For this episode of #skinconfessions installment, we’ re talking to our Operations Manager, Monica Shin. She oversees the production process and makes sure that all paperwork in the company is done well and finished on time.
Q: How would you describe your skin?
Monica: Very dry. So dry that even in summer, I need heavy moisturizing cream. Lightweight creams/gels do absolutely nothing for my skin. Girls in the office often complain how hard it is to manage oily skin, but in all honesty, having extremely dry skin that is not a piece of cake either. It can easily add a few years if I’m not diligent enough with my moisturizers. In Korean, we have a word akkeonseong [악건성], meaning “really really really dehydrated,” and I’m the perfect example.
Q: Do you have any particular skincare concerns?
M: Well, on top of being super dry, my skin is also papery-thin. You can almost see through it. And while I wouldn’t describe it as sensitive, it’s sensitized easily, so I have to be very careful with what I put on my face. I also have smile lines, and year after year, my skin is losing firmness.
Q: How would you describe your lifestyle?
M: I work in the office, so around 70% of the time, I’m clunking away on my keyboard. The rest of 30% I’m on my foot – in our warehouse or meeting our suppliers and partners. I’m not very into sports, and luckily my job allows me to move a bit during the week. But I know I should move more, so try to take long walks on the weekend if the weather allows.
Q: Walk us through your typical summer morning and evening skincare routine.
M: I never wash my face with a cleanser in the morning, just splash some water. I then apply a hydrating toner. Generously. Summer or winter – it doesn’t matter. I always use rich, viscose-y toners. After years of experimenting, I found that using hydrating products at every stage of the routine is the only way to keep my skin from being completely and utterly dehydrated by the end of the day.
After toner, I apply a thick layer of moisturizing cream ( REALLY moisturizing), then moisturizing sunscreen. Sometimes, instead of regular sunscreen, I use our Aqua Light CC cream, which has the same protection level as my daily sunscreen (SPF 50+/PA+++), plus it’s tinted. I don’t wear eye make-up, so that’s it.
In the evening, I use an oil cleanser (or oil-based cleansing pads)/ low pH cleanser combo to wash the day off my face. Toner comes next and I might follow with some kind of brightening or firming serum if I feel like it. I don’t feel like it very often and honestly, over the years I’ve realized that the best anti-aging product is a moisturizer. That’s where most of my skincare money go. Sometimes I’d use a hydrating sheet mask, like our Rich Snail Mask, or a sleeping pack when my skin is feeling extra rough.
Q: How does an Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash fit in your skincare routine?
M: I use it every night as my second cleanser, and it’s been working great for me. I don’t like dense foams (they dry my skin out mercilessly), so I add quite a lot of water when lathering the product to make airy, weightless foam. A foaming net serves this purpose well.
My favorite way to use it though, is with cotton pads. I massage the foam first into my skin and then, instead of rinsing it, I’ll remove the foam with a dry cotton pad. It gives a light physical exfoliating effect plus my skin looks sort of polished afterward. I don’t do it every day, more like 2-3 times a week. This is the only form of exfoliation my dry skin needs in summer.
Q: What do you like about Active Charcoal Enzyme Powder Wash the most?
This is the first charcoal product that’s actually mild enough for me, which makes me very happy. I love charcoal, but most of the products I’ve tried (and I’ve tried plenty) sucked the last bits of moisture that was left in my skin. I’m glad we could make our Charcoal Powder Wash so suitable for different skin types.
Another thing I appreciate is that it’s keeping my pores clean. Even if I have dry skin, it doesn’t mean my pores don’t get clogged. But I can’t use acids – they sting and tingle. So, our charcoal powder wash is an excellent alternative for me!