Summer straits: sun-kissed or pale?

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Summer straits: sun-kissed or pale?

For centuries, in Korea and elsewhere in Asia, porcelain skin was a mark of beauty and aristocracy. People who had to labor outdoors had dark skin.
But somewhere along the way, white skin gave way to sun-kissed skin. Perhaps it was the new glamorous image associated with relaxing at resorts or playing tennis. Frilly parasols were left at home and replaced with sunglasses.
Then health professionals warned that the sun is bad for you.
These days, the beauty camp is split into two categories: tanned and white. But even without roasting in the sun, a sun-kissed look is possible with bronzing products. And for those who prefer pale, this summer’s cosmetics also include whitening products, some with SPF protection.
The JoongAng Daily spoke with an actress and a stylist about summer beauty regimens.


A Korean pop band with a name like Chakra has to be exotic.
The group’s mystical recordings of “Han,” “Hey You” and “End” have made it to the top 10 on the music charts. And the four women behind the band are as exotic as their name.
Each member of the group, backed by Lee Sang-min, formerly of Roora, has a strong sense of style. There’s pixie-haired Lim Sun-hong, bohemian Hwangbo Hye-jung and spunky Lee Kyoung-eun.
Jung Ryeo-won seems like the antithesis of summer with her pale skin. But in this day of caution about overexposure to sun, Ms. Jung’s look is quite appropriate. The JoongAng Daily spoke with her stylist, Kim Yoo-kyung of Artistry Studio, about Ms. Jung’s summer look.

Why white and not tan?
Ryeo-won’s skin is naturally white. Tanning would damage it. It’s healthier this way. Also, if you’re not careful, dark skin can look heavy, even during the summer. Whitening products make her whole appearance refreshing. It helps give her a delicate, romantic look.

What’s the secret of creating a creamy complexion?
Foundation is the key. I use the lightest and brightest color. For Ryeo-won, I apply Biotherm whitening products and Tony and Tina powder. And I make sure to cover up any spots.
Ryeo-won uses sunblock year round, even in winter. Most days she uses blocks with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 15. Only on particularly sunny days does she use an SPF of 20 to 30. Daily use of a sunblocks with high SPFs can irritate the skin.

What about during the winter?
I switch to a warmer color, and use make-up with oranges, pinks and yellow. It contrasts with the weather.

What’s in her purse?
Biotherm compact and Toni and Tina lip gloss.


Biotherm’s Detox Line paved the way for Whitening Detox, a line of products that not only combat the effects of pollution, but also work to create a glowing complexion. The White Spa Gel Foundation has a quick-absorption formula, perfect for hot summer days. It costs 40,000 won ($34).

The two best sellers in Korea in Shu Uemura’s whitening line are Essence LLC and Whitening Recovery Cream. The cream is new this year and works from within to suppress melanin production in order to even out the skin tone. The cream costs 70,000 won.
Origins entered the whitening category in Asia several years ago. One of the newer products is Light Show, a compact with an SPF of 15. The compact adds a bright tone to skin colors. The compact costs 44,000 won. Refills are 32,000 won.

In Korea, Estee Lauder’s whitening line outperforms its bronzing line. Two popular products include a concentrated brightening stick and a twin cake. The stick has a mauve tone that blends well with Asian skin coloring. It costs 47,000 won. The twin cake has an SPF of 24. It costs 44,000 won.


Early this summer, Han Go-eun decided she needed a break from her sex-symbol status in Korea. The model-turned-actress and former host of “Yeonyega Junggye,” Korea’s version of “Entertainment Tonight,” spent three months in the United States. After relaxing by the Pacific Ocean, she returned last month to star in a KBS drama, “Bodyguard.” And yes, she gets to kick some booty, while sporting a tanned look. Her style coordinator, Park Min-jeong, enhances her tan with bronzers from L’Oreal.

What’s the perfect summer look?
Dark skin. It goes with the summer. My tan is natural. I like minimal make-up. Sometimes I’ll use a bluish tone of eye shadow. But otherwise, I don’t really do eye shadow. I like to keep my lips a little glossy. I start with a base color and use clear gloss over it.
When it comes to clothing, people wear more revealing items in the heat. So you have to work out a little bit to make everything tighter. Because of my role in “Bodyguard,” I have to work out.

What do you always carry in your purse?
Night cream. I have it all the time, even during the daytime, because my skin dries out from make-up sessions.
Toner. I know I just said my skin dries out, but the toner contains a little alcohol and that gives me a refreshed feeling. When my face feels puffy, I use it. I even put it on over make-up.

Describe your style.
Natural. I like to keep my own color. If you add too much color, you lose yourself. I only wear what’s necessary.
This also means that you have to listen to your skin. It will tell you what you need. If it feels puffy, apply something refreshing. If it feels dry, apply something moisturizing. Just listen to your body.


One of the most popular colors in the MAC bronzing powder line is golden, which is new this season. The powder has a golden shimmer that enhances a tan and creates a healthy glow. The formula ― mica for pearl, silica for smooth application and isostearyl palmitate for an emollient ― applies evenly. The compact costs 27,000 won.

Estee Lauder’s DayWear Plus lines includes a sheer tint lotion. The lotion adds a glow while protecting skin with an SPF of 15. The formula includes vitamin C and E and natural anti-oxides like white tea, South African red tea and grape seed. Cost is 60,000 won.

Lancome’s Star Bronzer is a line of products that creates a one-day tan. It’s not a self-tanner so much as a golden finish. The product washes off. The Pure Gold body highlighter is a gel-type body cream that shimmers in the sunlight, and nourishes that skin with Vitamin E and C. Cost is 70,000 won.

Clinique’s summer look includes the City Block Sheer Shimmer Daily Face Protector. The lotion adds a slight glow on make-up free days while lightly protecting the skin. It costs 26,000 won.

by Joe Yong-hee
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