Cleanse, moisturize, sleep, repeat—or not. From the 18-product maximalists to the one-and-done movers and shakers, everybody's skin care routine differs. In A.M. to P.M., we explore the morning and evening routines of people with different skin care concerns, from targeting acne to embracing vegan beauty.
Skin type: Normal to dry
Skin concerns: Hormonal acne
If you're into K-beauty in any sort of capacity, then you've definitely heard of Soko Glam—one of the biggest K-beauty retailers in the United States. Co-founded in 2012 by Charlotte Cho and her husband Dave, Soko Glam rapidly became the go-to destination for beauty enthusiasts inspired by the East. Now, it carries 71 brands, including Cho's own, Then I Met You.
Cho's love for skincare began way before Soko Glam was even a thought in her head. Cho tells HelloGiggles that growing up in California, she was ashamed to be Korean, feeling different amongst a group of children who looked nothing like her. It wasn't until adulthood, when she moved to South Korea for five years to work, that her perception of herself and beauty began to change. While there, she became more comfortable and confident in her skin, developing a deeper appreciation for skincare. This inspired her to launch Soko Glam and later become a licensed esthetician. As if that weren't #goals enough, Cho also wrote The Little Book of Skincare and the upcoming The Little Book of Jeong (available for pre-order now).
After launching Soko Glam, Cho returned to the United States, but while she's moved around a lot, she says nothing has shifted her world as much as motherhood: "Becoming a mother changed everything." Her daughter Kennedy was born during the peak of the pandemic, and while Cho says that becoming a mother is the best thing to happen to her, she also developed postpartum anxiety. In a recent video uploaded to her Instagram page, Cho walked viewers through all the new and challenging feelings she was having about motherhood, and how the experience made her appreciate her me-time more than ever. In the post, she writes: "Self care became a whole new meaning to me... It was just that 15 minutes of 'me' time in my bathroom with my skin care ritual that got me to feel like myself again."
Today, this is how Charlotte Cho cares for her skin and mind through her skincare routine:
Cho's morning skincare routine starts with a double cleanse, a technique that involves using an oil-based cleanser before following up with either a gel or water-based cleanser. Her product of choice: Then I Met You's award-winning Living Cleansing Balm. The formula is rich in softening sea buckthorn oil (Gwyneth Paltrow and Kourtney Kardashian are currently obsessed with it), nourishing vitamin E, and moisturizing olive oil. "I apply it to dry skin and give myself a mini massage," she says. "It's rich and luxurious—it feels like sorbet on my skin."
- 38 Available at Soko Glam
Then, she follows up with the Then I Met You Cleansing Gel to "remove any remaining impurities." Once her face is completely cleansed, Cho applies the brand's Birch Milk Refining Toner, saying it helps improve her skin texture thanks to the lactic and glycolic acids. "It's the perfect daily chemical exfoliant," she says. Next, in good K-Beauty fashion, she applies an essence to her face. She's currently loving Neogen's Real Ferment Micro Mist as it has, as the product name points out, fermented ingredients that help maintain a healthy microbiome.
- 28 Available at Soko Glam
To keep her skin hydrated, Cho uses a lightweight moisturizer for the daytime. Right now she's using the Good Skin Days On The Bright Side Moisturizer, which, like the essence, also uses fermented ingredients that she says brighten and hydrate her skin. Finally, as the last step of her morning skincare routine, she applies sunscreen. Right now she loves the below pick from Thank You Farmer as it has UVA and UVB protection and SPF 50+, doesn't feel tacky, and makes her skin look glowy.
- 27 Available at Soko Glam
After the workday is done and she transitions into evening mode, the first thing Cho does is put Kennedy to sleep. Once her six-month-old is sleeping, she'll clean the house, light a candle, and begin to unwind. The start of her nighttime skincare routine begins the same as her morning routine does—with her brand's Cleansing Balm. "I use it to remove all my makeup—it dissolves everything," she says. Then, as with her A.M. routine, she follows up with the Then I Met You Soothing Tea Cleansing Gel for her double cleanse. The hydrating cleanser uses ingredients such as brightening licorice root, soothing rice water, and calming green tea.
- 36 Available at Soko Glam
Once a week, as part of her "me-time," Cho applies Then I Met You's newly launched Rosé Resurfacing Facial Mask to her face for about 10 to 15 minutes. "It's powerful and gentle," she says of the AHA and BHA blend that uses six and a half percent chemical exfoliants. Using it, she says, feels like hitting the reset button on her skin.
- 28 Available at Soko Glam
"If I'm feeling extra, I'll also use a sheet mask," she shares. She has several favorites, such as some from Mediheal, but right now she's really loving Benton's Aloe Soothing Mask. "It feels like I'm cocooning my skin in moisture," she explains of the aloe and green tea-packed formula.
- 2.40 Available at Soko Glam
As the last step of her routine, she applies a moisturizing hand cream to combat the dryness caused by constant hand washing and sanitizing. "I love the Son Reve Shea Butter Hand Cream—it actually stays on my hands," she says, noting that others tend to rub off while this formula stays put for long-lasting hydration.