K-beauty is known for many things, and one of its most popular trends has got to be the pursuit of glass skin. Wanting to uncover the secrets of a glowing, luminous complexion led Xenia Wong, founder of Sigi Skin, to enrolling in Jung Saem Mool Art Academy and Make Up Forever beauty courses. Through this process, she discovered that truly gorgeous skin is healthy skin. As she shares, “healthy skin can only be achieved with an effective skincare regimen, as opposed to just hiding your flaws with makeup.”
While the Korean routine is notorious for its elaborate steps, Wong wanted to create an alternative that pared it down to the essentials at their best. Her hope for Sigi Skin? That it would be an efficacious and minimalist approach to skincare – beginning with ingredients, nutrients and superfood-infused products.
In our latest series Skin Deep, we’re talking to women about their favourite beauty secrets, tips, and techniques. What they put on their faces, hair, and bodies and why. Skin Deep goes beyond the surface and explores the relationship women have with beauty and wellness — and what that means to them today.
What are your favourite beauty secrets or tips?
Xenia Wong: Always remember to apply sunscreen! Sunscreen protects your skin. It prevents 90 per cent of your skin’s problems such as premature photo-ageing, wrinkles, hyperpigmentation and as well as acne. No matter what other products you’re using in your routine, without applying sunscreen in the day, it will be a total waste of time and effort.
When I first started the brand, even my formulators asked me if I really wanted to start with sunscreen. It’s one of the most difficult and costly skincare products to formulate. However, I know that many of us are not using sunscreen as it is very uncomfortable to apply. I suffered from a bad sunburn when I was much younger because I did not want to apply sunscreen due to its greasy texture. So it was very personal to me to create the perfect sunscreen that people would look forward to applying every morning.
What’s your go-to product or trick for fixing a skin disaster?
XW: Sigi Skin’s Tea-Tox for an immediate quick fix, it is able to calm down any inflammation, redness or any dry patches instantly.
And when it comes to hyperpigmentation or acne scars?
XW: Look for products that contain niacinamide and ingredients that speed up cell renewal progress such as purslane. Don’t expect instant results — your skin takes time to heal and renew itself.
What was your relationship with beauty like 10 years ago and what is it like now? How has it changed over the years?
XW: I used to change products every three months to follow a certain skin “fad”, but the past few years has been all about achieving healthy and strong skin. With heathier and stronger skin, your skin won’t easily get inflamed and will be less sensitised. I have found that frequent switching of skincare will ultimately cause your skin barrier to be over-sensitised. Stick to what works.
Beauty advice you’d share with your younger self?
XW: Start applying sunscreen. The earlier, the better.
What are the benefits of applying Kombucha to the skin?
XW: Probiotics, in general, help to restore skin’s microbiome, improve barrier function, maintain calm and reduce sensitivity, manufacture moisturising factors and maintain the skin’s pH.
Kombucha is also a probiotic, and it contains loads of vitamin B that helps to even out skin tone. It also improves skin elasticity and helps to improve and combat fine lines and wrinkles. It is best for Kombucha to be paired with other probiotics actives to bring the best results for your skin. Kombucha is safe for all skin types, even for eczema and rosacea skin. Unless you have a known allergy to Kombucha, it is safe for everyone to use.
There’s been a lot more tea-infused skincare introduced in the industry, what are some of your favourite teas in skincare?
XW: Teas are an excellent source of antioxidants, that has soothing and skin calming properties. Which makes this a great choice for people who have sensitive skin or pregnant ladies that would not be able to take harsh actives. Kombucha, matcha and chamomile are some of the more beneficial teas for our skin.
Chamomile extracts are excellent for skin soothing and skin itching (perfect for people who have eczema), they have strong anti-bacterial properties as well. Chamomile extracts are also found in Sigi Skin Dew Potion, a 100 per cent waterless essence mist. People who have eczema love this, and it is a good replacement for their steroid creams when they’re pregnant.