Before the Hallyu wave and the rise of consciously produced skincare, Hana Lee already had her finger on the pulse with Melixir: the skincare brand she founded in 2018. Harnessing her decade-long journey in the beauty industry and tapping into the future trend of good skincare produced in a green way, it can be said that Melixir has sort of set the blueprint, or some might say green, for how products are designed today.
It has to eschew animal testing and the use of nasties, be formulated in a cosmetically elegant way, be designed in a manner that withstands the social media algorithm, and finally, be a pleasure to use. You might already have some newer brands in mind but Lee has already been doing that with Melixir for the past five years.
But in this interview, she lists down some ways she handles her shuttles from Seoul to Singapore, activities to do in her hometown, and of course, her steps to travel proofing a skincare routine with the best-of from her brand.
1. A cleanser that removes city pollution.
I have sensitive skin, so I use cleansers that purify pores without drying my skin. Melixir’s Vegan Clarifying Foam Cleanser ($35) has a soft-cream texture so it is gentle and hydrating.
I put a small amount of the cleanser on my palm and massage my face gently. Willow Bark Extracts, one of the main ingredients of the cleanser help to refine pores and acne, so it works well my skin without breaking out.
2. A purifying mask for on-the-go treatments.
I do a custom toner-mask to keep my skin hydrated even after long flights. For the first step, I prepareour Vegan Balancing Toner ($43), unbleached organic cotton pads, and essential oil for my mood of the day.
The Vegan Balancing Toner is made of organically grown Korea green tea extracts and is both is watery and refreshing. Then, I soak the cotton pad with toner and put the pad all over my face with a drop of essential oil to give an aromatic experience.
Lastly, I leave it for 10 to 15 minutes until my skin fully absorbs it The steps are very simple, but the effect is powerful.
3. A soothing product for sensitivity.
I can confidently say that our Vegan Relief Facial Moisturizer ($74) is the best product I have ever used to soothe my skin.
A skin-soothing routine is something I am deeply interested in as it keeps my skin healthy and hydrated. After hours of business meetings, I often feel the heat on my face and I love to apply the product to lower it.
The moisturiser works even better when you keep it in the fridge and layer it on thickly like a sleeping mask. You will see the immediate cooling effect overnight! The product also contains the patent ingredient Aczero which controls sebum and excessive oil to balance your skin.
4. The best all-in-one spa in South Korea.
The best spa experience I ever had in Korea was the one in an Airbnb in Gangwon-do, where Seorak Mountain is. It had an outdoor hinoki tub which I soaked myself in at night while enjoying the dark sky full of stars.
The place was surrounded by pine woods so it smelled like I was in a forest and I felt deeply connected to nature. It was the best spa experience in my life!
5. The best place for an entertaining dinner in South Korea.
Melixir’s office is located near Dosan Park in Seoul so visiting unique restaurants around the vicinity and Chungdam is one of my hobbies. For dinner, I recommend JUNGSIK SEOUL which has a Korean fine dining concept contemporary interpretations. It has great ambience and food.
After dinner, I highly recommend you visit Zest which is a Korean fine drinking bar that creates a sustainable drinking culture. My favourites are the Old Fashioned and Gin & Tonic where the latter is made using homemade gin using locally grown fruits.
6. The best cafe to people watch in South Korea.
mtl cafe & bakery in Itawon is a good place to visit as it’s located in the heart of the neighbourhood where you can also find the latest fashion trends in South Korea. They also have DJ sessions at the cafe where they play trendy low-key music.
I love to visit the cafe to watch people, listen to music, and eat fresh-baked vegan desserts.
7. The best Korean remedy to cure jet lag.
I try to be hydrated, so I drink a lot of cold green tea!
8. A sunscreen that works across different climates of different countries.
The Vegan Airfit™ Sunscreen SPF 50+ PA++++ ($55) is my all-time favourite when I’m in Korea or visiting Singapore. My hometown is quite dry all around the year and I like that the product is hydrating without feeling greasy.
When I visit Singapore where it is hot and humid, this sunscreen works perfectly because it is lightweight and doesn’t leave any white cast even when I sweat. In addition, it has strong sun protection with SPF 50+ PA++++.
It is literally the best product to use in both countries which have different weather.
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9. The best podcast to help her mind relax.
I prefer listening to music to relax my mind. These days, I am listening to the playlist Golden Hour on Spotify and Piano Chill on Apple Music.
If I want something a little more upbeat, I listen to songs by Sultan+Shepard!
10. A leave-on mask that brightens the skin.
Vitamin C is a powerful agent to brighten the skin and hyperpigmentation so I use the Vegan Vitamin C Hydration Cream ($80) in my night routine because it has vitamin C capsules that firm and brightens.
Powered by a potent blend of seven plant extracts including tangerine, turmeric root and nourishing panthenol, it’s all I use sometimes for my skincare routine. Also, its citrus-green aroma relaxes me and helps with getting a good sleep.