K-Beauty—the 10 step skincare movement that has taken the world by storm— can often seem overwhelming for many Black beauty lovers. From sheet masks with snail mucin, to licorice infused toners, Korean skincare has become a staple in the routines of influencers worldwide. But as Korean society often applauds pale white "glass" skin, many K-Beauty products have been overlooked by sistas looking for a glow up.
Now, with more and more Korean beauty brands entering mainstream markets, companies like Glow Recipe, Belief, and Erborian are coming for our pockets with rich, potent ingredients to keep our melanin dewy and bouncy all year round. So, from one beauty lover to another, here are 5 tried and true K-beauty products that have worked magic on my dark skin:
Good serums will change your life, quickly infusing your skin with the potent ingredients you need to fight acne, dryness, or fine lines. The Neogen H2 Dermadeca Serum Spray is an innovative serum mist packed with vitamin C for attacking hyper-pigmentation (every Black girl's enemy of progress) and allantoin to calm and hydrate sensitive skin. It's secret weapon includes hydrogen, which is excellent at burrowing into your skin to encourage cell turnover and fight off free radical damage—like that nasty LA pollution.
Trust me, a toner will radically improve your skin! Toners will not only remove any remaining bits of oil, dirt and debris left behind by your cleanser, they also help soothe, nourish and hydrate the skin while restoring its pH balance. That’s exactly what the Acwell pH Balancing Licorice Toner does for my dry skin! The licorice not only helps with cleansing, but it evens out skin tone and combats discoloration. It’s also a 5.5 pH balance, meaning it won’t strip your skin of its natural dew. Get this cult favorite while you can—last year it had a 2,000 person waiting list!
hoto: The Plant Base
Hyaluronic acid has taken over my life, y'all. For sistas with dry skin like me, it’s become such an integral part of many beauty routines. I love The Plant Base Waterfall Moist Balanced Hyaluronic Acid Ampoule, which melts right into my pores, leaving my skin moisturized, plump and glowing all day. This serum is formulated to capture and continually diffuse water within the skin to restore its moisture balance, leaving your dehydrated skin plumper and firmer over time.
Although many beauty gurus swear by that sheet mask life, I could never find one that actually left my parched skin moisturized for more than an hour. After a work trip to Singapore last month (and a brutal 15-hour flight), I thought I’d try the Innisfree Hydrating Rice Water Sheet Masks. I placed the essence-infused sheet mask on my tired skin and become an instant believer that these are the best sheet masks I have ever tried! They are drenched in a rich essence that includes green tea, tangerine, cactus, camellia leaves, and orchids, truly cocooning your face in a layer of moisture for hours.
Charcoal is a supercharged ingredient that is being introduced into beauty products from shampoos to cleansers. For those of us wanting to attack large pores and oily skin, the $10 Erborian Purifying Face Soap with Charcoal is bae for real! It gives you a deep, pore penetrating cleanse with a luxurious lather that purifies oily skin using shea butter and licorice root extract.
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