Angella Park is an entrepreneur, beauty guru, and owner of a skincare clinic called 99 Salon – located in the heart of Busan, South Korea. She started working in the beauty industry when she was 21 and has been in the beauty business for the past 10 years with her mother, founder and CEO of Soop & Beauty. Read on to see Angella share her mom’s best advice, her hyper-customized cleansing routine, and what’s next in Korean skincare.
Beauty Backstage – Angella Park
What’s the first time you got interested in beauty?
When I was younger, I had a lot of blackheads. I used to rip off my blackheads with charcoal pads. I did it so much you could see my blood vessels because my skin got so thin and irritated! I thought to myself, “What is the cause of blackheads? It’s not just about removing it, there must be a better way to approach this issue.”
So I started reading and found out blackheads emerge as some sort of chemical protection for your skin. I realized I wasn’t protecting something in my skin and wanted to find out how to. After removing blackheads, I learned to use a hydrating cream, face masks, and essence after to protect my skin. When my skin started improving, I started getting into beauty. Instead of just thinking about being pretty, I wanted to find the core problem and holistic solutions for skin issues – that was my goal.
What did the women in your family teach you about beauty?
My mom of course taught me everything (she owns a beauty clinic and I’ve been doing business with her for 10+ years now). She told me something so important – you have to be naturally healthy. She never let me go to quick-result 피부과 clinics for my skin issues. She told me that immediate results and treatments always have bad side effects, so I needed to find long term solutions for my issues. Gradually improving is more effective than trying to remove things right away and risking the bad side effects.
What motivates you in your business?
I like seeing changes – whether it’s in education or beauty – and helping people. I used to want to be a professor and help people through education, but once I saw how cosmetics could change and help people, I wanted to pursue beauty. I love learning and started attending conferences, lectures, and beauty associations to educate myself. Once I started attending these conferences, I realized that skin was about health and wanted to go deeper, so I am getting my Ph.D in alternative medicine (in health). Then cosmetics consultations for products and people – and I just finished soap-making classes.
How do you and your mom’s businesses differ?
My mom’s clinic Soop & Beauty is for an older demographic and for those with more money. It’s been running for 30 years and has been really successful in Busan running 24 franchises. But last year, we wanted to do something different. My new clinic 99 Salon is geared towards a younger audience – men and women in their teens to thirties. The idea is for them to be able to come in for a quick facial or plumping session. We constructed it like a hair salon to have a similar vibe. You can stay in your clothes (instead of changing like a hospital) and get your facial. And it’s intended to more affordable (9,900 won facials). Both of our clinics specialize in facials, moisturizing, nutrition, and brightening care.
What is your skin type and how do you target it?
I have oily skin. Cleansing is the most important. In my daily routine, I consider my skin’s current condition and find the right cleanser to fit my skin type for that day. When I have a lot of oil and blackheads, I use oil cleansers. Oil cleansers are actually necessary for oily skin to remove other oils and blackheads.
If I am particularly dry and/or sensitive that day, I need to retain the natural oils in my skin. So I use milk-type or lotion-type cleansers from my own brand Bubble Glam Cosmetics. I massage it into my skin and then wash it off. I don’t need to double cleanse because the milk-type cleansers are mixed with oil and melt away makeup while moisturizing my skin. If I double cleanse, I am removing my natural oils, and if I use foam-cleansers, I’m stripping my skin of ceramides, making my skin even drier.
What does the rest of your daily skincare routine look like?
For toner, I use a cotton pad and apply Alteya Organics Bulgarian Rose Water. I love this product because it’s 100% Rosa Damascena Flower water – naturally soothing and brightening. I love the natural rose fragrance and effects. Usually, other rose water toners include ingredients like ethanol, alcohol, artificial fragrance, and water, which isn’t the best for your skin.
Toners are super important for maintaining your pH level so that the rest of your skincare is effective. When I want to do something special to my skin or am really dry, I use ampoules. Then I use Beuins Water and Oil Blending Essence Balancing Essence, my own brand Bubble Glam Whitening Sleeping Mask as my cream, and then Trilogy Certified Organic Rosehip Oil – in this order. It’s important to maintain your order! I switch out milk/lotion type cleansers and cold process soap cleansers depending on my skin so I don’t overstrip.
Are there any foods or drinks that help you look or feel your best?
Vitamin C!!! For skin, it has so many different effects. Pigment will level and even out. If you’re sunburnt, you produce melanin, but if you eat vitamin C, the melanin won’t come out to the surface. What you eat can prevent skin problems from coming up while treating your skin just solves existing problems.
What do you do for special occasions?
I like to use ampoules when my skin is dry or for special occasions. I also like to do a deep cleansing (peeling) – depending on the occasion and my skin condition. Sometimes I use AHA/BHA, a peeling machine, or a peeling scrub. If I am out in the sun a lot, then I use AHA/BHA to brighten my skin. If I want to have glossy skin and make it smooth, I use a “Gommage” (gel peeling exfoliator) – for smooth, glossy skin, Koreans use this a lot!
What are your favorite brands and why?
I like all brands! But when I choose a brand product, I always look at the back of the product and check all the ingredients. I have so many brands in my vanity, but I choose my products based on the ingredients and how good it will be for my skin – whether it matches well.
Is there anything you do when you feel stressed?
I like to take baths with magnesium sulfate or do a scrub. Or do some aromatherapy. Or go get a massage, or go to a sauna to break a sweat. The important thing about stress is your heart heats up, so your face gets dry and becomes red. So my solution is to do something that’s really calming and hydrating – that is key.
Angella’s Home Spa Steps:
- Epson Salt
- Sugar Scrub
- Coconut Oil (only body)
- AHA/BHA Deep Cleansing
- Clay Mask or Hydrating Mask
What is your everyday makeup look? And what features do you like to highlight?
I like to focus on eyes. I think eyes make a strong impression, so I like to have a stronger look with shining eyes. I like to use color contacts – for daily use, I use brown, but when I want to have my eyes stand out, I use pink or other colors. Then for makeup, my daily looks start with Clio Pro Single Shadow, but for parties, it’s Innisfree Twinkle Glitter. I use Mamonde Easy Drawing Gel Eyeliner, which is really easy to draw with. For mascara I use Maybelline Hypercurl Mascara. For lips, I like Peripera Peri’s Ink the Velvet tint.
Any tips or tricks?
On TV, you see very glossy skin but also smoky eye makeup. It’s actually very hard to do this – to have both glossy skin (using oily products) and smoky eyes, which are more matte and will smear off if your skin is too oily. Celebrities use matte makeup more, so it doesn’t smear off. Because glossy and matte can’t mix well, I use the Innisfree No-Sebum Mineral Powder around my eyes but keep other areas of my face glossy and shiny.
Do you have any skincare recipes?
I never mix my cosmetics. I don’t mix any ampoules, vitamins, or powders. Vitamin C ampoules are expensive and only work on a certain type of skin. They only work when your skin is at a 5.6 pH level. Only in that condition will it absorb and be effective. But let’s say I mix Vitamin C into my skin care, and I’m not at a 5.6 pH level – the effects will be useless and might even reduce the effectiveness of other products.
What is an up and coming trend in makeup or skincare?
I think in skincare the main trend will have to do with air pollution and the fine dust problem. Out of the OECD countries, Korea is getting 12 times more fine dust. Because of the fine dust, trouble/sensitive skincare went up 30% last year. The fine dust increases acne and can also lead to blemishes on your face. Skincare products with air pollution protection will be the next trend. Even cushion compacts for air pollution are coming out.
I also think skin care for older people (in their 70-80’s) skincare will grow as well. 70 to 80 year olds are getting facials. Their concern for their skin is increasing. In our clinics, we can already see the older generation coming in for treatments. For the future, marketing to older people through anti-aging or tightening products will be a huge trend.
Do you follow trends?
Of course, I think trends are important. Business does well when you know trends. It’s important to know them, but I believe in having your own philosophy and coming to your own conclusions in the face of new trends. You can follow trends, but you can’t lose yourself at your core.
Is there any feature you don’t like or didn’t like but now have come to embrace?
My skin. I have oily skin, and I used to really hate it. I had acne, pimples, and broke out very easily. If I put on makeup, it would easily come off because of the oil. But now that I know how to take care of my skin, my skin can get really healthy and really glow, and I love it. Those with oily skin need to maintain a good balance. If that is taken care of and managed well, you can really love your healthy glowing skin.
What’s your overall beauty philosophy?
Balance. Wellness. Health.
My skin can always change…even right now, even 30 minutes later. Whether I’m having fun with my boyfriend or fighting and getting red, it always changes. So I need to take note of my skin’s condition and situation and balance it to equilibrium.
Health is important. If you’re not healthy you can see it in your skin, and it will all come out. For example, if you’re on your period, you can get acne, but if your body is healthy, then your skin will also reflect that. I think overall balance, wellness, and health is the most important aspect of beauty.
All Images via Angella’s Instagram