It began over sheet masks and wine. That’s how Christine Chang and Sarah Lee would typically unwind after lengthy days at work. They’d spent almost a decade at L’Oréal, each within the Seoul and New York places of work, and that summer time in 2014, like most of their North American colleagues, they have been fascinated with K-beauty. Essences, cushion compacts and numerous different Korean-born traits have been taking the West by storm. “That’s when inspiration hit,” says Chang. “We wanted to place our stamp on this as a result of there was plenty of dialog across the time about Okay-beauty however not quite a bit within the pure, clear or cruelty-free sphere.”
“Our grandmothers would use watermelon rinds to assist heal our rashes within the scorching summer time months in Korea. We’d see outcomes in a single day—it was miraculous.”
They determined to launch Glow Recipe, a web based buying vacation spot that includes their Okay-beauty go-tos, all freed from controversial or animal-derived components. Three years later, they took Glow Recipe to the subsequent degree, growing their very own vary of bespoke merchandise. The thought for his or her first launch, a pink jelly-like Watermelon Sleeping Mask, was sparked by a childhood reminiscence. “Our grandmothers would use watermelon rinds to assist heal our rashes within the scorching summer time months in Korea,” remembers Lee. “We’d see outcomes in a single day—it was miraculous.” They harnessed these hydrating and soothing properties to create what would go on to turn into a bestseller at Sephora.
The very best merchandise value your time, cash and power— get magnificence information and extra delivered to your inbox with our day by day publication.
There have been extra fruits and extra bestsellers since, together with a blueberry cleanser and banana soufflé moisturizer, and now a brand new product joins the vary: a papaya cleaning balm impressed by enzyme baths present in Korean spas. Right here, the co-founders inform us all about their newest child and share a few of their favorite Okay-beauty pores and skin suggestions.
Inform me about this new cleaning balm you’re launching. How did the concept come about?
Lee: “We’ve been double cleaning for a very long time. It’s a really Korean-inspired ritual we realized at a younger age from our mothers. We needed to do one thing somewhat bit completely different with this product, which was to supply further skincare advantages as a result of cleaning is so necessary. It’s the primary precedence by way of your skincare routine. We thought we may use a cleaning balm that helps to take away make-up, SPF and all of the oils off of your face, however why not add enzymes? We love enzymes on the whole; we’ve been taking enzyme baths in public bathhouses in Korea since without end, and papaya has enzymes which might be tremendous efficient however light on the identical time. They assist to take away lifeless pores and skin cells and resurface the pores and skin in a really light approach.”
I’m actually interested in these enzyme baths. Are you able to inform me extra about them?
Chang: “Again once we obtained to go to Korea very continuously, one in every of our first pit stops can be a bathhouse that had these big tubs of enzymes, and the one that was managing the tubs would feed them rice bran to maintain the enzymes alive. You’d dip your entire physique in they usually’d cowl you within the enzymes. Enzymes are completely different from acids in that they solely dissolve the keratin protein within the pores and skin, which is what binds lifeless pores and skin cells. Since you’re loosening these binds, you’re lifting away simply the lifeless pores and skin cells and it doesn’t affect residing pores and skin cells, so that you’re getting that light, ‘simply sufficient’ exfoliation. It will be an on the spot jet lag remedy. As I’m talking about it, I’m lacking it already!”
You talked about double-cleansing being a Korean-inspired ritual. What are another Okay-beauty parts you want to include in your skincare routine?
Chang: “There’s the 1+1 technique, which principally retains you trustworthy by way of cleaning lengthy sufficient. You therapeutic massage your cleaning balm in your face for a full minute and then you definitely use a foam cleanser for a full minute. It is sensible since you’re brushing your tooth for 2 minutes, so why would you suppose you would cleanse your face in 10 seconds? However lots of people don’t try this, so this can be a good trick to be sure to’re actually getting that thorough cleanse.”
Lee: “After which the rule of thumb within the Korean magnificence world is you by no means need to depart your pores and skin dry; it at all times must be somewhat damp and hydrated. So there’s a three-second rule the place you don’t depart your pores and skin dry for greater than three seconds. No strain! [laughs] As quickly as you wash your face, you possibly can simply seize your facial mist and spritz straight away or you possibly can transfer onto your toner step and begin drenching your pores and skin within the liquid remedy. The much less time you could have between every step, the much less dry it’s, the higher hydrated your pores and skin is.”
Do you ever dry your face or do you permit it moist when you’re completed cleaning?
Lee: “It’s at all times somewhat damp throughout the entire course of, and we really don’t use towels as a result of we don’t need it to trigger any friction or micro tears. In Korean magnificence, the philosophy is to keep up a delicate method, so avoiding something that may very well be harsh like rubbing, tugging, pulling, swiping—all of these are banned. Not allowed! [laughs].”
What are some pores and skin suggestions you realized rising up?
Lee: “I feel each of our mothers have been our skincare idols and position fashions. I nonetheless keep in mind after I was somewhat baby, I might hear my mother unpack her skincare merchandise, from her cleanser to her lotions, and I might know she was sitting in entrance of her self-importance, caring for herself. That was at all times an inspiration. We realized plenty of DIYs rising up, together with cucumber masks for brightening and soothing, we did plenty of watermelon misting from the juice that was left over. We put it in a twig bottle and we’d spritz it within the scorching summer time months. That was very nice. My mother used to grind inexperienced tea leaves with yogurt and honey, and that was a brightening and moisturizing DIY facial that we did infrequently. She additionally informed me to verify to care for my neck pores and skin all all through my routine. She nonetheless tells me that on the cellphone to today—each single day! [laughs]”
What do you suppose is the largest false impression round Okay-beauty?
Lee: “The very first thing that involves thoughts is that it’s difficult and it’s 20 steps. That’s simply not the truth; I can’t consider a single one that really makes use of 15 steps in Korea. I perceive why that grew to become a viral assertion, as a result of plenty of Korean girls like to experiment with completely different merchandise, so their drugs cupboards is likely to be a bit fuller. We name it the “skincare wardrobe,” as a result of it’s about understanding your pores and skin and giving it what it wants—you don’t at all times use the identical recipe each single day.”
I additionally really feel like lots of people suppose Okay-beauty is enjoyable and cute, however they won’t notice there’s a lot science behind it
Chang: “I utterly agree. There’s a lot expertise and ingredient analysis and each time we’d return to Korea, we’d be blown away. We simply figured there was a greater strategy to result in these applied sciences and inspirations to the U.S.. Our model is Okay-beauty-inspired. It’s about that holistic method to magnificence, understanding the self-care second, the ritual of it—in addition to clear formulations. It’s actually next-gen expertise impressed by all that heritage.”