liah yoo skincare secrets interview

Liah Yoo is one of fave skincare Youtubers.

Based in Seoul, Liah worked for Amorepacific, the biggest beauty brand in Korea, for two years before quitting to pursue her dream as a content creator.

Her channel is a treasure trove of skincare wisdom with a focus on K-beauty, honest product reviews and fun vlogs on what she’s up to (often, jet setting all around the globe). Her sweet and down-to-earth personality shines through her videos, making them a pleasure to watch. Warning: prepare to binge watch them.

I recently had the pleasure to interview Liah. We chatted about her skincare philosophy, the products and treatments she swear by and her exciting latest venture (she’s working on her own skincare line!!):

1. When did you become interested in skincare?

I was always interested in skincare but I had a very unhealthy relationship with skincare for a long time. When I had acne, I was obsessed with buying skincare products that gave me hope in clearing up my skin only to realize there’s really no magic pill in skincare. At one point, I was applying more than 12 products. It wasn’t until last year that I started respecting my skin and learning more about the skin over learning about products.

2. What’s your skincare routine like?

My skincare routine is pretty minimal.

AM: Skip cleansing. Instead, I saturate a generous amount of hydrating essence on a cotton pad to wipe off the excess build ups. I go in with the same hydrating essence with a patting motion, then moisturizer and finish with sunscreen.

PM: Double cleansing (cleansing oil then a gentle gel cleanser) and moisturizing is a staple. Then I would include treatment products based on what my skin needs each night. Glycolic acid, hydrating serum, face oil, sleeping mask are in my arsenal at the moment.

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3. If you could only use three skincare products for the rest of your life, what would they be?

First, WHY WOULD YOU DO THIS TO ME!!! hahaha. The cleanser I formulated (that’s not out in the world yet but hell yes, I’m bringing it!!!), Primera Miracle Seed Essence, and Elta MD UV Clear Broad Spectrum SPF 46!

4. What are your favourite skincare brands and why?

Primera: There isn’t any product from Primera disappointed me so far and it seems to be well coveted by many of Koreans. Primera invests a lot in researching new botanical actives and discovering potent antioxidant power from plants. Most of the products are gentle yet effective in boosting your skin’s immunity.

Amorepacific: Amorepacific was one brand that didn’t allow employee discount when I was working for AP corporate. It’s one of those legacy brands that CEO would be willing to invest tons in the R&D and the products really do speak for itself. The formulation is superior and they create beautifully high-performance products that WORK. The cons are that a) it’s bloody expensive and b) it has a strong fragrance.

COSRX: I love how COSRX keeps their ingredients short and simple. There’s no any excitement factor in this brand, to be honest, but it is a brand that I can trust in the efficacy. And hey, it’s really affordable! I find their formula to be less irritating than many other brands using the same concentrations of actives.

5. What are your top 3 skincare tips to take care of your skin?

1) More is never more: Over-cleansing, over-scrubbing, over-doing with actives, over-using products more than you need… these are a recipe to torturing your skin barrier function. All your skin wants from you is a bit of TLC 🙂

2) Your skin is not separated from your body: Our skin is not an independent organ, therefore only relying on topical treatment isn’t going to give you a healthy glow you’re going for. Take the time to breathe, sweat and fuel your body. Stress less, rest more and last with skincare, apply only the stuff your skin craves.

3) Give more credit to your skin: Your skin is already quite smart at doing its own things; rejuvenating, repairing, and naturally exfoliating. So respect that and try to work with it, not against it. Trust your skin more than you trust any advice you find online. And don’t forget to give some self-affirmation while doing skincare! Because we do it to feel good anyway 🙂

6. What skincare treatments (facials, microdermabrasion etc) do you regularly have done?

Despite the fact skin treatments are such a thing in Korea, I don’t go in for skin treatments regularly. I’ve done twice this year. If you’re dealing with any skin concern, visiting a derm or esthetician can certainly help in guiding you through a targeted regime. But it’s definitely not in everyone’s budget.

If I do visit a facialist, I ask for non-invasive treatments such as LED therapy, or oxygen peel. Manual extraction is something I ask for too as I’m against of picking or squeezing my own skin. I try to avoid any invasive treatments such as laser treatments.

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7. What lifestyle habits do you have that help you keep your skin in top shape?

Even though my schedule is pretty hectic, I still aim to sleep for at least 6 hours. 8 hours is ideal! My old self would never sacrifice on social life over sleeping but I know how worse my skin gets when I deprive on sleep.

My diet is quite high in good fats, especially essential fatty acids. They balance my skin which helped my skin immensely for being acne-free. I opt for antioxidant-rich foods and avoid dairy products and sugary foods.

And I religiously apply sunscreen no matter what!

8. What’s in your makeup bag?

I’ve been rocking a foundation-free face lately, therefore, I don’t need to carry additional powder or a cushion to touch up. Woohoo! It’s so liberating. Only a lipstick is in my purse. My favorite at the moment is Jean Queen by Lipstick Queen.

9. You’re launching your own skincare line. Can you tell us more about that?

Absolutely! I had two reasons why I wanted to create my own skincare line. One, the industry is complicating things far too much. Second, I’m seeing so many people being overwhelmed and stressed finding the “right” skincare solution.

When it comes to skincare, there are too many products, too many trends, too much advice, a million creams, cleansers, serums, toners and a whole lot of confusing information taking away the joy of skincare. And this naturally trained us to ignore our most powerful voice—cravings, intuition, our feelings. Now we’re more used to listening to what a brand advises us to do than to pay attention to what our body is signaling through our skin. So we end up shoving products that our skin doesn’t necessarily crave resulting to more sensitivity and inflammation.

And after being in the beauty industry and the YouTube space for years, I knew that I wasn’t alone. Skincare really doesn’t have to be this complicated. There shouldn’t be any rules. As long as a product or a routine makes you feel good, that’s the healthiest skincare that you can apply.

So I’m hoping what I bring to the world would help reset what a conventional skincare routine is to you, and remove all the should do’s and supposed to do’s in skincare. So that we can simply feel damn good, inside and out.

That’s all I can share for now! Thanks to Beautiful With Brains for giving me the opportunity to share about my project 🙂

Thank you, Liah!

Don’t forget to check out Liah’s Youtube channel, if you haven’t already. You can also keep up with her on Instagram and Twitter.