TARA (상호) was founded on the believe of using the ocean’s natural healing powers to make you feel more confident in your natural beauty. We spoke to the founder, Jin Lee (대표), to understand her inspiration for her unique creation.
Growing up, did you always have a passion for skincare?
Yes! There is a Korean saying “If you have good skin, you will look good no matter what”. Like most women, I’ve always enjoyed taking care of my skin and I have always been up to trying new skincare products too.
That’s great, and is this what led you to a career in skincare?
I used to have clear skin when I was younger but when I hit my early 20s, my skin took a turn for the worst and I wasn’t sure how to fix it. I tried almost every product imaginable from well known and expensive brands in an attempt to treat my skin but none worked well. I also tried consulting with dermatologists and went to clinics to get skin treatments like oxygen therapy on a regular basis, all in hopes of repairing my skin.
The turning point was when I started to deep dive into the science of the ingredients used to formulate skincare products and realised the importance of understanding what I was putting on my skin. Since then, I’ve had better “luck” finding products that work for my skin.
I believe that we need to be very selective about what we apply on our skin and to understand how ingredients can play a significant role in the efficacy of the product. These experiences were what led me to start a career in skincare.
In an overwhelming beauty market, why did you think there was a need to create TARA? What sets TARA apart from the rest?
In these modern times, we are constantly bombarded by new beauty trends, products and fad routines. This might be one of the reasons that many people, including myself in the past, tend to buy skincare products that are advertised to us without fully understanding the product, such as the ingredients that go into making it, the quality or the effectiveness of the product for a certain skin type or concern.
TARA’s products are formulated mainly with ingredients from the deep sea, such as Marine Collagen and Algae Complex. What inspired you to build a skincare line around this?
Our goal is to create sustainable and natural anti ageing skincare products that help bring customers a step closer to achieving their long term skincare goals each time they use our products and this starts with the antioxidant system that we use in our products.
After years of working with one of South Korea’s top research teams specialising in natural healing treatments, we selected these ingredients as they not only contain some of the highest levels of antioxidants but are also very mild on the skin.
Owing to the similarities in the cell structures of seaweed with our skincells, these marine ingredients are effective in maintaining our skin’s natural antioxidant level and it’s skin regeneration properties without irritating the skin or causing other unintended skin consequences.
However, with the worsening of environmental issues such as pollution and global warming that affect ocean temperatures and the growth of these precious ingredients, it has been increasingly difficult for us to find reliable, high quality sources for these precious ingredients.
Could you share with us more about Sea Therapy? What is it about and what are some skin or wellness benefits that come with this therapy?
Our knowledge of the mythical healing power of the ocean goes back a long time in history. Not only can the salt in the water heal wounds but the ocean can trigger a psychological state of calm and contentment, literally washing away your worries or pain.
For TARA, sea therapy is about incorporating ingredients from the deep sea, such as seaweed and algae, into our skincare routine allowing “the Sea to heal You”. When we go out to sea, or even just to the beach, we get a sense of tranquility and our minds heal. Likewise, if we have good skin, I believe it helps give us more confidence and puts us in a better mood.
What skin type or conditions were you trying to address when you created TARA?
The focus for TARA’s products is in restoring your skin’s natural health and youthfulness. We were all born with beautiful, healthy skin but constant exposure to environmental irritants and poor skincare habits and often lead to sensitivity and other skin problems. The good news is that skin regenerates periodically and so with adequate nourishment and some mild exfoliation, healthy and radiant skin can be achieved.
Rather than targeting a specific skin type or concern, TARA’s products help nourish and support your skin’s natural regeneration, the underlying cause of most skin problems. With healthy skin and active cell regeneration, you will find that most skin problems go away and you get to enjoy anti-ageing benefits and soft supple skin. TARA’s goal is to create products that help restore “your skin’s original texture”.
One of your main beliefs for the creation of TARA was that using skincare formulated with natural sources can help one to feel more confident in their natural beauty. So, what does beauty mean to you?
To me, beauty is all about being confident and natural in your own skin. I believe confidence comes from commitment. Daily habits such as your body posture, diet or even having a good self-care routine can contribute to your confidence and shape you to feel more beautiful each day.
Having been in the beauty industry for almost 5 years, you must have picked up some great skincare habits and tips. What does your daily skincare routine look like?
I follow a relatively simple skincare routine which I will adapt based on how or what I feel my skin needs more of each day. If it has been a particularly dry and cold day in the winter, I would focus more on moisturising.
A typical morning routine would be mild cleansing followed by toning, moisturising and applying sunscreen. In the evening, I would do a double cleanse to make sure I remove all daily grimes followed by toning, masking and moisturising.
What is one skincare tip that you could share with us?
A tip that I would always share with my customer is to focus on the ingredients used to formulate the products. Don’t just buy into the advertising or branding. A particular ingredient can work differently for different people and we should take the time to understand which ingredients work for our skin and which ingredients will cause adverse reactions.
Achieving healthy glowing skin goes beyond just having a good skincare routine. What are some other habits you practice to achieve your glow from within skin?
Ageing is inevitable but I strongly believe that a holistic approach with a little effort and commitment in adopting good daily habits that encompasses your overall well being, including diet and mental health, you will be able to maintain glowing beautiful skin and allow your skin to age gracefully. Here are a few daily habits I try to maintain and would recommend:
Drinking warm water. I drink at least 7 to 8 glasses of warm water a day. Drinking warm water can improve the blood circulation throughout your body and it helps increase the elasticity of your skin which prevents premature aging. They cleanse the body by getting rid of the toxins and impurities and repair the skin cells that are affected by the harmful free radicals.
Treasure yourself. You’re special and deserve better. It’s okay to be conscious about your diet and what is being applied on your skin. Avoid smoking or binge drinking too! Take sufficient vitamins, collagen and berries which are rich in antioxidants. Though you might not notice immediate improvements to your skin but it does make a huge difference in the long term.
Be hygienic. Wash your hands thoroughly before applying your skincare products and avoid sharing your products with others too. Clean hands means that you are not transferring extra bacteria back onto your face. Also, skincare products do expire or “go bad” when they’re exposed to air for a prolonged period of time. Make sure to check the expiration date and to always keep the container tightly closed after use. Try to use sterilized disposable products whenever possible too!
What can we look forward to in terms of new product offerings?
We have a couple of exciting activities and product launches in our pipeline, including opening our very own spas around the world where visitors can experience our premium antioxidant sea therapy treatment but this is still early in development.
We are also developing a line of body creams and as we are very particular about the quality of our products, we do thorough research and testing before releasing any products to ensure their effectiveness.
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About the writer
Hong Lyeon, a native South Korean, is the founder of Asian Beauty X and our resident beauty expert. She enjoys sharing her experiences, tips and reviews, and skin-loving recipes and when she's not telling the rest of us what to do, she has been known to cook up a mean storm.