Wedding preparations can be stressful and on that one particular day, every bride wants to look perfect. Glowing skin, fresh look is desired and also achievable. We believe it starts with a well-matched skin routine. Today we share our conversation with Sarah Ly (@sarahs_skincare), who shared with us her k-beauty bridal skin routine.
Starting my journey into k-beauty
Karolina: Sarah, tell us about yourself.
Sarah: Hi, I’m Sarah, I’m a Product Manager in the Medical Device industry which is busy and quite stressful. I’ve relocated a few times to progress in my career. Now I live in London with my husband but I’m a northern girl at heart. I joined the beauty community as a way to escape the stresses of corporate life and to meet new friends in London. I love nothing more than starting my skincare ritual at the end of the day, it helps me to unwind.
Karolina: I think your story resonates with a number of women who use skincare as an escape from daily stresses. How long has it been since you started your experience with k-beauty?
Sarah: I dabbled in the k-beauty when I was younger when I went to Hong Kong for a holiday and saw beauty adverts. It was the first time I saw a Chinese model on the billboards and was influenced by products that achieved flawless skin. But of course k-beauty wasn’t readily available in the UK so I went back to western brands. It was when I went to Seoul 2.5 years ago that I regularly incorporated k-beauty products into my routine.
Karolina: What was the reason you started experimenting with Korean cosmetics?
Sarah: I was fascinated by unusual ingredients such as snail mucin and I researched more into anti-ageing products because of Korean women age really well. Korean products are also effective and affordable compared to high-end western brands.
K-beauty skin regimen
Karolina: How does your daily routine look now?
Sarah: I try to keep a consistent routine as I have sensitive and reactive skin. Changing products too frequently disrupts my skin barrier. My morning routine focuses on hydration, anti-ageing, and protection. I always include a vitamin C and an anti-oxidant serum to protect against UV rays and pollution. I also use toner, essence, eye cream, moisturiser and sun protection is a must. In the evening, I will use the same products but switch the vitamin C for retinol product. My evening skincare routine preps my skin for nutrients and focuses on deep cleansing. I will use a mud mask and exfoliate a few times a week. If I am not too tired, I will use a sheet mask. I like to seal everything with a sleeping mask 3-4 times a week. Next day I wake up with really soft and supple skin.
Karolina: That is great skin routine. Was there anyone who had an impact on your skin routine as a teenager?
Sarah: Few friends from high school with whom I would talk about skincare. One of the girls shared her skin care tips to double cleanse and tone. Another friend shared the importance of removing makeup as soon as you get home after school to remove pollutants. I wished someone mentioned sun cream earlier as having SPF in your moisturiser is really not enough sun protection.
My k-beauty bridal skin routine
Karolina: I agree, so many of us ignored sun protection for years, especially during winter time. Thankfully, this is changing now and also sun creams are so much better and suitable for everyday use even under the makeup.
You have recently got married. Big congratulations and all the best to you and your newlywed husband.
Sarah: Thank you!
Karolina: Tell us what steps did you take to prepare your skin for this event. Did you test any products or stuck to the one well tested?
Sarah: Since I have sensitive skin, I resisted testing anything new close to the big day. I did save a special modelling mask that Shereen @thewayofthesnail gifted me for my engagement present for my actual wedding. I concentrated on strengthening my skin barrier and products that gave me glow. The biggest change was my diet and exercise. I cut out all junk food, took collagen supplements and made healthy smoothies. Exercise not only helped me lose weight but helped release toxins.
Karolina: Is being an influencer had an impact on your approach to this big event?
Sarah: Yes, few members from the fellowship of the skin- the first Asian beauty meet up I went to. Michelle @glitterballmagazine regularly takes collagen supplements – even in her cocktails, she also gifted me detox/ glow tea in preparation for the big day. Sounds common sense but it was difficult due to FOMO, the advice to not use new products close to the big day helped prevent skin reactions. I didn’t get a facial as a home décor YouTuber I follow, made a video on things she would do differently on her big day and her facials designed to give her that glow made her break out horrendously. Since I have super sensitive skin, I resisted.
Karolina: Do you have any skincare tricks you would like to recommend to our customers before a big event?
Sarah: Since I didn’t get any facials I treated myself to special sheet masks using a jade roller or gua sha, an ancient Chinese massage tool for facial massages. I did this every night for 6 months either over sheet masks or using oils to avoid dragging the face. My nasolabial folds have disappeared. It takes time but I’m convinced this has helped lessen the lines.
Karolina: What are the ingredients you would recommend to incorporate to everyday skin routine? /What ingredients are key in skincare before a big event?
Sarah: This is a difficult one as I have few favourites. Besides vitamin C and A for their obvious and clinical proven skin benefits, ginseng was an ingredient that really gave me a beautiful glow on my wedding day. Ginseng offers anti-ageing benefits as well as energising dull and tired skin. I had 5 hours sleep the night before, I was writing my vows but you wouldn’t be able to tell thanks to ginseng.