Why Skin Inc chose Korean actress Son Ye-Jin to be their first ever brand evangelist

Why Skin Inc chose Korean actress Son Ye-Jin to be their first ever brand evangelist

Seoul sister

Text: Renée Batchelor

With her natural elegance and radiant complexion, award-winning Korean actress Son Ye-Jin is the perfect person to evangelise as the new face of Skin Inc. Find out the inside story

Korean actress Son Ye-Jin first discovered Skin Inc when she was out incognito in Singapore — yes your favourite celebrities do that from time to time — and her actress friend picked up a Skin Inc sample serendipitously from Sephora. Her friend found the product to be so excellent, she returned the next day to buy the brand's Optimizer Voyage Tri-Light and Pure Revival Peel. From there Son was impressed with how effective the brand was. And the rest as they say is skincare history.

Skin Inc has never had a face or official endorsement in its nine-year history so it would take someone special to fulfil this role. Says Skin Inc CEO and founder Sabrina Tan "I never believed in endorsements, but rather in evangelists because we are, after all, a customisation brand. Rather than recommending your personal skincare cocktail, it's more about sharing how your experience has been, and telling others that they may want to try it for themselves. Son Ye-Jin is also a shareholder in Skin Inc [through Spackman Media Group], so she has a responsibility in the business. She understands skincare and she is a very understated person who is very much a Skin Inc girl — she has both substance and style." With the engagement of Son, Skin Inc will also be moving into the ultra-competitive North Asian market within 2017.

In person Son is radiant and youthful, despite the fact that she is truly not wearing a lot of makeup — and we're not just staying that to underscore the fact that she has great skin. The recent winner of the Best Leading Actress at the Baeksang Art Award 2017, she is also at the top of her professional game. Dressed in a chic white toga, with polished pink-nude nails and strappy sandals, she strikes us as the kind of person who emanates a natural elegance without trying too hard — further evidence that she's the perfect person to win over new converts for  Skin Inc. We sat down with her for a 20-minute chat on skincare tips and her experience with the brand.

What do you like most about Skin Inc and what will your role as a brand evangelist entail?
The best thing that Skin Inc does is that it allows everyone to customise their own skincare. As a person who uses the products myself, my role is to act as a kind of bridge between the consumers and Skin Inc. As a woman and actress, I'm aware of the different skin concerns that women have and will give my own know-how and ideas to the brand.

How do you mantain your skin with such a busy schedule?
There are a lot of products out there and I try as many of them as I can to discover what works for me. I do believe that one product cannot fit all skin types, so I choose products according to my skin condition at the time — whether it's feeling sensitive or dry. Once shooting starts I don't have a lot of time, so my routine is not always regular. But once filming is over I have more time to visit facialists. I used to do facial masks once or twice a week, but now I mask almost every day. I once heard that cleansing my skin in the morning was not good and I used to just wash it with water, but now I realised that my skin is oily and I need to cleanse my skin every morning and every night  — even after late-night filming.

Koreans are known for their multi-step routines. Have you ever tried multi-step regimens?
It's impossible to do ten steps! It depends on your individual skin type. If you have dry skin — you may need to do all ten steps as you need the nourishment. But for my skin, that's too much, so I prefer one to two steps.

Son Ye-Jin at Skin Inc's flagship boutique in Scotts Square
How has Skin Inc helped you streamline your routine?
The products are very simple, and when using them I don't have to visit the skincare shops separately. This morning I tried the new Facial in a Flash which is a customisable mask. I used the brightening one (Get Glowin') on the top half of my face and the Soothe-N-Purify mask on the lower half. Then I finished with my customised My Daily Dose serum. Both myself and my management were so surprised by the obvious results — my skin looked so bright and glowing. If I have a big occasion, I'm definitely going to use this simple combination.

What are the best beauty tips you've learnt and what would you advise people to do?
Drinking a lot of water is very important, but it's not easy to even drink the recommended two litres. You must sleep well — and that is also not always easy. Pollution and micro dust is Korea is quite serious and a lot of people have dry and sensitised skin, so I would advise that they use the Facial in a Flash and the Optimizer as a daily treatment.

What beauty products are your travel must-haves?
I apply the Skin Inc Pure Serum Mist before and after makeup. It's very refreshing and I like that the mist is not too concentrated and is made from Japanese onsen water. I usually travel with masks and natural aloe vera — that I grind myself — to treat sunburn. Skin Inc has a product for sunburn, so  I will bring that for my next trip.

How does Skin Inc measure up to Korean skincare from home?
The new Facial in a Flash masks are actually manufactured in Korea! After trying it I will only use Facial in a Flash as you can customise these to your exact skin type — other masks are just for one skin type.

What is your usual makeup routine when you're away from the cameras?
When I go out I apply sunscreen — even when I'm indoors.  When I go out I add on a bit of BB cream and foundation. The micro dust and pollution in Korea is quite bad, so I always believe in applying some makeup on your face, rather than not putting anything, as it's better for your skin.