K-Beauty Journey: An Interview with Emma, @sapphireroses_
This time, let us introduce you to Emma, from South-East London. Back to six years ago, Emma was totally new to Korean beauty. She was impressed with how perfect the Korean celebrities’ skin are. From there, she discovered the secret behind every Korean Skincare Products - the natural ingredients.
''Korean skincare has taught me that even oiler skin types can be dehydrated, so using enough hydrating products is just as essential as the cleansing segment of your routine.''
Hi Emma, it’s so great to have you join us with our K-Beauty Journey series and share your journey with us. First and foremost, let’s talk about your skin type, what are your main skin concerns recently?
I have hyper-sensitive combination skin - more on the oily side. My main skin concerns are calming sensitivity & maintaining a good water-oil ratio to balance my skin's inner hydration and sebum production levels. I don't have frequent breakouts, but I like to also focus on decongesting pores at the t-zone area.
So how and when did you discover K-Beauty?
I discovered K-beauty around early 2014. I remember the year exactly because I had just gotten my first job & was excited to be able to have my own money to spend on skincare for example. I'm not really a fan of K-Pop nowadays, but back then I had discovered this genre of music & noticed how the majority of Korean celebrities seemingly had skin free from imperfections. This all led me to researching about traditional & modern skincare routines typically followed in the East of the World - from there I started to recognise that skincare which has more natural ingredients than man-made components are key to keeping skin healthy & were therefore more suited to sensitive oily skin types like mine. So I started off with the Nature Republic Aloe Gel.
Can you share with us your typical skincare routine before?
Before delving into the intriguing world that is K-beauty, my skincare routine was somewhat basic and the main thing I struggled with was distinguishing which ingredients are suitable and unsuitable for my skin personally. I had had an interest in skincare as a preteen, so my routine back then didn't just consist of a cleanser & a moisturiser. I'd usually use a drugstore own brand salicylic acid based gel face wash containing those 'beads' that would just clog up the bathroom sink, followed by 'Olay Beauty Fluid' - which was definitely not for my skin type. Lastly I'd end my routine with a tea tree or witch Hazel spot treatment if needed & occasionally stole some of my Mum's anti-aging lotions & potions (shhhh...she still doesn't know about that) even if I was still a teenager.
Trust me, your secret's safe with us :), so you said that the natural ingredients in Korean products drove you into K-beauty. Could you share more about it?
Like I briefly mentioned above, what drew me to K-beauty was how most Korean products are inclusive of sensitive combination~oily skin types. This meant I could more easily work out which key ingredients work best for my skin - leading me to realise the Green Tea & Artemisia for instance are extremely helpful for dealing with all of my skin concerns. As for the makeup side of K-beauty, I liked how the pigmentation of colour makeup was more subtle than what is typically favoured in the West. I don't feel confident wearing bold smokey eyeshadows, shimmer bronzers or thickly textured lipsticks which are in demand in the UK, etc. 80% of the time Korean eyeshadows & lip makeup is more softly pigmented, thus being more ideal for creating natural or delicate makeup looks which I believe suit my skin tone & features better.
You are totally true, your look is gorgeous. What are your favourite products or brands and why? Or do you have any favourite you can’t live without?
Thank you! Isntree, iUNIK, Barulab, Hanyul, Benton, Mothermade, & d'Alba are just a few of my favourite K-beauty brands. All of them have different strong points as well as unique qualities about them, but overall I think what makes them favourable is simplicity. They all use elements from nature: using that as an advantage for being effective. Mothermade for example strive for sustainability & try to use as few ingredients in each and everyone of their products, Barulab have great vegan sheet masks which are so comfortable & cater to all skin types, whereas Isntree are knowledgeable about skincare containing highly concentrated key ingredients so that everyone can achieve clear skin - having a product/range for everyone. Since using products by these brands, I less frequently have skin sensitivity issues (hooray!). I tend to buy makeup from Innisfree, PeriPera & Etude House simply because they are always on trend and know how to produce nude toned & dried/brick rose point makeup beautifully.
Then share with us, Emma, what have you learned about your skin since using Korean Skincare? Have you noticed any changes in your skin?
Korean skincare has taught me that even oiler skin types can be dehydrated, so using enough hydrating products is just as essential as the cleansing segment of your routine. The main point is lighter formulas, both in consistency & strength, are fundamental for allowing that water-oil balance. Whatever you take away from your skin during cleansing, you need to replenish thereafter.
Couldn’t agree more with you on this. What’s your skincare tip or do you have any advice for those who are on the fence trying K-beauty routine?
I have just one skincare tip or word of advice for anyone unsure if K-beauty is for them... K-beauty is for everyone! Despite Korea not being very Ethnically diverse, there is a skincare brand & key ingredient for everyone; so I say don't knock it until you try it. In terms of colour base makeup, K-beauty still needs to work on being more inclusive for producing more foundation/concealer shade ranges; however Korean skincare is a good starting point. After all, isn't having healthier skin the ultimate goal for most of us so that we can wear less makeup?
Thank you so much for all of your sharing today! It was so inspiring! Now we want to know more about you, shall we play a mini game?
Skincare or Makeup?
Summer or Winter?
Sheet Mask or Sleeping Mask?
Classic or Limited?
Matte or glossy lipstick?
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