If you’re a fan of Korean dramas, K-actress Kim You Jung will probably be a familiar face. After all, she’s been acting for 16 years, despite being only 19 years old. You might remember her as the child actress in Iljimae, or the lead actress in Moon Embracing the Sun opposite Park Bo Gum. The actress, who is also the face of Laneige, has come a long way and blossomed into a young woman, but the years of hectic schedule hasn’t taken a toll on her skin, which remains as clear and supple as it was when she was still a child actress. We’re naturally intrigued, and decided to grill her on her secrets when she was in town to launch Laneige’s latest offering, the newly improved Water Bank Hydro Cream EX and Water Bank Moisture Cream EX.
Scroll through the gallery from top tips from the Korean actress.
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You started out in the industry as a child actress and you had to start using make-up at a young age, did you start learning about cleansing and skincare at a young age too?
When I was really, really young, I was so lazy to do proper cleansing so there were times where I would come home after putting on heavy make-up, and I would just sleep without removing the makeup. But as I grew up, I realised the importance of good, thorough cleansing and that was how I started paying a lot of attention to removing all the makeup and impurities. So when I come home after work, I will make sure to wash my hands first—to keep my hands clean—followed by washing my face thoroughly to remove the makeup. The routine will be followed by using the Laneige products, especially the Water Bank Hydro Essence as well as the Cream Skin Refiner to keep my skin moisturised and toned. So I really focus a lot on keeping the skin hydrated because when I have makeup on for a long time, my skin gets really dehydrated so I feel it is really important to make sure it’s moisturised at all times.
When you combine the constant use of makeup and puberty, it’s a formula for acne and breakouts, but your skin has remained clear throughout the years. Do you have any secrets?
Well, first of all, there is a genetic factor involved—both my parents have very good skin too, and I’ve been very blessed to have their skin. So, I’ve been lucky enough to maintain that healthy, glowing skin all this time, despite the heavy makeup. Growing up, I realised the importance of maintaining that good skin that I’m born with. So when I don’t have a shoot or work, then I prefer to let my skin rest by not putting on any makeup and just putting on the basic skincare products.
As an actress, you have a long day of filming. What do you do to ensure your skin remains clear despite your hectic schedule?
On cold winter days, I avoid turning on the heater, especially in the car because I feel that really dries up my skin a lot. And this is a tip shared by many of my colleagues. They told me that it really works and helps to keep your skin moisturised so try not to switch on the heater at all times. And I realised whenever the heater is on, my skin is so dehydrated to the point that it will crack. [Instead of using a heater,] I will keep myself warm at all times. On cold days, I would wrap a blanket around myself. And when I come home from work, then I will use warm towel to cover my face to let it moisturise and to let it rest.
Do you have any tips for the summer?
On hot days, you tend to perspire a lot and that is how your skin loses moisture too, so I make sure I constantly apply the Water Bank products, especially the essence and the cream. And I especially like the new line of products, especially the Hydro Essence and the Hydro Cream Ex. I feel that they really help keep my skin moisturised at all times.
What are your top 5 Laneige Products?
The first product would be Water Bank Hydro Essence—I feel it really helps your skin be hydrated at all times. The second one would be the Water Bank Hydro Cream Ex so that when used together with the Essence, it really locks in the moisture in the skin. And the next one would be Laneige Cover Cushion. On usual days when I go out and I don’t want put on heavy makeup, and this one gives me coverage without being too thick. And the next one would be Laneige lip balm, which gives that nice glow and tint to your lips. And the last one would be Cream Skin Refiner. There’s a mist version as well, so I bring it along with me all the time.
You are known for your fresh and natural makeup look and that is actually harder to achieve than a full makeup look, what advice do you give for girls who want to recreate that?
Focusing on the fundamental basic skincare would be the essential first step to achieving that natural makeup look because you need to make sure your skin is well-moisturised, hydrated and ready to absorb any makeup products you apply afterwards. Also, the most important thing is self-confidence. Be confident about your natural features … I realised that many of my peers, especially when they have troubled skin, they want to cover it up using heavy make-up, but instead of doing that, you can just let it show and let it heal on its own, naturally.
What is one skincare tip that has surprised you?
This is more of a makeup tip—I watch a lot of makeup tutorial videos and skincare tutorial videos on YouTube—and I’m very surprised by how creative some YouTubers can get with their makeup and skincare methods. So what I learnt most recently is how to use blusher in various ways. There are many ways to use blusher, so instead of just shading your cheek using the blusher, some YouTubers actually contour their entire face using different shades of blushers.
Has you tried it yet?
Not yet, but I would love to give it a go one day. Usually if there is no shoot or when I don’t have a schedule, I prefer to stay barefaced.
You’ve worked with makeup artists since you were young and you probably received a lot of advice from them. What is the first beauty advice you remember receiving?
I cannot very the very first tip I’ve ever received because it was too long ago and I was too young back then. But one tip I always go by and always try to remember and do is exfoliation. When you put on heavy makeup all the time, I realised that it dries your skin and it tends to produce a lot of dead skin cells so I feel that exfoliating well is very important to keep your skin healthy and glowing. So after exfoliating my skin, I was advised to apply oil products on my lips and face as well, to make sure I lock in the moisture in the skin.
Korea is obviously known for K-Beauty, what is one K-Beauty secret you want to share with non-Koreans?
Whenever I travel, I am very surprised by how popular K-Beauty is around the world—not just within Korea. And when my fans meet me, they always compliment her on her glowing skin, her hair, they always ask me like what kind of products I use. One great thing about K-Beauty, is variety wise, there are so many different products suited to different skin types, different people, different ages. But the most important thing is to find the products that are most suitable for your own skin type. So for myself, one tip I can share is the Laneige Water Bank products, especially the latest Hydro Essence and Cream Ex. They are suitable for almost any skin type.
You’ve acted in various shows and dramas since you debuted as an actress. What motivates you to accept a role?
When I get a script or an offer for a new character or a new project, I focus a lot on how new the story or the character that I’m offered to play is, how relatable the character is to the audience, and whether the project or role that I’m about to take on provides me with enough opportunity to grow as an actress. I feel that people watch dramas because they want to relieve stress and by doing so, they want to laugh, they want to relate to the character and they want to feel sad together with the character. I focus on roles that I feel I can play well so that I can bring out such emotions from the audience.
Images: TPG/Click Photos, Kim You Jung’s Instagram