Descendants of The Sun: 5 Ways To Achieve Song Hye Kyo's Flawless Skin

Korean television dramas have always been popular across Asia, but the region may have hit peak K-drama fever with military romance Descendants of the Sun - starring suave looking Song Joong Ki and luminous goddess Song Hye Kyo. Seoul's latest offering chronicles the star-crossed relationship between a soldier and surgeon and has won millions of fans across the region. 

Besides keen anticipation on the developments of their onscreen romance, most discussions revolve around their appearance, especially how incredibly youthful Song Hye Kyo looks at 34. I personally worship her. Dewy, luminous porcelain skin is as much the standard as it is an art form in South Korea — and "dewy" is not to be confused with the dreaded oily or shiny face. If you're anything like me, you have always been envious of the white, porcelain skin of Korean pop stars. Take Song Hye Kyo, for example. She is, in my opinion, the epitome of the classic Korean beauty.

Both Songs are in their 30s. Although haters have criticized Song Hye Kyo for looking more like an auntie to Song Joong Ki, the truth is she is every inch the raving beauty she was 10 years ago. That woman doesn’t seem to age one bit and certainly lives up to her reputation of being a gorgeous goddess. Does she have a secret we don’t know?

While baby-face DNA do play a part, naturally youthful women have a few common smart habits that make the seemingly impossible look simple.

(+) 1. Be Proactive in your skincare regime
Well, the best time to fight skin ageing is before it happens. Instead of waiting out passively for the mirror to tell, ageless women choose to take things in their hands. They take primary prevention measures in their college days, like slathering on sunscreen and antioxidants daily, to protect what they have when other carefree youths are sleeping in their makeup. They opt for early interventions to repair the first subtle signs of wear and tear in the fa├žade with non-invasive skin treatments in their 30s, rather than undergoing a massive surgical overhaul when the entire structure has quietly eroded away over the years and the roof finally caves in to hit the ground in their 50s. Song Hye Kyo reportedly goes to the dermatologist for treatments when she's not filming and follows through with a intensive skincare regime everyday!

If you want to look better than your peers and quietly get ahead of others by jumpstarting your ageless radiance, now it's a good time to start!

(+) Start With the Do’s:
Antioxidants along with suncreen are your lifelong BFFS as they help to stave off age-accelerating free radical damage from pollution, hectic schedules, smoking and dietary indiscretions.

It's not the UV rays that can cause damage to the skin — pollution can too. Lots of SPF products today are made with pollutants in mind (shielding you from things like harmful gases from cars in addition to UV rays). Now if you’re the sort who gets really sensitive to pollution – I mean dry, itchy skin with the slightest increase in PSI levels – this one’s for you.

Toxins are everywhere – including in the air. Did you know that just by walking on the streets, you can accumulate up to seven billion toxins on your skin? This accumulation of pollutants can deprive the skin of oxygen, which in turn can cause signs of ageing such as wrinkles and dullness to appear more quickly. To counter this problem, the new Dior One Essential City Defense SPF50/ PA++++ ($95) is formulated with moringa seed extract, which can reportedly prevent dust and other micro-particles from settling on the skin.

Dior’s new One Essential City Defense targets pollution in 3 ways. First, it is said to form a shield over the skin’s surface, preventing particles from adhering to the skin. (Think of it like water bouncing off a glass surface.) At the same time, it strengthens the skin barrier to minimise penetration of pollutants. And finally, should any pollutants enter the skin, they are neutralised by antioxidants contained within the formula.

Adding an antioxidant serum under your sunblock in the daytime helps broaden your protective shield against skin-aging infrared and other free radical producing environmental insults, on top of fortifying your defense against harmful UV rays.  Sloane Inc Skin Superfood Red Algae flexes its lean oil-free muscle against free radical and UV damage with super antioxidant Astaxanthin (a.k.a red gold of the ocean) while supercharging collagen synthesis and radiance.

Using a potent antioxidant like Vitamin C at bedtime quells the on-going free radical riot and boost collagen rebuilding as you sleep. Others, like niacinamide and green tea, have additional anti-inflammatory benefits, helping you curb redness and sensitivity while improving skin elasticity. Sloane Inc's Vitamin C Elixir is formulated with active hydra-stabilized Vitamin-C (L-Ascorbic Acid) and helps to reduce the visible sign of photo aging by fighting destructive free radicals. These productive functions result in retextured, toned, and younger looking skin.

The key to success is to start protecting your skin from daily oxidative damage early, and to stick with it consistently. Like famous mantra goes, “prevention is better than cure”. 

(+) 2.  Korean Red Ginseng
Anti-ager, acne-fighter, spot corrector, and skin protector, this multi-hyphenate power ingredient is like the James Franco of skin care. Science backs up what Korean and Chinese herbalists have been practicing for centuries. Ginseng is doubly prized for its medicinal and therapeutic applications, and though it doesn’t require a specially trained pig to root out, its rarity coupled with high demand translates to high prices. In more traditional Korean households, it’s not uncommon to see large glass urns filled with massive twists of gnarled ginseng floating around on display like preserved aliens in a sci-fi movie. 

In Korea, Sulwhasoo is equated with old-world luxury. The cream is formulated with a potent duo of ginseng roots and berries, as well as a blend of over 20 botanical extracts and oils. Seriously, the ingredients list is like your skin’s wishlist to epidermal Santa Claus. This is truly an anti-aging hero!

To add on to that, red ginseng products are once again attracting keen public attention after actor Song Joong-ki was seen drinking a red ginseng tonic, produced by the Korea Ginseng Corp. (KGC), in an episode of the KBS TV drama "Descendants of the Sun." In fact, KGC reported that sales has surged tremendously! Red ginseng extract is believed to have antioxidant, immunostimulatory and anti-aging properties.

(+) 3. Achieve dewy skin with a lightweight BB Cushion
As all beauty insiders know, nothing beats a K-beauty cushion foundation for that sheer, dewy-skinned effect. These light-to-medium coverage base products have been a staple in beauty routines for years now, owing to the no-makeup makeup look that’s – relatively! – fuss-free and appropriate for all occasions. On top of the natural and radiant glow that it creates on the skin, these products have also been touted to have more skincare benefits than your traditional foundation. 

At the forefront of this trend is the cushion compact, famous for its quick and easy application and ability to create the “mul-gwang-pi-bu” glow – which literally translates to “water glow” skin – seen on several Korean celebrities in popular dramas. Even Song Hye Kyo uses this apparently for her no makeup, makeup look.

A global bestseller, this cushion promises to moisturise with mineral water and brighten with Bead Tree extract. It also claims to soothe and cool skin heated by the sun, by four degrees. Provides light to medium coverage with a dewy and bright finish. Makes skin feel refreshed and supple too. One of my all-time favourites.

(+) 4. Get Regular Facials
Actresses work long hours which means this will inevitably take a toll on their skin! Song Hye Kyo reportedly visits her dermatologist for facials and procedures in her free time. 

For those who want the benefits of an aesthetic procedure that is able to clinically lift the skin yet not forego the comforts of a facial, look no further than the  Illumi-facial. Infra red light is used to penetrate the skin to restore the elasticity and lift saggy skins. This will be administered by the doctor and takes less than a minute.

This painless procedure is followed by a restorative illuminative facial that will give your skin an instant luminosity and health.This treatment combines the long term benefits of clinically effective infra red energies and the instant results of a skin-replenishing facial treatment.

Best for: Mid-life crisis, anti-ageing fix, anyone who secretly wants to look younger.

Recommended for ageing, saggy and dull skin types.

(+) 5. Eat Healthily
Song Hye Kyo’s secret is to stay away from food that is bad for the skin such as chocolates. She eats lots of fruits, veggies and eggs. One of her favorite dishes is pumpkin soup, which she says is good for the health and reduces the body sores. She frequently hydrates her body by drinking water. As a matter of fact, Song recommends to begin the day by drinking two glasses of water on an empty stomach and to complete the daily mission of drinking more than 1.5 liters of water a day. She also pays attention to vitamins for moisture.


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The Skin Radar is an online avenue which documents my tumbling thoughts, ideas and musings from my daily life, mainly based on skincare and beauty. It is designed to take the clutter out of beauty journalism to provide trustworthy and objective insights, new finds and sneak peaks- all in a beautiful and clean platform.

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