In our Liah Yoo interview, you’ll discover her current favorite K-beauty products, her best acne tips, and details about her upcoming skin care line, KraveBeauty!
After we received countless comments on asking us to interview popular YouTuber Liah Yoo, we thought it was time to make the masses happy.
If you don’t know who she is, Liah is a vlogger who has around 370,000 subscribers on YouTube. Her fans flock to her videos because she offers reliable and in-depth information on Korean beauty and skin care in general.
Here, we chat with Liah about all things skin care (including her upcoming personal skin care brand!) and why you shouldn’t freak out if you have combination skin.
When did you first become interested in skin care?
I went to all girls school, and I was surrounded by girls. I was always really interested in how other women took care of their skin, what they do, and what their secret is when it comes to maintaining good skin. Then, when I went to college, I studied architecture and there were a lot of nights where I had to stay at school overnight, and it’s interesting because you get to see other friends’ skin care routines and how they cleanse their skin because you’re spending the night together.
Let’s talk about your new skin care line. Why did you decide to launch KraveBeauty?
I feel like a lot of consumers are more confused than ever. If they have bad skin, they become more reliant on more products, and then they become more desperate and try more products quicker, and it becomes a vicious cycle. I thought, when did skin care become so damn hard? What is going on with this industry? And what is going on with us as consumers? I realized many brands would create products that would sell rather than thinking about our skin’s health. This results in issues such as over-promising claims, multistep routines, harsh products that damage the skin long-term, and more. And I figured that you don’t really need to buy products that your skin doesn’t crave, so I wanted to create a very minimal range of products.
What are the products that will be in the KraveBeauty line?
We’re dividing the line into two different groups: core series and supplement series. The core series contains the back-to-basics range, including a cleanser, moisturizer, and sunscreen. Anything that you add on to that I classify as a skin supplement, because depending on your skin condition or issues, you can add the targeted solutions, but it’s definitely not necessary. There’s a glycolic acid treatment in the supplements range, and we’re developing a product for the barrier.
You’re known for your great videos offering acne advice. What do you think is the biggest mistake people with acne-prone skin can make?
The biggest mistake is to make your skin squeaky clean. Over-cleansing dries out your skin. I think that’s really fundamentally disrupting the skin barrier, and once you have a broken barrier, its going to lead to other bigger problems. It’s kind of like a never-ending vicious cycle that you trap yourself into.
When it comes to combatting and treating acne, there’s so many reasons why you have acne in the beginning, so I guess the very essential thing you need to do is try to find the cause. Sometimes your skin just might be deficient in linoleic acid, which is one of the most important natural lipid components. I’ve read articles that have said that if you’re deficient in linoleic acid, then your sebum will become gloopier and clog your pores, which can cause a lot of breakouts.
Adding an oil thats high in linoleic acid will really help to improve your skin. And I think a lot of times a lot of acne-prone people really hate the idea of applying oil on their oily skin, but so far with my own experience, and with a lot of my subscribers before-and-afters, theres been a huge drastic change in their skin with implementing linoleic acid.
Sometimes your skin is really angry and inflamed because you’ve mistreated the skin barrier, so just make sure you’re aware that benzoyl peroxide and antibiotics are not always going to be the cure. They can mask whatever’s happening, but they’re not really going to fix the problem, so in this case, going back to the basics and just hydrating and nourishing the skin can really help restore the barrier function. That in itself is gong to balance your skin.
Hormonal acne is a whole different issue. If your acne is caused by a hormonal imbalance, you want to treat it internally first. Changing your diet to low glycemic foods can really help. Having a dietician on the side is a really good option because when it comes to treating hormonal acne, skin care can help, but it’s definitely not going to be the cure.
How do you heal acne scars?
I’ve tried vitamin C and niaciniamide and everything that is supposed to be effective in treating hyperpigmentation or acne scars, but for me, tamanu oil is the best treatment. I learned about it from my aunt who does acupuncture. She started formulating this tamanu balm and she used that on her pigmented sun spots, and I’m not kidding you: It completely faded her spots in the course of a year. So I tried it and applied it pretty regularly every night on the spots where I do have acne scarring, and I kid you not, in two months it really faded my scars. I swear by it.
I just get the 100 percent tamanu oil. But if you still have active acne, you need to be careful with it, because it’s a rather heavy oil and can be occlusive, so I don’t recommend it to those who are still trying to treat their acne. But if your acne phase has terminated, tamanu oil is a wonderful option to add.
A lot of our readers have combination skin. What’s your best advice for dealing with it?
To be honest, I feel like combination skin is the most natural skin type to have because our sebaceous glands are naturally more active on the T-zone area and are less active on our cheeks and our chins. So generally, people should have combination skin.
If you have an oily T-zone, I would still use a face moisturizer, but I would layer twice on my cheeks where it needs more hydration and layer less on the T-zone area. Multi-treating doesn’t always mean you need two different moisturizers; its just about controlling the amount of the products you’re already using.
What are your favorite products right now?
My favorite product of the moment is the Skinfood Royal Honey Propolis Essence. That’s the one thing that’s been saving my skin all winter. Just like anyone else, my skin does get dry during the winter time, and no matter how many layers I apply with other skin care, it can’t really compare to honey-based skin care. When it comes to really retaining the moisture and hydration, propolis and honey is the way to go, at least for me and my skin.
I’ve also been really obsessed with the Klairs Midnight Blue Calming Cream. It’s really soothing and comforting as it claims to be, and it’s helping with my redness at the moment.
What do you love the most about being an influential YouTuber?
I love everything about it, but YouTube gives you a place where you can share what you learn. By no means do I think I’m a skin care expert—I didn’t study dermatology, I didn’t go to aesthetician school, and I don’t come from a chemistry background—but I am an expert at trying to learn however I can. I go out of my way to research things, and if I don’t understand something, I will go ask a professional and ask them to explain things to me.
Also, just knowing that there are people out there who listen to me and take my advice—whether in a serious way or in a light way—places a big responsibility to be a good example to other people, and that also motivates me to research harder.