It’s difficult to talk about beauty without mentioning Korean skincare products. Commonly referred to as “K-beauty,” these products have been trending in the US for a while now. So, what’s all the fuss about?
K-beauty focuses on using high-quality, natural ingredients that contribute to overall skin health– not just a specific concern. Remember the glass skin trend? The whole point was to have skin so healthy, hydrated, and supple that it looked like glass. And what product was everyone using? Peach and Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum– a K-beauty product.
In the same vein, whether you’re patting product into your skin or formulating, K-beauty practices tend to lean into gentleness. Each of these gentle practices show a reverence for skin and its health that is a refreshing departure from the heavy exfoliation in the US. Fortunately for everyone, as long as cosmetics remain a significant export in Korea, we get to enjoy the benefits of K-beauty innovation.
Before you shop Korean skincare, take the advice my esthetician Chanel of Chanel Esthetics gave me: “No skincare is one size fits all because everyone’s skin is different. Approach Korean skincare the same way you’d approach any skincare– don’t expect your skin to magically change overnight. Find the right ingredients to address your skin’s specific concerns and be consistent.” Enjoy the hype of K-beauty, but don’t forget that not every product is for every skin type.
Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun Rice + Probiotic Sunscreen
The key to fading dark spots is wearing SPF every single day and reapplying throughout the day. This Beauty of Joseon Relief Sun SPF uses rice extract and grain fermented extracts rich in vitamins B, C, and E, minerals, and amino acids to soothe and moisturize. The product feels like a lightweight moisturizer, and there is no white cast.
CosRX Advanced Snail 96 Mucin Power Essence
A holy grail product for many, CosRX’s Snail Mucin Power Essence uses low stimulation-filtered snail mucin to fade dark spots, improve texture, and hydrate the skin. I’ve recommended this product more times than I can count and have used it for years.
CosRX AC Collection Acne Patch
CosRX’s hydrocolloid patches are practically invisible on the face, absorbs discharge, and maintains humidity to help prevent further breakouts.
The best part about this collection is that the patches come in different oblong shapes and sizes to cover more area. They’re perfect for if you tend to break out in clusters.
Peach & Lily Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream
Peach & Lily’s Matcha Pudding Antioxidant Cream looks like thick green pudding, but doesn’t suffocate the skin.Matcha, the peptide complex, adenosine, and cape lilac help fight premature aging, environmental stressors, texture, and hyperpigmentation.
Touch in SOL No Poreblem Priming Water
The No Poreblem Priming Water is like a big drink of hydration for your skin. Featuring Bulgarian damask rose oil and rose water help lock in moisture and add a radiance to the skin.
Laneige Cream Skin Toner & Moisturizer with Ceramides and Peptides
Another holy grail in the skincare community, Laneige Cream Skin is a milky toner loaded with ceramides and peptides to hydrate and prep the skin. Gently pat this into your skin in layers to get a radiant glow and long-lasting hydration.
Beauty of Joseon Glow Deep Serum: Rice + Alpha arbutin
Using rice bran water and alpha arbutin, Beauty of Joseon’s Glow Deep Serum helps remedy hyperpigmentation and texture issues.
Rice bran water, an amino acid, helps keep the skin hydrated. Alpha Arbutin 2% inhibits tyrosinase activity, limiting melanin production.
Peach & Lily Glass Skin Veil Mist
Peach & Lily’s Glass Skin Refining Serum is already popular, but I have to advocate for the Skin Veil Mist. Mists are great as refreshers during the day, and this mist will give you that freshly-done-skincare glow.
Cucumber water keeps your skin hydrated and refreshed, Peach extract helps with radiance, Reishi Mushroom fights inflammation, and Lotus Extract fights environmental stressors and brightens your skin!
If you’ve felt the joy of earning your bronzed glowing skin after a good, long day in the sun, then you’ve felt the pain of realizing that glow is fading into your paler winter shade as the weather cools down. If you’re ready to leave that pain behind and be your most glowy self year-round, you need to add summer tan lotions to your body care routine.
Do Sunless Tanning Products Work on Black People?
A common myth associated with summer tan lotions is that they don’t work on darker skin tones, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Summer tan lotions work by temporarily staining your skin.
Most commonly, you’ll see dihydroxyacetone (DHA), “a 3-carbon sugar that interacts with the protein-rich stratum corneum to produce melanoidins,” as the active ingredient in sunless tanning products. Other brands have found different ways, like using natural pigments, to create the desired result – darker, richer skin tones without extended exposure to harmful UV rays.
Not all sunless tanning products are built the same, and you may find some with ingredients that increase the amount of UV rays you absorb to help speed up the tanning process. Make sure you wear UV protection all the time, especially when using products that increase your risk of exposure to harmful UV rays.
Shop Summer Tan Lotion
Maui Babe Browning Lotion – $24.00
Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion is a “tanning accelerant” meant to help you achieve glowy summer skin faster in the sun. The lotion uses a “secret family recipe” combined with other natural Hawaiian ingredients like light mineral oil, Kukui Nut Oil, Kona coffee plant extract, and more.
The brand recommends limiting sun exposure to one hour the first time you apply the product. You should also apply sunscreen before applying Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion. If you live in an area that is fairly sunny year-round, this is a great option!
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer – $10.49
Jergens Natural Glow Daily Moisturizer is perfect if you’re looking for a low-upkeep way of maintaining your summer glow. This gradual summer tanning lotion uses DHA as its active ingredient and takes about a week of daily use to develop, making it great for folks who want to approach tanning lotions more conservatively. Just use it daily in the place of your all-over moisturizer.
This tanning lotion also uses a combination of collagen, elastin, and polymers to help reduce the appearance of cellulite.
Tanologist Daily Glow Hydrating Gradual Glow Moisturizer – $13.99
Tanologist Hydrating Gradual Glow Moisturizer takes a very skincare-first approach to summer tanning lotions. Formulated with DHA, hyaluronic acid, beta-glucan, sweet almond oil, and squalane, this product creates a buildable, natural-looking glow.
Similar to the Jergens Natural Glow Moisturizer, Tanologist’s dermatologist tested and approved moisturizer is a gradual tanning product. Use the lotion daily until you reach your desired glow. The longer you use it, the richer your tan becomes.
Banana Boat Summer Color Sun Tanning Lotion – $10.00
Banana Boat’s Summer Color Sun Tanning Lotion is the most subtle option on this list and is great for those who want just a hint of glow.
Use this summer tanning lotion if you want a foolproof way to shake the pale winter look without as much risk of going deeper than you intended.
Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam – $24.00
The Bondi Sands Self-Tanning Foam, while not a summer tanning lotion exactly, is perfect in a pinch. The active tanning agent is DHA, and the foam smells like coconut!
Apply the foam with an application mitt, and you can shower any residue off after just one hour. If you want a deeper, longer-lasting tan, leave the product on for up to 6 hours.
L’Oreal Paris Sublime Bronze Tinted Self-Tanning Lotion – $10.99
The L’oreal Paris Sublime Bronze summer tanning lotion gives you the best of instant and gradual tanning products.
The actual tanning lotion is tinted with a shimmer to provide an instant glow, while DHA and alpha hydroxy acid (AHA) derivatives gradually deepen your skin’s tone.
SunBum Natural Browning Lotion – $18.49
Similar to Maui Babe’s Browning Lotion, SunBum’s Natural Browning Lotion accelerates the sun’s natural effects and gets you to your glowy summer shade faster. With this product, apply SPF at least 10 minutes before the browning lotion for adequate protection. Formulated with coconut oil, aloe, Kona coffee extract, Argan Oil, Kukui nut oil, and more, SunBum’s browning lotion is a popular and effective sunless summer tanning lotion!1