauty doesn’t just work best for light skin!
Contrary to what many assume, Korean beauty and skincare doesn’t just work best for light skin. In fact, K-beauty products are formulated for many types of skin tones and complexions.
Beauty writer Siraad Dirshe shared what she learned about Korean beauty and skincare with Popsugar. After researching and trying it for herself, she found that a healthy, dewy face is possible even for her melanin-rich skin.
“The Korean skin care routine is a multistep regimen that focuses on layering various products on the skin in order of lightest consistency to heaviest consistency, or least hydrating to most moisturising,” she writes.
The most important aspects of Korean beauty, she found, are hydration and sun protection (which makes it perfect for darker skin) in order to avoid expensive corrective treatments in the future.
Check out Siraad’s tried and tested picks!
Step 1: Cleanser
A clean face is necessary for any type of beauty regimen. But for Korean skincare, double cleansing is the first step. Using an oil-based cleanser—to remove makeup and oil-based impurities—is a must before using facial wash.
Step 2: Toner
All types of skin benefit from having more moisture. Applying toner is the first important step of hydration so one should always remember this. Toners also help pick up any residue left behind after double cleansing while restoring the skin’s pH balance.
Simply take a toner-soaked cotton pad and wipe your entire face until there’s no dirt left.
Step 3: Exfoliator
Darker skin, due to its higher melanin content, is more prone to hyper pigmentation or dark spots due to sun exposure or as a reaction to a beauty product.
Regular exfoliation helps these spots to fade while shedding dead skin cells, allowing healthy new skin to resurface. Using a natural exfoliator at least once a day leaves skin super soft and glowing.
Step 4: Sheet Mask
These paper-thin masks are ideal for at-home facials that last for only 15 to 20 minutes. There are a variety of sheet masks suited for all skin types, such as brightening or anti-aging. Packed with vitamins A, C, and E while promising you that much needed boost of hydration, sheet masks are best used one to three times each week.
Step 5: Eye Cream
It doesn’t matter if you’re concerned about dark circles, fine lines, or puffiness, eye cream is a must. Remember to tap it onto your skin using your ring finger (the hand’s weakest finger). Avoid pulling or tugging at the skin, which happens if you rub it in; this is because the skin under the eye is very delicate.
Step 6: Serum
Known as the most powerful step in hydration, serums are basically concentrated versions of moisturisers. They’re deeply absorbed by the skin and are formulated for a variety of skin problems such as acne, dryness, dark spots, and signs of ageing.
It works best when massaged directly onto the face which helps increase circulation and brighten skin.
Step 7: Moisturiser
Though this is a step many of us are familiar with, finding a good moisturiser that doesn’t leave a greasy feeling can be a challenge. For Siraad, her favourite is Caudalie’s Anti-Wrinkle Protect Fluid ($44)—a beauty product which works best when massaged gently onto the face instead of rubbing it in.
Step 8: SPF or Night Cream
Your K-beauty inspired skincare routine would not be complete without applying SPF in the morning and night cream in the evening.
Regardless of skin tone, sunscreen is a daily must to avoid premature ageing, sun damage, and dark spots. For Siraad, she uses an SPF 50 sunscreen which she applies 20 minutes before heading out, even if it’s cloudy! She wears it under her makeup so it’s closer to her skin.
Her advice is to choose a heavier night cream to lock in moisture as you sleep, leaving your skin hydrated through the night.