Exfoliating for Silky Smooth Skin with SKINFOOD’s Black Sugar Collection

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SKINFOOD is one of the first K-Beauty brands I ever came across, and I’ve long been a fan of its adorable packaging and food-based skin care. The brand is home to delicious-sounding collections featuring familiar ingredients such as honey, rice, egg white, carrot and avocado. One of SKINFOOD’s most popular products is the Black Sugar Mask Wash Off, which is known to be effective in exfoliating and moisturizing skin.

Hoping for smooth and bright skin so I can enjoy summer outdoor activities without worrying about my base makeup, I decided to check out some of the Black Sugar collection’s newest products. In addition to black sugar extract, the products feature rice ferment filtrate (sake) and Multi Fruit Complex (which consists of papaya, orange, apple and lemon extracts). Read on to see how I rank the five products I tried out!

Black Sugar Perfect Bubble Foam


This bubble foam cleanser gently exfoliates skin to remove excess oil, impurities and makeup while offering a moisturizing finish. To use, apply the product on wet skin, gently massage and rinse off.

The bubble foam has a sour scent with slightly bitter, alcoholic notes, which is due to its infusion of sake and fruit extracts. The cleanser lathers into soft and ultra-fine bubbles that are extremely gentle, cleansing my skin thoroughly without stripping it dry. It was easy to use and felt great on skin during my daytime and nighttime routines.

Black Sugar Perfect Scrub Foam


This creamy scrub foam removes dead skin cells, impurities and makeup, leaving skin clear and smooth. To use, lather on wet palms, massage on skin, and then rinse off with lukewarm water.

Like the bubble foam, the scrub foam has a tangy, citrusy scent, but is sweeter and less bitter. It comes in a light beige color, and lathers into a dense white foam. I was surprised by the sugar granules in this scrub, which were larger, harder and sharper than expected. They almost felt like little pebbles, so I was worried that the scrub foam would be too abrasive on skin. Although it was effective in making my skin feel smooth and well-cleansed, I would not recommend using this product too often.

Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub 2X


Double the size (a 210g container) of the original bestseller, the essential scrub is enriched with botanical oils such as macadamia ternifolia seed oil, meadowfoam seed oil, evening primrose oil, olive fruit oil, camellia oleifera seed oil and jojoba seed oil. The 5-in-1 product offers exfoliating, refining, revitalizing, moisturizing and purifying effects to improve skin condition, leaving rough and dull skin silky smooth. To use, massage onto wet skin after cleansing and rinse off after 10-15 minutes.

The essential scrub shares a similar scent with the scrub foam, but thankfully, it contains smaller particles that are more like specks of sand than pebbles. The Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub comes in a dark coffee color. I loved the way it looked in the tub, like a decadent dessert. After leaving it on for 10-15 minutes, my skin felt moisturized and rejuvenated. My one gripe was that there wasn’t much liquid holding the granules together, making the scrub quite hard to spread across skin.

Black Sugar Perfect First Serum The Essential


This dermatologically tested serum is formulated with 30% black sugar extract and galactomyces ferment filtrate to smooth, hydrate and brighten skin while reducing the appearance of wrinkles. The formula contains ingredients that were fermented for 672 hours. To use, apply on cleansed face and neck using your palm or a cotton pad.

I wasn’t a huge fan of the fragrance of this serum, which is sweet yet bitter like cough syrup. Apart from that, I love its elegant packaging, which reminds me of an antique pharmacy bottle. The serum boasts a lightweight, watery texture that applies smoothly and is quickly absorbed. During application, my skin felt moisturized and refreshed, and after use, my skin was bouncy and firm.

Black Sugar Perfect Reset Cream


Like the serum, this dermatologically tested cream is formulated with 30% black sugar extract and galactomyces ferment filtrate. Proven to offer brightening and anti-wrinkle effects, the multifunctional product refines skin texture, evens out skin tone and replenishes moisture. To use, apply on face after using a serum or lotion, and lightly pat to enhance absorption.

The cream comes in the same vintage-inspired, amber-colored packaging as the serum. It has a milky fragrance that’s a bit heavy, bringing to mind the old-fashioned scents of my mother’s skin care or greasy sunscreen. I prefer watery and lightweight face creams, so I found its consistency rather thick and oily. However, the Perfect Reset Cream was extremely moisturizing. Even at the end of the workday, my skin was smooth and dewy, in contrast to other moisturizers I’ve trialed in which effects faded over the course of the day.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed trying out these five products from SKINFOOD’s Black Sugar Collection. They work well when used together, but can also be added individually to your existing skin care routine. My favorite of the bunch is the gentle and trusty Black Sugar Perfect Bubble Foam, which does its job effortlessly. I’ve found myself reaching for it consistently even after the trial period. Coming in second is the Black Sugar Perfect Essential Scrub 2X, whose black sugar granules noticeably refined my skin texture. It’s a convenient wash-off mask for an occasional revitalizing boost.

Next would be the Black Sugar Perfect First Serum The Essential, which has a lightweight and comfortable consistency but isn’t particularly distinctive in skin care benefits compared to the other serums I own. The Black Sugar Perfect Reset Cream lost out in terms of its consistency,­­ as it left a greasy finish, but the moisturizer provided impressively long-lasting hydration. The Black Sugar Perfect Scrub Foam is the product I’m least likely to come back to, since its granules felt too harsh on my skin.

Overall, I’m happy with the effects of these five products from SKINFOOD, as they left my skin looking and feeling clear and smooth.

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