Korean skincare brand Then I Met You has finally arrived in the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about its bestselling products.
Skim through your skincare collection and you’re bound to have brands, products and even packaging that have been inspired by Korean beauty. So, when an actual K-beauty brand launches in the UK, it’s understandable that it gets a lot of people excited. Enter: Then I Met You.
“My husband and co-founder Dave Cho and I started Soko Glam from my bedroom and worked our way to being the top K-Beauty e-commerce destination in the US,” Cho tells us.
“After curating thousands of products during my nine years in the skincare industry and gaining my aestheticians certification, I developed a deep knowledge of ingredients and formulations.”
Cho says she used this knowledge alongside her dedication to the Korean concept known as jeong.
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“Then I Met You came out of my deep love for jeong,” says Cho. “Jeong really emphasises deep connections with those around you. It also prioritises choosing actions and making decisions that inspire good. Pairing my knowledge of skincare as a curator and aesthetician with the jeong I have with the skincare community is my perfect match.”
It’s this focus on connection that informed every aspect of the brand, from the signature periwinkle-blue hue of its packaging to the luxurious textures of its formulations, she adds.
Over the years, you may have spotted the brand’s dreamy periwinkle-blue products all over your social media feeds. It’s become hugely popular in the States and among skincare experts. So much so, Caroline Hirons even hailed the Cleansing Balm one of her favourite beauty finds of the year.
Speaking in an IGTV, she said: “I didn’t expect to fall in love with a cleansing balm in the way that I did”, before calling the cleanser “brilliantly moisturising” and “nourishing”.
Now, the brand is finally available in the UK through e-retailer Cult Beauty. Here, Cho tells us a bit more about this special skincare brand and I give you my thoughts on every one of its products…
On taking inspiration from Korean skincare rituals…
“Then I Met You inspires all to go deeper with their multi-step skincare routines – it was something I came to appreciate when I was living in Korea.
“While in Seoul, I came to love and embrace their ‘skin-first’ philosophy, which prioritises treating and preventing skin concerns by getting to the root of the problem with care, effective ingredients, and solid routines.
“Incorporating the best of Korean ingredient innovations into our formulas, as seen with the luxurious persimmon extract in our classic Living Cleansing Balm, £37, and the ellagic acid which our Giving Essence, £48, spotlights, we really want those who use our products to carve a little time out of their lives during their skin rituals to spark transformative experience and indulge in self-care.”
On the story behind the brand’s iconic name…
“Everything from our formulations down to product textures is inspired by jeong, so of course our name comes from the concept, too.
“’Then I Met You’ is a phrase that highlights the meaningful and transformative moments in life. It’s these turning points that we experience that deeply affects us for the better, whether it is someone special in your life or even your skin care routine. The name serves as a reminder of these moments – and of our mission to spark the same for our community.”
On the brand’s cult cleansing balm…
“We’ve been absolutely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love the Living Cleansing Balm, £37, has received over the last two years. It was one of the first two products we launched with and, since then, it’s gone on to win over 12 industry awards.
“I truly think it’s gotten such a positive response because it’s not only luxurious and sensorial but also extremely effective. The beautiful marigold hue is due to the high concentration of seaberries, and the sorbet-like texture of the product is packed with vitamin E, antioxidants, and essential fatty acids which seamlessly wipes away oil based impurities like sunscreen, make-up and excess sebum.
“Oil cleansing balms also hold a special place in my heart because I am a devout double cleanser. This cleansing practice is the cornerstone of any multi-step skincare routine and focuses on using both an oil-based cleanser and a water based cleanser to rid the skin of all impurities from make-up and sunscreen to dirt and grime. This transformative practice helped me tackle my hormonal acne and it’s why I launched Then I Met You with the cleansing duo, which consists of the Living Cleansing Balm and our water-based cleanser, the Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel, £34. I’ll forever cherish these two products!”
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On the product that holds a special place in her heart…
“Personally for me, my holy grail is the Birch Milk Refining Toner, £31. Once I turned 30, I dealt with hormonal breakouts on my chin for a few years. It was not until I consistently used this toner on my skin, that this major skin concern of mine began to disappear. I was thrilled to see this result, as this toner does more than just hydrate and reset your pH since it has 1% AHA and PHA which gently smooths out fine lines and refines the appearance of pores. Daily maintenance, along with 80% birch juice to deeply hydrate, really creates optimal conditions for your skin to thrive and reduce breakouts. There are many others who consider this toner as their holy grail as well, after it has consistently smoothed out small bumps and prevented breakouts.”
A look at every product by Then I Met You
Then I Met You Living Cleansing Balm
OK, I can see why this has gotten so much hype. This luxurious formula makes cleansing your skin feel like a real treat. It melts away any signs of make-up with minimal effort and no irritation (well, for me). I preferred using it as my second cleanse, thanks to its nourishing ingredients, which include numerous fatty acids, plant oils, olive oil and grapeseed oil. Plus, it smells heavenly.
Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel
This water-based cleanser has a gel consistency that left my skin feeling clean and really fresh but not stripped. It’s packed with enzymes, amino acids and antioxidant green tea to revive tired skin while shifting away impurities left behind by swear and pollution. It also has gentle exfoliants that leave skin feeling smoother and looking glowy without sensitising your skin.
Then I Met You Birch Milk Refining Toner
Cho’s personal favourite product from the line-up, this toner works to revive dull, congested skin. It is formulated with a blend of 1% AHAs, including glycolic and lactic acid, and PHA gluconolactone to brighten skin and prevent blemishes but don’t worry, it still feels gentle on skin. It has a base of over 70% birch juice, squalane, glycerin and sodium hyaluronate which work to balance the drying effects of skincare acids and keep skin protected and soft. Plus, marshmallow root extract helps to prevent irritation.
Then I Met You The Giving Essence
Essences are hugely popular in K-beauty but may be something you haven’t experimented with before. They’re often used to soften and hydrate skin, preparing it for the next steps in your skincare routine. This formula is made up of fermented sake, niacinamide and polyglutamic acid to minimise the appearance of pores while also boosting moisture and luminosity.
Then I Met You Calming Tide Gel Cream
Another social media favourite, this product goes way beyond its fun and Instagrammable packaging. This clever lightweight gel formula can be used as either a serum or moisturiser. It’s formulated with ceramides to help repair and strengthen your skin barrier and peptides to help stimulate collagen production. Every time I’ve used it, it’s felt extremely comforting on my skin, doesn’t pill and leaves my skin feeling softer.
Then I Met You Honey Dew Lip Mask
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Images: Then I Met You