It’s a new year, and we’re looking forward to a bright year ahead, in more ways than one! Bright skin is one of those skincare targets that so many of us aim for and yet it can seem so difficult to achieve. So today, we have 4 top tips to incorporate into your routine for the best possible brightening and revitalizing results. Read on…
Now before we go any further with this, the first rule of exfoliating, is not to over-exfoliate. If you exfoliate too frequently for your skin, you’re going to end up with damage. Skin can become sensitive, red, flaky, itchy, and dull and you won’t gain the brightening results you’re looking for!
Moving on…you can exfoliate your skin in two ways, manually or chemically. Manual exfoliators, such as facial scrubs, physically buff the dead skin cells from the surface of your skin. There is an immediate result from these, but they can be particularly harsh when overused. Chemical exfoliators dissolve the bonds between dead skin cells, causing them to loosen and come away from skin. Chemical exfoliators typically contain BHA (beta-hydroxy-acid) or AHA (alpha-hydroxy acid) ingredients and take time to show results. There are a wide variety of chemical exfoliators with varying strengths, so start slowly and test on your skin to avoid reactions.
The Innisfree Green Barley Gommage Peeling is a great starter exfoliator because it’s gentle on the skin and provides light all-around exfoliation. Innisfree is a Korean favorite “natural brands”, with their responsibly sourced ingredients from Korea’s Jeju Island. This mask product contains 3 different exfoliating ingredients- salicylic acid for chemically exfoliating the pores, glycolic acid for chemically exfoliating the surface of skin, and cellulose for manual exfoliation. Although this may sound like a lot, the formulation and pH means it’s a very gentle yet effective way of smoothing the skin. You simply leave the mask on skin for around 3 minutes for the chemical exfoliation ingredients to work, before massaging into the skin (this is when the manual exfoliation occurs as the cellulose balls up) and rinsing. When used twice a week, this will help reveal a naturally brighter complexion, without overdoing it.
There are many ingredients that can help skin glow, and thus look brighter and more radiant. Here are three of the most popular that we frequently see in Korean beauty products:
Propolis is just a goodness powerhouse, and we’ve talked about it in many of our blog posts. It’s a natural ant-inflammatory and anti-septic ingredient, so it can help reduce redness and heal acne. This contributes to the appearance of brighter skin. However, it’s also an intensely moisturizing ingredient and results in plumped skin that has that inner glow.
Korean brands typically love to include niacinamide in their ingredients list for the power of brightening. Also known as Vitamin B3, it’s suitable for almost any skin type and helps target dull, tired skin with consistent use.
Yuja (or yuzu in Japan) is a citrus fruit and has high concentrations of vitamin C. This means it is a rich source of antioxidants, which help prevent damage to skin, and yuja also stimulates collagen production. This will result in a smooth, youthful appearance that will make the skin appear brighter.
Let’s start backwards with this one. Dehydrated skin looks dull and is more prone to wrinkles because it’s deprived of water. And yes, your skin can be super oily and still be dehydrated. Dry and dehydrated are completely different conditions. Dehydrated skin lacks water within the cells, not oil.
Therefore, it makes sense that hydrating the skin will result in brighter skin. Cells full of water are plump and the skin is bouncy, which gives the appearance of a more vibrant complexion. Hydrating products form a key part of any Korean skincare routine. When I personally began incorporating hydrating toners and essences into my daily skincare, which I’d never done before I began exploring Korean skincare in 2014, I saw a huge change in my complexion. I had dull, uneven skin and within around 3 weeks of using hydrators, I suddenly had a glow that I never thought was going to be possible. My skin had been severely dehydrated without my knowledge or understanding of it.
Simply select a hydrating toner or essence, such as the super concentrated Primera Miracle Seed Essence, and pat into the skin immediately after cleansing. The product absorbs quickly so it’s very easy to incorporate into your routine and it’s a step no one should be missing out on for smoother, brighter skin.
While it’s important to hydrate our skin for brightening, we also need to ensure that moisture does not easily escape in order to maintain that radiance. That’s where maintaining a strong moisture barrier comes into play. After hydrating our skin, we should use a moisturizer to seal in the moisture. This will also contribute to keeping skin plump, healthy, and bright. If you have oily skin, you may prefer a light gel-type moisturizer, such as the Dr Ceuracle Tea Tree Purifine 80 Cream. This lightweight, silky cream will soothe and moisturize while helping keep skin clear. If you’re on the drier side, a moisturizer with ingredients like ceramides and oils may be preferable. IOPE Hyaluronic Cream is a great option for dry skin, as it both hydrates and intensely moisturizes. It helps the skin stay supple and revitalizes the complexion. Ensuring your moisture barrier is taken care of will help your skin retain water and ultimately prevent dullness.
These tips can be very easily incorporated into any skincare routine, whether you prefer using 3 products or 10. Radiant, healthy skin shouldn’t be the result of on-trend dewy foundations or glowing highlighter, but from a consistent skincare routine. Simple and straightforward skincare is our aim for 2020, and utilizing these easy tips should help us work towards brighter results for our skin.
Katherine Spowart from skinfullofseoul.com