JAN 23, 2020 

Very Vegan VEERAH: Minnie’s Beauty Tips for Glowing Skin

Welcoming 2020 full of inspo via our new blog series, Very Vegan VEERAH, featuring Blogger and Sustainability Consultant, Minnie Shin.

Manolo Blahnik's candy-colored slippers and Fragonard's Swing

PHOTO BY IKA DAM

Kicking off 2020 by introducing a new blog series—Very Vegan VEERAH—where we shine the spotlight on #VEERAHwarriors in keeping up with a vegan lifestyle. Why not make “veganizing” one of your New Year’s resolutions? Allow us to help by sharing vegan lifestyle tips that will allow you to Do Good + Look Incredible. We are always looking for ways that we can empower and encourage other warriors to live their best lives, and what better way to do so than to create an environment for a warrior-to-warrior exchange of ideas, right? Whether you’re a full-fledged vegan or just starting out; or simply interested in just adopting a few pointers for more conscious living, we welcome you to peruse the learnings and hope you’ll take away some inspo from reading this series.

For starters, why don’t we zero in on beauty. This is a topic most of us take a deep dive in, as we try to look good even with the hustle of daily life. We face a multitude of people everyday and good grooming and flawless skin are huge factors in building our confidence. While most of us love experimenting with makeup, we believe that clear and healthy skin will provide the perfect canvas for it. How does one achieve this? We tapped Minnie Shin of Minnie Veggie as our guest blogger to share her tips and tricks on getting clear, glowing skin.

Vegan Beauty Guide to Glowing Skin

By Minnie Shin

The Wallace Collection: Art Museum in London

Don’t you love Minnie’s gorgeous skin?

What is the secret behind the glowing skin of Korean women? Is it because of the popular K-beauty products, which have now become its own separate category in many beauty retailers? I don’t dispute the amazing capability of Korean skin care products, but I hardly believe the products alone is what gives Korean women flawless skin.

By the way, I’m Minnie – Korean natural beauty enthusiast – who takes skin care very seriously. After some research and trial and error, I found the following natural, cruelty-free remedies that can do wonders for your skin.

Disclaimer: Like any other skin care regimen, people react differently to different skin care methods. So when using DIY face masks or any other face masks, use them at your own discretion, and stop using if you experience any irritation or allergic reaction.

1: Cleanse with kelp

A Korean household never runs out of kelp (dry seaweed also known as dashima). It is an essential ingredient used in making the stock of many Korean stews and soup dishes. I was a bit unsure about this at first, but after reading Korean beauty bloggers on Naver (Google of Korea) rave about how Korean celebrities use kelp (dashima) as a skin care regimen, I had to try it!

Manolo Blahnik's private archives at the Wallace Collection

An ingredient to minnie's impeccable skin? Kelp!

Benefits of kelp

Kelp is a sea vegetable rich in antioxidants including vitamin A, C, E, and rich in minerals such as zinc, selenium, and manganese. Kelp face masks are great for skin with blemishes because it helps remove toxins and blackhead build-ups. It also provides deep hydration to the skin without making it oily.

Kelp can be applied directly by gently rubbing the soaked kelp on the skin for a few minutes. You can also make it into a smooth puree with a little bit of distilled water to apply the paste over a cotton sheet mask. I personally like to rub it directly onto my skin as the last step of my evening cleansing routine. The only downside is that it may have a fishy smell, but I’ve gotten used to it over time.

How to cleanse with kelp

Step 1.

Soak one piece of kelp or “dashima” in a bowl of water at room temperature for at least 20 minutes.

Step 2.

Gently rub your face with the soaked kelp for about 1-5 minutes.

Step 3.

Wash the excess kelp extract with the water you used to soak the kelp.

Deep cleansing of the skin is an important step to maintain flawless skin. And I have found this kelp cleansing method to be most effective deep cleanser and moisturizer at the same time. I provide a comprehensive guide to natural and minimal skin care in this blog post.

2: Nourish your skin weekly with a DIY face mask

Using a face mask is a signature Korean beauty (K-beauty) regimen that can help achieve the radiant, glowing skin we dream of. If you’ve ever used Korean face masks, you may have noticed that plants and grains are key ingredients. So why not use the raw ingredients on my skin as well? And after some trial and error, I found black beans to be my favorite mask for skin rejuvenation.

Manolo Blahnik's private archives at the Wallace Collection

Turn your me-time into a beauty sesh and apply a DIY mask to relax and unwind. Minnie’s reco is a black bean face mask!

Benefits of BLACK BEANS

Black beans are rich in anthocyanins, which have been rated to have the highest antioxidant compounds than any other type of beans, fruits, and vegetables! I’ve found that my homemade black bean mask not only has an anti-aging effect that rejuvenates the skin, but also hydrates, corrects uneven skin tone, and even lightens dark spots. My husband has many dark spots and we were both surprised when they were immediately reduced after using this mask.

No wonder I felt as though I’ve aged backwards after applying the black beans on my skin! Of course, your dark spots won’t disappear just after doing this mask once, so I recommend using this face mask at least once a week.

This mask takes a bit of time to make since the beans need to be soaked for at least four hours, boiled, and blended into a creamy, paste-like texture.

DIY BLACK BEAN MASK

Step 1.

Soak ¼ cup of black beans for at least 4 hours.

Step 2.

Transfer beans to pot, add 3-4 cups of water, boil over medium to low heat until only a thin layer of water is left over the beans (Stir occasionally to prevent the beans from sticking to the pot).

Step 3.

Chill the cooked beans at room temperature.

Step 4.

Blend the cooked beans and its water into creamy, paste-like texture.

Step 5.

Apply the mask over a cotton mask sheet or gauze.

3: Enjoy a more whole foods plant-based diet

The above steps won’t do you any good if you are a junk food vegan. Introducing more plant-based whole foods into your diet is a must for achieving glowing skin. I have always loved raw plant-based foods and it is something that I enjoy cooking for my husband as well.

After adopting a plant-rich diet, I’ve seen a dramatic change in his skin including less breakouts. I even see a glow once in a while, although he hardly encompasses any of the aforementioned steps to having glowing skin.

Manolo Blahnik's private archives at the Wallace Collection

More greens in your diet means better and brighter skin!

About Minnie Shin

Minnie is an environmental sustainability and social impact catalyst who works with leaders that are using innovative solutions to change our world for the better. Her expertise includes cross-sector sustainability strategy and branding, impact assessment, ESG integration and climate policy. Minnie not only preaches, but acts on what she believes in. She is the founder of Minnieveggie – a sustainable lifestyle blog that breaks down complex sustainability issues into a fun, readable blog for the public. You can also find her Korean vegan recipes by following her on Instagram at @minnieveggie