Hyperpigmentation in dermatology means the darkening of an area or areas of the skin. This is due to increased melanin levels. Hyperpigmentation can be caused by different things. In this article we’ll look at the difference between dark, brown, age spots and Melasma. Dark, brown and age spots are due to increased melanin levels in areas of the skin. This skin problem usually arises due to an over exposure to the sun over a long period of time. If you for example like sun tanning and did it recklessly in your 20s without using sun block, you are probably going to have to deal with this problem in your late 30s and early 40s.
Age, dark and brown spots are the same and they usually appear where you’ve exposed your skin to the sun: face, neck, shoulders, hands and arms. These hyperpigmentation problems are harmless (remember that too much sun can also lead to skin cancer). However, these imperfections do have an impact on your appearance and therefore on your self esteem. This is why many try finding treatments to get rid of them.
Some treatments for age, dark and brown spots are skin microdermabrasion, dermabrasion and skin bleaching creams. It’s always recommended to talk to your dermatologist before you undergo any of these treatments because they can have some unwanted side effects. If you want to use a cream, use something that contains Rumex extract (natural melanin inhibitor), rather than hydroquinone (chemical skin whitener). The chemical variant can cause quite a few side effects that can make the problem worse. Natural skin creams that control melanin production on the other hand are safe and effective.
Melasma is also a type of hyperpigmentation problem. It’s also caused by an increased melanin production, but it’s not due to an over exposure to the sun: its cause is hormonal changes. This is why melasma appears during pregnancy. Melasma is harmless, but can just like age spots, affect one’s self esteem. Treatments for melasma are the same as for age spots. You need something to prevent and control melanin production. Since this is a problem that arises during pregnancy, harsh treatments are not recommended. A natural skin cream that contains Rumex extract is therefore the best way to treat melasma without causing any problems to your baby.
What Is An Emulsion?
Lotions, liniments, massage oils, creams and compresses are all external preparations such as moisturisers but are also used to treat conditions such as skin problems and rashes, to relieve bruising, aches and pains.
But what is an emulsion and what does it actually mean.
All of these products tend to be water and oil preparations and as a result of the oil content will absorb into the skin.
Making a lotion, cream liniment etc is based on blending the oil and water in the right proportions to make an emulsion. Leave it long enough and it will eventually separate. By adding an emulsifier, this becomes a stable product and will remain bound. The emulsifiers you then select are dependent on which type of emulsion it is.
So What Is The Difference?
An emulsion can be made in two ways: either as a oil in water emulsion or a water in oil. Sound the same don’t they and they do create a similar result.
If it is a oil in water emulsion, then the oil is the disperse phase and the water is the continuous phase.
If it is a water in oil emulsion, then the water is the disperse phase and the oil is the continuous phase.
Either type of cream/lotion can separate into it’s components over time even with the emulsifier present and can sometimes be caused by extreme temperatures, the wrong proportion of the disperse component and the addition of other components such as alcohol.
Most people these days are selective of what they put on their skin, so be aware of what type of emulsion it is. Try to find a product that has natural emulsifiers in it and uses natural oils are the base. Your skin will thank you for it.
Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner
This mist-type toner is slowly becoming a new classic. It’s hydrating, refreshing, and it’s great for calming irritated skin
This cool hydrating mist is made up of 91.9% Barberry root extract, which is a powerful antioxidant known for its anti-inflammatory, energizing and nourishing properties. Pyunkang Yul Mist Toner quickly absorbs to hydrate and refresh your skin. It also soothes the skin and prepares it for the next stages of your skincare routine.
Barberry Root Extract, 1,2-Hexanediol, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Sodium Hyaluronate
How To Use
After cleansing, hold the bottle 7-8 inches away and spray. Follow with the rest of your skincare routine. Also can be used as a mist to freshen up throughout the day.
Pyunkang Yul products are free of artificial fragrances, dyes, or irritants. I love the fact that it’s a multi purpose product because it can be used not just as a toner but also as a mist. Works over makeup when you need a little freshening up. It can help if your skin tends to be shiny and oily. Also works great for those like myself who tend to have enlarged pores or are prone to breakouts due to excess sebum.
Innisfree Jeju Volcanic Color Clay Mask
This is a water gel clay mask that revitalizes tired skin with JeJu volcanic clusters and pomegranate seed oil.
Volcanic clusters are a natural ingredient that forms when lava from a volcano eruption solidifies on JeJu Island.
The volcanic clusters purifies the pores thus providing superb sebum control which helps keep the skin vibrant. This is a great mask to use for people with oily skin. It is a water gel clay texture which is lightweight and rich in moisture.
JeJu Volcanic , hyaluronic acid, pomegranate seed oil, Parthenon, madecassoside, sea salt, mud, and vitamin C derivatives
How To Use
Since this is a moisture enriched mask, it tends to dry quickly. It is recommended to use after cleansing by applying a thin layer all over your face or just on problem areas. Leave on for 5-10 minutes then rinse thoroughly with lukewarm water. Use 1-2 times a week.
Inisfree is a natural brand that shares the benefits of nature. The color clay line comes in 7 different colors that address different skin concerns. This allows you to multi-mask by selecting the mask color suitable for your various skin concerns. I felt like it was easy to use. Worked well and didn’t leave my skin feeling to dry or tight as some clay masks usually tend to do.
Hey guys! We’re happy to announce that we will be having a Lucky Draw for our BomiBox subscribers. Random winners will be receiving this unique TU Mask Pack from MibyK in the next BomiBox which ships next week. If you’re one of the lucky ones let us know! If you’re not, don’t worry we will be having more of these draws ❤️
The TU Mask is a 2-zone Mask with different sections for your T-Zone and U-Zone. The T-Zone contains Jeju O2 Water & a herbal relief complex to soothe skin & purify pores. The vitalizing U-Zone contains vita water & beta glucan to smooth & deeply hydrate your skin. Check out @mibyk_official on Instagram or mibyk.co.kr for more info.
One thing Korean skincare is known for is the “10 step skincare routine”. There are hundreds of articles that detail exactly what those 10 steps are, with some taking it to a further 12 and 15 steps with yet others paring it down to much less.
This becomes very confusing to those who are new to Korean Beauty. Many would be forgiven for thinking that they need to follow all 10 steps twice a day, every day, when that’s not the case at all. It’s even more confusing when you see people on Instagram using so many different and ever changing products in their routines on a daily, weekly and monthly basis.
With any skin routine, not just the Korean Routine, it is basically 3 steps with additional steps in between. For some it may only require 3-4 steps, for others as high as 15-20. It all depends on what your skin needs.
The 3 basic steps in a Korean Skincare routine or any skincare routine are: Clean, Treat, Protect.
If we take those 3 steps and map it to Korean beauty functional products, it’s a lot simpler to understand. The basic steps of a skin regime can be divided as follows:
Step 1: Clean
1. First cleanser: This is to remove makeup, sunscreen and dissolve dirt with an oil based cleanser. These can come in the form of an oil, a sherbet balm or a cream.
2. Second cleanser: To cleanse the oil and any left over impurities. It’s typically a liquid, gel, cream or foam based cleanser, one that you mix with water.
3. Toner – Toners are called “Skin” in Korea and is seen as one of the most important steps to get your skin hydrated and prepped for the rest of your skincare. Most toners balance the pH level of your skin to protect your skin barrier from bacteria, and prepare it for your treatment products. Some products need an optimal pH level of your skin to work effectively, hence using a toner is more than just an extra cleansing step. Many Korean toners are hydrating, rather than astringent as with many Western toners that contain alcohol which can be drying on the skin.
Step 2: Treat
4. Essence – This step is to treat your skin with hydrating, healing, repairing, protective or nourishing ingredients found in essences and serums.
5. Ampoules, Boosters, Facial Oils – These typically come in dropper bottles or similar, and are used to treat a specific condition. It is usually targeted for whatever your skin needs e.g. hydration, lightening of pigmentation, ranti-edness, repair, dryness, wrinkles, acne, brightening etc
Step 3: Protect
6. Eye Cream – Protect the delicate eye area with a nourishing eye cream
7. Moisturizer – Protect, hydrate and prevent moisture loss with a moisturizer. Most moisturizer are both a humectant and occlusive, An additional step before your moisturizer is an emulsion or lotion which are both thinner and are used as a lighter moisturizer e.g. in the Summer when moisturizers are too heavy on your skin.
8. Sunscreen – During the day time use sunscreen to protect against sun damage. Use a sunscreen that has a high sun protection factor (SPF) during the day time even if indoors. Most sunscreens protect against UVB rays (the ones that tan the skin), and the more harmful UVA rays which are the ones that cause skin aging and can even penetrate glass. Newer sunscreens also protect against HEV (High Energy Visible Light) which can cause or aggravate pigmentation and aging of the skin. If you suffer from pigmentation, look for a micronized sunblock with ingredients like zinc oxide or titanium dioxide, mexoryl SX or avobenzone.
Some additional exfoliating or treatment steps are specific to skin concerns as they arise and are used in the Treat step above as applicable. Eg. Retinoids might be used for anti aging, pigmentation or acne; AHA or BHA for cell renewal and pore cleansing; kojic acid for hyper pigmentation; vitamin C for additional brightening; anti-oxidant products for anti-ageing, pigmentation or acne treatment as prescribed.
The additional steps depend entirely on your skin’s needs. Some of us only get PMS related or hormonal acne and only need to use acne actives at that time of the month, so it wouldn’t make sense to use acne targeted products every day. This is why it’s important to not simply follow someone else’s regime as their skin’s needs at that time might be different from yours at any given time.
Certain products are only used weekly or biweekly, again, depending on your skin’s needs. An example is exfoliation. You can exfoliate skin using a physical, chemical or enzymatic method once a week or more if your skin can handle it.
Physical exfoliation is when you use a manual exfoliator or a scrub that has specific exfoliating granules in the product which works by the movement of your hands to remove the layer of dead skin on your face. Physical exfoliation can also be achieved by using a cleansing device such as a Clarisonic or any other sonic cleanser.
Chemical or enzymatic exfoliators are products that contain specific ingredients such e.g. Glycol Acid, Salicyclic Acid, Lactic Acid etc which loosens trapped sebum and dirt and sloughs off the top layer of skin.
Masks are a staple in any Korean skincare routine. They come in many forms like sheet masks, clay packs, modeling masks, sleeping pack masks etc. It can be used as often as your skin needs it to target specific skin concerns, with some Korean actresses even claiming to use one every single day! It’s always important to make sure that the mask you use will not clog your pores and is suitable for your skin type.
Many South Koreans visit estheticians or skincare spas at least monthly, with some going as often as weekly. Monthly treatments can include more in depth skincare treatments such as chemical peels, skin rejuvenation, laser treatments, or simply a luxury facial to pamper the skin. It’s not necessary, but dependent on your own needs and budget.
That’s basically what the “10 step Korean beauty routine is”, which isn’t actually 10 steps as you can see. Your Korean or other skincare routine can include as many or few steps as your skin needs. The best way to get to know your skin and what routine works for you, is to test products by introducing one every 2-3 weeks and selecting treatment steps based on your skin’s needs.
It’s also okay to mix and match different brands as it has not been proven that using only one brand yields any better results than using a few brands. What matters are the ingredients inside the products.
As long as you’re cleaning, treating and protecting your skin, it doesn’t matter how many extra steps are in your routine to treat your specific concerns.
Most of us have become familiar with AHAs (alphahydroxy acids) and BHAs (betahydroxy acids), but PHAs are fairly new to many. PHA, which stands for polyhydroxy acids, is the more gentle group of hydroxy acids which in clinical trials showed exceptional skin benefits with less irritation than other AHAs.
AHAs are known and proven for their ability influence skin cell turnover rate and regulate skin formation with the most tangible result being peeling. PHA quite simply is an AHA, but slightly larger in size with more hydroxy groups. Poly = multiple, hence the name polyhydroxy acids.
Some examples of PHAs are sugar acids such as lactobionic acid which comes from oxidized lactose (milk sugar) and gluconolacctone which comes from oxidized glucose (natural sugar in the human body).
Both PHAs and AHAs have similar anti-aging benefits, with the difference primarily being the irritation caused to skin. With AHAs containing only one hydroxyl group, they are known to cause burning, stinging and tingling. It is thought that the larger molecular size of PHAs penetrates at a slower rate than AHAs and hence causes less irritation.
PHAs is the ideal hydroxy acid for those with sensitive skin that can’t tolerate AHAs or those who are looking for gentler alternatives to AHAs.
The benefits of PHAs like with AHAs, include enhancing cell turnover, improving skin tone, reduction in the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, hydration and general skin smoothness. Another great benefit of PHAs is that they chelate excess iron in the skin, thus reducing oxidative damage.
Chelation is the process where metal is trapped so it can be rendered inactive and not be able to cause free radical damage induced by iron. For example in iron overdoses chelation therapy is used so the body can trap and remove the excess iron in the body. Iron is one of the inducers of pigmentation in photo aged skin.
Overall, if you are thinking of starting AHAs, or switching to something more gentle, then a PHA product is the way to go.
Bomibag is our newest addition to the Bomibox family. It’s a monthly Asian Beauty goodie bag subscription, for those who want to dip their toes into Asian Beauty.
You’ll receive a monthly Bomibag which includes 7-10 Asian Beauty items. Products will include 1-2 full sized items, plus a variety of deluxe sized samples, foil samples or beauty tools from Korea, Japan or Taiwan.
The first bag will be shipped at the end of June
Get it now at the launch price of $18.99
Normal price: $19.99Free US Shipping
*Stock is limited. Image is a sample Bomibag with a representation of what to expect. Actual items will vary from month to month.
Subscribers this month received a free travel size of the Symphony Beauty Moisturise Makeup Cleansing Wipes in Cucumber & Aloe Vera. These soft cleansing wipes gently sweep away makeup, oil and impurities, leaving skin perfectly clean and moisturized in a single, easy step.
Featuring a soothing blend of natural cucumber and aloe vera extracts, these wipes instantly restore the skin with long-lasting moisture. Each wipe is also infused with the ultra-brightening complex arbutin, which naturally illuminates the skin to impart a radiant, youthful glow.
This 10 sheet pack is the perfect size to keep in your car, purse, makeup bag or travel kit.
For more info visit http://symphonybeauty.com/