The global rise of K-Pop and K-Drama has opened up the traditions of Korean beauty trends across the world. With K-Stars flaunting glass skin (a term popularized in Korea to describe a flawless, pore-free complexion), everyone wants to know the secret to flawless skin. It is common knowledge that the key to good skin is to stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water, staying hydrated, and getting enough sleep. But what are Koreans doing differently? The answer may be in their daily 10-step skin care regimen, their sleep mask, or their double cleansing.
Glow Recipe Co-Founders and Co-CEOs Sarah Lee and Christine Chang discuss the issues of defining a clean beauty brand and incorporating traditional Korean beauty values into their brand.
We believe clean beauty begins with transparency. We list all the ingredients on our site and also include educational content as to why we have chosen certain ingredients. We also have a full list of ingredients that we do not use that consumers can view on our website. Our products are vegetarian, do not contain any environmental risk such as oxybenzone or octinoxate, mercury or ingredients containing mercury, as well as synthetic dyes. We are Leaping Bunny certified, 100% cruelty free and we never test on animals.
What steps has your brand taken to qualify as a natural skin care brand?
We also believe that durability is an important facet of clean beauty. We use glass packaging wherever possible and started partnering with Terracycle last year to make all components in the range recyclable. We use FSC certified cartons printed with soy ink. Our shipping boxes and tissues are also made from 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Our own beauty journey as a brand is constantly evolving and we will continue to engage and share with our customers so that they can be a part of every step.
Watermelon is a key ingredient in a popular Glow Recipe line of products. There aren’t many other beauty brands that have used watermelon. What makes this ingredient special?
Watermelon has a rich variety of benefits for the skin. It’s an antioxidant and vitamin-rich ingredient including vitamins A, C, and B6, all of which work together to intensely hydrate, soothe, and fight free radical damage to prevent fine lines, wrinkles, and dark spots. It contains lycopene which helps protect the skin from UV rays and prevent the signs of aging. Another fun fact is that we use the whole watermelon including the seed and the rind for different products! Watermelon is particularly useful for combination, dull, or acne-prone skin. For combination and acne-prone skin, watermelon provides light hydration that also helps soothe the skin. For dull skin, natural vitamin C helps brighten the complexion.
Was there a compelling / life-changing statistic or discovery moment that made you decide to use fruit in your beauty products?
In Korea, our grandmothers rubbed watermelon rind on our skin in the summer to calm rashes and irritation – and it worked like magic. We were inspired by this childhood experience and wanted to harness the power of this amazing superfruit in an overnight treatment, which inspired our very first product and which we can hardly keep on the shelves – our Watermelon Glow Sleep Mask. Natural ingredients have always been part of the beauty rituals passed down to us from our mothers and grandmothers and it is important for us to harness these antioxidant-rich superfruits and combine them with synergistic active ingredients for powerful skin results but soft.
How did Beauty K influence Glow Recipe?
We have over 25 years of combined experience in the US and Korea and Glow Recipe is the result of these two combined experiences. K-Beauty celebrates self-care and listening to your skin, and the brand’s philosophy and products aim to reflect that. Glow Recipe consists of products that address a variety of skin problems and, thanks to innovative and fun ingredients, applying these products to your skin not only treats these problems, but also becomes a pleasurable experience.
You’ve teamed up with Netflix to launch a line of limited-edition vivid watermelon products. How did it happen? Such partnerships are quite new to the beauty industry. How has the partnership benefited your brand?
When we looked To all the boys I’ve loved before On Netflix, we loved seeing a strong, independent Asian American female protagonist in Lara Jean. We also loved seeing her go through her skincare routine through items like sheet masks in the movie. It was an honor to work with the Netflix team to create limited edition product designs of our bestselling Watermelon Glow Sleeping Mask and Watermelon Glow Mist, inspired by Lara Jean’s fun and unique aesthetic. We believe that when there is synergy between the philosophies, as was the case with this collaboration, the partnership really comes to life. We had a tremendous response from our community on this limited edition kit and the movie and we loved being able to bring this experience to them.
How does Glow Recipe contribute to sustainability?
Sustainability is a core brand value at Glow Recipe and we are constantly looking for ways to reduce packaging and use more sustainable materials. Our products are 100% recyclable, whether it’s at home or through our return program with TerraCycle®, with whom we have partnered for over a year. TerraCycle® converts them into raw materials that can be used in the manufacture of new products for common household items. Our glass jars are 100% recyclable, made with 20% recycled glass and designed to be reused. Our cartons are 100% recyclable, made with a blend of recycled PEFC certified paper, free of acids and heavy metals, and printed with soy ink. We are actively working on ways to reduce and offset our carbon footprint and are taking action to become carbon neutral by 2022.